Green Primary
Who says there’s no such thing as European democracy? Earlier this month, the European Green Party launched an online “Green Primary” to select their two leading candidates for next year’s European election. From now until 28 January 2014, anyone in the EU aged 16 or over who “supports Green values” can vote in an open primary – registering their vote on for the candidate they support. The two candidates with the most votes will then officially be put forward by the Greens, taking part in next year’s TV debates with candidates for European Commission President from the other European political parties.

Now, you know we love voting and European digital democracy, so Debating Europe will be covering the online hangout between the Green Primary candidates today at 18h00 (CET). You’ll be able to watch the livestream of the debate on this page, and get an opportunity to put your questions to each of the candidates to see if you think any of them deserve your vote.

There are several ways to ask a question to the contenders:

  • Send an email to
  • Tweet with #GreenPrimary, #AskJose, #AskMonica, #AskRebecca, #AskSka
  • Add your comment below

You can watch the full video recording of the debate here:

Vote 2014

Voting is closed in our Debating Europe Vote 2014! The results are now in, so come and see what our readers thought!

76 comments Post a commentcomment

What would YOU like to ask them? Send us YOUR questions to the contenders of the Green Primary!

  1. avatar
    Mário Lobo

    debating is not deciding… ;)
    hence the existance of one does not enforce the other

  2. avatar
    Joan Groizard

    How do you think we can overcome increasing levels of populism and xenophobia throughout the EU?

  3. avatar
    Ana Georgieva

    No, there is no EU democracy. The attitude towards the Balkans, have not changed since the Battle of Varna in year 1444 and since the Treaty of Berlin in year 1878. Western Europe have been causing only harm to the Balkans, the only exception is Greece.

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Ana Georgieva
      The EU (Western or otherwise) might be interested in the Balkans BUT the UK is definitely NOT interested in the Balkans.

      The UK gives billions to the Balkan countries every year and we get very little [positive] in return, looser ties with the Balkans would save the UK billions!

      The Balkans would be better served by forming a union – say ‘Balkania’. With such a mass of people sharing a common heritage and culture (with a population between c59million and c70million) Balkania’s voice would be heard in the EU.

      Indeed ‘Balkania’ would become one of the big 5 – muscling in on the likes of Germany, France, GB and Italy.

    • avatar
      Samuel Tandorf

      Every state is free to leave the Union. If you really don’t like what we have than leave and build up your own country!

  4. avatar

    “Who says there’s no such thing as European democracy?”

    I do. There is no European demos so there is no European democracy. No amount of elections changes that reality. The Soviet Union had the same legitimacy problem, it did not have a ‘Soviet people’.

    The definition of democracy is very clear, and the EU simply does not fit the bill. Individual countries can be democracies (however, not all countries are), but supranational entities by definition cannot be democratic.

    Just ask Ukrainians, Latvians, Moldovans, Kazakhs or Uzbeks if they ever felt themselves ‘Soviet’. Or maybe try to suggest their countries were too ‘small’ to matter and they were better off in a union with Moscow.

    Countries voting in Brussels’ Councils et… is not democratic, no matter how many times they say it is. Its a bit like suggesting that having your 27 neigbours vote that you should give them money is a democratic vote that you should honor. Or that 27 bank robbers voting to rob the bank is a democratic vote. It is not. Period.

    But I do have a question for the Greens: how can you justify supporting the Euro when it obviously only benefitted the wealthy, corporations and banks?

    Considering the poor got poorer, unemployment went up, the middle class is shrinking, the median wage is going down, why do the Greens side with the wealthy in a reckless desire to preserve the wealth-destroying Euro at all costs?

    Furthermore, I challenge them to come to my city and ask people on the streets if they benefitted from the Euro, the answer I can readily give: 75% will say no we did not benefit. Only the rich benefit.

  5. avatar
    Valentina Marini

    Do you really think are we just a bunch of brainless to convince that this is democracy?
    I can’t look forward to vote for the real elections for the european parlament. I bet u won’t like so much the outcome ;)

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @David Fuzzey

  6. avatar
    Karen Fabbri

    Firstly, representative democracy needs to widen to embrace more participatory democracy. Secondly, we need to strengthen our capacity and desire for evidence based policy making; which in turn must pay far greater consideration to environmental and social impacts to help us build a sustainable and inclusive future. We need a narrative placing “people”, “planet” and “potential” at its core: PPP!

