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European Green Party

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European Green Party

European Green Party
Secretary-General Mar Garcia Sanz
Spokesperson Monica Frassoni and Reinhard Bütikofer
Founded 21 February 2004
Preceded by European Federation of Green Parties
Headquarters Rue Wiertz 31, 1050 Brussels, Belgium
Ideology Green politics[1]
International affiliation Global Greens
European Parliament group The Greens–European Free Alliance
Colours Green and yellow
Political foundation Green European Foundation
Politics of the European Union
Political parties
Part of a series on
Green politics
Sunflower symbol

The European Green Party (or European Greens or EGP) is the European political party that operates as a federation of political parties across Europe supporting green politics. Along with the European Free Alliance (EFA), the EGP forms The Greens–European Free Alliance (Greens/EFA) parliamentary group in the European parliament.


The European Green Party was founded on 22 February 2004 at the Fourth Congress of the European Federation of Green Parties (EFGP) in Rome attended by over 1,000 delegates. Thirty-four Green parties from all over Europe have joined this new pan-European party. The Greens were the first to form a political party at European level. The other European political federations followed suit in the period 2004–2006. For the Greens this was the culmination of a process which had started with the formation of a loose co-ordination 1979–1993 and the EFGP 1993–2004.[2]

1979 to 1993

In 1979 the Coordination of European Green and Radical Parties (CEGRP) was set up to co-ordinate the participation of Green and Radical parties in the 1979 European Parliament election: There were considerable differences between the Green and Radical groups and the parties were unable to form a common pan-European electoral platform.[3] Although some parties polled well, no Green entered the European Parliament.

In the 1984 election the Greens participated again. They held a congress in the spring of 1984 in Liège and set up a restructured European Green Coordination (EGC), with a secretariat provided by the Dutch Political Party of Radicals. They also issued a Joint Declaration of the European Green Parties. Furthermore, overall the member parties had grown stronger. Eleven MEPs of member parties were elected to the European Parliament.[4] They formed the Green Alternative European Link (GRAEL) in the European Parliament. The group was too small to be recognised by the Parliament for funds and committees and therefore it joined the Rainbow Group, which also encompassed regionalists, the Danish People's Movement against the European Community and some radicals and socialists.

The European Greens formed a loose confederal triangular structure with the autonomous GRAEL in parliament, the weak EGC as a supra-national co-ordinating body and the member parties. The position of the European Greens was also weakened by the principle of rotation which some member parties (Germany and the Netherlands) used, with their MEPs being replaced by another after serving half their term. This rotation technique originated with the German Greens to prevent their members being co-opted by the informal negotiation system within the Bundestag,[5] but it served them badly within the European Parliament.

For the Dutch parties, the choice for rotation was a compromise between three parties which had only two seats in parliament: one seat was kept by the top candidate while the second seat rotated between the second and the third candidate. This way each party would have a representative in the EP. Finally, there still was considerable diversity in the opinions of the Greens, especially between pro-European and Eurosceptic tendencies. These factors weakened the position of the Greens in Parliament.

In the 1989 election the Green parties won 26 seats.[6] Because of political conflicts with the continuing Rainbow Group, the European Greens formed a separate parliamentary group, The Green Group in the European Parliament. During this period, the Greens became more entrenched in parliament.

1993 to 2004

In June 1993 the European Federation of Green Parties was formed by the members of the EGC in Kirkkonummi, Finland. The organisation became more structured, it now had a triennial Congress, a Council and a Federation Committee (executive). It strengthened its ties with the Green Group in the European parliament.

In the 1994 European elections Green parties won a total of 20 seats.[7] They were joined by a member of the Danish Socialist People's Party and one member of both the Italian South Tyrolean People's Party and The Network. Again the Greens formed a separate group from Rainbow Group, now renamed the European Radical Alliance.

In the 1999 European elections the European Greens performed particularly well winning 38 seats.[8] They formed a combined group with the European Free Alliance, which represented regionalist parties and independence movements, which previously participated in the European Radical Alliance. The relationship between the Greens and these parties was different from before, as the Greens were stronger both numerically and politically.

Since 2004

The European Green Party was founded at the Fourth Congress of the European Federation of Green Parties on 20–22 February 2004 in Rome, a party convention with over 1,000 delegates. Thirty-two Green parties from all over Europe joined this new pan-European party. The foundation of the new party was finalised with the signing of the treaty constituting the party in the Capitol of Rome. As such the Greens were the first to form a political party at European level, the other European federations followed suit between 2004 and 2006.

