Greens in the Political Landscape of Western Europe (Recent Trends)

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2019-63-3-40-48

T. Rovinskaya (,
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow 117997, Russian Federation

Abstract. The article analyzes the latest trends in political developments, specific for the west-european ecological parties during the second decade of the 21st century. Common features and peculiarities of each party’s electoral activities, place and role in the European “green party family” are investigated. Special attention is given to the contemporary “green” ideology which reflects the patterns of the Post-materialism epoch. Today, the “green” parties present themselves as a political force committed to the principles of environmental responsibility, global sustainable development, “universal democracy”, respect for diversity, personal freedom, gender equality and non-violence, etc., which constitute post-materialistic values. In the political sphere, the European “greens” have undergone a gradual transformation from a radical alternative political force into a moderate alternative one. They have become less critical towards the State, support economic development, but are skeptical when it comes to any military activity. The author concludes that the popularity of “green” parties in Europe generally grows, although slowly and unevenly. The ecological parties have been most successful in the countries with proportional election system (Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Finland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Iceland), which initially became the core of the European “green party family”. The case of the German “Bundnis 90/Die Grunen” as the biggest ecological party in Europe is particularly examined. In all countries, temporary fluctuations take place – whether the increase or, on the contrary, the decrease of the parties’ electoral support, which depends on changes in general political conjuncture. Nevertheless, the data and facts are witnessing a common tendency of strengthening of the “greens’” positions in elected bodies at all levels (including the European Parliament). Similar elements and trends in political advancement of the European ecological parties during the latest decades, despite country-related differences, confirm the “green party family” concept, which is thus a correct approach to the European Green Movement.

Keywords: ecological parties, “greens”, “green party family”, Western Europe, parliamentary elections, electoral systems, post-materialistic values


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For citation:
Rovinskaya T. Greens in the Political Landscape of Western Europe (Recent Trends) . World Eсonomy and International Relations, 2019, vol. 63, No 3, pp. 40-48.

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