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Friday, May 28, 1999 Published at 14:16 GMT 15:16 UK

Green Party

The Green Party

Manifesto: "Green votes count."

"There has never been a greater need to vote Green. The European Union started more than 40 years ago with the ideals of peace and internationalism.

"Over time these have been swamped by a relentless drive for power and profits. The single market, the Maastricht Treaty and monetary union have followed one after another. Each puts profits before people and the environment."

The euro

"Greens believe that the UK government should be free to set its own levels of taxation, public spending and public borrowing in areas that only affect the UK. We do not support the single currency."

  • The UK must not join the single currency.
  • The European Central Bank should report to a committee of the European Parliament every six months, and the Parliament should have the power to veto appointments to the bank's board.

    'Greening the economies of the EU'

    The Green Party proposes:

  • Minimum social and environmental standards should be introduced for World Trade Organisation (WTO) rulings.
  • In the longer term, the WTO should be disbanded and replaced by a more transparent and accountable body.
  • Access for multinational corporations to local markets should be dependent on a 'site here to sell here' policy ensuring that capital remains mostly in the country in which it is generated".
  • Resisting moves to re-open negotiations on a Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI) at the WTO.

    To combat the fear of unemployment the Green Party proposes:

  • "Major investment in green industries like public transport and energy conservation, and a switch from taxes on jobs (eg employers' National Insurance contributions) to taxes on the use of natural resources."
  • Redirecting the European Regional Development Fund to give greater support to local initiatives.
  • Support for Community Banks, providing preferential rates for "socially and environmentally sound community projects", from the European Investment Fund.
  • The phased introduction of a Citizen's Income, paid automatically to everyone, to cover basic needs.
  • GDP must be replaced as the main indicator of economic success.
  • Sustainability indicators should measure economic and social success.

    'Defending basic human and animal rights'

    "People are being exploited in Europe. Animals are being abused. We need an EU which protects basic rights for both, and our environment."

  • All residents of the EU must have the same rights, which must be enshrined in the EU constitution.
  • The Green Party opposes all factory farming and the use of animals in scientific research.
  • A social clause should be adopted into the rules of the WTO to include the conventions of the International Labour Organisation, in order to provide protection for workers' rights.

    'Protecting our environment'

    "The aim of EU environmental standards should be to stop the destruction of the ecosystems on which we depend but too many of these standards have already been watered down by powerful industrial lobbies and reluctant governments."

    The Green Party proposes:

  • Prompt legal action against any member state that flouts environmental rules.
  • Much tougher cuts in greenhouse gases emissions, and to resist attempts to buy emission tokens from poorer countries.
  • The enforcement and extension of current EU habitat directives to protect biodiversity;
  • A ban on all genetically-modified crop planting in Europe.
  • A ban on the import of genetically-modified foodstuffs.
  • Regulations to "bring cloning science under control" - "No company should have the right to patent life".
  • The progressive switching of farming subsidies to support organic farming;
  • A formal EU ban on the most dangerous pesticides.
  • A ban on live animal exports from the UK.
  • A carbon/energy tax and an excise duty on aviation fuel.
  • A halt to all EU financial assistance towards the building of airports and highways, and the funds switched to support for public transport.
  • All nuclear power stations must be closed down.
  • The reinstatement of the EU's 50% target for recycling and re-use of plastics.

    'Improving democracy and accountability'

    "The European Parliament is directly elected but the real power lies with unelected officials."

    The Green Party proposes:

  • A new European Treaty precisely defining the competencies and powers of the EU.
  • More power within the EU for the European Parliament.
  • A statute for the European Court of Justice, defining and limiting its powers.
  • A People's Initiative requiring the European Parliament to consider proposals put forward by a sufficient number of people from at least five member states.

    'Europe's place in the world'

    The Green Party proposes:

  • The EU should operate "fair trade not free trade" policies, designed to strengthen the economies of developing countries.
  • The EU should call on the Paris Club of creditor nations to write off the debt of the poorest nations.
  • EU subsidies on agricultural exports should be banned.
  • The EU aid budget should be increased and used in particular to promote the status, health and education of women.
  • Member states must have the right to veto common foreign policy.
  • The EU must strive to reduce and control the arms trade, and must reject any attempt to turn it into a military superpower.
  • The EU must not adopt the Western European Union as its military arm, nor become the European pillar of Nato.
  • Nato should be replaced with a well-resourced Organisation of Security and Co-operation in Europe.
  • Moves to introduce Europe-wide identity cards must be rejected.
  • Europol is not accountable and must not be given any operational role.
  • The Green Party is opposed to the Dublin Convention, which prevents residents from one member state from applying to other member states for asylum, and prevents refugees and asylum seekers from applying to more than one EU country.
  • Funds should be set up to protect the fragile economies of new EU members. "Financial help should go towards encouraging the setting up of local production and markets, rather than the transportation of goods over long distance."

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