About the Group
The Greens/European Free Alliance is a political group in the European Parliament made up of Green, Pirate and Independent MEPs as well as MEPs from parties representing stateless nations and disadvantaged minorities.
In this form, the group was established in July 1999, when these two progressive European political families agreed to join forces in the European Parliament.
The Greens/EFA project is to build a society respectful of fundamental human rights and environmental justice: the rights to self-determination, to shelter, to good health, to education, to culture, and to a high quality of life; increase freedom within the world of work, not only by tackling unemployment but also by widening people's choices, releasing human creative potential ; deepen democracy by decentralisation and direct participation of people in decision-making that concerns them, and by enhancing openness of government in Council and Commission, and making the Commission fully answerable to Parliament; build a European Union of free peoples based on the principle of subsidiarity who believe in solidarity with each other and all the peoples of the world; re-orientate the European Union, which currently over-emphasises its economic conception at the expense of social, cultural and ecological values.
The Greens/European Free Alliance is working for :
- economic and social reforms to make development sustainable for both human beings and the natural world;
- a democratic process linking trade, security, economic and social issues to environmental, cultural and democratic rights;
- high ecological, social and democratic standards to ensure the quality of life;
- solidarity, guaranteed human and citizen's rights for everybody, including people who have come from non-EU countries ;
- a foreign policy designed to resolve problems by peaceful means rather than by military force;
- improved structures for democratic participation in political decision-making, involving NGOs, Trade Unions, citizens and civic authorities at all levels, with measures to ensure equal participation of women;
- guaranteed equal rights and opportunities, as well as cultural and linguistic diversity
- a policy of employment and redistribution of work with special attention to gender issues, in order to end the existing unbalanced division of labour and share the workload more fairly between women and men, ensuring that women are fully able to take part in the formal labour market as well as in political life.
- the involvement of the relevant elected authorities that have constitutional powers in the decisions of the Council of Ministers relating to matters that fall within their competence.
The Greens are today an established force in European politics, having been represented in the European Parliament since 1984. The Green group strives to make Europe the global leader in terms of environmental protection, peace and social justice, fair globalisation, and in the fight for human rights. This article traces the development of the group and its political agenda in the European Parliament.
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1984-1989: A new political force on the political stage
The Greens, a new political force that emerged in the 70s in several European countries, entered the European political stage for the first time in 1984, when the first Green Members of the European Parliament were elected at the second direct elections to the EP. Germany, the stronghold of the Green movement, elected seven MEPs; two more came from Belgium and two from the Netherlands. As those MEPs did not entitle the Greens to form a parliamentary group on their own, they concluded an alliance with MEPs from Italy, Denmark, and regionalists from Flanders and Ireland to form the GRAEL (Green Alternative European Link) group, also known as the Rainbow group. Politically they engaged in the fight against environmental pollution, nuclear energy (1986 saw the Chernobyl disaster), the promotion of animal protection and the campaign against the demolition of Brussels by speculation fuelled by the presence of the European institutions. With a view to promoting core Green democratic values, most of the members served only a two and a half year term before being succeeded by an alternative Green politician.
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1989-1994: The first Green group
A breakthrough in the European elections enabled the Greens to form the first Green group, numbering 30 Members. Greens from France, Italy and Portugal joined the German, Belgian and Dutch MEPs; the group also included some members of the Italian Radical Party. UK Greens achieved the highest overall vote, with 14.9 %, however failed to gain a seat due to the electoral system - to recognise this, the group gave the UK Greens an observer position on the group. In a move to promote gender equality, the Greens introduce an innovative system for the group's presidency with two Co-Presidents of which at least one must be a woman.
Maria Santos (Portugal) and Alexander Langer (Italy) were elected as the first Co-Presidents. Half way through the parliamentary term, they were replaced by Adelaide Aglietta (Italy) and Paul Lannoye (Belgium).
