Fifty Shades of Green: How the German Green Party Established Itself in Mainstream Politics

Party Co-leader Cem Özdemir. Photo: Wikimedia commons.Who votes green? The environmental studies graduate? The management consultant? The housewife on the parish council? The medium-sized business owner? In Germany, it is currently all of these people and more. The German Green Party has risen in popularity among all groups of society over the past three years – a development that appears surprising considering the roots of party. When the party was founded in 1980, it was merely a niche for environmental rebels and was dismissed by former chancellor Helmut Schmidt as “environmental idiots who will have disappeared again soon“. Yet, thirty years later the party is still around and more successful than ever.

by Anna Scholz