chapter  4
20 Pages

The Greens

Success in the West, “Fooling Around” in the East

The ecological and environmental parties, Green parties or simply Greens, are the historically youngest party family. The rise of the Western European Greens was influenced by a number of supporting and correlated factors. Dick Richardson points out a difference between ecologism and environmentalism. Environmentalism is much more anthropocentric; in effect a managerial approach to environmental issues. It has absorbed other political traditions such as anarchism, socialism, and liberalism. Excessive radicalism of ecological demands came across in the post-Communist reality as too utopian. The general trend was towards programmatic convergence of the East-Central European Greens with the mainstream Western European parties. In 2004 the European Federation of Green Parties (EFGP) transformed itself into the European Green Party (EGP), which represented another marked strengthening of the Greens on the European scene. Environmental activists enjoyed significant authority, and the themes they presented themselves on were considered by society to be important.