Tulostettu Pohtiva - Poliittisten ohjelmien tietovarannosta
Manifesto of the Green League - Our Task: a Fair Change
- Puolue: Vihreä liitto
- Otsikko: Manifesto of the Green League - Our Task: a Fair Change
- Vuosi: 2006
- Ohjelmatyyppi: yleisohjelma
Manifesto of the Green League
Approved by the Annual Party Congress on 28 May 2006
Manifesto of the Green League
Our Task: a Fair Change
Introduction - the Green League for a Fair Change
I Justice Is the Most Important Value
Environmental Protection Is Justice
Good Everyday in a Fair Society
Diversity Is the Starting Point of Equality
Ethical Foreign Policy
II Economy in the Service of the People and Environment
New Structures for Economy
Environmental Policy Creates Well-Being
Good Life as the Goal of Economic Policy
Basic Income Helps Us in Creating Humane Working Life
III More democracy
Power Belongs to the People
A More Open European Union
Globalization Needs to Be Controlled
1. Responsibility for the future
The world we will leave to future generations must be in a better condition than it is today.
2. Global responsibility and peace
Solidarity must extend beyond national borders and conflicts must be solved beforehand.
3. Nature has its own justification
Utilization of the environment and natural resources must be just, towards the environment and future generations. Animals are to be treated ethically.
4. Social justice
The state and municipalities must guarantee everyone a life fit for a human being and a good quality of basic public services.
5. Green feminism
Gender is a floor to push off from, not a ceiling to hit into. The structures of our society must support all kinds of people, not discriminate against anyone.
In a heathy society everyone can freely choose their own world view. People from different cultures must treat each other with respect, following the same common rules.
7. A Good life
The goal of politics must be to improve the quality of life and everyday living.
Everyone must have the right to education and culture.
9. Participating citizenship
Participatory citizenship must be available for all residents of a country.
Introduction - the Green League for a Fair Change
The Green League works for a fair change. Today the world wide green movement is needed more than ever. Climate change is threatening the future of our environment and our way of life. People's well-being is threatened by changes in working life caused by the global economy. The green movement is offering a fair and safe solution. We want to leave future generations a world which is in a better condition than it is today.
Global economy and growth of information society are turning our everyday lives upside down. For many people, working life has become an unpredictable maze of short-term jobs. The global economy which erodes the authority of democratic decision making seems faceless and uncontrollable. Competitive markets are threatening to squeeze our lives into a merchandised and uniform mould.
We are living in an era of new hazards and uncertainty. As catastrophes and extreme climatic phenomena increase, the climate change is an undeniable reality. Nature's diversity is suffering as more and more species die out. Although the world as a whole is gaining in prosperity, the gap between the rich and the poor is growing wider. International inequality and injustice, as well as lack of understanding between different cultures feed conflicts. Globalization has undermined societies built on national identity but has not offered any new sense of community in return.
Nevertheless, the new millennium is full of hope. Humanity is not only facing enormous risks but it also has enormous possibilities at its grasp. We have the knowledge and prosperity to respond to the challenges of our time. Free good quality education guarantees a society of equality and social justice in the future. World wide civil society is growing stronger and bringing both the will and the means to find political solutions. We can not simply concentrate on the here and now; we must proceed from reacting to problems to preventing them before they happen.
In order to stop climate change we need a radical change towards an eco-efficient economy and a more ecological way of life. It demands both grass roots environmental action and a global climate policy. Humanity must understand that it is a part of the environment - therefore we must cherish the diversity of nature and adapt all our activities to the capacity of our environment.
Finland is still far away from genuine equality. Green feminism corrects the structures in order to create a society that is fairer for everyone, free from discrimination and unjustified generalization. Cultural interaction on the basis of equality offers us an opportunity to understand other people better, enrich our own lives and open new doors for our culture. New Finnishness combines respecting both tradition and diversity.
What we need is more time and less material things. The rules of working life have to be changed to give people more time for themselves and others. We need to proceed from the consumer society to a service society. Finland can be a pioneer in effective investments into clean technology, service sector and a creative environmentally sustainable economy. We need more spirit of enterprise and courage to take chances.
Social security based on basic income gives people the security they need in everyday life and encourages them to make their own choices in their own lives. Failure in this must not lead to marginalization and every fresh start must be supported.
In order to make social justice come true, the global economy needs to be controlled. Poverty can be eliminated by sharing global prosperity. Market economy controlled by ecological, social and ethical principles gives all people a change to well-being.
We, the Greens, believe in grass roots activity. Representative democracy requires active people in communities who have various possibilities to influence decision making easily and in their own preferred ways. More democracy is required outside the structures of government - the world's problems are not solved just in cabinet committees. Participatory citizenship should be within the reach of everyone, and the threshold for acquiring national citizenships must be lowered.
A fair change is needed and the Greens are ready for the challenge!
I Justice Is the Most Important Value
Green justice is global and spans species and generations. We need to take responsibility for our fellow human beings as well as for the environment and the future of the whole planet. The world we leave to future generations must be in a better condition than it is today. All people are equal. The vicious circle of inequality and poverty must be stopped. Social structures should not discriminate but support individuals' life choices. Everyone must be guaranteed a life fit for a human being, the possibility to receive a quality education as well as for social care and health care.
