Ska Keller and José Bové have been selected to lead the Greens in their upcoming European campaign. The two MEPs won the unique Green Primary, the first ever Europe-wide open online process to select leading candidates for the European elections.
Bové and Keller 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 her win, Ska Keller, MEP, said: “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.”
“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.”
José Bové added: “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.”
Bove said: 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.”
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.
22,656 people voted overall; Ska Keller received 11,791 votes and José Bové received 11,726 votes. So far, the European Greens are the only political group to have chosen to open the process of selecting their top politicians in this way.
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.”
He added: “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.”