The Green Party in the European Parliament – Taking Stock
For the past 20 years, Archiv Grünes Gedächtnis has served as the archive of the transnational Green group in the European Parliament. The file records of the Green group are now catalogued and accessible.
For the past 20 years, Archiv Grünes Gedächtnis has served as the archive of the transnational Green group in the European Parliament. In the first direct elections to the European Parliament in 1979, the future Greens ran jointly in the Member States of the European Community. While the Greens have been continuously present in the European Parliament since 1984, the makeup of the parliamentary group changed several times in the early years.
The archive collection of the Greens in the European Parliament always contains the documents of the group as it had been constituted in the respective term, regardless of its designation. In 1979 and 1984, the European Greens ran in an alliance with parties of the New Left, radicals, regionalists and Danish EC-opponents. They did not win a mandate in this constellation in 1979, however. After the successful election of 1984, the Greens and a number of Italian representatives of the New Left joined forces as the Green Alternative European Link (GRAEL), a formation within the Rainbow Group. Following the 1989 election, a purely Green parliamentary group was constituted. Since 1994, the MEPs of the Greens and European regionalists have been united in the joint Greens/European Free Alliance Group in the European Parliament.
The file records of the group include, but are not limited to, (1) documents relating to group and bureau meetings, as well as (2) the archives of the general secretariat, (3) of the working groups and collaborators (4) of the Belgian, German, French, Italian and Dutch delegations. The materials also include around 50 personal archives of individual MEPs.
- The group meeting is the highest-ranking body of the parliamentary group. The records encompass the minutes of group and bureau meetings since 1984, including the meeting documents. The minutes of group meetings prior to Strasbourg plenary sessions of the Parliament, and the entries therein, reflect the complete decision-making process pertaining to the actions of the group at the plenary sessions.
- The archives of the general secretariat include file sets on the meetings of the presidents, the secretaries general and of the group meetings. Other key file sets relate to the constitution and the internal organization of the group. These include committee appointments and the delegation of interparliamentary cooperation, and the retreats held every six months, as well as case files on the six-monthly rotating presidencies of the European Community, intergovernmental conferences and the group’s cooperation with the European Green Party.
- The general secretariat also encompasses the divisions for public relations, press office, etc., as well as the technical units that prepare the committee meetings of the Parliament. The preparatory consultation processes and the Group’s networking with political associations of all kinds are frequently covered by these files, but access to the personal archives of individual MEPs is often essential to fully reconstructing such processes.
- The records of the delegations document the internal coordination and project planning work of the MEPs from the various Member States.
Berlin, February 22, 2017
Christoph Becker-Schaum and Anastasia Surkov
The introductions to the Greens in the European Parliament are available in English, French and German.