Environmental Protection Is Justice
Environmental protection is about justice. The people of today and of tomorrow have the right to a clean environment with a diverse range of species. Solving environmental problems is one of the essential challenges of a modern society. At the same time, it offers an opportunity to renew the society towards sustainability with an emphasis on the quality of life.
Our way of life has an effect on everyone - the ecological footprint of a Finn is the fifth largest in the world. If everyone lived like Finns do, four planets would be needed to support the human race. The rich nations have collected an ecological and moral debt for centuries by spending more than their fair share of common resources. Now they have to carry the main responsibility for solving environmental problems and they have to acknowledge developing countries' right to improve their living standards.
Climate change is the greatest threat for mankind. To avoid the catastrophe emissions must be cut into a fraction of today's level globally. While new limitations for emissions are set, we must conform to climate justice according to which, every inhabitant of the Earth has the same, limited right to produce greenhouse gases. Finland has already enough sustainable ways of replacing the fossil fuels in energy production. We do not need nuclear power, because there are better ways to ensure the energy supply. Nuclear power increases insecurity in the world and delays both the process of moving into renewable energy sources and the rationalization of energy consumption. Existing nuclear power must be phased out. Replacing oil with natural gas is also only a temporary solution in our progress towards sustainable energy production.
Everyone has the right to clean water and sufficient nutrition. One fifth of the Earth's inhabitants suffer from hunger and lack of clean water, even though there is enough of both of them. Developing countries must be provided with the capabilities to protect their self-sufficiency in food production. In addition, local producers must be guaranteed a sufficient part of the price of their products. The world's fresh water resources must be protected from emissions from farming, industry and communities. Due to excessive utilization of the sea resources fish populations are on the edge of collapse in many areas. In addition to limitations on fishing, fishing free natural reserves must be established on areas with populations of significant species.
Saving the Baltic Sea must be among the first priorities in the Finnish and European environmental policy. The Baltic Sea is the most polluted sea in the world. The worst emissions that spoil the coastal waters of Finland are Finland's own, though their amount of the total pollution rate is smaller compared to other countries. To save the Baltic all emissions must be reduced. For example, nutrients recycling and organic production should be favoured in farming, closed cages in fish farming and effective waste disposal for communities. Strict emission limits should be set in cooperation with the Baltic area's countries in order to reduce the emissions of the major polluters.
Biodiversity is an intrinsic value. All life is valuable in itself, not just for fulfilling human needs. Decrease of biodiversity is usually caused by people's indifference, which leads to the change or destruction of the living environment of other species. Not all species can adjust to changes; there are estimates according to which up to one third of all species could be extinct by the 2050's. Individual and social action must be changed to cherish the biodiversity.
Forests´ biodiversity is under threat. Due to industrial forestry many species are dying out. Forestry methods must be renewed, industrial forests must be reconstructed, and sufficiently large untouched forest areas must be protected. For example, the percentage of protected forests in the Southern Finland must be significantly increased. In order to protect the forests globally, development cooperation. Trade and foreign policy must acknowledge ecological sustainability.
In addition to the protection of species, the individual well-being of animals should also be a goal. Minimum standards for treating animals should be based on each species' typical behaviour. Animals' existence as feeling and conscious beings must be recognized. There is much to improve in the life of production animals. Organic production methods should be emphasized in animal husbandry, since it allows the animals to fulfil their social and physiological needs. Realization of animal protection laws should be supervised more strictly. For ethical reasons, fur farming should be abandoned, and the farmers should be subsidized for developing a new occupation or a new production sector. Chicken farming in its present form and egg farming in battery cages must end as well.
Prevention of environmental problems also increases security. The fundamental reasons for present day wars are more and more often connected with conflicts over the control of natural resources. It is typical for environmental problems to emerge as slow trends and developing into news headlines of human suffering only when the critical stage has been achieved. Many of the today's security risks are connected either directly or indirectly with environmental disasters.
Good Everyday in a Fair Society
Social fairness is weighed in the well being of everyday life. Everyone has the right for a good and safe everyday life. That is, for example, sufficient living, right to good quality health care and education and flexible interplay of work and other sectors of life. Our goal must be politics that prevent problems instead of just re-acting to them. That means pro-active action for the well-being of people and the environment. At the same time, people's possibilities to influence their own lives must be increased.
In a good society, there is space and need for all kinds of people. Dividing people into the employed and the unemployed is an uncalled for blemish on those without a permanent job and those who, for various reasons, live on social security. A fair amount of socially important work is also currently done unpaid. A part of human rights is a basic income that guarantees a reasonable living. This right belongs to all non-working groups, such as students, parents with young children and pensioners. Poverty in Finland has risen significantly during the last decade. This vicious spiral of inequality has to be halted and the abolishment of poverty must be set as a main target. Homelessness is a blot for the society.
Equality in health care must be set as a goal. Mental and physical health must not depend on economic status. The authorities must provide everyone with the possibilities to take care of one's own health. Insufficient income must not lead to lack of recreative activies or healthy food. Special attention must be paid on equality in health services and their democratic control should be improved. In order to decrease the differences in health, we must pay special attention to the health care of children and young people. The opportunities of seriously ill people to be full and active members of society must be promoted constantly. The patients' share of the health care costs must not be increased.
Preventive action is to be emphasized in health policy. For example, encouragement to daily exercise, taking care of ones ability to work and preventive mental health care are not less important than effective national health care system. They improve the quality of life and decrease the accumulation of health problems. This is especially important because an ageing population sets special demands for the health care.
