Anyone who has followed this blog over the years knows that I not only write about EU politics here, but live it, and try to shape it in any way I can, pretty much every day. Trying to change the EU through party politics has been a part of that.
Yet while I still lived in the UK that was always a complex task. My determination that the EU should be democratised as such, and that federalism is not a dirty word, never really fitted in the British party political system.
My 2013 move to Germany, and the decision to join the Greens (Bündnis90 / Die Grünen) in Berlin changed all that. Finally I was in a party that I could live with ideologically, and where my determination to improve the EU was mirrored in the party. Greens do not see problems as ending at national borders, and behave as such. This is a party I can do things for.
So today I am putting all of that together, and launching a bid to be selected as a MEP candidate for the German Greens. The website for my candidacy – all just in German for now – can be found here. Delegates at a Party Congress 9-11 November will decide the order of the candidates on the list, so only then am I going to know if I am in with a chance of actually getting elected. Until then I am going to do what I can to convince party members it would be worth their while putting me on their list, and explaining why the topics that have so long interested me on this blog – transport (especially rail), digital and tech, Brexit, and transparency and democracy – are important for the 2019-2024 legislative period.
Even trying to get on a European Parliament list in a country that is not the same as the one whose passport I hold is a hard task – it is something that basically no one ever does. Party politics remains a solidly national and traditional domain. But EU citizens have the right to run for the European Parliament in the place they permanently live – and for me that means Berlin. And I am going to pursue this with all the energy, determination and professionalism I can muster.
What about Brexit you are of course by now asking? Britain’s departure from the EU, and the associated loss of political rights, might in the end scupper my bid. But Brexit may yet be delayed and I can keep my EU citizenship a while longer, and in the meantime I have already started my process to become a German citizen. I will pursue this bid as long as I legally can.