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Green Party Matures in Germany. Harbringer of an EU Trend

01/20/2020

Mid-January marked the 40th year since the foundation of the Green Party in Germany. Originally an “eccentric band of environmentalists, peaceniks, and anti-nuclear activists” according to The Economist, the Greens have matured and now support policies combining ethics with realism and a commitment to the EU. From minitority outsiders, the Greens have emerged as the second largest party in Germany and may govern the nation following the Fall 2021 election, given the decline of the grand coalition between the CDU and the SPD. The Greens serve in coalitions in 11 of the 16 German states, forming bonds with diverse political groups including both conservatives and ex-communists as expedient.

 

The Green Party intends to phase out coal power and internal combustion engines in automobiles by 2030. They intend imposing duties on carbon emissions but will pursue climate-friendly growth that supports industry and employment.

Implicit in the eco-friendly approach to government is an avowed opposition to intensive livestock production. The Greens have been instrumental in banning conventional cages, beak trimming, and destruction of egg-strain cockerels. Like-minded politicians in other EU nations are clearly following the lead of the Greens in Germany. A 40-year record of slow, but significant, acceptance suggests that Green populism moderated by practicality will be the dominant feature of EU politics through the present decade. Many of the principles advocated by the Greens resonate in the U.S. This has implications for the egg-production industry both with respect to policies and standards required by multi-national customers and the design of equipment.