Education and access to culture are basic rights that should be equally available for everyone. Education is important also because it promotes equality and social justice. That is the reason why education from comprehensive schools to universities must be free of charge and the students must be guaranteed a sufficient living without a need to work or take student loans. Every educational level must have sufficient resources for high-quality education that considers different learning personalities. Equality in education is also a competitive asset, since a small country cannot afford to waste its know-how potential.
Every child must be offered good nursery care. Nordic countries' counselling and child welfare services are unique, and they, as well as day care and family services, should be further developed, primarily from the point of view of children's needs.
High quality and extensive education is the success story of Finnish society. Comprehensive school and second degree education must give all young people a variety of possibilities for further educational choices. Special attention should be paid on the possibilities of immigrants of all age groups to be educated and find suitable employment. Furthermore, special attention is to be paid to those youngsters who have difficulties in finishing comprehensive school or vocational education. The young also move towards vocations that enjoy more esteem in the society. In addition to this, the educational system and the needs of the labour market should be more coordinated. Community colleges, other similar institutions and alternative pedagogies bring extra value to the educational field and their operational preconditions must be supported. Education of adults of all ages is valuable in accordance with the principles of life long learning.
Universities and universities of applied sciences must be guaranteed sufficient resources and autonomy. Freedom of research is a basic guideline, which is to be respected in the future as well. Education and research are of special value as corner stones of culture and they must not be controlled by the markets or mere profit concerns. On the other hand, education and science advance national wellbeing significantly. The know-how that leads to national economic prosperity is advanced when students and scientists are given room to create and learn. Finnish higher education policy must also support building of European university sector and the status of science and culture in Europe. International mobility of students and researchers must also be promoted, as it increases knowledge exchange and cultural understanding.
Art and culture are both social intrinsic values for a good life. The values of cultural policy are diversity, freedom, equality, responsibility and continuity. The possibility to practise arts from different starting points must be given and the society must not regulate its content. The state has to bear its responsibility for the financial support of culture, it must not be left to the mercy of commercialism or charity. Everyone has the right to culture.
Diversity Is the Starting Point of Equality
All the people have the right for free life and equal opportunities regardless of their gender, sexual identity or the manifestation of their gender. The structures of Finnish society do not treat women and men equally. The predominant bipolar system is limiting peoples' opportunities to express themselves and to act as members of the society. The goal of the Green feminism is to amend the social structures in order to create a fairer society, free of gender-related pre-expectations for everyone. Green feminism is a liberation movement for men as well.
Gender equality must be the mainstream of all social decision making. It is essential to consciously search for solutions to change the patriarchal structures that prevent women and men achieving a full and multifaceted participation in working life, family life and the society. Gender-related effects of all public decisions should be systematically and openly estimated in advance. In an ideal society, there is no reason to pay attention to gender, but in order to change the gendered structures they must first be made visible. For this reason, the quota system is a functional method of promoting equality. Same wages for both genders can also be reached after the structures of inequalisation are abolished.
Everyone should have equal opportunities for combining work and family life. Discrimination at work, which is a problem, especially for young women, must be stopped, and the costs of parental leave must be equally shared between all employers. Parents of the same sex must also be given equal rights to parental benefits. Fathers must take more responsibility in the family and participate more in children's lives, while mothers should have more choices. Current length of parental leave must be extended up to a year simultaneously ear-marking part of the leave for the other parent. Green feminism intensifies the realization of equality in working life and also supports diversity of families and the separation of a family's internal work division from gender roles.
Families must be treated equally. Marriage law must be changed so that it will not define the gender of the spouses. Same sex common law and registered couples must have equal rights as different sex couples to internal and external adoption, fertility treatments, juridical parenthood and income transfers. The authorities' expertise on diversity of family forms has to be increased so that all families can get services of equal quality. Instead of the authorities and laws, people should be able to define their families themselves. In reality, a child in a remarried or a rainbow family can have more than just two parents. The parenthood of adoptive parents and parents not living with their child must be supported. Adoptive parents should get the same benefits as other parents. Bearing children and living in relationship must be equally possible in the society, but optional childlessness or being single must be equally respected and valuable choice.
Promoting equality is an advantage for all. The proportion of men in the most successful and the most marginalized populations in society is overrepresented. Even though women's unemployment has increased alarmingly, for men, a divorce or unemployment creates statistically a greater risk of marginalization, alcoholism and homelessness. We should search for a means to widen the predominant stereotype of a male and in that way support the facilities of different men to act as equal and independent members of the society. Children's rights to keep in touch, for example, with their divorced parents should be equally supported. Diversity of stereotypes and promotion of true equality can be advanced by directing equality education for boys and young men in particular. Current compulsory military service unjustly discriminates against men and on its part supports a reality where a man is supposed to accept violence and hierarchical systems.
Violence against women is a serious social problem in Finland. Reducing gendered violence will succeed only with specific means. Identification of the violence and effective countermeasures require cooperation between the authorities, education and emphasizing the importance of them matter. It is also necessary to intensify the identification, statistical analysis and prevention of hate crimes. Those are, for example, crimes motivated by racism, sexual orientation or reasons of conviction. More support and security mechanisms have to be created both for the victims and the offenders. Children and youth are to be brought up to respect diversity and inviolability of other people and sexual harassment among the youth has to be intervened.
