28 April 1999

European Federation of Green Parties - Resolution on Kosovo


1. There is much discussion within the European Green Parties - as in the whole European society - concerning the NATO bombing in Serbia and Kosovo. The German Green Party and the French Greens came out in support of the NATO intervention. However, the overwhelming majority of the 30 Member Parties of the European Federation are opposing the NATO strikes and are calling for an immediate stop of the bombings.

2. This doesn't mean that they do not severely criticize the brutal repression and the violence of the Serbian
army and the special police forces and ethnic cleansing policy of Slobodan Milosevic. But in addition, we do not see how a military intervention could solve the crisis in the Balkan region, a view which is consistent with our Guiding Principles which advocate conflict prevention and political negotiation under the control of the UN.

3. This is proved by the results of more than 30 days of NATO bombings: None of the goals of the NATO intervention has been reached. On the pretext of the NATO strikes, Slobodan Milosevic sped up the brutal expulsion of the Albanian population from Kosovo. Opposition forces in Serbia are silenced and the support for Milosevic among the Serbian population is more widespread than before. The strikes against the civilian infrastructure in Serbia have severely damaged the
economy, something that will be a huge burden for the future. Bombings of the chemical plants and the oil industry have caused severe ecological damage. And the use of depleted uranium ammunition in Kosovo will be a serious health problem when the Albanian refugees are allowed to come back.

4. One of the most important goals of Green security policy is the creation of a Pan- European security system which includes all European countries. This goal will be very difficult to realize following the NATO Intervention. New tensions are building in Eastern Europe and in Russia, nationalist forces and the old communist parties are getting more and more support. The danger of a new split in Europe is highly visible.

5. The NATO intervention has seriously weakened the UN and international law. In the middle of the military strikes against Serbia, NATO gave itself at its 50th birthday a new power which allows "out of the area" interventions without the need for a UN mandate. This is opening a very dangerious development, where NATO could become a world wide "police" force instead of the UN.

6. After more than 30 days of NATO bombing we are fully convinced that "more of the same", more bombing and as logical next step in military thinking, the intervention with combat ground troops, will neither solve the humanitarian problems of refugees nor bring a political solution to the Balkan crisis. To give negotiations and a political solution a chance, we call for a stop of the NATO intervention.

7. According to our principles of peaceful conflict resolution and demilitarisation, Green Parties have a great responsibility to work for a political solution to the Kosovo crisis, particularly Green parties in parliaments and governments. Who, if not the
Greens, will stand up for a political solution? Therefore, we appeal to our green MPs and Ministers to call for a stop of the NATO bombings and to open the way back to political negotiations. We will continue our dialogue with the remaining Serbian opposition, support their struggle for democracy and help them to spread their views to the European public opinion.

Niki Kortvelessy Franz Floss
For the Committee of the European Federation of Green Parties.