Thursday

23rd Mar 2017

EU Greens launch US-style primary elections

The European Greens on Sunday (10 November) selected four top candidates for US-style primaries ahead of the 2014 EU elections.

People from all over Europe can cast their vote online in a process that will select two candidates of the four contenders - a man and a woman or two women.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

  • The European Greens' four top candidates (Photo: European Greens)

The online poll will run until 28 January 2014, and the duo to lead the campaign will be announced soon afterwards.

The only male candidate is Jose Bove, a French MEP who describes himself as a "farmer of the world" having "milked sheep" for years on a French farm and opposed genetically modified plants and shale gas exploitation in his country.

Monica Frassoni, from the Italian Green Party, is one of the three female candidates who wants to "transform the next European Parliament elections into a real competition."

"We have to convince citizens that they have a say in EU affairs and that, unless they speak up, the EU will split again. If they don't, we will not solve the crisis and our collective irrelevance will be inevitable," Frassoni said.

The other two Green candidates are both from Germany: Rebecca Harms, the current co-leader of the Greens in the European Parliament and Ska Keller, a 31-year old MEP backed by the young Greens.

European elections have had a continuously declining turnout since direct elections began in 1979, with voters tending to think that the EU vote is of little relevance to them.

European parties hope to reverse this trend with trans-national campaigns and lead candidates who run for the top post at the European Commission, a novelty introduced by the Lisbon treaty.

But EU leaders recently poured cold water on hopes that the top candidate of the most popular party will automatically land the commission job.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she "sees no automaticity" between the election results and the post.

For his part, EU council chief Herman Van Rompuy warned against parties raising "false expectations."

The Social Democrats meanwhile have opted for a different way of selecting their top candidate, current European Parliament chief Martin Schulz.

Last week, following a vote in the European Party of Socialists (PES), Schulz was nomintated "candidate designate" for the post and is set become the lead candidate following the party's congress in March next year.

On the centre-right, the European People's Party so far has not put any names out and is likely to announce their lead candidate at a party congress in March.

Poland snubbed twice in EU summit fiasco

[Updated] Poland tried and failed to block EU summit conclusions shortly after failing to block Tusk’s re-election as Council chief, prompting bitter accusations.

Poland isolated in bid to remove Tusk

Poland appears increasingly isolated in Brussels as it seeks public support to unseat Donald Tusk as president of the European Council.

French candidates avoid EU debate

In their first TV debate, the main candidates for the April election only briefly discussed the country's EU policies, with far-right Le Pen and centrist Macron taking aim at each other.

News in Brief

  1. Man arrested in Antwerp after trying to mow people down
  2. Marine Le Pen goes to Russia
  3. Dutch post-election talks prioritise green-right coalition
  4. EU summons Turkish envoy over threats to Europeans
  5. British police make first arrests in London terror probe
  6. EU commission has received Facebook reply on WhatsApp
  7. Rome expects thousands of protesters at summit
  8. Dijsselbloem says his comments had 'Dutch directness'

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EJCExpresses Concern That Extremists Still Have the Ability and Motivation to Murder in Europe
  2. European Gaming & Betting AssociationAudiovisual Media Services Directive to Exclude Minors from Gambling Ads
  3. ILGA-EuropeTime for a Reality Check on International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
  4. UNICEFHuman Cost to Refugee and Migrant Children Mounts Up One Year After EU-Turkey Deal
  5. Malta EU 2017Council Adopts New Rules to Improve Safety of Medical Devices
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Energy Research: How to Reach 100 Percent Renewable Energy
  7. Party of European SocialistsWe Must Renew Europe for All Europeans
  8. MEP Tomáš ZdechovskýThe European Commission Has Failed in Its Fight Against Food Waste
  9. ILGA-EuropeEP Recognises Discrimination Faced by Trans & Intersex People
  10. Nordic Council of Ministers25 Nordic Bioeconomy Cases for Sustainable Change
  11. Malta EU 2017Consumer Protection Laws to Be Strengthened by EU-Wide Cooperation
  12. European Free AllianceSupporting Artur Mas: Democracy and Freedom Cannot Be Convicted

Latest News

  1. May: London attacker was known to the police
  2. Ending the migrant deal with Turkey may save the EU
  3. Poland unlikely to face EU discipline on rule of law
  4. Rutte courted Wilders' voters, now he must deliver
  5. Barnier to UK: trade talks will come after settling accounts
  6. EU declaration to voice unity in troubled times
  7. Terror attack shuts down UK parliament
  8. Catalonia and Scotland at core of Europe's geopolitical conundrum