In the 2004 European Parliament election the member parties won 35 Seats. In the 2009 European Parliament election, even though the European Parliament was reduced in size, the EGP member parties won 46 seats, the best result of the Green Parties in 30 years.

Ideology and issues

The European Greens have always been committed to basic tenets of Green politics, such as environmental responsibility, individual freedom, inclusive democracy, diversity, social justice, gender equality, global sustainable development and non-violence.[9]

However, its relationship to the European Union and its institutions has changed dramatically and is still the subject of a lively debate. In the 1970s and 1980s the European Greens were generally sceptical of European political and economic integration, which was seen as contrary to environmental and social interests. In its 1984 program, the European Greens advocated the formation of an alternative Europe, which would be neutral and decentralised. In 1989, some member parties adopted a more parliamentary course and became more supportive of European integration. The program advocates the democratisation of Europe's institutions. In their 1994 program, the Greens abandoned their principled opposition of European integration and began to propose pragmatic alternatives for the European Union's policies and institutions. The 1999 and 2004 programs also reflect this.

In the area of Internet politics, The Greens–European Free Alliance parliamentary group became famous for the strong support of a proposed free information infrastructure, especially in their work on the directive against software patents in 2003.

Nowadays the majority of the party is european federalist. Its former leader, Daniel Cohn-Bendit, is a member of the federalst The Spinelli Group, and has written with Guy Verhofstadt a book with a federalist manifesto purpose. The European Green Party affiliated to the European Movement International in February 2014.[10]


In this table one can see the results of the Greens for the six direct elections to the European Parliament, in terms of seats and votes. It also shows how many European Commissioners the European Greens have, who led the parliamentary group. It also lists how the Green parliamentary group and supra-national organisations was named and what European parliamentary group they joined.[11]
Year MEPs MEPs % Votes % EC Leaders EP Subgroup EP group Organization
1979 0 0 2.4% 0 none none none Coordination of European Green and Radical Parties
1984 11 2.5% 4.2% 0 Friedrich-Wilhelm Graefe zu Baringdorf (1984-1986), Bram van der Lek (1984-1986), Brigitte Heinrich (1986), François Roelants du Vivier (1986), Frank Schwalba-Hoth (1986-1987), Paul Staes (1987-1988), Wilfried Telkämper (1987-1989) Green Alternative European Link Rainbow Group European Green Coordination
1989 25 4.8% 7.4% 0 Maria Amelia Santos (1989-1990), Alexander Langer (1990), Adelaide Aglietta (1990-1994), Paul Lannoye (1990-1994) Green Group in the European Parliament European Green Coordination
1994 21 3.7% 7.4% 0 Claudia Roth (1994-1998), Alexander Langer (1994-1995), Magda Aelvoet (1997-1999) Green Group in the European Parliament European Federation of Green Parties
1999 38 6.1% 7.7% 1[12] Heidi Hautala (1999-2002), Paul Lannoye (1999-2002), Monica Frassoni (2002-2004), Daniel Cohn-Bendit (2002-2004) European Greens The Greens–European Free Alliance European Federation of Green Parties
2004 35 4.8% 7.3% 0 Monica Frassoni (2004-2009), Daniel Cohn-Bendit (2004-2009) European Greens The Greens–European Free Alliance European Green Party
2009 48[13] 6.2% 7.3% 0 Rebecca Harms (2009-2014), Daniel Cohn-Bendit (2009-2014) European Greens The Greens–European Free Alliance European Green Party
2014 50,[14][15] 6.7% 0 Rebecca Harms (2014- ), Philippe Lamberts (2014- ) European Greens The Greens–European Free Alliance European Green Party


Organisational structure

States with member and observer parties of the European Greens in 2011.

The European Green Party is constituted out of political parties from European countries (although not necessarily from European Union member states). Parties can also become observer. Since 2004 individual membership of the European Green Party is also possible, these do not enjoy special rights however.

The most important bodies of the EGP are the Congress, the Council and the Committee.[16]

  • The Congress consists of 400 representatives of member parties and Green MEPs. These are allotted proportionally on basis of their votes in the most recent European or national election. Each party has at least four members. The congress has the last word on general policy of the EGP and its guiding principles.
  • The Council consists of 120 representatives of member parties. These are allotted on the basis of their most recent European or national election results. Each party has at least two delegates. The council is responsible for political affairs between congresses and it decides over organizational matters, such as the election of committee, the application of members and observers and the statutes of the EGP.[17]
  • The Committee consists of nine members, including two spokespersons (one man and one woman), a secretary-general and a treasurer. They are responsible for daily political affairs, execution of the council's decisions and the activities of the secretariat-general.