  7. avatar
    Tarquin Farquhar

    The GREEN party is a one-trick pony – how on Earth it wields even a smidgen of power in the EU or indeed elsewhere is beyond ken.

    GREEN party policies are forcing people in the UK and in the EU into FUEL POVERTY.

    GREEN = MEAN!!

  8. avatar
    Mariana Manolova

    Any reaction from the EU institutions??? Ingnoring the facts about the students` protests in Sofia, you legitimise the violence and betray justice!

  9. avatar
    Nikolaos Sotirelis

    Debating isn’t a proof of Democracy. The way that the decisions are taken, is the factor that measures the Democracy level.

  10. avatar
    Paul X

    EU democracy in action:

    Treaty of Nice:
    Ireland “we’ve had a referendum and we don’t want this”
    EU “wrong answer, go away and try again”
    Ireland “ok, we give in”

    EU constitution:
    France “we had a referendum and we don’t want this”
    Netherlands “nor do we”
    EU “ok, have the treaty of Lisbon instead”
    France & Netherlands “but it’s exactly the same as the constitution?”
    EU “just shut up and sign it”
    Ireland “actually we’ve had another referendum and we don’t want it either?”
    EU “wrong answer, go away and try again”
    Ireland “ok, we give in”

  11. avatar
    Evan O'Connell

    One question – why propose two candidates for a position that can only be filled by one person?

  12. avatar
    Mirko Celii

    the question is not “to ban or not to ban” but “to use them for the common good or for corporation profits?”
    GMOs have a huge potentail which must be used only for public interest as biofuel, improving agriculture, drug production… and not for corporation mnonopoly

  13. avatar
    Katerina Kyriazi

    quite the contrary, the world can’t support unlimited population growth, EU countries are declining with the exception of a few countries. Our efforts must be aimed towards promoting the idea of declining birth rates among other regions as well ie Asia, Africa, S. America. Allowing GM foods within our land will only lead to more problems for the environment creating a hostile future for mankind and the world in its entirety

  14. avatar
    Louis John

    I doubt corporation monopoly has any direct relationship to GMOs. If someone comes up with a good enough product which is highly requested, that company will have intellectual property privileges and will almost always have the edge over its competitors until someone comes up with something better. Banning a technology and cutting a part of the possible competitors out, will only accentuate such dominance. It achieves nothing.

    • avatar

      Others shouldn’t have to come up with something better, they should be able to compete with the same thing at a lower price so that more people can benefit from it, monopoly through GMO patent stops this and instead of preventing famine all it does is increasing the wealth of the wealthiest.

  15. avatar
    Johann Savalle

    Well Jose bove is never going to say we need GMO :) he is probably the european citizen with the highest record of fighting against GMO, legally and not

  16. avatar
    Johann Savalle

    I am not saying GMO are good or bad, just saying the “debate” has one direction only….

  17. avatar
    Alex Macfie

    It’s like any other technology, it has good and bad uses. I am opposed to any blanket bans on technology. Unfortunately there are a lot of people who believe as an article of faith that “GM” is an inherently dangerous concept, which is why they support sabotage of crop trials: they absolutely do not want to be proven wrong.

  18. avatar
    George Danieldsg

    Europe should ban genetically modified foods to meet the challenges of growing population. Food production is enough to feed all people and much of it is destroyed to keep prices up.Natural cultivated food with improved methods will be enough to boost production.Genetically modified foods is an attempt of criminal companies to control food production against populations needs and interests.

  19. avatar
    János Györgyey

    Stupid question can generate false answers only.
    All the questions raised on a base that treats GMOs uniformly, will lead to nonscientific polarized, simplified debate. This makes no sense; the current situation serves the aims of Jose Bov and other narrow minded fundamentalists.
    The current ?yes-or-no? debate on GMOs is like eating kosher/halal food. It has nothing to do with the food itself; it examines the way the food was prepared like in the orthodox religions.

