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EU Elections Unpacked: a close look at the Green manifesto

In our ongoing series of EU Elections Unpacked briefings, we have already examined the centre-left Socialist manifesto and analysed the centre-right European People’s Party manifesto. Now, we turn our attention to the Green Party manifesto. Stay tuned for forthcoming explorations of other parties’ political agendas.

The European Green Party unites national political parties that share core green values. In the European Parliament, the Green Party is represented by the Greens/European Free Alliance group, comprising regionalist parties, and currently holds 72 seats. Committed to gender parity, the presidency of the group is shared by one female and one male MEP: Philippe Lamberts (Belgium) and Terry Reintke (Germany). While Lamberts is stepping down after three consecutive terms, Reintke is seeking re-election alongside Bas Eickhout (Netherlands).

The European Green Party’s manifesto for the 2024 European Parliament election focuses on three key objectives: fostering a Green and Social Deal for Europe; advocating for a Europe of Democracy, Feminism and Human Rights; and building a Union of Security, Peace and Global Justice.

Politically, they propose strengthening the role of the European Parliament by granting it the right to initiate legislation (a power currently held by the Commission), providing it with equal budgetary authority to the Council, and giving it responsibility to nominate the President of the European Commission.

With a focus on issues most relevant to business, we explore the Green Party’s main proposals.

A social and green financial and fiscal vision

Economically, the Greens prioritise the need for a fairer European tax system and the eradication of tax havens to increase public revenue. They propose implementing a new tax on financial transactions, a windfall tax and heightened taxation for polluters. Additionally, they advocate for the ‘ultra-rich’ to contribute more significantly to public goods, including access to food, energy and housing. An increase in the EU Social Climate Fund is also part of their agenda.

With a section specifically dedicated to sustainable finance, the Greens seek to revise the green taxonomy to exclude gas and nuclear from being labelled as sustainable energy sources. They also aim to amend the recently adopted Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive to include all banking sector activities, addressing a significant point of contention in the recent legislative negotiations.

On the Banking Union, the Greens aspire to finalise it by establishing a common deposit insurance system, a long-debated goal among Member States that has yet to be realised.

A green economy underpinned by social considerations

The Greens' manifesto is deeply committed to combating global warming and protecting the environment and biodiversity, all while maintaining a strong social and inclusive perspective.

On energy, the Greens aim to phase out all fossil fuels by 2040, beginning with coal by 2030. They advocate for massive electrification across all sectors and propose phasing out fossil fuel subsidies by 2025, followed by all environmentally harmful subsidies by 2027. The billions of euros saved would be redirected towards renewable energy sources, energy efficiency and energy savings. The Greens envision a European energy system relying 100 percent on solar, hydro, wind and geothermal power.

The Greens’ manifesto emphasises supporting the most vulnerable groups in society during the energy transition. They propose enhancing the EU Solidarity Fund and establishing a European Fund for natural disasters. Additionally, they support an Energy Guarantee to ensure all households have access to affordable energy.

The protection of biodiversity through initiatives targeting air, water, and soil is another priority of the Greens. They recommend allocating 10 percent of the EU budget to biodiversity objectives.

Addressing the contentious issue of agriculture, the Greens propose shifting subsidies away from intensive farming practices – such as the use of pesticides, monocultures and animal exploitation – and investing heavily in organic and agroecological production. They call for a 50 percent reduction in pesticide use by 2030 and a ban on glyphosate, coupled with economic support for farmers to facilitate this transition.

The Greens' comprehensive approach integrates environmental sustainability with social equity, aiming to create a balanced, forward-thinking strategy for Europe's future.

Fair and sustainable digitisation

The Greens’ manifesto adopts a strong stance on artificial intelligence (AI) and its implications. They prioritise protecting workers from AI-based surveillance tools and seek to strengthen copyright legislation to safeguard creators from AI exploitation. Additionally, they advocate for updating consumer rights standards to bolster online protections, including the right not to be tracked, in accordance with the GDPR. They also propose a Digital Fairness Act to shield individuals from intrusive advertising.

Environmental sustainability is also a key aspect of the Greens’ digital agenda. They aim to increase the recyclability and reusability of digital devices and components and reduce energy consumption associated with data processing and cryptocurrencies, significantly reducing the Internet’s carbon footprint.

The Greens propose criminalising online hate speech, with a focus on eradicating gender-based violence online. They call for the full implementation of the Digital Services Act to address these issues effectively.

The manifesto advocates for the creation of a European Social Data Space, designed to harness data for the common good, reflecting the Greens’ commitment to a fair and socially responsible digital future.

A proactive international presence and reinforcing international organisations

The Greens advocate for the expansion of the European Union to include some of its neighbouring countries, although specific candidate countries are not named. They call for a more proactive role for the EU in international conflicts, which includes establishing a common EU policy towards China and protecting Taiwan, relaunching negotiations for a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict and resuming talks to address Turkey's military occupation of Cyprus.

The Greens propose the development of an EU Security Union and the enhancement of the European External Action Service. They also emphasise the importance of supporting the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice, along with advocating for stronger and deeper cooperation with NATO.

These geopolitical approaches reflect the Greens' commitment to bolstering the EU's international presence and reinforcing key international organisations to effectively address global challenges.

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Léa Bareil, Deputy head, EU Regulatory and Public Affairs 

Gonçalo Loureiro, EU Regulatory and Public Affairs Intern

Annabelle Duramé, EU Regulatory and Public Affairs Intern