Climate change moved to the forefront of Green policy priorities, with the Greens participating in the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992, which laid the foundation for the later Kyoto Protocol. Peace policy also moved to the centre of the Green agenda, with the first Gulf war in 1991. The Green group actively promoted the swift deepening of relations with Central and Eastern European countries after the fall of the iron curtain. Growing concerns about the environmental and health consequences of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) led the Greens to take up this cause. The recognition that this and other key social and environmental issues (that were Green priorities) could be best addressed at European level was a major contributing factor in the movement of the Green group towards a more pro-European outlook at this time, supporting greater European integration.
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1994-1999: Tumultuous times
The 1994 European elections brought mixed results for the Greens. Whereas the German Greens achieved a record vote, French and Portuguese Greens lost all their seats. For the first time Greens from Luxembourg and from Ireland were elected, but the group as a whole shrinked to 23 members. When Austria, Finland and Sweden join the European Union in 1995 the group gained four more members, raising the total to 27 members. Alexander Langer was re-elected Co-President together with the German Green Claudia Roth.
The Greens staged a spectacular anti-nuclear action in June 1995, protesting against the nuclear tests on the Mururoa Atoll, during a speech by the newly-elected French President Jacques Chirac at a European Parliament plenary session in Strasbourg. With other public actions the Greens succeeded in drawing media attention to their fight against bio-piracy (the patenting of natural genecodes) and cloning.
With the atrocious war and genocide in the former Yugoslavia continuing, anti-militarism and pacifism remained central to the Greens' agenda. The Greens founded the Verona Forum with the aim of promoting peaceful solutions for the Balkans.
In 1995, Co-President Alexander Langer tragically committed suicide. Belgian MEP Magda Aelvoet is elected to serve as Co-President alongside Claudia Roth, who was confirmed as Co-President, in 1997.
In the same year, the Greens established the P7, conceived as a counter event to the meeting of the then G7, the seven most important industrial countries in the world. P7 stands for Poor Seven, and focused on the problems of the poorest countries in the world. The P7 held six conferences in total, drawing the participation of high profile activists such as Vandana Shiva from India. The last P7 was held in 2003 in Kenya with Green Kenyan environment minister Wangari Mathai,
The Greens also played an important role in the uncovering of fraud and nepotism in the European Commission. In December 1998, the European Commission official Paul van Buitenen handed over documentation on mismanagement and nepotism in the European Commission, especially targeting French Commissioner Edith Cresson, to Greens. The Commission led by Jacques Santer was finally forced to step down in March 1999.
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1999-2004: The heydays of the European Greens
In 1999, the Greens achieved their best representation since 1984 in the European Parliament, with 38 Green MEPs. Together with 10 MEPs from the European Free Alliance (regionalists and democratic nationalists) they formed the Greens/EFA group, becoming the fourth largest group in the European Parliament. Heidi Hautala (Finland) and Paul Lannoye (Belgium) were elected Co-Presidents of the group. In the same year, German Michaele Schreyer became the first Green EU Commissioner, with responsibility for budget and anti-fraud. Another tragic loss for the Greens occurred in May 2000 when former Co-President Adelaide Aglietta died of cancer.
Around this time, Green parties were also in government in five EU Member States: Italy, Finland, France, Germany, where the charismatic Joschka Fischer took over as foreign affairs minister, and Belgium. This had considerable political consequences, with the five Green environment ministers having a decisive impact on the then ongoing negotiations on the Kyoto protocol. Climate change stayed at the heart of the Green policies with a campaign against the new Bush-administration in the US and a call to boycott US oil companies that blocked any measures against climate change. The campaign culminated in an event with Bianca Jagger at the Gothenburg EU summit in June 2001.
A long-standing priority for the Greens has been increasing protection of human health through better protection of the environment. This was clear from the early stages of the group, with the fight against GMOs and the promotion of GMO-free zones, together with the promotion of organic farming and food security in general. To this end, the group launched a food campaign in 2003.
The Green movement became very prominent in the debate on European integration, despite differences between different national parties. Green members were very active in the Convention, at which the Charter of Fundamental Rights was drafted and then, later, in the European Convention, which led to the draft constitution for Europe. The accession of Daniel Cohn-Bendit and Monica Frassoni to the Co-Presidency of the group in 2002 reinforced the pro-European stance of the group. The two MEPs embodied the trans-national idea with their political careers. Cohn-Bendit, the German born former leader of the student movement in 1968 in France had been elected as a German citizen on the list of the French Greens, having previously been elected in Germany. Monica Frassoni, as Italian citizen, was elected on the list of the Belgian Green party Ecolo.
