Europe’s Green Parties Unite

Thirty-two national Green parties united on Saturday to become the European Green Party, predicting that a unified voice will gain them influence and votes in the coming elections. The Greens, now the first pan-European political party, will run under a common banner and with a common agenda focused on environmental protection, social justice, and sustainable development. Currently, Green politicians hold 44 of the 626 European Parliament seats; only in Germany are they represented in national government. At the Green congress in Rome this weekend, care was taken to preserve the national identity of the constituent groups. Said Grazia Francescato, leader of the Italian Green Party, “You can’t imagine how difficult it was, but also challenging and stimulating, to put together 32 parties … we’ve been trying hard to accept each other’s diversity and not impose one pan-European idea on everyone.” While the party hymn, written by film composer Ennio Moriconne, is a somber reminder of the challenges ahead, the atmosphere was brightened by the choice of a snappy party slogan: “Europe, let’s have a party!”