Monday, June 14, 2010

Structure Reform (2)

Dear friends,

the day is getting closer on which the Structure WG will "publish" their draft of the new GYG-Statues. However, some things still remain unclear. How do we want to proceed with individual members and non-political NGOs?
I am deeply in favor of working close together with environmental and social NGOs but I don't want them as full members in this network. While they should be on our eList and advance our common discussions, the decisions should always be taken by the "Greens" as we are the Global Young Greens. On the other hand, I find individual Greens a vital part of this (political) Green movement. Until we have established stronger Regional Federations that can incorporate all "lose" parts, we have to take care of these individuals and give them a home. So I would argue for a "phase-out" of individuals. So we should give them limited voting-rights (e.g. <40% of a Region's vote) so GYG will not be "overrun by individuals" but I am against excluding them totally. Nevertheless, I dream of a strong GYG as a roof-organization of all Young Green organizations one day. One day in the future.

:) Georg

Monday, June 07, 2010

Discussion on the new GYG Structure is getting hotter

Dear friends,

please find below a text that Georg Koessler - Co-Chair of the Structure Working Group of GYG - has send to interested parties (namely the "Global Greens") to update them on the current state of discussion. (There is one adjustment because there was a new idea coming up recently). Thus, this is a personal perception of an open debate. The Structure WG will soon send its first proposal to all members to comment. There will be no decision taken before the final debate in Berlin!

Please feel free to comment by replying to this blog, writing to the structure-eList or directly to georg (georg(dot)koessler(a-t)gmail(dott).com)

A new beginning for GYG or just a small improvement?

The GLOBAL YOUNG GREENS (GYG) is an incredible network as it serves to connect young greens – individuals and organizations alike – all around the globe. However, some problems became clear since the GYG last met in Nairobi (2007) and São Paulo (2008). Having no „platform of power“ like a world-parliament or government towards we can aim our ideas, protests and political work, the network is mainly about an exchange of ideas and experiences. We aim at being fruitful to each other. Nevertheless, active GYG-people are mostly also heavily involved in their local, national and regional green groups. Therefore, activity in the network is low (about 5 mail/week on the general list). While young people show great interest in GYG after being told about it, participation is unclear, abstract and – at best – digital. In addition to this comes the problem of great geographic distance between GYG-people. The exchanges GYG were made possible only after heavy funding efforts in Regions like Europe or Australia. While this will be one of the backbones of GYG-activity in the future as well, the network needs to act more into the regional and local spaces in order to ascend the number of face-to-face exchanges without the painful and time-eating funding efforts. In doing so, GYG has no intention of being a competition to existing local and regional structures like FYEG but wants to „hop on“ and add in a global perspectives by bringing in one or two faces form a different continent or provide topical input via delegates like SC-representatives or Working-Group members from the respective Regions.

The Form of GYG

GYG is an NGO registered under Belgian law just like CDN and FYEG. We are unsure whether to call us a “network” or “organization”. It is very likely that we remain a “network”.

We want to connect the four Regions and bring green individuals to the movement by setting them in contact with organizations.

Changes to Status Quo: none

Relation to the Global Greens

As discussed in Copenhagen, we are striving for more cooperation. The GG have less strict rules on “who is green” but do not include individuals. This makes us somewhat different. The GYG is aware of the immense advantages it brings to be an official youth wing of GG. However, we count on the help of GG-individuals as well as the GG-Secretary prior to this point in order to grow stronger.

We have to raise the point, however, that an accession to the GG is a danger to some young greens that have differences with their national Green Party. We want those people involved in the green exchange while the official dealing with rogue Members has to be done by the GGC. This separation of work makes sense for us and will let us grow together.

GYG needs time to be capable to get into the GG officially (just like FYEG needed some time). Our common basis is the Canberra Charter which makes us One in effect.