All of these bodies decide with a two-thirds majority.

The European Greens are organised in several regional networks. These are organised around seas, creating somewhat of a bioregional structure: such as the Green Islands Network ("a network for Green Parties in Britain, Ireland and associated islands"), the Baltic Sea Greens, the Green Mediterranean Network, Green Adriatic Network and the North Sea Greens


Member parties and representation[18]

Country or Region Name MEPs National MPs
Albania Green Party of Albania n/a
0 / 140
Andorra Greens of Andorra n/a
0 / 28
Austria The Greens – The Green Alternative
3 / 18
24 / 183
 Belgium (Dutch) Groen
1 / 12
6 / 150
 Belgium (French) Ecolo
1 / 8
6 / 150
Bulgaria Green Party of Bulgaria[19]
0 / 17
0 / 240
Bulgaria The Greens
0 / 17
0 / 240
Cyprus Ecological and Environmental Movement
0 / 6
1 / 56
Czech Republic Green Party
0 / 21
0 / 200
Denmark Socialist People's Party
1 / 13
12 / 179
Estonia Estonian Greens
0 / 6
0 / 101
Finland Green League
1 / 13
10 / 200
France Europe Ecology – The Greens
6 / 74
17 / 577
Georgia Green Party of Georgia n/a
1 / 150
Germany Alliance '90/The Greens
11 / 96
63 / 631
Greece Ecologist Greens
0 / 21
0 / 300
Hungary Politics Can Be Different
1 / 21
5 / 199
Hungary Alliance of Green Democrats
0 / 21
0 / 199
Ireland Green Party/Comhaontas Glas
0 / 11
0 / 166
Italy Federation of the Greens
0 / 73
0 / 630
Latvia Latvian Green Party
0 / 8
4 / 100
Luxembourg The Greens
1 / 6
6 / 60
Malta Democratic Alternative
0 / 6
0 / 69
Moldova Ecologist Party of Moldova "Green Alliance" n/a
0 / 101
Netherlands The Greens
0 / 26
0 / 150
Netherlands GreenLeft
2 / 26
4 / 150
Norway Environmental Party The Greens n/a
1 / 169
Poland Greens 2004
0 / 51
0 / 460
Portugal Ecologist Party "The Greens"
0 / 21
2 / 230
Romania Green Party
0 / 32
0 / 315
Russia Green Alternative n/a
0 / 450
Slovakia Green Party
0 / 13
0 / 150
Slovenia Youth Party – European Greens
0 / 8
0 / 90
Spain Equo
1 / 54
0 / 350
Spain Initiative for Catalonia Greens
1 / 54
2 / 350
13 / 135
Sweden Environmental Party The Greens
4 / 20
25 / 349
Switzerland Green Party of Switzerland n/a
15 / 200
Ukraine Party of Greens of Ukraine n/a
0 / 450
 United Kingdom Green Party of England and Wales
3 / 73
1 / 650
1 / 573
 United Kingdom Green Party in Northern Ireland
0 / 73
0 / 650
1 / 108
 United Kingdom Scottish Green Party
0 / 73
0 / 650
2 / 129

Observer parties

Country or Region Name (in English) MEPs National MPs
Azerbaijan Green Party of Azerbaijan n/a
0 / 125
Belarus Belarusian Party "The Greens" n/a
0 / 110
Croatia ORaH
1 / 11
1 / 151
Russia Green Russia n/a
0 / 450
Serbia New Democratic Party–Greens n/a
10 / 250
Turkey Greens of Turkey n/a
0 / 550
Europe Federation of Young European Greens n/a n/a
Europe European Network of Green Seniors n/a n/a

Former members

De Grønne from Denmark were expelled from the EGP in 2008.[22] The reason was that De Grønne intended to co-operate with the People's Movement against the EU in the upcoming 2009 European elections, a national party which sits in the rival European United Left–Nordic Green Left parliamentary group instead of The Greens–European Free Alliance.

