Without critical public cash, the inexperienced transition will not occur: EU Greens chief Lamberts | EUROtoday

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

Issued on:

Talking Europe sits down with one of many European Parliament’s most distinguished veterans, Co-chair of the Greens Philippe Lamberts. The Belgian MEP has served in three legislatures since 2009 and says he has seen an enormous distinction in each consciousness and motion on environmental points in that point. Lamberts, who’s stepping down from the EU Parliament, is characteristically outspoken on the bloc’s Green Deal, the farming difficulty, funding within the EU economic system and the assorted scandals which have rocked the European Parliament, similar to Qatargate.

Lamberts talks about why Green events are faring poorly within the opinion polls forward of the June 9 European elections, when local weather change is such an apparent difficulty.

“What the Greens propose is quite a substantial change, especially in our economic model,” Lamberts says. “And change is, well, making people afraid. There’s an aversion to change, which I can understand. But we can’t afford not to change. That’s one aspect. Second – and I don’t want to blame others – but we have been made the scapegoat for everything that goes wrong. The best example was the farmers’ revolt. The revolt is caused by an economic model that is crushing farmers. But it was ‘all the fault of the Greens’.”

Lamberts is adamant, although, that the Greens’ fortunes on this election can nonetheless flip round.

“Most voters decide very late in their in their thinking process,” he opines. “Some decide in the last days, the last hours, the last minutes before voting. So we have to keep fighting.”

Does Lamberts consider the Greens will probably be in opposition within the subsequent EU parliament, or a part of a majority?

“We have a certain sense of the gravity of the situation that the European Union finds itself in. That sense of responsibility calls us to really look at options that would make for a stable, pro-European majority in the European Parliament,” Lamberts affirms. “Such a majority should not only defend the gains of the European Green Deal. We have to make everything that has been adopted work. For that you need investment, not just regulation. And also, there are many areas that have been left alone by the Green Deal, starting with agriculture. So what we will want is a deepening and a widening of the Green Deal. On that condition we would be ready to support a pro-European majority in the European Parliament.”

On the funding that will probably be wanted to energy the inexperienced transition, Lamberts goes towards the grain of EU leaders, who preserve saying that the non-public sector can play an enormous function.

“They (the EU leaders) have this liberal ideology which says that actually the state is a factor of inefficiency in the market. So the smaller the state, the better it is. Well, the fact is that every serious study, every serious economist, is telling you that without very strong public investment, the Green Deal will not happen,” Lamberts says.

“Even in areas where you might think, ‘well, it has to be private’, like building renovation,” he goes on. “Most buildings are privately owned. So you might say that’s for private investment to fund it. But that’s a bit too easy, actually. Most homeowners do not have spare capital available to pay for the refurbishment of their houses. Which means that actually, if you really want a renovation wave for a whole category of households without public investment, it won’t happen. I can afford to renovate my home, but many can’t.”

Lamberts additionally has a message for former Italian premier Mario Draghi, the writer of a much-awaited report on EU competitiveness.

“When Draghi says that most of the investment has to come from the private sector – Yes, in theory, Mario, but in practice, no!”

Programme ready by Perrine Desplats, Agnès Le Cossec and Isabelle Romero