We Greens enjoyed a good result in the elections to the European Parliament: beating the Lib Dems almost everywhere and securing the election of three MEPs, all in the face of a near-blackout from the media, a stronger Labour Party, and a rise in support for anti-EU nationalist parties across much of Europe.
Now the serious business of political horse-trading begins: to see who we will work with, and how influential on upcoming EU legislation the European Greens are likely to be.
Whatever the eventual size and relative importance of our wider Green Group in Brussels – still unknown at the time
of writing – we’ll certainly have our work cut out for us.
As well as keeping up with all the latest developments in human rights, economic and environmental policy, this European Parliament will play a key role in shaping any future reform of the EU, as well as the EU’s – and possibly the world’s – response to climate change, the future of GMOs in Europe, energy policy, trade agreements and the future of the EU’s banking sector and the impact of austerity measures on social welfare.
That’s a lot of serious policy issues for us to be getting our teeth into, but perhaps the hardest task will be securing the future of the UK’s place in the EU in the first place.
With 24 UK MEPs elected on a commitment to leave the EU, there is a need for a clear Green voice making the case for the UK to stay – not based on David Cameron’s version of a reformed EU (more trade, fewer rights) but on a Green perspective (low carbon, more equality).
But we now have five more years of ensuring the Green voice is there on every issue the EU tackles – and that’s thanks to you, the Green Party activists up an down the country, for making this campaign so successful. Well done – and thank you!