The party joined the German parliament in the early 1980s as a result of the 1968 “cultural revolution”. Although the party softened its radical foreign and anti-capitalist policies; still, it remains the most liberal party in German politics. The analysed period covers the time after their first government experience, which brought some of their policies, such as foreign policy, towards the centre. The Greens participated in the left government between 1998 and 2005 and were successfully involved in key reforms the government made, such as the reform of the energy market, liberalisation of immigrant policy and changes in public discourse on issues such as gender equality. Focusing on postmodern values, the party stresses the quality and equality of life. In the last decade, most of the parties have incorporated some elements of “green ideas” into their manifestos and that was one of the reasons why the party gained unexpectedly few votes. During the entirety of the analysed period, the Greens were an opposition party.
|2005||2009||EP 2009||2013||EP 2014|
Election manifesto 2005
Contrary to other political parties, the manifesto focuses mainly on social issues. The message the manifesto gives is a strong emphasis on human rights and equality. This leitmotif goes through foreign policy, employment policy and integration policy as well. The European policy focuses on the participation of citizens in decision making process and it envisages a stronger role for NGOS in the integration process. The policy towards the EU reflects typical green issues such as support of energy from renewable sources, multilateral foreign policy, abolishing of weapons export, and support of the enlargement process. The EU enlargement is perceived as a tool for spreading stability and values and the party supports Turkish membership of the EU. The EU foreign policy should support third world countries to get their products on to the European market. In selected policy fields, the party supports EU wide regulation; such as taxation of non-ecological energy sources or financial markets. The European Green party should be more influential on the EU level. Interestingly, a similar aspiration is present in the SPD 2013 election manifesto.
Focusing on values, the party rejects the domination of men in society. In this respect, women of immigrant origin should be protected. Germany is an open country for immigrants and secures their rights. The integration policy must be based on human rights and the party opposes forced deportation. It is not surprising that cultural and social diversity is perceived positively. Interestingly, the party proposes that the role of the state in the family as well as in school education should be strengthened.
Election manifesto 2009
The 2009 election manifesto stresses the social dimension significantly. Contrary to the previous manifesto, the Greens support increased liberalisation of permanent residence regulations as well as liberalisation of voting rights for immigrants. Integration should be based on education not just for children. Their legal status should be equal to the German one: therefore they have the right to develop their culture and habits. Not surprisingly, immigrants are perceived as a positive factor in German society. Immigration should be harmonised on the European level. The manifesto perceives social threats as well. For instance, the NPD, the extreme right party, should be abolished. Right extremism is seen as threatening German society and the state should develop policies against the rise of populism and extremism.
European policy follows the main policy goals, aimed at strengthening citizen participation in EU decision-making, allowing for the implementation of an EU-wide referendum law, for example. The Greens support democratization of the EU institutions and their transparency. EU foreign policy should use culture as a principal means of avoiding military conflict. Although the manifesto does not pay attention to foreign policy so much, the pacifistic spirit is evident.
Election manifesto 2013
The election manifesto for the last general election reflects the political discussion on Germany’s role in the EU. The Greens accuse Angela Merkel of nationalising European politics and focusing narrowly on German national interests. The party proposes the implementation of Eurobonds as a tool for greater citizen identification with the EU. In the same respect, common social standards should be set. Germany should be influenced by the EU, not vice versa. The values-based foreign policy is perceptible in ideas such as transparent world government. Also, NATO should be a leader in the process of disarmament.
The manifesto encourages action against right extremism and inequalities in the society. Therefore, human rights should implement not only in the foreign policy but in domestic policy as well. This is the case in immigration and integration policy - it should respect the religion and culture of all individuals. The Greens support the right of immigrants to use their mother tongue even in the integration process. However, the knowledge of the German language is expected through integration courses. The EU should avoid support for any religion that could lead to preference for any specific churches. The manifestos mention that Roma from the Balkans are the most discriminated against ethnic group. The illegal status of immigrants should be abolished; all immigrants would gain legal status and should be offered dual citizenship. Interestingly, Turkish citizenship should be equal to European citizenship with regard to rights such as voting.