What is the most important accomplishment of the Union to you ?
José BOVE: Europe is a peace and shared prosperity project. It is certainly here its greatest achievement: allowed European to live freely and under the rule of law. Unfortunately, since 2008 and the beginning of the crisis, prosperity and solidarity are threatened by national egoism. We can even fear that historical achievements are questioned.
Ska KELLER: There are many! I would say that the most important accomplishment of the Union is creating an area where people have same rights and can move freely.
Rebecca HARMS: Peace and a credible promise for a better life in the EU.
What is the principal challenge for Europe in the 5 coming years ?
José BOVE: The most important challenge is the construction of a true political Europe based on a real European democracy. It means that a European public space understandable for all of the citizens across the continent should permit the participation of each and the expression of countervailing powers.
Ska KELLER: The principal challenge is creating what we call “a social Europe”. To me, it means that the European Union also brings social standards to people: it has to be an improvement for everyone. The EU can bring a lot of good things to people in terms of increasing social standards of all the countries and avoids competition in labor costs among member states.
Rebecca HARMS: We have to bring the EU closer to its citizens and to rebuild trust in it. More Europe is not a threat but part of the solution. Challenges such as climate change, immigration policy or the economic crisis could only be solved together.
If you could only change one thing in Europe, what would it be?
José BOVE: The neo-liberal thought has to be change urgently. It overwhelms European political thinking for 20 years and is the starting point of the accumulation of crises we now endure (economic, financial, social, and environmental). My way of thinking is ecology built on altermondialism, solidarity and europe.
Ska KELLER: One thing? Make it more democratic and more simple! So that we can bring all the other changes about :-)
Rebecca HARMS: Currently, I would pledge for more a more ambitious climate and energy policy. However, many more things remain to be done on the EU level.
Your party presents itself as federalist, but you never use this word in your campaign ? Why ? What does the “F... word” mean to you ?
José BOVE: The word “Federalism” is not understandable for the large public and federal Europe, too often; it is perceived in the French spirit as a bigger France, like Napoleon’s Europe. However, I claim for the word “federalist”, because federating Europeans it is not constructing a super-State, it is moving away from the illusion of the all-mighty national State and give a full meaning to the idea of “from local to global”, from the village to Europe.
Ska KELLER: EELV (the French Green Party) presents itself as federalist but the European Green Party does not, due to some different views in Scandinavia! I think, politics should be handled at most appropriate level and as close to people as possible. Many things should be handled at EU level according to this (for ex in environment, trade, energy and social issues), but others not. For me, labels are not that important - what counts is how you do things. It has to be in a clear, democratic and equal way.
Rebecca HARMS: As Greens we promote a more united Europe and an ever closer Union. The European Union is the only organisation of citizens and states which made itself more democratic throughout the years. We certainly want to pave the way towards a more political European object. However, I believe that it will be beyond the traditional concept of federalism even if it may be close to it.