  20. avatar
    János Györgyey

    “Europe should ban ORGANIC PRODUCTION of foods to meet the challenges of growing population. Food production is enough to feed all people without it, so we should ban it.”
    “Europe should ban IMPORTING ANY FRUITS to meet the challenges of growing population. Food production is enough to feed all people without it, so we should ban it.”

    Those guys, who state demagogies like “Europe should ban genetically modified foods…” are expected to support the above ones as well!!!
    Or they should revise their way of thinking, at least.

  21. avatar
    eusebio manuel vestias pecurto

    Como cidadão da Europa e a viver dentro da Europa defendo uma Democracia Liberal dentro de todos os estados da UE e onde todos os cidadões Europeus possam ter as suas ideias valores e principios Uma nova indentidade Democartica dentro da Europa é verdade que essa Democracia moderna irá levar o seu tempo mas é preciso criar um novo modelo Democratico que esteja ao serviços dos cidadãos da Europa Porque o mundo esta numa fase de mudança e os partidos e os politicos têm que aconpanhar essa nova mudança que é o rumo ao Século XXI

  22. avatar
    eusebio manuel vestias pecurto

    Os estados da UE terão que encontrar ideias e soluções e revolucionar a agricultura e a sustentabilidade Porque já chega de produtos alimentares geneticamente modificados há que investir na sustentabilidade na area da agricultura porque irá trazer uma agricultura sustentável e também a sustentablidade nas areas urbanas em todos os estados da Europa e devia-mos investir nas energias limpas e não poluentes há recuperar a confiança de todos os cidadões da Europa rumo ao Século XXI

  23. avatar

    Looking forward to discussion and new exchange of ideas.
    Blessed weekend to all of EU citizens.

  24. avatar
    Jimmy Flindt

    Do you agree that we are not doing enough to effectively protect our environment and end pollution? This initiative might actually make a real difference. Please check it out and consider giving your support:

  25. avatar
    Ana Georgieva

    Should. Or if they want GMO they don’t have the right to force us here on the Balkans to use it too.

  26. avatar
    George Zeglinas

    European Greens is the only party that reprsents the solidarity between the citizens of Europe and the real democracy…Grts from Greece…GO GREENS!!!

    • avatar

      What alternate reality did you just emerge from?

  27. avatar
    James McManama

    I have a question for the candidates: Should Europe offer political asylum to Edward Snowden? And should a “No-Spying” treaty be signed with the US, possibly attached as a condition to the EU-US trade agreement currently being negotiated?

  28. avatar

    It appears that green orientation not only
    – in personal daily life but also in
    – community life and potentials of community for integrating each
    individual in the community benefit
    – politic ( because it brings new confrontation and gives new
    opportunities for discussions, making politic more heterogene, less
    boring and this way dissolving side effects of extremism )
    – national countries
    preserving or better management of the resources,
    opportunities for sustainable economy, more predictive and
    better managed consumption of goods ( when we are oriented to
    the nature rhytm of consumption )
    – new employment opportunities
    Non-green economy tends to optimise work processes with lowering
    cost per human labour. Creativity that is contributing to the added
    value in such classing corporational economy is very specialised and
    demands high costs of risk management.
    Guess we need also this type of economy. But because of decreasing
    number of human labour we suppose provide alternative source for
    employment. Green jobs are well suited in nature and resource
    consumptions and gives opportunity also to establish relationships
    in the society to be less pressured. There is also issue of health
    standards and preserving citizen’s endurance since we are
    all under the pressure and need to prolongue the active time before
    retirement. For such retirement politics people citizens to be in health
    to be able to create, to contribute and less reasons for chaos and
    confrontation in societies. Organizing and recruiting of the active
    population of the community could be more effective and more
    awareness injected in daily work. Guess in green industry
    employment there are opportunities for evaluating own
    contribution of the individual are more direct. Since each of us
    is constant monitor for changes in nature, friendlyness of living
    in rura areas, urban towns, friendly logistic.

