The Greens (France)

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The Greens (French: Les Verts, IPA: [le vɛʁ]; VEC or LV) are a Green political party to the centre-left of the political spectrum in France. They have officially been in existence since 1984, but their spiritual roots can be traced as far back as René Dumont’s candidacy for the presidency in 1974. They are a member of the European Green Party.



Early years

Since 1974, the environmentalist movement has been a permanent feature of the French political scene, contesting every election: municipal, national & European.

In the years following Dumont’s challenge for the presidency, and prior to the formal confirmation of les Verts as political party, environmentalists contested elections under such banners as Ecology 78, Ecology Europe and Ecology Today. When, in 1982, the Ecologist Party merged with the Ecologist Confederation, les Verts were born. Under the ideological guidance of Antoine Waechter, the party in 1986 signalled a break with the traditional divide in French politics, declaring that environmental politics could not be “married” to either the left or the right (which gave rise to its famous slogan “ni droite, ni gauche” - "neither right, nor left"). Antoine Waechter ran in the 1988 presidential elections, capturing 1,150,000 ballots (or 3.8%) in the first round of voting. But the major breakthrough came the following year when - again under the leadership of Waechter - the Greens polled 10.6% in the European parliamentary elections.

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