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Globalization must be tamed by political means

Report of the globalisation panel in Vienna

Critical voices and opposition against economic globalzsation is likely, and rightly, to gain momentum in the near future, unless globalization is combined with politically driven initiatives to reallocate wealth and to protect the environment. Along these lines were the political statements issued in the opening debate of the Green Parliamentary Forum in the Austrian Parliament.

The function of the EU within the political organisation of globalization is mostly perceived both critically and differing in focus.

"Europe is already a world-power where environmental and other issues are concerned, but on other problems, that urgently need dealing with, the EU as an agent is practically non-existent." said the former German Minister of environment Jürgen Trittin and in a follow up demanded to strengthen the EU's influence. Other green politicians see it differently. British green MEP Jean Lambert reproached the "Lisbon strategy" of the EU, which highlights rigorously global competitiveness as Europe's answer to globalization and calls social security and preservation of the public services into questions.

The social politician called for global economic powers to be engaged in a political framework. On top of her list is to confront multinational enterprises with their social obligations and to demand fair trade, fair prices and social and environmental minimum standards. Local economic networks should in general be strengthened and "growth" subordinated to the goal of fighting poverty.

Green politicians in general agreed in their evaluation that the motor of economic globalization of the past twenty years - cheap and readily available energy - is more and more stuttering and that the EU has to find innovative and ground-breaking answers to the contentious issue of energy supply shortages. "With regards to the turning point, expected to occur within the next ten years, the so-called peak-oil-crisis, classic political concepts put forward by the big parties fail to solve the problem," stated Martin Bursik from the Czech Greens. Claude Turmes, spokesperson for energy issues for the Green sin the European Parliament, asked for a "new European energy culture", the way it is laid out in the "Vienna Declaration for sustainable for sustainable energy policy in Europe" by the Green party. "Energetic supply guarantees are possible and they are renewable", summarized Jürgen Trittin the green approach to proceed on the path to variety of renewable forms of energy on the European level.

Martin Köhler

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