    – Europe
    Of course this way whole continent is contributing to lower CO2
    fingerprint. Soil surfaces are used more effectively. Green surfaces
    are not contributing to the CO2 emmssions. Abandoned or
    empty brown surfaces because of decaying/fermentation processes
    in the soil increase the CO2 emissions ( whether it is seasonal-warm winters and warm early springs or later automns or whether it is
    on abandoned surfaces alike for example abandoned kolhos lands
    in ex- Soviet Union where used to be grown food but now soil is
    exposed to fermentation processes ).

    There is also energetic perspective. Energy as side effect of many biotechnological processes that are needed for other purposes like
    recycling into new raw materials, and of course use of other already
    used energy sources sun and wind as hybrid.

  29. avatar
    Mirko Celii

    GMO must be used for humanity good and not for corporation profit: GMO must be teste by governament and free to be used instead beeing a property of corporation. Agricolture is a human necessity and must not be privatised or business directedat all !

  30. avatar
    Eoin McCarthy

    With large levels of unemployment and especially youth unemployment across the EU, how can the EU help unemployed people to get back into the workforce? We also need to acknowledge the mental health affects in particular depression and dense of despair that unemployment can cause.
    Can we actually achieve a green sustainable economy where the focus is on renewable energies and obviously not on traditional fossil fuels? the Green party and the European Greens need to lobby EU institutions and national governments to transfer their energy policies from traditional fossil fuels to renewable energies. Is this actually achievable? AND can we use this transition into a green sustainable economy to create employment?

  31. avatar
    Christine Linnartz

    What is your conception of an inclusive Europe?

    The Eurobarometer survey 2012 on perceptions of discrimination found that many Europeans believe that discrimination on the basis of gender, ethnic origin, religion or beliefs, age, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity are still widespread. How can you explain this and what will you do to rectify this situation?

  32. avatar
    Sanjeev Kumar

    Trade treaties with the USA and Canada will further undermine EU and Member State democracy through regulatory harmonisation and a new court for governments to be used if they do not allow GMO foods or unconventional fossil fuels. How will you protect our freedoms?

  33. avatar
    Eoin McCarthy

    We do not need the presence of GMO in Europe. If you take for example in South America GMOs are destroying native cultures and the ecosystems.

    The population of Argentina is being sickened by the use of toxic pesticide chemicals like Roundup (glyphosate) that are sprayed on genetically engineered soya fields. Roundup is blamed for the dramatic increase in devastating birth defects, cancer, sterility and miscarriages.

    What is the likelihood that GMOs will be introduced in the EU?

  34. avatar
    Andrew Dobson

    To each of the candidates: are you a ‘green growth’ or a ‘post-growth’ candidate?

  35. avatar
    Laszlo Nagy

    When the European Citizenns’ Initiative started, the Greenpeace was the first to gather 1 million signatures to bring a case to the EP, about GMOs. Then, somehow nothing happened. Will there be any advances in this case?

  36. avatar
    Sara Jerezian

    What kind of position will the EGP represent toward Hungary? In Hungary, there are two green parties (LMP and PM) – which is your partner? If both parties, what do yo think about the LMP refusing to collaborate with other left-wing parties? Thanks!

  37. avatar
    Antonio Jose Pecurto Pecurto

    Eu acredito na solidariedade da Europa eu at gostava que os politicos e os empresrios se tornassem agentes sociais se no houver a solidariedade as regies no desenvolvem porque pode-se criar um clima de desconfiana dentro das localidades europeias

  38. avatar
    James Corre

    Can energy efficiency and small-scale renewables reduce our carbon emissions fast enough? Does Europe also need a grand vision for a continental grid connecting everything from Icelandic geothermal and offshore wind to Saharan solar power – even if that has to be built by the big energy companies?

  39. avatar

    Dear Candidates,
    Do you believe primaries are a useful way to increase political participation and interest? Some critics point out that further decreased the incentive to join parties and become active as one of their biggest powers to selected candidates and leaders is sustainably reduced.

    • avatar
      Paul X

      Nobody with any common sense will endorse the UBI. It is a completely unworkable pipe dream for the bone idle in society.
      Just look at the FAQ’s listed on the site, one basic question is not there, “where is the money going to come from?”

  40. avatar
    Gisela Glück-Gross

    What do you think about the idea of a Basic Income for all inhabitants of Europe?

    • avatar
      Paul X

      Stupid…………now get out and work for a living

    • avatar

      Everyone will go to where the basic income is highest.

