With the Romanian 2020 legislative election approaching, set to take place on December 6th, the members of the Green Party of Romania are united in the fight for sustainability, equality, peace and solidarity. Although its platform is centred around support for environmental causes, such as reforestation and reduction in carbon emissions, the Green Party also supports an extension in individual rights as well as the separation of church and state. 

According to the Green Party’s platform, today’s Romania is experiencing a social, moral and economic crisis due to the corruption and poverty that Romanians face daily. The economic crisis has had a profound impact on the political arena, and the year 2012, in particular, was defined by intense political turmoil. The two rounds of elections, local and parliamentary, resulted in a shift in power with new actors emerging in the political landscape.

The significance of the year 2012 for the Romanian Green Party lies in the fusion of the two Green Parties of the time. Although the Green Party of Romania did not hold any seats in Parliament after the 2016 legislative election, the unification of the parties in 2012 resulted in a Green Party that had two MPs and a number of seats in local government. After the 2012 legislative election, the Green Party gained two mayors and 124 local councillors, with 0.87 percent of the votes at the national level.

As stated in the Green Party platform, the political groups that have held power in Romania for the past 30 years have employed “aggressive and hate-inducing tactics” to force their way into, and maintain, their political power. The incumbent politicians still “fail to make real changes,” in times when Romania needs concrete and ambitious actions to be taken by those in government. A vote for the Green Party, according to the Greens, will give them the opportunity to build a Romania, not of selfish interests, but of “responsibility to protect both the well-being of citizens and the environment.”

“Your vote will give us the opportunity to build a Romania, not of selfish interests, but of common responsibility to protect both the well-being of citizens and the environment. A country not for the financial gains of some, but for the economic and social progress of all.” 

In the Romanian Green Party’s political program, seven policies outline their political vision:

 1. Democracy through the participation of citizens in setting goals and actions

Now, more than ever, the Green Party says “we must build a democratic and inclusive Romania,” and a democracy that is socially equitable and environmentally sustainable. The Green Party hopes to support civil society in defending and deepening democracy, as well as the rule of law and human rights. The Greens also believe that Romania must strengthen its capacity to deter attempts at influencing elections and spreading misinformation.

The Green Party believes in a non-discriminatory democracy, both at a regional and a national level, based on “solidarity and respect for human dignity and equity.”

Democracy, as articulated in the Green Party’s platform, can only work through free speech and with the support of an independent media. Therefore, the Green Party proposes measures to support investigative journalism and the protection of journalists under threat.

2. Economic policy of conservation and regeneration of resources

“The Romanian economy must be a green economy.” By transitioning to a green economy that aligns with the EU requirements, the Green Party claims that “we will have the historic opportunity to create jobs and improve our quality of life.” The Green Party emphasizes that human progress can only take place within the limits of the planet’s natural resources.

3. The revitalization of the Romanian village destroyed by the politics of the last 30 years

Rural society, according to the Romanian Green Party, was fundamentally destroyed by a policy that favoured large estates and “encouraged business people to exploit small entrepreneurs.” The policy of the last 30 years has entrenched the rural areas of Romania in very high levels of poverty.

The Green Party suggests organic and agro-ecological solutions for sustainable agriculture. Sustainable agriculture means reducing carbon dioxide emissions, revitalizing rural areas, and keeping food healthy and beneficial for the environment.

4. Stopping the process of degradation of public services and social policy

The Green Party views poverty reduction and combating social inequalities as a cornerstone of all national economic and social policies. As highlighted by the Green Party, Romania must ensure “essential social rights for all,” such as access to health care, housing, and education.

Putting forth a bold vision, the Green Party advocates a new legislative project that would establish minimum income policies for all people without sources of income or with an income that does not ensure a liveable wage. In this sense, the Greens propose that Romania has an “enormous untapped potential” that can provide millions of jobs for Romanian citizens.

The Green Party is the Romanian political party that is most supportive of LGBTQ+ rights, supporting same-sex marriage and civil partnerships, as well as measures to reduce homophobia in schools and society at large. 

The Green Party considers a reform of the health system to be urgent. In addition, it wants to take action and invest in information campaigns for citizens to prevent health problems, both physical and mental, not just to treat them.

5. Education reform 

Education is an “investment in the future,” as educated and skilled people are fundamental for both a “bottom-up economy” and a “functioning democracy.” That is why the Green party believes that all Romanians should have equitable access to education.

The Green Party is committed to allocating more intellectual and material resources to create educational opportunities for disadvantaged young people, and thus reduce the rate of illiteracy which has “reached alarming levels in our country.”

6. A consistent and predictable foreign policy

The Green Party contends that Romania should seek and obtain new international roles and allies.

7. Green reforms in all aspects of society

In accordance with the Paris Agreement and the Climate Law proposed by the EU, the Green Party hopes that Romania will follow the lead of Western countries in reducing carbon emissions, and make every effort to limit global warming.

In order to “protect the air we breathe,” the Romanian state, according to the Green Party, must ensure the protection of forests against illegal logging. The Green Party advocates Romania aligning itself with European countries to achieve climate goals.

Following the European model, the Green Party will develop measures to ensure that “natural resources are consumed intelligently and in a balanced way.” They also aim to develop laws that ban the import of waste and penalize its uncontrolled and illegal dumping, with the establishment of a functional recycling system.

With the overarching goal of rendering the Romanian citizen “in harmony with the natural environment in which he lives,” the Romanian Green Party is committed to working alongside people, organizations, and movements that are “fighting for change.” It will be interesting to see how the Green Party is implicated in the Romanian legislative election on December 6th. Will it perform as it did in 2016, or will it succeed in garnering a significant increase in support and securing influence in Parliament as it did in 2012?

“The Green Party wants a Romania in which young people no longer have to fight to find decent jobs or leave the country; the elderly do not live in poverty; women are not discriminated against in the workplace; citizens are not exposed to pollution and toxic substances; journalists are not silenced by discriminatory interests; forests are not cut down illegally; and small business owners do not suffer from unfair competition from large corporations.”

Sources:

“Eastern European Green Parties After The Economic Crisis – The Case Of Romanian Green Party”. Ecpr.Eu, 2020, https://ecpr.eu/Events/Event/PaperDetails/4983

“Florin Călinescu – Partidul Verde”. Partidul Verde, 2020, https://www.partidulverde.ro/

“Green Party (Romania)”. En.Wikipedia.Org, 2020, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Party_(Romania) 

“Partidul Verde Din România Va Participa La Marşul Diversităţii Din Cadrul Gayfest – Articole Interesante”. Remuscernea.Ro, 2020, https://remuscernea.ro/partidul-verde-din-romania-va-participa-la-marsul-diversitatii-din-cadrul-gayfest/ 

Margaret Saville

Margaret Saville studies psychology and political science at McGill University in Montreal, and would like to pursue political journalism. She was born in Toronto, Ontario and grew up in Nelson, British Columbia. Her passions include environmentalism, literature and writing, and down-hill skiing. Margaret is committed to addressing social issues such as the climate change crisis, racial and gender inequality, reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, LGBTQ+ rights, and advocating for mental health awareness.

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