Tue Nov 12th, 2013 at 05:06:11 AM EST
The European Green Party is organizing a primary for the two posts of leaders of the cross-Europe campaign for the European Parliament elections next year. (Twitter hashtag #GreenPrimary).
Greens select four candidates to run in primaries ahead of 2014 elections | EurActiv
Four Green MEPs [in fact 3 MEPs and one ex-MEP - note by afew] are entering the race for two top positions in the EU elections campaign ahead of the vote in May 2014.
On Thursday (7 November), the European Green Party (EGP) announced the four contenders who will take part in the primaries: French MEP and syndicalist José Bové; Italian MEP and co-chair of the European Green Party Monica Frassoni; German MEP and co-chair of the political group in the European Parliament Rebecca Harms; and German MEP Ska Keller.
Bové is arguably the most well-known among the contenders, but all contenders have a strong support in their home countries, party sources said. Ska Keller carries the nomination of the Federation of Young European Greens and has a profile that appeals to young participants in the online vote.
The candidates had to seek a nomination from a member organisation of the European Greens, as well as support of at least four member parties, to participate in the upcoming online vote. Frassoni got the support of five member parties, Harms and Keller from seven and José Bové secured the highest support with eight endorsements. [For lists of supporting parties, go here - afew].
The EGP requires the two candidates to come from different national member parties. This rules out having Rebecca Harms and Ska Keller runing as a tandem. Although the Greens traditionally have a man and a woman sharing lead positions, this is not a requirement, and the duo to lead the campaign could very well be two women.
What's this about?
|Harms, Bové, Frassoni, Keller|
The Greens ran the first cross-EU campaign for the EP elections in 2009, and will do so again, with the added attraction of this primary open to all sympathisers. This is also a step towards designating their candidate for Commission President. On this point see:
EUobserver.com / Political Affairs / EU Greens launch US-style primary elections
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."
Don't forget, the only "automaticity" is that Germany decides.
Should that make you want to go crazy and vote in this primary, the place to go is GreenPrimary. There's a FAQ here. You'll need to give an e-mail address and a mobile phone number, and check a box that says you sympathise with the values of the Greens.
Who are the candidates? Three women, one man. Three sitting MEPs, one former MEP. Three 50-60 year-olds, one 30-something. Three maintain Facebook pages, one doesn't. All are on Twitter. All have websites, so-so. All are from continental Europe and are native speakers of other languages than English. Their English Wikipedia entries are correspondingly more meagre than their native-language Wikipedia entries.
In alphabetical order:
José Bové age 60
Lifelong ecological activist, pacifist, anti-militarist, anti-globalist, small farmer and farmers' union organizer. Known for dismantling a MacDonald's under construction and opposing GM crops.
See here and here for mentions on ET.
Monica Frassoni age 50
A long career in Brussels with the Greens. Was co-chair of Greens-EFA with Dany Cohn-Bendit in the EP from 2004-2009, and is currently co-spokesperson of the European Green Party. Was listed in 2010 by Foreign Policy magazine as a "top global thinker" for having "taken Green mainstream".
A couple of mentions on ET, here and here.
Rebecca Harms age 57
Like Frassoni, a long career with the EP as assistant and MEP. Is currently co-chair of Greens-EFA with Dany Cohn-Bendit, in other words she took over Frassoni's job. Is probably better grounded in her home country than is Frassoni.
A couple of ET mentions: here and here.
Ska Keller age 33
The Youth candidate. Former punk, vegan, married to a Finn, she is said to speak six languages. Was one of the founders of the EGP, and got into the EP at age 27. Internationalist, concerned about Fortress Europe and immigration.
Just a couple of mentions on ET, here and here.
There's a great deal you may know about these candidates, that I don't. Fill us in in comments?