Children need time to grow by their own speed. Public areas are meant for everyone to visit safely and equally, free from objectification. For this reason the equality law should be extended to cover not only comprehensive schools but also advertisements, so that no one is to be objectified in public areas. Gender-related issues of nursery and school syllabi must be evaluated, heteronormative learning materials abandoned and accurate information about sexuality and sexual minorities taught. The pupils must be encouraged to unprejudicedly attend subjects they are interested in and to find their own personalities free from gender roles
Support for autonomy and agency are the starting points for the humane old age. Dialogue and cooperation between different age groups must be increased and the changes required by an ageing population have to be planned and put into practice together.
A disability or illness should not limit the right to public services. The disabled must have the right to housing and a subjective right to necessary assistance and support services. Accessibility in society has to be promoted actively by choices made in construction, traffic and information technology. When the concerns of the disabled are taken into account in decision-making and community planning we will be able support their rights to act as fully authorized members of the community. This means such opportunities as education, building a family and taking part in the working life.
In a good society everyone can freely choose her world view. Individual liberties and equality are best realized in a functional, multicultural and liberal society. Confronting and accepting diversity liberates the whole society. Both public institutions and working life must be equally open to different cultures, religions, and the non-religious. The diversity of cultures and religions of immigrants and domestic minorities enrich the local traditions and become a part of the Finnish culture. People should be supported in their striving to express themselves as a part of a larger entity. Freedom of world view and religion has to be defended, the state must treat every religious society equally in a multicultural society and the current special relation between the state and the two religious communities must be ended. However, we should not tolerate any offence of human rights in the name of false tolerance. Equal respect for other people must be demanded from everyone.
We need a versatile language policy to ensure the diversity of languages and cultures, internationalization and immigration. We must support both Finland's bilingual system and the status of the traditional minorities. In the bilingual municipalities, there must be a real possibility to get service in both languages. The rights of the Sami people have still not been fulfilled yet as required according to international agreements. The rights of the Sami people to the land, water and traditional livelihood, as well as to their own languages, must be guaranteed by law. The position of the Romany people must be improved, including better education; and the users of sign language must get better opportunities to use their own language.
Prohibition of discrimination in the constitution must be put into practice. Anti-discrimination laws must be put into effect in all sectors of the society. The equality laws must be amended in order to regulate all discrimination the same way. Correspondingly, the responsibilities and resources of the ombudsman for minorities must be extended to include discrimination on the basis of sexual identity, disability and age. The public authorities must provide information about equality planning and offer training for example to the employers for the equality plans required by the law to benefit the working life. Persons belonging to several minorities can be discriminated for multifaceted reasons. We must pay special attention to preventing and rejecting this kind of discrimination.
The need for equality knows no borders. Finland is not an example for equality, but in many countries the position of women and different minorities is worse. Finland must emphasize equality issues in foreign relations, trade policies, development cooperation, and in the EU. The starting point must not be a dismissive attitude towards other cultures but equal basic and human rights for everyone and their primary role in comparison with issues such as economic considerations.
Ethical Foreign Policy
Concept of justice must be at the core of foreign policy. Finland's foreign and security policy must be based on extended concepts of security, world wide solidarity, respect for human rights and democracy and prevention of conflicts. The status of the United Nations as a supporter of world peace and global justice should be supported.
Finland must practice ethical foreign policy which aims to build a better world for all. A foreign policy which concentrates only on its own momentary national interests is not in the real interest of anyone, instead it creates confrontation of different countries and individuals. The principles of international law must affect all countries and Finland has to condemn all illegal or unethical governmental activity, such as terrorism or torture.
Development cooperation funding must be raised to 0,7 percent of the gross national product, as the UN recommend, until 2010, and to 1 percent, like the other Northern countries, until 2015. Finland must give an example how rich countries can help eradicate the worst poverty from the world and guarantee all children access to education. In addition to increasing the quantity of funding, it is also important to improve the quality as well; resources must be directed especially on the education of women and children and also on strengthening the society by supporting democracy and local organizations. The debts of the poorest countries should be acquitted, provided they are committed to the principles of good administration.
New threats require preventive, soft measures. Security threats have changed. Instead of and apart from traditional military and national threats there are terrorism, nuclear energy hazards, pandemics, the vulnerability of the information society and environmental catastrophes. The new threats are usually supranational and they require international cooperation. The best ways are the soft ways, such as increasing global justice, decreasing poverty, cooperation in environmental protection and international disarmament.
Finland should stop compulsory military service and change to selective service. The importance of international crisis management has grown and more European countries have given up compulsory military service. Instead of preparing to a massive invasion, the resources should be used to respond to today's threats.
Finland should join the Ottawa Land Mine Treaty. Resources that can be spared from the military service system should be directed especially to the prevention of the new non-military threats and modernisation of the training. Prison sentences of the conscientious objectors must be stopped immediately.
Finland and the European Union have to carry their responsibility of global security, too. Striving for peace and respect for the human rights must always be the starting points for crisis management. Particularly the civil crisis management must be developed and the importance of functional social structures must be emphasized in prevention of the crises and especially in their follow-up treatment. The European Union serves as a good example in creating peace, prosperity, and stability via economic cooperation, and in this spirit, the widening of EU can also be seen as extending security. Finland must do its part in abolishing confrontations in the world. It is especially essential to support constructive dialogue between the Christianity and the Islam in Europe. World peace and global justice require mutual respect between religions and cultures. Finland must not apply for the membership of the NATO. Finnish parliament must remain in charge of Finnish defence, national resources and the crisis management operations.
