Last weekend, on the 7-9th of March, as Sweden’s Green Youth, we had our General Assembly (GA) in Lund, in the south of Sweden. Around 120 members showed up in order to make decisions on the future managing of the youth party, the election of a new board, and the election of a new male spokesperson – something the Swedish press has shown quite a bit of interest. The weekend started early on the Friday afternoon, when the Green Party secretary kindly paid us a visit from the ‘rooms of power’ in Stockholm. He gave us a bit of a pep talk on the EMU since on the 14th of September this year Sweden will say yes or no to the euro. The Swedish green’s position on the issue is that the euro is not for us. The main argument being that we, by adopting the euro, will surrender even more power to Brussels – or in this case –Frankfurt.
As I’m sure you’re already aware, the Swedish greens aren’t too keen on Brussels and the politics of, what they call, Eurocrats. A valid point, one could argue, when keeping in mind the geographical position of Sweden on the outskirts of mainland Europe. But, that’s a whole different discussion… On the Saturday we elected a new male spokesperson. Einar Westergaard, 24 years old from the very south of Sweden and a veteran within the youth party was elected after a questioning session of the candidates. Our female spokesperson Zaida Catalán decided to run another year and was elected for another year on total consensus. We also decided to raise the membership fee to 60 SEK, which is about 6 euro – a sum we agreed should be affordable for prospective members. One of the more interesting questions at the GA, for me as engaged in FYEG, came up on the Sunday. It was the question of the budget. Our budget is really strained at the moment, and we had to cut down the number of board members and on many other posts, so the question of whether we can afford to be members of different organisations inevitably came up. And it was a divided assembly who debated whether we could afford to stay in FYEG or not. One the one hand we had those who argued that FYEG not is a necessary organisation to be part of – stating that ”FYEG is not a human right”, and on the other hand those who argued that we should broaden and deepen our connections to the European green movement. I, naturally, lent my voice to the latter.
It became clear to me that the people furthest away from Brussels, in the north of Sweden, were the ones most sceptical to FYEG – which sadly shows that a lot of people still associate FYEG with the EU. However, that was a fact we tried to stress. In the end, after a rather heated debate on the budget, the assembly finally voted for an amount put aside for membership in other organisations. That amount is sufficient to pay our membership fee to FYEG so that’s settled and the more internationally oriented of us at the gathering were happy for the outcome of the vote. Incidentally, we had a very prominent guest at our assembly – Alex from the FYEG office very gratefully paid us the visit and presented himself to the assembly. I believe it was very good that our Swedish members got the chance to meet a person from FYEG in ”real life”! Thanks again Alex!
We are also looking forward to the exchange in May, when green participants from Germany, Malta, Hungary, Netherlands, Yugoslavia, Finland, France, Belgium and England will be coming to Sweden to see how we work and tell us about how they work and share with us their experiences. We also have the summer camp in Sumava Mountains in the Czech republic to look forward to. These events and meetings will, I’m sure, raise awareness and interest in FYEG from the Swedish Green Youth.
All in all it was a great weekend, although I was dog-tired when I got back home. However, I believe we managed to raise awareness about FYEG so you will hopefully see more of Sweden in the near future!