A logical next step for this pan-European movement was to form the first European political family with a view to contesting the 2004 European elections with a common campaign. Previously, European elections had not had any real pan-European dimension. The European Green Party was founded on 21 February 2004 in Rome. In the same room where the Treaty for European Community was signed in 1957, the Green party leaders signed the foundation document.
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2004-2008: Adapting to new realities
In the June elections 2004 the Greens won 34 seats but, to their great disappointment, failed to win any seats in the 10 new member states. The Greens renewed their alliance with EFA and, together with some independent MEPs, remaining the fourth largest group in the European Parliament with 42 MEPs.
The Greens took the lead in a number of high-profile battles over EU legislation, bringing the group into conflict with the intensive lobbies from different industry sectors.
The group fought a vanguard action in the European Parliament against the proposed 'software patent': an attempt to introduce US-style software patents to the EU, which would have devastating consequences for smaller, open source software developers. Together with a small NGO coalition, the Greens succeeded in having the law rejected by the European Parliament in June 2005, bringing an end to a 3-year legislative process.
The Greens also played a prominent role in fighting for tougher control of chemicals in the EU. An EU legislative proposal, which became known under the acronym REACH (for Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals), had also been proposed in the previous legislature with the aim of regulating chemicals in Europe. In the face of an intensive lobby by the chemical industry to water down the proposed law, the Greens launched a campaign in 2005. The compromise finally adopted by the Parliament, while falling short of the level of protection sought by the Greens, certainly represented a big step forward in terms of the protection of consumers and the environment from toxic substances.
An ongoing conflict between market liberals and those in favour of a more social Europe was encapsulated in and symbolised by one particular proposal: the Services Directive. The Greens led attempts to oppose an element of this proposal that they feared would open the door for social dumping across the EU. The so-called 'country of origin' principle would have allowed service-providing companies to operate in Member States with higher standards of social and consumer protection, without respecting these laws The Greens were successful and the 'country of origin' principle was removed from the final legislation adopted in November 2006.
The Greens launched a pan-European climate change campaign in February 2006. The campaign called for tougher measures against climate change, looking at emissions reductions and energy, with a specific focus on transport and 'soft mobility', while at the same time proposing steps that citizens can take themselves to reduce their impact on the climate Since then, with the consensus of UN scientists on climate change and the work of Al Gore, the issue has shot to the top of the global political agenda.
The fight against the efforts of the nuclear industry to relaunch nuclear power has also been an important issue for the Greens over this legislative period. The group organised a conference in Kiev on the 20th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster in April 2006 and has published a number of studies on the dangers and unfeasibility of nuclear energy.
Following a mid-term reshuffle in the parliamentary groups in 2005, the right wing UEN group overtook the Greens as the fourth largest group. A major silver lining for the Greens, however, came in the European Parliament presidential elections. The Green candidate, Co-President Monica Frassoni, succeeded in gaining 145 votes, attracting support from deputies across the political divide. This success, together with the high vote for the Green Vice-President Gérard Onesta, was both an acknowledgement of the high calibre of these candidates and an indication of the growing appeal of the Green agenda.
At national level, the Green star began to rise again: the Greens were in government in five EU Member States, including in the Czech Republic, raising hopes for the future of the Green movement in the new Member States.
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2009: A Green New Deal for Europe
On 27/28th March, at their Congress in Brussels, the European Green parties launched their second common European election campaign, presented the election manifesto «A Green New Deal for Europe» and adopted a resolution «Stop Barroso».
Through their campaign entitled "Europe deserves better", Greens launched an institutional and political fight against the reconduction of José Manuel Barroso as head of the European Commission.
In the June elections, Greens are very successful and win 46 seats but again fail to win any seat in the 12 newest member states. By renewing their alliance with EFA and taking a few independent MEPs on board, the group remains the fourth largest group in the EU parliament.