In the EU Finland must support the democratization process in Russia. Development of human rights and the freedom of speech would stabilize development of Russia and function also as stabilizing factor in the whole Eurasia. Negative progress, on the contrary, would cause not only human suffering in Russia, but also appear as challenges for border control and increasing criminal activity in Finland.
II Economy in the Service of the People and Environment
Economic growth is not an indicator of social progress. Economic growth as the goal of the economic policy should be abandoned and well-being of the people and the environment set as the new goal. Market economy is a good servant, but a bad master. Fair economy requires political steering both locally and globally. The rules of working life must be changed so that work yields to accommodate the human needs. A basic income is needed to secure the everyday living and to create confidence to make choices in ones life.
New Structures for Economy
Welfare can be maintained only if production and consumption become more eco-efficient. The whole economical system has to be changed environmentally sustainable. This requires concrete and continuous goals to reduce consumption of energy and natural resources. With technological progress, the amount of raw materials now needed in the production of goods and services will be reduced to a fraction. However, the new technology alone will not be sufficient, controlling direction of the society, responsible business activity and changes in consumer habits are also needed. Building a sustainable society does not require decreasing our well-being but a comprehensive structural change in which ecological, social and economic sustainability go hand in hand.
Redirecting taxation to material consumption and the burdens of nature are central tools in the ecological structural change. The essential environmental problem of modern economy is that environmental costs are not included in the prices. For example, emission quota trading and ecological redirection of taxation can promote recycling and reduce the use of non-renewable resources in particular and increase eco-efficiency of goods and energy consumption.
A good taxation system balances income distribution and has simple and incentive structure. With the ecological tax reform taxation of labour can be gradually decreased, which leads to increasing profitability. In addition to this, in a basic income system work and social security are better coordinated, which makes working worthwhile in all cases.
Increasing employment is important goal from the point of view of national economy and welfare. Ecological tax reform and basic income increase employment. What helps in this is a versatile business sector which includes various forms of entrepreneurship. For example, operating conditions and competitiveness of small and family businesses and cooperatives should be improved and new profitable professions and services have to be discovered. Establishing non-profit organisations should be made possible in Finland.
Success in the global economy requires the daring to pioneer. Finland must be determined to invest in fast growing clean technology, service sector and creative economy. We must use our own strengths, such as socially equal and high quality education system and strong culture. An example of the Finnish success story is our unique library institution. A qualified labour force is and will be the strength of Finland in the global economy.
Responsibility for arranging the basic service must remain on public sector. What is important in arranging public services is not how they are produced but how they influence the quality of life, environment and general well-being. Services that are produced in a socially and ecologically sustainable way must be available in wide variety to meet different needs of different people. In order to guarantee the reliability of the most important law-based municipality services it is however, essential to invest into municipalities' own, long-term service production.
In a functional society, the public, the private and the third sector support each other. A wide public sector balances income differences, increases equality of citizens and works as a social safety net. This should act as a solid foundation to create a culture of enterprise based on know-how and creativeness. The third sector on the other hand with its many non-profit organizations offer services to the population of the municipalities. Their status must be guaranteed and the importance of the work done by the thousands of volunteers must be recognized, so that these organizations can succeed in the competition. Public procurement must favour goods and services that are produced in ecologically and socially sustainable way, for instance, renewable energy sources, organic products and fair trade products.
Problems of the internal markets of the European Union must be solved. Free movement of goods, services, capital and people have improved the minimum standards of social protection and equality policies. On the other hand, the principle of free movement has for instance limited the nations' possibilities to national health orientated alcohol policies. Increasing authority of the Union in basic services is not desirable and the services must be kept under national governance.
Global economy needs control. Supporters of free trade are introducing an economic model that does not pay attention to the environment, increases income differences and takes advantage of distortions of competitive position. Non-regulated free trade will not benefit any nation, as it exploits short term advantages. Genuine free trade does not exist, because its defenders often demand tariffs and export subsidies to protect the economy of their own country. The same rules must apply to all countries - with consideration of differences between countries and general fairness. International currency exchange must be regulated with mechanisms such as Tobin tax.
Rules of global trade must not limit the opportunities of countries to carry their responsibility of the well-being of their citizens. International economy must be developed on the basis of justice, for example, HIV drugs and vaccines against epidemic diseases must be available for reasonable prices for everyone. Rights of the employed must be improved globally. A fairer and more sustainable economical globalization gives nations better opportunities to react to structural changes on their own labour markets. This will also improve Finland's possibilities to create a long-term and socially sustainable employment policy.
Environmental Policy Creates Well-Being
Good environmental policy creates well-being. By combining responsible environmental policy with the use of environmental high-tech, Finland can be a pioneer of the field globally. This would create new prosperity by ensuring the safety of food and goods, creation of new jobs, increase of the freedom of travel and improving housing conditions.
All administration should be guided by environmental requirements. In energy production we should emphasize decentralization, saving of energy and renewable energy sources so that by the 2050's the renewables will form a 2/3 of the whole energy consumption and the greenhouse gas emissions have been reduced to 80 percents compared to the level of 1990's. To minimize unnecessary traffic, the new communities must be built compactly and pleasantly so all the essential services would be near. To reduce emissions, the necessary traffic should be redirected from private cars to public transport and non-motorized traffic. Major part of the remaining car traffic should be redirected to eco-cars by taxation and other motivators. Emissions from marine transports and aviation should also be diminished.