Changes to Status Quo: none, the vision of accession remains and gets closer


We allow all people in our network that are “green” following the Canberra Charter as well as our GYG platform. There is no formal admittance into the network (except to get on the eMail-list) so far. Ideas go towards a 2/3 vote in the Steering Committee (will be proposed in Berlin) but as long as we have individual people and such a loose affiliation, it is likely to remain completely open. Further, the question of membership could be completely yielded to the Regions. Member organizations have no minimum size so far as our voting system (see below) is not very central to our main goals which is networking and exchange of ideas. As GYG receives no money at all from any Member Organization (MO) it is not on the table to distinguish between them. This is very likely to remain as it is. As long as we have individual members, there will be no minimum size for organizations. NGOs are not permitted as MOs in GYG but only political youth wings. We are aware of the fact, that GYG itself is an NGO and we will separate the legal from the political form.

Nevertheless, we plan to have a more clear membership with a registration with the SC (or the GG-Secretary if possible) to take the eMail-membership one step further. During the Congress in Berlin, this process could officially kick-off. We are currently looking into appropriate software and methodologies. It was thought to have an “Individual Members Network” to contain somehow individuals into their own organization. Right now, this idea is likely to be dropped in favor of giving responsibility directly to the Regions (see below).

GYG aims to have the youth wings of all Green Parties incorporated. We wish that all individuals find – or found – their respective Young Greens, hence making GYG an organization based on MOs like GG or FYEG. Until then, responsibility lies with the Regions

Changes to Status Quo: medium but easy to follow

Voting at the Congress

Organizations have to be registered with GYG prior to the Congress (not in effect in Berlin) and one person may have only one vote. Large organizations remain with a maximum of 4 votes. It is being discussed to delegate or accumulate votes in order to make MOs send the asked for 2 instead of 4 delegates (and give the remaining money into the solidary-fund). It is unclear how we proceed on this.

Further, there was the idea of a “Returning Officer”. This seems unlikely now. The discussion evolves into the direction of the FYEG-voting model (2 official delegates per MO with 1 vote each). The EGP/GG model of having different numbers of delegates and votes seemed unlikely as we have no proper numbers (e.g. election-results) on which to base the amount of votes.

The rule that no Region shall have more votes than the others combined emerged as a consensus until now. Further, the idea of at least 60% of each Regions votes must go to MOs finds great interest. While in Europe this might be a non-existing question, in Asia more individuals might appear than there are votes left. Hence, individuals would have to organize themselves (like an MO) to find a way to deal with “their” <40%>

Changes to Status Quo: big, MOs gain influence and GYG is put on a path to become an MO-based organization

Steering Committee (SC)

The SC had no clear tasks in the past as the organization of Congresses can has has been outsourced to local PrepTeams. SC-members have to be more active. One idea is to give them more responsibility by allowing them to issue political statements on behalf of GYG. This has worked with FYEG but today only the Congress can do this. There is still discussion on the rules but we are likely to come up with a set of procedures e.g. The Steering Committee issues political statement on behalf of GYG after appropriate consultation with its Individual members via the GYG Email-list, Member Organisations and regional federations if existent.. The SC has to be more active in organizing exchanges (by connecting the network to local events like FYEG-seminar). This all will make GYG more visible and let it grow.

The SC is not allowed to take GYG into debt but shall remain in financial authority (with appropriate checks-and-balances!). However, the account shall continue to be administered by the FYEG or the GG Secretary. The political report as well as a budget was not done in the past and should be an integral part in the future. The SC should meet in person once a year or at least once between Congresses with a preference to the latter. Inactive members shall be replaced after a procedure (e.g. consensus of remaining SC-members and respective Region) by its Region.

Thus, the SC gains some competence but at the same time will have to be more active than before. This is a real political mandate that requires several hours of work each week!

Changes to Status Quo: big, if the SC works the GYG will work better

The Regions

The Regions are the backbone of GYG and the primary linkage between the global and the national and local level. Individuals are referred to the networks and encouraged to be a political part of those.

Changes to Status Quo: none

General Comments

The Structure is not all. We aim at having a better presence in the Web 2.0 as well as broader participation in our Forum and Blog. As a network purely dependent on charity from GG and others, we have very little power to empower weaker parts other than our ideas and visions. This is what we want to bring into the global green family.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

African Greens Met in Kampala

The African Greens had a Congress in the Ugandan capital Kampala a few weeks ago. Please take note of their report. The Global Young Greens hope it was a fruitful event and that young people had the opportunity to exchange and brainstorm for our common greener future.

Click on this Banner to get to the full report.