Early projections following the EU election point to success for green candidates. Polls suggest support was especially strong among young people.
The European Environmental Bureau (EEB) is Europe’s largest network of environmental citizens’ organisations, with 150 members in more than 30 countries.
“The big story of the 2019 European elections is the substantial increase in the green vote. Environmental issues have had a more central role this year than in any previous European election. A clear trend is emerging of success for parties calling for greater European action on climate and environmental issues. In several countries, for example Germany and Ireland, where the Greens have greatly exceeded expectations, we can really talk about a green wave,” Jeremy Wates, EEB Secretary General.
“But this goes beyond the success of any one political party, and it needs to. To tackle the environmental challenges we face and help build a future where people and nature can thrive together, we will need all parties to embrace greener policies. A second story is that far-right, anti-democratic parties failed to make the gains they had hoped for and others had feared. Pro-EU parties will continue to be in a clear majority. This is good news for the environment, because so many environmental problems need more action to be taken at the EU level,” added Wates.
“The members of the European Parliament elected this week now have a responsibility to come together so that the EU can deliver an ambitious programme for the sake of both current and future generations. It’s not too late to act, but the challenges we face are enormous, and they can only be taken on with strong action at the EU level. The next President of the Commission must be ready to engage with citizens on environmental issues, ready to listen to the young people that have stood up for their future but may have been too young to vote this time and ready to stand up and defend the EU’s role in climate and environmental action. While there will now be much discussion about who is offered the ‘top job’, it’s important to remember that whoever becomes Commission President will need to set out a programme that delivers not only for people but also for the natural world. There must be no attempt to shred prized environmental protections – on the contrary, we need to significantly scale up environmental action – and the sustainable development goals should be placed at the heart of everything the EU does,” concluded Wates.