We must question the culture that emphasizes mass consumption of goods, which does not increase peoples' well-being. Consumption creates many of the environmental problems and therefore its environmental stress should be reduced by changing its focus. Redirection of consumption towards more ecological forms that value recreation and services and create well-being is necessary. Product labels should be developed so that they could guide in making ecological and safe choices.
The precautionary principle, preventing damage at the source and the polluter pays principle are central to ecologically sustainable development. This comes true in emissions quota trade, provided the country will distribute emissions rights by auctions and prevent unearned income transfers to energy producers. Creating permanent waste should be made as unprofitable as possible, whereas recycling should be made profitable and convenient. The large and increasing number of chemicals in use is still a serious problem for both humans and the environment. A significant part of the effects of the chemicals now in use are still poorly known. Evaluation of the harmfulness of chemicals, however, should not mean increasing animal testing. The use of chemicals suspected to be harmful must be limited in accordance with the precautionary principle and national chemical policies should be developed on terms of safety of the people and environment.
Agriculture must be encouraged to more ethical and ecological production. Innovations are to be searched not only in technological, but also from ecological field; agriculture can be developed in nutrient recycling, environmentally beneficial and promoting production animals' species-typical behaviour. Keeping the rural areas alive requires also more versatile economic structure. Production of energy crops, such as reed canary grass and oilseed crops, must be promoted as well as biogas recovery from for example manure. Organic production must be favoured and the minimum goal for organic production is 20 percent of the whole food consumption in Finland by 2015. Local food is worth the support due to its good eco-balance and its role as a tool of regional policy.
Entrepreneurship and cooperatives should be supported especially on the ecologically sustainable sectors of enterprise. Using renewable energy does not simply improve environmental conditions but also guarantees the security of energy supply and increases employment in the whole country.
Food is not just a commodity. Everyone has the right to healthy food and to be aware of its origins. Local retail and direct sale must be favoured in food delivery instead of the system that is based on private cars and large shopping centres, and different ways of delivering the everyday products directly to the consumers must be developed. Gene manipulated organisms must not be allowed in the open environment if it is not proven that there are no environmental or health risks. Vegetarianism, which reduces ecologic stress, must be given status as healthy nutrition by spreading information about diverse and healthy vegetarian diet.
Good Life as the Goal of Economic Policy
A successful economy is a one in which human well-being increases. Economic growth is often justified by the increase in human well-being. In reality, the gross national product (GNP), and the other indicators of economic growth, do not measure well-being but the size of financial economy. The growth of GNP does not either have any direct connection to financial support of the welfare society or employment but, on the contrary, it can express the growth of productivity on the cost of employment. We must adopt other indicators for economic success.
Social structures must support the pursue of good life. Growth of living standard that is based on ownership does not increase happiness but up to a certain level. Increasing prosperity infinitely should not be the starting point of policy, instead it should be the prevention of suffering and guaranteeing the basic needs.
What we need is a time policy according to which the productivity of the industry increases the employees leisure time. The great promise of the industrial society was that increasing productivity of work would allow more time for other activities in life for the labour force. Many take this option privately but the whole society should be able to do the same: increasing productivity should pay back, for example, in the form of longer holidays or shorter working weeks.
Creativity originates from the change to just think. When there is no time to stop there is no place for developing creative ideas or the possibility to critical reflection. The continuous goal setting speeds up competition everywhere and the people who are stressed and always in a hurry feel all the more worse both at work and during leisure time. Apart from the lack of exercise, shortage of sleep increases ill being. The collective lack of sleep is reality - over a half of the Finnish labour force suffer constantly from at least one hour's shortage of sleep. A society that emphasizes constantly increasing haste and competition does not leave time for beneficial human relations, voluntary social activities and for healthy solitude. We should transform our society into a more gentle and tolerant for different life careers. A place where you have the right to slow down or even fail.
From a straightforward career thinking to a soft wave - demands must be adapted to personal situations. In the start of the wave, during the phase where children are born and during their infancy, both parents should be able to work parttime or by telework methods if they wish to. This gives the parents the opportunity to be more with their children, live leisurely and healthy. As the children grow, the parents should be able to return to full time work. In older age, they must again have the possibility to work part-time and this way to use their skills and pass on their know-how. When there is enough time for rest and recreation, people of all ages feel good.
Basic Income Helps Us in Creating Humane Working Life
The insecurity caused by the changes in the working life reflect in the whole society. We must seek solutions to strengthen basic security on the one hand and the opportunities of the people to change jobs on the other hand. The social security that is the basis of the Nordic welfare system has significantly promoted social justice. However, we must develop the system so that it meets the changing needs of today's people. The present social security is based too much on the work history, which means that the security of the unemployed and the temporary employed is weak. Basic security must not be temporary even if the jobs are.
A basic monthly income for every adult citizen must be introduced. A basic, equal income for all, a so called "citizens salary", would guarantee a reasonable living and replace the most of today's welfare system. A basic income allows people the freedom and time to make life choices they wish. It increases the size and variety of labour force due to the fact that a large amount of part-time or recreation-based jobs would become economically profitable. As working becomes possible for more people the dependency ratio which has been distorted by the ageing population could be corrected. In addition to this, feelings of guilt connected with applying for welfare would vanish, social administration would become more effective and bureaucratic despotism would diminish. A basic income helps people to plan their lives despite of varying situations of work and life and strengthens people's feeling of security, hope and self-control of life.
