Greens believe that Scotland needs a refreshed and reformed Europe – because that’s where important decisions are made: decisions which affect whether services like post and trains can be in public hands; about workers’ rights to decent conditions; about protecting and improving the environment; and agreeing on how best to tax and oversee the banks.
What the Parliament does
The European Parliament is the democratic voice of the people in the European Union. It holds the appointed European Commission to account. The Commission makes decisions on the advice of the Parliament. It is then scrutinised by the Parliament on those decisions.
This means that the European Parliament can raise issues, investigate what should be done and what is being done and suggest different ways of doing things.
Greens in Europe
In the European Parliament, Greens have defended the European Working Time Directive, which ensures workers are not being exploited. Greens also used the Parliament as a platform to argue for a tax on bankers’ bonuses and we made the case for a Robin Hood Tax that would raise revenue through a small levy on big financial transactions in the European Parliament, prompting action by the European Commission.
Greens in the European Parliament have long campaigned against cuts and austerity and fought for for liberation, democracy, diversity, gender equality and non-violence.
Our top candidate in Scotland, Maggie Chapman has, as an Edinburgh councillor, won important battles on privatisation of social care services, zero hours contracts and blacklisting of workers.
Failures and criticisms
The European Union claims to enshrine social justice. Yet it is being captured by lobbyists for big business. It is increasingly an agent of the wealthiest 1%, imposing austerity on the 99% whilst allowing the richest individuals, corporations and financiers to get away with €1 trillion of tax evasion and avoidance. It is time for the people to drown out the hired voices of the rich and to demand social and economic justice.
As we see moves to militarise Europe, we must build a future based around peace. We have the opportunity to free Scotland of weapons of mass destruction. We can stop billions being wasted on Trident replacement and play our part in peace building around the world by rejecting Cold War relics like NATO.
Every day people from around the world travel to Europe’s borders hoping for a better life. At the same time, people within the European Union often seek a better life, employment or study in another European country. Yet anti-immigration policy and polemic from the media and politicians across the continent are stopping Europe from being the welcoming place it has the potential to be.
Across Europe, we have seen social movements grow from the ashes of broken lives and broken economies. Workers are organising for their rights. Citizens are standing up to power. New futures are being planned. The European Parliament should stand with the people. It should be the forum through which the peoples of Europe work together and invite others to build a better future, together. This is the Europe the Greens will work to build.