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Green interview: Jacqueline Cremers

Jacqueline Cremers, outgoing EGP Secretary General
Jacqueline Cremers, outgoing EGP Secretary General

Jacqueline Cremers, Secretary General of the European Green Party ends her mandate (second term of office) in December 2014. She was interviewed by Alice Rosmi for GG News.

Question: What do you see are the biggest challenges for the European Greens in the years to come?

Answer: To keep our electorate close to us and yet at the same time attract the attention of shifting voters. I think this can be achieved my improving the way Greens communicate, we need to be closer to people.

Question: If you think about when you started being interested in politics and compare it with now, what is the biggest difference you notice? For instance, in campaigning, in the way people engage in politics, in the way people vote, in the green messages...

Answer: Lots of differences! Differences in how the society is shaped nowadays and differences in communications channels.  The first campaign I worked for was paper-based using posters and leaflets. Those are still a good way to campaign but with the internet the potential has grown immensely. Distances are more bridge-able, it’s now easy to stay in touch and work with people who are not geographically close.  This may seem obvious but it makes a huge difference!

Question: What is one political lesson that you have learnt during your mandate and would like to share with us?

Answer: In one word, it is “respect”. Respect for cultural differences, and great respect for the work of parties who operate in difficult realities. Coming from a country (the Netherlands) with an established democratic electoral system, I learnt to respect parties that have to face realities like a 10% minimum threshold. The latest EGP council was in Istanbul, and the Green party of Turkey operates in an extremely difficult reality, just as an example, but there are many others in Europe.

Question: During your experience as Secretary General of the European Greens, you attended the Global Greens Congress in Dakar and had the opportunity to meet and work with Greens outside of Europe. How do you think European Greens can learn from Greens globally?

Answer:  European Greens can learn modesty and, again, respect -- for parties which operate in extremely difficult conditions and lack resources, or in non-democratic countries. And for parties that fight against the devastation of natural resources and who work with very little means and in difficult and sometimes dangerous circumstances. I am thinking about the African Greens whom I met in Dakar, but there are so many others in the world. I am thinking also about the courage that Green women have to engage in politics in countries where gender equality is not granted. I found the Dakar congress extraordinarily inspiring and I am looking forward to the next one in Europe

Question: What can you tell us about the next Global Greens Congress in Europe?

Answer: European Green parties are now invited to respond to the call made by EGP to apply to host the congress. Greens in Europe will work hard to make it a fruitful experience and to provide learning opportunities to the participants.

Question: What are your plans for the future?

Answer: I will move back to France, work in my farm where we have yaks and relax. My passion for politics is still very strong, it will continue, but at present I can’t tell what will happen.

Jacqueline Cremers, outgoing EGP Secretary General

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