Social security system built around basic income improves the position of entrepreneurs and the people with small incomes. There must be a possibility to combine salary income and social security. With the basic income, even small additional income would be worthwhile and that is why the system could improve the position of the temporarily employed, students, and other non-working population. Basic income would improve the benefits of the entrepreneurs and that way it could make entrepreneurship a less risky choice, and also it would give chances for productive work outside the paid work system, such as the arts and voluntary work. A basic income would give people new trust in entrepreneurship and in making their dreams come true.
The forms and tempo of work should yield according to the needs of people. A happy employee is also good, creative and effective. As the borders between work and leisure time disappear, the need for flexibility in working life increase as well; everyone should have the opportunity to set her working time more freely in accordance with her own starting points. For example, the job alternation leave system should be supported, because it improves people's working capability and general well-being. Everyone should have the right to plan forward in their life, and unjust temporary employment should not be used when there is a permanent need.
III More democracy
A better world is not created from top down, but from voluntary activity of people. The people should be able to influence common affairs widely and in various ways, at local, national and global level. This opportunity to influence the surrounding world is a part of meaningful and good life. The right to participate in decision-making should not be based on one's origin, but on open and participatory citizenship. Citizenship must be seen as a social contract and a commitment to the democratic and humane values. Representative democracy must be complemented with direct democracy, where a group of citizens can also directly make initiatives to influence decision making. Referendums demanded by citizens must be made conclusive. The business and commercial sectors must also carry the responsibilities for common well-being. With global policies we want to lay down fair and ecologically sustainable rules and ensure the human rights and basic income for everyone.
Power Belongs to the People
We must create equal opportunities for everyone to participate in defining their terms of living. Today's representative democracy, where people are in equal position only on election day, is not good enough for the Greens. We should have more and more profound democracy. The Green democracy is born in people's interaction as experiences and opinions are exchanged and common truths and rules are developed. It is essential to critically question everything that is influenced by humans.
In addition to grass root level democracy, we need representative democracy. The representative democracy must be made more transparent. We must seek new ways of interaction between the representatives and the voters. The citizen's democracy must not be limited to Finland and the European Union exclusively. For the reason that even our national democracy was created through people's voluntary activity, the global democracy can as well start from grass root activity. The Greens believe that global democracy can be realized in the UN headquarters as well as in a suburban club room. The Greens also believe that the EU institutions should be democratized as well as those of the global organisations.
Citizenship must become more accessible, and the opportunities to participate of all the residents of a country should be increased. The citizenship concept must be widened; instead of one's origin, the Finnish citizenship should be seen as a social contract between all inhabitants of the country and as a commitment to democratic and humane values. Nation states have become obsolete since the concept, which was artificial to start with, about a people sharing common origin, has expired with immigration and free movement in the EU. There are tens of thousands of people living in Finland who constantly face unfair and unequal treatment because of their lack of citizenship. Their participation in the society must also be equally supported. On the basis of justice all people who live in Finland must have the right to basic services.
The citizens - as defined above - must be guaranteed sufficient rights to discuss and prepare issues and make decisions about the common issues. The natural core of participatory democracy is the existing community. The participatory democracy takes place in regions, houses, among consumers and users of social services, and in working places. Its mission is not just to develop the community it takes place in but also influence the municipal, national, European and global affairs. The participatory democracy groups must be guaranteed sufficient means to control the activity of the public authorities. The patterns of participatory democracy can be diverse and it can be organized by the state, the municipalities, the European Union, popular movements and political parties among others.
Non-violent, open civil disobedience that is aimed at unethical activity is an acceptable way to influence. All people must have the right to criticize and object to the flaws of the society, for example, conscientious objection to military service must be freed from criminal consequences. Throughout the history a better society has been built through individuals' courage to rise up against unethical, discriminative or environmentally harmful actions.
A well-educated consumer can control the development of economy. A consumer who is conscious of the motives and effects of her buying decisions creates positive competition between the companies to be socially responsible. This should be supported by such means as increasing transparency and open nature of the activity and increasing the use of voluntary product labelling. Fair trade and organic production are good examples of this.
The principles of equal participating and democracy must be fulfilled in the information society also. Creation of the information society has become one of the great national projects. Major companies and public authorities have resources to advance their own interests but the consumer's and citizen's point of view is threatened with being overshadowed. A priority task is to make the voice of the people heard in the legislation that shapes our common future.
The citizens' right to get multifaceted information is the corner stone of democracy. Participatory democracy requires constant dialogue and access to information. The new means of communication must increase interaction between the decision makers and the citizens and this way make easier to formulate opinions and express them. By developing the representative model and making it more interactive we can build an interactive democracy in which the decisions are based on open and equal exchange of opinions. Protection of privacy and civil liberties must be upheld also in the information society.
Direct democracy complements the representative democracy. Direct democracy is needed in all decision-making. National and municipal referendums should be increased and their results made conclusive. A set amount of citizens must have the right to put their own proposals or a decision made by the representatives under a conclusive referendum. On municipal level, the inhabitants must be taken into account on a larger scale in preparation of important decisions, and citizens' initiatives must be encouraged. The representative political system must also be reformed so that it will ensure the equality of citizens and parties; this requires for example modifying electoral districts and electoral systems to more just.
