Monday

26th Aug 2019

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.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

  • 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.

Orban praises von der Leyen after first face-to-face

The EU Commission president-elect said she had a "good talk" with Hungary's controversial premier. Orban returned the praise, saying said the former German defence minister "thinks with [a] central Europeans' head".

Von der Leyen aims to 'rebalance Europe'

The German EU Commission president-elect hopes to bridge divisions within the EU, as she meets with EU leaders setting up her team of commissioners.

Johnson's call for new Brexit deal hits EU 'no'

The UK will not nominate a new EU commissioner, the new British PM said in his first address to parliament, and insisted that the Irish backstop can be renegotiated - without giving any specifics on alternative solutions.

Selmayr shifted to Vienna, ahead of von der Leyen arrival

London and Washington had been rumoured, but instead the German political mastermind behind the EU commission will now work as a quasi-EU ambassador in Vienna. He irked many in Brussels but also shook things up.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  5. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  7. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  8. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  9. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  10. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North

Latest News

  1. Western leaders disagree on Russia, Iran, and Brazil
  2. Belgium: Parties clash on Reynders as EU commissioner
  3. Spain heading for yet another general election
  4. EU to discuss Brazil beef ban over Amazon fires
  5. 'Our house is burning,' Macron says on Amazon fires
  6. What happens when trafficking survivors get home
  7. EU states and Russia clash on truth of WW2 pact
  8. EU considers new rules on facial recognition

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us