To analyse. Saturday December 10 in Rungis (Val-de-Marne), in the Paris suburbs, an unknown person will become the new boss of Europe Ecologie-Les Verts (EELV). Marine Tondelier, with 47% of the votes obtained in the first round of the congress, on November 26, should succeed the deputy for Paris Julien Bayou. At 36, the opposition municipal councilor of Hénin-Beaumont (Pas-de-Calais) hopes to open a new era, and put an end to the crisis in which the Greens are plunged, marked by the starving score of Yannick Jadot at the presidential election, the brutal eviction of Julien Bayou, accused of psychological violence against a former companion by Sandrine Rousseau, the same who created controversy with her statements on the barbecue “symbol of masculinity”.
Amateurism, ambiguity in the exercise of power, a pronounced taste for internal quarrels, the evils of environmentalists are well known. No wonder the French take a stern look at this nearly forty-year-old party: although ecology is a major concern, their confidence in this formation to govern the country has deteriorated significantly in recent years, according to the French Fractures survey by Cevipof for The world published in October.
Even if the ecologists have won large cities, such as Lyon, Bordeaux or Grenoble, and elected officials have appeared at all levels of democracy for decades, the party comes up against the national glass ceiling where it “does not appear more credible than before”, judge Simon Persico, teacher-researcher in political science at Sciences Po Grenoble. For Noël Mamère, this should not be seen as a badly digested adolescent crisis, but the syndrome of shrinkage. “In the party, some have been there for forty years”analyzes the former journalist who retired from political life in 2017, at the end of his last term as a deputy.
Two forms of action
Despite the promises, none of the latest directions have succeeded in creating the dreamed big green house. The number of activists (around 10,000) has changed little and young people involved in climate marches or actions of civil disobedience shun the party. This phenomenon is only a symptom of the ” mistrust ” original inscribed in the DNA of environmental activists with regard to institutions, do we want to be reassured within EELV. “In the 1970s and 1980s, the creation of the party was experienced as a painful passage”, recalls former national secretary David Cormand. A dated vision, according to Noël Mamère: “It was true when the activists came from associations. Today, they come from civil society”argues the former mayor of Bègles (Gironde).
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