The representative system and the parties must also respond to the actual challenges of today. Politics is a struggle of different choices and ideologies. The often used concept of real politics creates an illusion of politics that would be value neutral, rational and free from ideologies. This is not reality and the resulting lack of alternatives really decreases people's interest. If there is only one choice it does not matter who will put it into practice. Politics must be reformed. The political parties are needed as creators of a better society. In this task the civil society offers productive interaction, challenging the parties and questioning their ways of action.
A More Open European Union
It is time to open the European Union to citizens. In a system that was originally established as intergovernmental organisation, the necessity of the citizens' direct influence was not built in. As the authority of the Union has extended, there are basis for strengthening the transparency and democracy of the Union's own decisionmaking. Increased authority and transparency of the European Parliament must be seen as a part of increasing the influencing opportunities of the citizens.
Direct methods of influence must be also be provided for the citizens. Making decisions that concern constitutional issues have made referendums practically a rule in the whole Union. In Finland too, the constitution must be reformed in accordance to the Danish model. This would mean that any parliamentary decision concerning significant loss of national government over to a supranational organisations, such as the Union, would be put to the citizens to accept or to reject.
The goal is a strong European civil society. This will be born when different EU nations begin to recognize common problems and suggest common solutions. The core of the European civil society is built on civil organizations, therefore their resources must be strengthened. The European Union and the governments of the member countries must redeem the approval of their citizen's by real acts that demonstrate that the Union helps in improving the quality of life of the people. In addition to this, the European Union should pioneer the introduction of the open citizenship by accepting all the people living in the member countries as EU citizens. At this moment there are hundreds of thousands or even millions of people living in the member countries that have no citizenship in any EU country; in practice that means living without any guarantee of basic rights. EU citizenship would give them the rights that are defined by the law, and an opportunity to influence the decisionmaking of the EU. Also the Union's expanding possibilities must be seen as an opportunity to promote the progress of democracy and well-being in all Europe.
There can be no democracy without open decision-making and equal participation. Today openness is more important principle than secrecy but still governments have shown a tendency to keep many issues secret. The European Union can not become democratic unless national EU decision-making is made democratic; correspondingly, the more open Union legislation will abolish national secrecy. In the specified institutions of the EU, such as the Commission and the Court, gender quotas must be introduced. The European Union must also consider establishing quotas in the boards of the European companies.
Globalization Needs to Be Controlled
When economy is international, policy must also become international. Globalization is not merely a phenomenon of the economy. The goal must be a worldwide system that creates fair rules for trade and economy and ensures the realization of human rights. Democratic management of globalization gives an opportunity for more equal cultural interaction between different countries and cultural spheres; thus it is also a tool of creating a more just, more sustainable and more pluralistic world. The road is long but we must take steps in the right direction fearlessly keeping the destination in mind.
Intergovernmental organizations must be democratized. Globalization has taken away decision-making authority especially from individual countries that have as countermeasures delegate their prerogatives to supranational organizations. The most significant organization of this kind is the European Union, which has been criticized for a democracy deficit. Yet, the totally intergovernmental organizations that create the rules for international trade and economy are much more undemocratic. The transparency and democracy of the activities of the WTO, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund must be increased and the promotion of socially and economically sustainable development needs to be set as their most important target. Reform of the world trade so that the profits of globalization are shared more equally is the best way to increase social safety for all.
An environmental organization subordinate to the UN must be founded. Global environmental policy needs strong leadership and significant improvements. The tasks of the new organization would include managing climate policy, creating conclusive rules and setting and monitoring sufficient goals for emissions.
The European Union must take a pioneer role in the management of the globalization. The EU should promote the development of conclusive international rules. This means more authority inside the Union in cases where intergovernmental competition or multinational companies' activity endangers the wellbeing of the people or the environment.
In the international system it is necessary to emphasize democracy, human rights and justice. The United Nations must be reformed and the importance of the organization must be increased in order to prevent one superpower from ruling the development of world politics. The fear of terrorism must not lead to democracy being narrowed down in the western countries because limiting the individual liberties and the human rights does not decrease terrorism. On the contrary, democracy should be extended. The history-originated conflicts and the conflicts that descend from the colonial era must be calmed, for example, by clearing the historic burden the way that South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission does. We must improve the realization of the aboriginal peoples' rights. The international community must fight with determination against women and children trafficking, torture, discrimination and violence against civil population, and to abolish the death penalty worldwide.
Influencing the globalization development requires true information. For supporting decision-making there must be available reliable and gender-differentiated information about the actual effects of globalization for example on people's lives and employment. Poverty is feminized both in Europe and in the developing countries as women more and more often remain in the position of temporary workers everywhere. However, women's employment is the most reliable way to keep the whole family above the poverty limit, and correspondently, women's unemployment in the poor countries also increases women and children trafficking. Although the socalled glass ceiling that limits women's career development is already partly vanished in developed countries and women are being appointed to the highest top of companies, at the same time some women remain in constant poverty. This development can be stopped only by working on the globalization process ruled by the business world and on the structures of world trade.
The future is based on what we do today. With green policy, it is easier to build a better tomorrow for all.
Our task is the fair change!