Daniel Cohn-Bendit and Rebecca Harms are the Co-Presidents of the group.
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Since the 2009 elections to the European Parliament :
the Greens/EFA group has actively worked to promote progressive and sustainable solutions to the issues facing the European Union.
In response to the economic and financial crisis, the group has been to the fore in pushing for effective regulation of global financial sector, for improved transparency of markets and for a more ethical economy, whilst ensuring social justice and equality remain central.
Greens/EFA has been a leading player at EU-level in pushing for the transformation our resource-inefficient, fossil fuel-dependent economies to a more sustainable model, based on resource and energy efficiency, renewable energies, sustainable transport and agriculture, and green technologies.
The group has worked to ensure the EU is a leader in the international response to climate change in the UN climate negotiations. Greens/EFA has led calls to phase-out nuclear power across Europe, notably in response to the Fukushima disaster. The group has also campaigned against the inherently risky and environmentally-damaging technology of shale gas extraction.
With threats to basic rights and freedoms prominent on the EU agenda, the group has also been to the fore in combating this, whether through defending basic democratic values in EU member states where they are under threat (e.g. Hungary and Romania), preventing the rolling back of core EU policies (e.g. the Schengen border-free system) or sticking up for individual freedoms by opposing plans to store passenger data (PNR) and ensuring the rejection of the controversial ACTA anti-counterfeiting trade agreement.
The Greens/EFA group will continue pushing for these priorities in the future.
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Statutes of the Greens/EFA Group
CONSTITUTION OF THE GROUP
1.1 The Parliamentary Group was constituted on 19 July 1989, under the name ‘The Green Group in the European Parliament’, in accordance with the provisions of its Rules of Procedure and the Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament. The declaration of constitution was published in the Official Journal of the European Communities C 256/39 of 9 October 1989.
1.2 The name of the Group was changed with effect from 19 July 1999 (Official Journal of the European Communities C 301/1999). The Parliamentary Group has since been known as:
‘Les Verts/Alliance Libre Européenne’ in French
‘De Groenen/Vrije Europese Alliantie’ in Dutch
‘The Greens/European Free Alliance’ in English
‘Die Grünen/Europäische Freie Allianz’ in German
‘I Verdi/Alleanza libera europea’ in Italian
‘Los Verdes/Alianza Libre Europea’ in Spanish
'De Gröna/Europeiska fria alliansen' in Swedish
‘Vihreät/Euroopan vapaa allianssi’ in Finnish
'De Grønne/Den Europǽiske Fri Alliance in Danish
‘Berdeak/Europako Aliantza Librea’ in Basque
‘Y Gwyrddion/Cynghrair Rhydd Ewrop’ in Welsh
‘Els Verds/Aliança Lliure Europea’ in Catalan
‘Na h-Uainich/Saor Caidreabhas Eorpach’ in Scots Gaelic
‘Zaļie/Eiropas Brīvā apvienība’ in Latvian
‘Los Verds/Aliança Liura Europèa’ in Occitan
‘Zeleni / Europska swobodna alianca’ in Sorbian
‘Ar Re C'hlas/Emglev Libr Europa’ in Breton
Upon a formal request from one or more members of the Group, this name may be supplemented with the translations of the Group’s name into other languages spoken in their constituencies.
1.3 The Group shall be governed by these Statutes and by all the texts the Group decides by an absolute majority of the members of the Group to annex to them. These statutory annexes include, in particular, the Memorandum of Understanding between the
Green Members of the European Parliament and the European Free Alliance Members of the European Parliament, adopted on 8 July 1999, and which constitutes the general framework of the relations between these two parts, and any similar agreements
concluded between the Group and other Members of the European Parliament that join the Group.
MEMBERSHIP OF THE GROUP
2.1 The Group shall consist of representatives elected to the European Parliament on the lists supported by the European Green Party and representatives elected to the European Parliament on the lists supported by the European Free Alliance Party within
the framework laid down in the Memorandum of Understanding signed between these two bodies and annexed to these Statutes. Both components can accept new members in their midst. These admissions require a consensus. If a consensus is not reached, the 'Monitoring and Conciliation Committee' foreseen in the Protocol of understanding between Members of the Green Group in the European Parliament & Members of the EFA shall decide.
