I am honoured to be the Co-President of the Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament as of today, and I want to thank my colleagues and friends wholeheartedly for their support. I would never have come as far without the cooperation with so many fantastic Greens from all over Europe in the past years. I am convinced that together we can make the European Union a Union for the people.
For me personally, Europe is about overcoming borders. Overcoming what separates us and moving together to a better future. When I grew up in my hometown Guben, you could not just walk across the bridge to Poland or vice versa. You had to take a detour to the control posts, show your ID twice, make sure you don’t carry too many cigarettes. Now, the control posts are torn down, you can simply walk across the bridge and the two towns are no longer separated by a border: They are finally starting to grow together. This is Europe - because we have more in common than that which divides us.
I want a European Union that stands up for its values. A European Union that is at the forefront of climate justice and human rights, that has an economic model which serves the people, and does not harm nature. A Union that treats refugees with dignity and works for social justice. A European Union that works for peace and prosperity globally.
I want to help create this European Union. Together with civil society and progressive movements we can and we will make a difference. TTIP has shown that we are able to win major battles in Europe. To that end, we will need a clear and convincing message of a greener Europe and we need to get it out loud and clear.
I’m a European by heart and mind. I have a lot of political experience: from local struggle against racism and for animals’ rights, to being a leading candidate of the Greens in the last European Election. It is cristal clear to me that if the EU did not exist today, we would have to invent it. Globalisation, climate change, migration, economic crises, environmental destruction – all of the issues can only be dealt with collaboratively, by working together across national boundaries. This holds true even for those areas where the EU is currently not delivering or living up to its promise. But we will keep on fighting for what’s right. For a greener Europe that is sustainable, social and fair for all.
We are Greens, we are Pro-European, and we are fighting for change.