Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 16 September 2014

DebateNI home of Northern Ireland politics

The Greens are big in Europe: Other Stormont parties have one or zero MEPs - we have 48...

Green Party candidate for Europe, Ross Brown (second left)

So what would you say if I told you that the Green Party heads into the European elections as the biggest and most powerful party in Northern Ireland? You’d probably think I was delusional. But a quick look at the facts shows that this is true.

Currently the DUP, UUP and  Sinn Fein have one Member of the European Parliament (MEP), while the SDLP and Alliance have none. The Green Party has 48 MEPs.

The Greens are big in Europe.

Approximately 70% of our laws are derived from Europe making it the most significant Parliament to which a Northern Ireland politician can be elected.  The decisions Europe makes affect all our lives which is why we need to elect someone who can actually have an influence.

Having already worked with a select team on the Green Party Common European Manifesto and established strong networks with Greens right across Europe, Ross Brown would have that influence.

Ross Brown is Green Party NI’s bright young thing.  As my research officer in the Assembly he has been the driving force behind much of much of my work and has become an expert in fracking and all its ills.

An economist by trade, Ross combines the liberal, caring principles of the Green Party with the harsh reality of real world finances.

Having previously worked as assistant economist in the European Economics team at the UK Treasury he has a strong grasp of European macro-economics.

Headlining his campaign with a promise of politics for the common good, Ross is committed to delivering social justice, sustainability and solidarity.

He offers an alternative to Europe’s austerity programme; his vision is of a sustainable economy which serves people rather than one which creates slaves to the interests of the markets.

Ross Brown promises clean politics.  While other parties merely call for transparency the Green Party is still the only party in Northern Ireland to publish all its donations over £500. We are also the only party not to accept corporate donations.  

As the only pan European party these are the elections when the Green Party comes into its own. Green Party NI enters these elections with the right message, the right principles and the right candidate.

And as the biggest party, we can make a big difference.

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