2.2 Other Members of the European Parliament may become members of the Group if the Group agrees by consensus, following consultation of the national parties concerned, and after these Members have declared their full support for the fundamental
values laid down in the Charter of the European Greens. If consensus is not reached, the Group shall vote on the requests for admission, in which case an absolute majority of members of the Group shall be required for admission to be approved. Any protocols laying down the specific procedures for such admissions shall be annexed to these Statutes.
2.3 Membership of the Group shall end on death, resignation, termination of membership of the European Parliament during or at the end of a member’s mandate, or exclusion following a decision taken by two-thirds of Group members. Exclusions shall
only be possible on the basis of a written request, stating full reasons and signed by at least 10% of Group members, and must be approved by a Plenary Assembly to which all Group members have been invited, in particular the person concerned so that he/she
may exercise his/her right of defence.
2.4 At the Group’s inaugural meeting at the beginning of each new term in the European Parliament, the Chairperson shall be the oldest member present until the Group elects a new Chairperson.
GROUP BODIES: MEMBERSHIP AND POWERS
3.1 The bodies of the Group are:
- The Plenary Assembly;
- The Bureau;
- The Coordinators.
3.2 The Group’s Rules of Procedure, annexed to these Statutes, set out the specific tasks and details of these organs’ operation, in particular the voting procedures for the election of the Bureau and the appointment of Group members to the available posts in the European Parliament. The Group’s Financial Regulation, annexed to these Statutes, lays down the financial responsibilities of these organs and the Group’s budgetary procedures.
The Plenary Assembly
3.3 The Plenary Assembly shall consist of all members of the Group. It shall be the Group’s supreme decision-making body.
3.4 The Plenary Assembly is in particular competent to:
- Discuss and take decisions on all political matters dealt with inside or outside the European Parliament;
- Elect the Co-Chairpersons and Vice-Chairpersons of the Group;
- Appoint members of the Group to fill any vacancies set aside for the Group on parliamentary committees and subcommittees, interparliamentary delegations and joint assemblies, and the European Parliament’s various temporary and permanent bodies;
- Introduce thematic working groups, whose members can sit on different parliamentary committees;
- Vote on the admission or exclusion of Group members, in accordance with the procedures described in Chapter II of these Statutes;
- Establish the Group’s annual budget and a list of political priorities for the allocation of the budget lines for the Group’s political activities, approve the statement of accounts and grant discharge in respect of the implementation of the last annual budget;
- Take decisions concerning the approval and amendment of these Statutes, the Group’s Rules of Procedure and the Financial Regulation, and any other annexes to these Statutes;
- Appoint the Group’s Secretary-General and his/her Deputy Secretary-General(s).
3.5 The Plenary Assembly may deliberate and fix the agenda whatever the number of members present. For votes the quorum shall be met when the majority of members are present or represented. Except where otherwise provided for in the Rules of Procedure, a simple majority shall be required for the decisions of the Plenary Assembly. Decisions shall be valid irrespective of the number of voters, provided that the Chairperson has not been asked before the vote begins to establish the numbers present or represented. In the absence of a quorum, the vote shall be postponed and be placed on the agenda of the next meeting.
3.6 At the request of at least one third of the members of the Group, the Bureau shall convene an extraordinary Plenary Assembly as soon as possible and no later than four weeks after the request has been submitted (this deadline only takes into account the European Parliament’s working weeks in Brussels or Strasbourg), on the basis of an agenda proposed by the signatories to the request. Members of the Group shall be informed at least one week in advance that an extraordinary Plenary Assembly is being held.
3.7 The Group’s team of salaried staff, members’ assistants and representatives of the European Green Party, the Federation of Young European Greens and the European Free Alliance Party shall be invited to attend the Plenary Assembly. In specific cases, and following a decision by the Group, Plenary Assemblies may be held in camera.
3.8 The Bureau shall consist of two Co-Chairpersons and a maximum of seven Vice-Chairpersons. The voting procedures for their appointment shall be set out in the Rules of Procedure.
