Webmaster: last update 17 October 1998; opinions, index
Another page gives a summary of the ratification process and the position taken by different parties and some arguments why NATO can be seen as a competitor to the UN. This position has again become actual because of the intervention by NATO in Yugoslavia.
The Green Group in the European Parliament has spoken out against enlargement with a press release during the NATO summit in Madrid, July 1997. The policy of the Swedish Greens is also against enlargement. Further has de European Federation given financial support to the Hungarian Greens who plaid against NATO membership in a national referendum.
An interesting site about this issue is NATO - What for?
I have used the following papers of Green institutions about the position of the Greens about the possible enlargement of NATO:
Further have I taken notice of the paragraphs of the Maastricht treaty about the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP).
The position of the European Green institutions in all these documents has been consistently that both NATO as WEU should be abolished and be replaced by an upgraded OSCE where funds, currently going to NATO, should be allocated. Enlargement of NATO would contradict this, so I conclude that the European Green institutions are opposed to this.
Another question is how the national Green parties are going to vote about a possible enlargement.
The Bundestagprogram of the German Greens is consistent with the guiding principles and opposes enlargement. The 10th Party Congress of Bündnis 90/Die Grünen in Magdeburg choose for abandoning NATO by Germany, nevertheless the Bundestagfraction had a split vote about it at 16 March 1998: 14 in favour of enlargement, 6 against and a 25 abstained (which in this case counted as a vote against). FDP foreign secretary Kinkel and CDU defence secretary Rühe reacted aggressive upon the Green abstention.
In the Netherlands GreenLeft is opposed to enlargement, after some internal discussion, and the position of the Senate fraction De Groenen is neutral.
Important is what the Italian Greens think about it, since they take part in their government and Italy, as a NATO member, can veto any enlargement. Foreign minister Dini said in February 1997 that enlargement should only take place in consensus with Russia and Russia is opposed to it. The House of Representatives ratified at 13 May 1998.
Another Green party what might have some influence is the Finnish one, since they also participate in their government. The Finnish government can ask the EU to discuss NATO enlargement in the CFSP according to article J.4 sub 5 of the Maastricht Treaty.
Further obliges article J.7 the presidency of the EU to consult the EP about the headlines of the CFSP. The Green Group can give its view there.
In the Netherlands there was 4 March 1997 a parliamentary debate about this issue. The Conservative Party is against enlargement, because they fear isolation of Russia and a possible return of cold war policies. Since they take part in the coalition the government did not appreciate this. Since the largest opposition party, the Christen Democrats, supports enlargement the position of the coalition is not in question.
The Green Party of England and Wales is opposed to the enlargement of NATO. It is their policy that NATO should be disbanded, that Britain should leave it, and that foreign military bases should no longer be permitted in their country. They believe that European security issues should be addressed through the OSCE, not through NATO.
The Ukrainian Greens welcome co-operation with NATO, but prefer expansion of OECD and EU to expansion of NATO.
Russia is consistently opposing any enlargement of NATO. The Peoples Republic of China supports the opposition of Russia.
From Green parties outside Europe I have studied some platforms of Green parties in the USA. NATO was never mentioned, but the platform of the Green Party of California (one of the larger ones) and the Platform of the Green Party USA mention goals as closing all foreign military bases and setting up a UN peacekeeping force. In so far has their position much in common with the guiding principles and the 1994 Election Platform.