In political terms, Greens have had their greatest success in Europe. Most European countries have Green parties, many of which hold seats in parliament or have ministers in government. Many of these parties began to develop in the 1980s around the issue of nuclear power in the wake of the disasters at Chernobyl and Three Mile Island. They have been most successful in Western European countries such as Germany, France, and Belgium and generally less so in Eastern Europe.
The European Green Party is a continent-wide party formed in 2004 to connect and support Green parties across Europe. According to their charter, “The European Greens proudly stand for the sustainable development of humanity on planet Earth, a mode of development respectful of human rights and built upon the values of environmental responsibility, freedom, justice, diversity and non-violence” (European Greens, 2006). Though environmental issues remain at the heart of Green politics, to be successful politically they must also take stances on a variety of other issues. In most European countries, Green parties have taken stances allied with the political left, but this has not always been the case, and some Green parties, particularly in Eastern Europe, have taken more conservative stances on issues such as family values and gender roles.
- The 29th Council Meeting of the European Greens (1) © European Greens is licensed under a CC BY (Attribution) license