3.9 As regards the Bureau’s composition, at least half of the Chairpersons and Vice-Chairpersons posts shall be held by women.
3.10 Members of the Bureau shall be elected for a period of two and a half years.
3.11 At least one of the Vice-Chairpersons shall be appointed by the European Free Alliance Members of the European Parliament and be given the post of First Vice-Chairperson of the Group, pursuant to the Memorandum of Understanding laying down the relations between the Greens and the European Free Alliance and annexed to these Statutes. When the Bureau is being re-elected, the number of European Free Alliance members of the Bureau may change – without being less than one – to better reflect the political balance in the Group.
3.12 The Plenary Assembly shall directly appoint the Vice-Chairperson responsible for the Group’s budget in the post of Treasurer.
3.13 In addition to the tasks laid down in these Statutes, the Bureau shall entrust each of its members with responsibility for one or more specific areas. One of the Group’s Co-Presidents shall be appointed by the Bureau as the authority authorised to conclude contracts for the Group. This post may subsequently be delegated to one of the Vice-Chairpersons.
3.14 The Bureau shall be responsible for representing the Group externally and preparing for the Plenary Assemblies. It shall ensure that the Group functions properly, in particular by supervising the work of the Secretary-General and the Deputy Secretary-General(s), and ensuring correct implementation of the decisions of the Plenary Assembly. The Bureau shall take the necessary measures to achieve this, in accordance with these Statutes and the mandates given to it by the Plenary Assembly.
3.15 The Co-Chairpersons shall be responsible for pursuing the Group’s activities and representing it in accordance with the provisions laid down in the Statutes and in the Rules of Procedure. The Co-Chairpersons shall also be responsible for coordinating, on behalf of the Group, the Group’s communications with third parties, in particular through press contacts.
3.16 The Secretary-General and the Deputy Secretary-General(s), the Group’s press attaché, the person responsible for drawing up the minutes and a representative of the salaried staff shall attend Bureau meetings, but shall not have any voting rights. The Secretary-General of the European Green Party or his/her representative shall always be invited to Bureau meetings. The Bureau may invite any other person to attend its meetings. In specific cases, and following a decision by the Bureau, Bureau meetings may be held in camera.
3.17 The Bureau shall meet at least twice a year with all the Group coordinators to prepare annually the Group’s political balance and perspectives. A joint meeting between the Bureau and the Committee of the European Green Party shall also be held at least twice a year.
3.18 Bureau decisions that are disputed formally by at least one third of the members of the Group shall be submitted to the next Plenary Assembly. The Plenary Assembly shall then decide by a majority whether to debate and vote on the disputed points.
3.19 The full and substitute members of each parliamentary committee shall appoint a coordinator from among their number for a period of two and a half years. The coordinators shall be responsible for organising the work of the Member(s) concerned and offering political guidance to the Group on all questions dealt with by the parliamentary committee for which they are responsible. The coordinators shall report at least twice a year to the Group in the Plenary Assembly on the most important issues in their area of competence.
3.20 The coordinators may meet at their own convenience, depending on the restrictions imposed in terms of the meeting facilities provided to the Group by the European Parliament.
3.21 At least twice a year, and following an invitation by the Bureau, the coordinators shall hold joint meetings with the Bureau to discuss the general political situation and the parliamentary strategies to be implemented to deal with that situation.
3.22 The possibility of members to form delegations is defined in the rules of procedure.
4.1 On a proposal by the Bureau, the Plenary Assembly shall appoint anOmbudsperson from within the Group.
4.2 The Ombudsperson’s role shall be to find ways of resolving, rapidly and fairly, disputes between the various constituents of the Group and/or between members themselves. He/she shall also intervene in disputes between Members and salaried staff or disputes between salaried staff.
4.3 All parties to a dispute may request the intervention of the Ombudsperson and their representative. His/her role and the mediation and conflict resolution procedure resulting thereof is laid down in the "Code of Conduct for the Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament adopted on January 16th, 2001" (annexed).
5.1 The Group Secretariat shall consist of all the salaried staff, in all categories, may they be employed on posts made available to the Group by the European Parliament or may they be on posts paid for from the Group’s budget.
