From the 22 to the 25th of May, 27 countries and over 500 million inhabitants will be given the choice to elect their 751 representatives at the European Parliament. But ow is it happening all over Europe ? Are campaigning, political issues, and Euroscepticism the same in Spain and Belgium, Lithuania and Great Britain ? How do young activists, young candidates and campaigners see their political engagement at a week of the elections? Together with La Souris Verte, the French Young Greens magazine, we are travelling Europe to get you inputs and insights from all over, from those who are making the elections from the inside. Today, an Interview with Chris Green, Press Officer for the Irish Green Party.
Ecosprinter/La Souris Verte : Hi Chris, how are you ? Who are you ?
Chris : I am Chris Green, Press Officer for the Irish Green Party. I’m good thanks!
Ecosprinter/La Souris Verte : So you are engaged in Ireland in the European campaign. How do you feel about it? What are the main challenges in Ireland ?
Chris : I handle the media relations for the party. My job is to take stories about our candidates and sell them to the national press, as well as making sure that we remain a current voice in the wider national debate.
The main challenges in Ireland are still related to the economic downturn. The Irish Greens were in government with one of the main national parties at the time of the bailout, so still shoulder some blame for the recession. The mood has definitely changed, however, with more people returning to Green views.
Ecosprinter/La Souris Verte: Why did you choose to engage yourself with this campaign?
I was looking for a role in politics after leaving my last job, and the aims and ethos of the Green Party really appealed to me. I think this election is going to be massively important in shaping how Europe develops post-recession, and I want to see an Irish Green voice at the European table.
Ecosprinter/La Souris Verte : Is there is one particular proposition that is important for you among those presented in the campaign project ?
The issue of digital rights is massively important to me, and the Greens are the only ones articulating a coherent policy on protecting civil liberties in the digital age. Ireland as a location for many major international tech companies operating in Europe, has an outsize role to play in the coming debate.
Ecosprinter/La Souris Verte : Tomorrow, how do you see Europe ?
Unless people begin to see increased democratisation of the EU, and tangible benefits returning in the form of investment and employment, then I see a bleak future for Europe. We have massive potential, but currently it is held back by polarisation of the political spectrum, the shouldering of private debt by states, and a system that is weighted in favour of corporate interests. Hopefully the Greens can continue their work to date in changing Europe for the benefit of the people, and in larger number after 25th May!