European Topics in a Campaign – the French Example

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Credibility
There can be no doubt that this campaign was won by tackling two a priori impossible areas, Europe and Ecology, in a particularly difficult political and social climate. But the coherence of the message of political ecology was not an invention of 2009. A supplementary element, therefore, played a significant role in the French context that year: the embodiment of this message.

Behind its three major public figures (Dany, Eva and José), the Europe Ecologie movement managed, first and foremost, to counter the negative criticism that had been, rightly or wrongly, traditionally directed at the French Green party. Whereas Les Verts used to be perceived by public opinion and the French media as ‘divided’, ‘sectarian’ and ‘not credible’, the Europe Ecologie movement succeeded in spreading the exact opposite image: ‘united’, ‘open’ and ‘credible’. Due to flexible and novel forms of activism, and its presence and visibility online, but also because of the diverse political backgrounds it brought together (e.g. activist, associational, etc.) as well as its very human traits, the coalition of ecologists successfully proved that different perspectives and political practices can be an asset rather than a source of division and obstacles – as long as the common project is strong, coherent and shared.

In the face of slow-moving and weighty traditional parties, in response to the disillusion surrounding existing political models, and thanks to a discourse that allied credibility and hope, Europe Ecologie was able to embody another way of doing politics.

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