5.2 The Secretariat shall be responsible for all the administrative, technical and political services required to enable the Group to function properly.
5.3 The Secretariat shall be under the supervision of the Secretary-General and Deputy Secretary-General(s), which shall in turn be supervised by the Bureau. The Secretariat shall ensure that all Group members are treated in an equal and friendly manner.
5.4 The Secretary-General and Deputy Secretary-General(s) shall be elected by the Group pursuant to the provisions of the Rules of Procedure. At least one of the Deputy Secretary-Generals shall be appointed by members of the Group belonging to the European Free Alliance.
5.5 The Greens/EFA Group commits to ensure full gender equality in practice at all levels. With a view to ensuring gender equality, it adopts measures providing for specific advantages in order to make it easier for women to pursue a vocational activity or to prevent or compensate for disadvantages in professional careers. Such positive measures shall include gender-specific targets for each level of employment, including Team Leaders.
In recruitment and promotion the Greens/EFA Group will, as a rule, give priority to a female candidate in case of equal appreciation on competence and suitability for the position. Gender-specific targets and additional measures will be included in a Gender Action Plan annexed to these Statutes.
PREPARATION AND IMPLEMENTATION OF THE GROUP BUDGET
6.1 Before the beginning of a new financial year, the Treasurer shall, with the assistance of the Secretary-General or his/her Deputy responsible for the Group’s finances, submit a draft budget to the Bureau, which, having adopted it, shall forward it to the Plenary Assembly for amendment and/or approval. The Group’s budget shall be accompanied by a list of the Group’s political priorities indicating the financial resources allocated to each priority.
6.2 In accordance with the rules in force in the European Parliament, the Co-Chairpersons and/or the authorised delegate appointed by them shall be empowered to commit expenditure on behalf of the Group within the limits of the budget approved by the Plenary Assembly and the Group’s Internal Financial Rules. In accordance with the Group’s Financial Rules annexed to these Statutes, the Co-Chairpersons shall remain responsible for the implementation of the annual budget.
7.1 Organisation of work and deliberations within the Group
The general functioning of the Group, in particular the organisation of its work and deliberations, is described in the Rules of Procedure annexed to these Statutes.
7.2 Parliamentary assistants
The parliamentary assistants of the Group members play an active role in the work of the Group. In order to maintain cordial and productive social relations, a Code of Conduct, annexed to these Statutes, lays down the rights and duties of assistants and the Members who employ them. This article shall enter into force when the Code is adopted by the Group’s Plenary Assembly.
7.3 Amendment to the Statutes
Proposals to amend these Statutes must be adopted in the Plenary Assembly by a twothirds majority. The quorum for this amendment shall exist when at least half of the Group’s members are present in person. This Plenary Assembly must be convened no later than two weeks after the formal submission of the proposal for amendment (this deadline only takes into account the European Parliament’s working weeks in Brussels or Strasbourg).
7.4 Statutory annexes
These Statutes shall be supplemented by binding regulatory texts that the Group decides to annex to them following a decision by an absolute majority of Group members. The annexed statutory texts drawn up by the Group may be amended by an absolute majority of members at a Plenary Assembly.
By the end of 2021, the group shall adopt a Gender Action Plan aimed at incorporating a gender perspective in all group's activities, at all levels and all stages. The gender action plan shall be annexed to the statutes, monitored annually and reviewed at least every five years.
7.5 List of annexes
a) Charter of the European Greens adopted on 13-14 October 2006 at the Geneva Congress;
b) Rules of Procedures adopted on 8 November 2006;
c) Internal Financial Rules adopted on 28 September 2005;
d) Memorandum of Understanding between the Green Members of the European Parliament and the European Free Alliance Members of the European Parliament adopted on 8 July 1999;
e) Agreement between the Greens/European Free Alliance and the SF Party of the Nordic Green Left signed on 1 July 2004;
f) Code of Conduct for the Greens/Efa Group in the European Parliament adopted on 16 January 2001.
7.6 Entry into force
This version of the Group’s Statutes repeals and replaces those of 26 April 1994 with effect of the day following their adoption.
- Download the statutes (pdf)