Catalan and German young greens meet in Barcelona
If the Greens were united… could be the motto of FYEG although I still would be optimistic enough to put it into conditional. For all English learners: If the Greens are united they will never be defeated! But it does not only need FYEG to make this reality but also the initiative of the national green organisations as Joves d’Esquerra Verda – the young left Greens of Catalonia, and Grüne Jugend of Germany showed this summer.
In spring 2004 the boards of the two organisations decided to have a meeting to talk about their experience, to learn from each other and maybe to establish a longlasting cooperation. On the evening of their arrival in Barcelona, the 7 German board members plus me met the board of Joves and discussed general issues of our work, like what we were doing, how many members, how many meetings, which bodies there are and what are our principles. During the following days, the group met with members of the Catalan Parliament and the City Council, with a representative of the peace movement in Barcelona and had a press conference together with Raül Romeva, the newly elected Catalan Green MEP – the youngest in the Green Group – which was attended even by Catalan TV.
On the last meeting of the two boards we discussed common fields of policy as we found out that we have a lot of similarities. We approved a statement on peace policy and a paper on our rôle in and vision for FYEG. Finally we discussed an agreement that is supposed to be the guideline for our future co-operation. We set high goals like the close communication between the boards, the discussion about topics that are of interest for both organisations and the closer co-operation between the working groups and local levels of both Catalonian and German young greens.
From a more or less objective point of view I can say that I see this meeting as very motivating for Grüne Jugend (and I think for Joves as well) but also for FYEG. Such bilateral cooperation should be encouraged for it will help the organisations to look beyond borders and to discover that maybe their neighbours have been working at the same issue but they never tried together… National groups and especially boards often tend to be overloaded with the internal work like co-ordinating local groups and organising one meeting after the other. This meeting was a good opportunity to open the way for a new way of co-operation, a close and not only formal one; one that doesn’t depend on money from the Commission. But only on personal initiative and good will. Like this we can strengthen our organisations and the European network and it won’t cost us years!
Maybe you feel a bit inspired by this project. So far, not many outcomes can be presented. The co-operation has just begun but I hope and I’m quite optimistic about that, that Joves and Grüne Jugend will develop their co-operation. The next steps are planned, Joves is invited to attend the next General Assembly of Grüne Jugend in November.
If you want to establish contacts with other organisations as well, FYEG is always there for helping you with contacts and I’m sure that both boards will be happy to answer your questions. Maybe we can also try to use the new lists for political discussion to start up closer contacts… But it mainly depends on you.