Beside these parties, it is also remarkable Equo, in Spain. In this country there have always been many separated green parties, most of them very local and electorally weak. Lacking the existence of a strong green party, some efforts had been made to unite strengths into the Confederation of the Greens, receiving however a modest electoral support. With this scenario, Equo, a newly formed Spanish green party created to unify all the people with green ideology, attracted in 2011 most members and parties in the Confederation of the Greens, along with people from other parties or people who had never been politically active. For this reason, the EGP publicly supported EQUO on 13 November 2011, during campaigning for the 2011 Spanish general election, announcing a "Motion for Emergency resolution on the support of the European Green Party towards Equo in view of the Spanish elections".[23] As a new party, Equo still has to fulfil several conditions to become an official candidate party to the EGP, but several documents show the members' desire to become the referent of the EGP in Spain.[24][25]

On 13 May 2012, the EGP decided to withdraw the membership of the former representative of the Greens in Spain, Confederation of the Greens (Los Verdes),[26] after several months of negotiations, and mainly because 13 out of 16 parties (formerly within the Confederation of the Greens) decided to join Equo. Finally, on 12 May 2013 the EGP approved the incorporation of EQUO as the Spanish representative of the European Greens.[27]

Linked organisations

The most important organisation linked to the EGP is the Federation of Young European Greens, which is a similar federation of Green youth organisations.

The EGP fosters a European Network of Green Seniors and a European Green Gender Observatory.

Formally The Greens–European Free Alliance (Greens/EFA) in the European Parliament is also an independent organisation with official ties to the EGP.

The EGP affiliated to the European Movement International in February 2014.[28]

Elected representatives of member parties

European institutions

Organisation Institution Number of seats
 EU European Commission
0 / 27
 EU European Council
(Heads of Government)
0 / 27
 EU Council of the European Union
(Participation in Government)
3 / 27
 EU European Parliament
48 / 754
 Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly
3 / 318

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ Parties and Elections in Europe: The database about parliamentary elections and political parties in Europe, by Wolfram Nordsieck
  2. ^ history of the European Green Party at
  3. ^ Elizabeth Bomberg (2 August 2005). Green Parties and Politics in the European Union. Routledge. p. 70.  
  4. ^ 7 for the German Greens, 1 for the Dutch Political Party of Radicals, 1 for the Dutch Pacifist Socialist Party, an ally of the PPR, 1 for Ecolo and 1 for Agalev
  5. ^ Hines, Eric (2003). "The European Parliament and the Europeanization of Green Parties" (PDF).  
  6. ^ 7 for the German Greens, 8 for French Greens, 2 for the Dutch GreenLeft, 2 for Ecolo and 1 for Agalev, 1 for the Spanish IP, 2 for the Italian Rainbow Greens and 2 for the Italian Green Lists
  7. ^ 12 for the German Greens, 1 for the Dutch GreenLeft, 1 for Ecolo and 1 for Agalev, 1 for the Luxembourgish The Greens IP, 2 for the Italian Federation of the Greens and 2 for the Green Party
  8. ^ 7 for the German Alliance '90/The Greens, 4 for the Dutch GreenLeft, 3 for Ecolo and 2 for Agalev, 1 for the Luxembourgish The Greens, 2 for the Italian Federation of the Greens, 2 for the Green Party, 9 for The Greens of France, 2 for the Austrian Greens, 2 for the Finnish Green League, 2 for the Swedish Green Party and 2 for the Green Party of England and Wales
  9. ^ charter of the European Green Party at
  10. ^
  11. ^ MEPs Directory
  12. ^ Michaele Schreyer for Alliance '90/The Greens
  13. ^ includes 6 independent MEPs elected for the Europe Écologie group
  14. ^
  15. ^ Includes 14 MEPs, from 8 countries, NOT affiliated with EGP member parties.
  16. ^ statutes of the European Green party at
  17. ^ Learn about the EGP on
  18. ^ Updated per 26 June 2014
  19. ^ [1] on
  20. ^ Green Parties
  21. ^ MEP
  22. ^ new item on the site of the Danish Greens
  23. ^ Motion for Emergency resolution on the support of the European Green Party towards Equo in view of the Spanish elections on (retrieved on 4 December 2011).
  24. ^ Manifest on 4th June 2011 (retrieved on 9 December 2011)
  25. ^ Agreement of Association and Protocol of relationship on (retrieved on 4 December 2011)
  26. ^ “Confederación de Los Verdes” no longer part of the European Green family (retrieved on 13 May 2012)
  27. ^ "EQUO join European Green family", retrieved on 12 May 2013.
  28. ^

External links

  • European Greens website
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