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The Green Position Eastern Germany

Green impetus for the new federal states

We believe that a fresh approach is required for the development of eastern Germany. This cannot be achieved by creating a mirror image of the West. Instead, persuasive and visionary concepts and fresh ideas are required. Harnessing local potentials, thinking outside the box, and opening up new development pathways – we Greens believe that this approach offers the opportunity for robust and autonomous development in eastern Germany. Economic development and participation in the eastern German Länder go to the heart of the debate about equity and justice.

Demographic development and globalisation encounter a highly specific set of circumstances in eastern Germany, characterised by industrial restructuring and a lack of private industrial research, as well as rural regions with small-scale economic structures. Technocratic and industrial policy strategies alone are not enough to meet these challenges. Alliance 90/The Greens pursue a policy approach for eastern Germany which relies on people being pro-active. We want to create conditions which encourage, not obstruct, local engagement. We are creating networks and supporting people at local level who take positive action, get involved and work hard for the benefit of their regions. Competitions to develop the best strategies and concepts are more effective than rigid funding programmes. We intend to fund this competition for innovative projects through a Green Future Fund.

Renewable energies and modern environmental technologies offer the greatest potential for development in eastern Germany. The new Länder are already a leading location for this sector. 70,000 jobs have been created so far, and the number continues to rise. Solar, wind and hydropower already meet 50 per cent of electricity needs in many regions. By contrast, it is apparent that the use of lignite for power generation and new open pit mines put the brakes on economic development.

Our vision for eastern Germany in 2020 sees a region at the heart of Europe which tackles major challenges and pursues new development pathways. We want to gear our policies and the available resources towards this goal. With our "green impetus for eastern Germany", our vision for eastern Germany for 2020 will progressively become reality. We are demonstrating that ideas based on Alliance 90/The Greens' core beliefs offer new prospects for eastern German regions. We are seeking news ways forward for the new Länder, which – once they are brought to fruition – could ultimately act as a blueprint for development in other regions as well.