Green Manifesto 2010 A positive role in Europe
A fundamental principle of Green politics is that decisions should be taken at the lowest practicable level: sometimes things dealt with at national level might better be decided regionally or more locally. So why bother with the European Union at all?
Greens are internationalists; we want to foster solidarity between peoples, and we believe co-operation builds peace, as it has done in Europe. Our geography means that we are part of Europe. We believe in Europe, but not in a European superstate.
Our vision for Europe seeks to replace the unsustainable economics of free trade and growth with the alternative of local self-reliance. We want to foster co-operation on issues of common interest, not establish international institutions for their own sake. Accordingly we are critical of many of the objectives built in to the EU treaties, of the EU institutions and how they work, and of many particular EU policies. We believe many things done and decided in Europe might better be done by member states or by regions or localities. So while we are members of the EU we will work for its fundamental reform.
However there are matters – safeguarding basic rights, peace and security achieved through mutual understanding, environmental protection, the spread of culture and ideas, regulation of the financial system – where we agree that EU action is appropriate. While the EU has control over trade, we accept that in practice the way to affect these matters is to call for EU action – so we call, for example, for an EU ban on genetically modified (GM) foods because in current circumstances that is the best way to achieve a ban in the UK. And there are other matters – for example, welfare policy – where although member states retain basic control, the Open Method of Coordination between member states allows for a useful measure of discussion and co-ordination on matters of mutual interest.
• Outlaw the use of torture, including the practice of extraordinary rendition. We support free speech and the right to protest.
• The EU needs a proper constitution, but the Lisbon Treaty is not up to the job. A European Constitution should define the values, objectives, powers, decision-making procedures and institutions of the EU, and also set out the basic rights of citizens. In every action of the EU, social justice and environmental factors must be regarded as over-riding purely economic objectives. We oppose the militarisation of the EU.
•We oppose UK adoption of the European single currency, the euro.
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