The two winners of the historic Green Primary, the first ever Europe-wide open online process to select leading candidates will be the figureheads of the third common Green European campaign, and lead the united Green parties of Europe in spreading the message that we can and will bring the change that EU so desperately needs.
Commenting on the occasion José Bové said:
“I am honoured to have been appointed as one of the leading candidates of the European Green campaign as a result of the Green Primary. I will lead this campaign to defend a Europe that protects women and men from the globalisation that is destroying jobs and the environment. I am committed to a Europe that shares the often-threatened values of democracy, solidarity and human rights. A Europe that can turn its back on the social and ecological economic crises, by pushing for the Green New Deal with an appropriate budget. More than ever, for me Europe in 2014 represents a subversive and pragmatic dream to leave nationalism and selfishness behind. We need more Europe. We need more of a better Europe.”
Ska Keller added:
“I’m looking forward to an enthusiastic election campaign, for the whole of the European Union. It will be our task as top candidates to bring a European dimension to the national Green campaigns. I hope and I’m sure that we can keep the enthusiasm and motivation that I have experienced during the Green Primary going. In our campaign, we Greens will be clear about what our Green alternatives are for Europe: a fair and Green way out of the crisis, putting youth unemployment on the top of the agenda, protecting the rights of refugees and migrants, fair trade not free trade, more ambitious climate targets, and more democracy. I want to thank all those who supported me, as well as the other contenders from whom I learnt a great deal.”
The Green Primary closed at 18h00 yesterday. For the last two and a half months, voters in every single EU member state have taken part in this unique e-democracy project. Green leading candidates Ska Keller and José Bové, along with Monica Frassoni and Rebecca Harms, travelled across Europe to put their vision for the future of the EU to voters, giving people the chance to confront them directly in live debates in ten different cities, and in online chats and live hangouts. 22,676 people voted overall; Ska Keller received 11,791 votes and Jose Bové received 11,726 votes. The European Greens are the only political family who have chosen to open up the process of selecting their top politicians. The Green Primary has set a new democratic standard. By empowering 16 and 17 year olds to take part, we’ve given them a voice in Europe’s future, too.
Commenting on the outcome Reinhard Bütikofer, Co-Chair of the European Green Party (EGP) said:
“Our European Green Primary has been a worthwhile experiment. We have not followed well-trodden paths, but entered new territory sending one clear signal: in the decision about selecting leaders, citizens should have a greater say. We had four excellent contenders and we thank all of them from the bottom of our hearts. They have done a marvelous job. We also want to thank our member parties who were the ones who mobilised our Green Primary voters. When these member parties gave us the go-ahead for this democracy experiment in November 2013, they put a lot of trust in the EGP. Together we have shown that it is possible to have pan-European discussions. Not only did we organise primary debates in ten countries, people from many more countries participated in these events online.”
Ska Keller (Germany)
Ska Keller (MEP – Greens/EFA) is a German activist, migration campaigner and politician. Born in Germany near the Polish border, she calls anti-racism and internationalism her guiding principles.
In FU Berlin, Keller studied Islamic, Turkish and Jewish studies, and speaks six languages. She has been a passionate voice for youth empowerment in Europe – she joined Grüne Jugend, the youth wing of the German Green party, in 2001, and was elected as Co-Spokesperson of the Federation of Young European Greens from 2005-2007. She was elected to the European Parliament in 2009.
Keller sits on the Committee on Development, Committee on International Trade, and on the Delegation to the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee. She is a passionate voice against ‘Fortress Europe,’ and campaigns strongly for the rights of refugees and migrants.
From her manifesto: “The next European elections will happen in the midst of a discussion on which way Europe will go. Achieving a progressive majority will be vital for the future of the EU. We Greens need to fight for our ideas in every country and in every corner of Europe. “I want to help ensure a strong Green presence all over Europe. Many member parties will face a tough campaign in 2014. As leading candidates, it will be our task to help you and to make the support of the European Green family visible in your country. I’m eager to run a European campaign and to fight for our Green ideas in every corner of the European Union to support you.”
José Bové (France)
José Bové (MEP – Greens/EFA) is a French farmer, politician and social activist. Born in Talence, near Bordeaux, Bové has worked as a sheep farmer on the Larzac for most of his life. He has been at the forefront of a series of crucial environmental campaigns – the Fight for Larzac (which protected his local area from an expanded military base), the anti-globalisation movement, the anti-GMO movement and the anti-shale gas fracking movement.
In 2007 he ran in the French presidential election, saying that he was fighting for “people that do not have a voice.” His strong background in environmental mobilisation has lead him to be a powerful voice for change in the European Parliament, where he has sat since 2009.
From his manifesto: “This century’s challenges are global, whether in the area of climate change or nuclear energy, development or common goods, poverty or education, human rights or nature’s rights. No State, no matter how illustrious its past, can go it alone.
“The European Greens draw on the vitality of the movement to find the energy needed to combat this resurgence of the dark side of Europe. By building a transnational democracy and by transcending the conventions of our national political culture we are able to find what best resembles us.”