      Does reality not exist in the place that these ludicrous things are thought up? Did anyone inform you about the income/price/welfare/pension level differences between EU countries?

  41. avatar

    Guess there are plenty opportunities for job employment.
    The problem is how to release the wealth that is now frozen in virtual value and comfort that is locking us in fear. Somebody mentioned Sahara as solar power plant. There are oppirtunities with forresting and permaculture greening methods on the edges of Sahara. Such projects could bring enormous added value . But this is not European land. This land of Africans. But Sahel Africa could become the the region of climate refugees. So soon or later we’ll have to confront with ideas of how to accept and integrate refugees and unite our values for descent life not anybody feel in the need to be stigmatized or discriminated. So education as functional as basic for daily living and being equal. We can expect to be free of stress for job if we not share that desire for other one.
    Then there are re-forestation challenges in Europe and detox soil, land . Transformation of Urban areas to be more sustained in food production and green surfaces. Trasformation of mobility specailly public mobility. Specially in East European countries where countries were not motivated to preserve or even raise the quality of public logistics. Health including psychic trauma because of the system is under the pressure to discriminate people in their desires to be creative, to love the job, employment, in their efforts to increase competence with education or workinf experiences. It is said that we limit each other. More protected people are stigmatising less protected people. This seems like Holocaust system. This really has no sense that someone with desire to live stable life contribute to the community, live his faith in the country, community, EU is under the pressure of fear. Why would anybody have interest in such situation when we now it leading to the even more confrontation. No politician nor any other science or industrial competent person can be happy if people are outside and search for the opportunity…
    If centralisation of our needs( energy grids, consumption cloud grids, ) is solution of EU community? Ok let it be. If this is the only way. Let us forget that was one of the reason that many countries after the fall of Berlin wall, vanished or went started the transition that brought so many uncertainties in people’s life. Ok let there be centralised with strong bureaucracy but as long prosperity and protection from chaos is established and we have relaxed dialouge and opportunities to change ourselves without punishment when economic circumstances are under the pressure. That in such situation we all step together and not afraid of each other.

  42. avatar
    siscu baiges planas

    What would you do with the policy of austerity that has drawn Europe to the disaster during the last years?

  43. avatar

    But how to implement sustainability in Europe as total category
    from agriculture, industry ( civil engineering, machinery ), high-tech,
    biotechnology, sustainable local energetic, annuity system on every resource we are stealing from nature and provide regeneration on green annuity system and involvement people of social groups that express no interest in curiosity and have different spiritual path than those who are interested in contributing added values, new business model design ( sustainable cycles ) . So people that are seeking how to contribute to the societies and need further re-qualifications and during that time UBI concepts or fair credit system ( young people, middle-aged groups whose competences expired and need re-qualifications ), greenin actvities like re-forrestations of wide area surfaces, big surface permacluture projects that offers opportunities for wide employments for enriching and revival of the dead surfaces like desserts, steps, toxificated areas, abandoned lands ( added values is lower CO2 balance sheet – this can be basis for investing in such massive employment projects ).

  44. avatar

    Basic Income could solve the Economic and Ecological challenges we face.
    A Basic Income program would divert more money to the People, freeing them from salary slavery. Allowing the People to act in the common interest of all by decentralisation of decision where it’s the Individualls who is responsibal and incharge of their local development to a sustainibal economy.

    We need to stimulate more Urban Farming, and a Basic Income would allow Urban Citizens to spend more time to secure their food security of Healthy Organic Food.

    A Healthy Earth will result in a Healthy People.

  45. avatar

    And where average yearly precipitation is low not only is it possible but it is
    very important to do so. Water – The collection
    of water forms possibly the most important part of permaculture.
    Healthy soil means healthy plants, which allows us to grow organic food.

    • avatar

      Collection of water forms as pre-condition for permaculture process to initiate?

      But guess these demands has to be injected with outer source or accumulated source in first phases of permaculture healing of the land? Later circling of the water is provided with plant-lanscape-soil system. For effective accumulation of water trees and apropriate shrub species are needed to be grown as infrastructure that bind the sorrounding soil and moisture.

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