My name is Per Lundberg, I come from Sweden and will make my internship here at Georgian Young Greens for three month until the end of November. I will regularly write in this blog about my experience and thoughts during my visit in Georgia, connected to the differences and similarities between the green movement in Sweden and Georgia.
Let´s initially start to talk about myself, about why I joined the green movement in Sweden. I have always been interested in politics, about how the world and society is functioning, both in a philosophical, psychological and natural scientific way. When I grew older I started to feel this growing feeling of frustration about why the society looked like it did, why politicians and people in general didn’t put any effort in to address injustices, inequalities, environmental or climate degradation. However, it was first when I started to study International Relations at Malmö University that I decided to join the green movement in the Green Party. I became active in the Green Students of Malmö and the Green Youths of Malmö. The green students works a lot with student policy, student rights and to build a bridge between the academy and the politics. In Malmö, we learned a lot from each other, invited interesting lecturers and campaigned a lot outside the university buildings to spread green ideas and to recruit new members. We also tried to influence the policies of our mother party as much as possible. The Green Youths of Malmö had a similar strategy but without the focus at student policy, and with a focus of campaigning in gymnasiums.
So far, I have had a very interesting experience in the Georgian Young Greens, about how and why people get involved in the green movement, the challenges they are facing and under what premises they can work. First and for all I have experienced a great family feeling within the Green Youth of Georgia, the activists take care of each other and have built a fellowship that I can imagine is very important for the challenge of keeping together a relative small organization like this.
So what are the differences between the green youths in Georgia and Sweden, in their capacity and methods? Firstly, the Swedish Green Youths have a much larger organization with almost 7000 members, relative strong economic resources, and are relatively well known in the whole country. Its mother party also sits in power in the national government and in municipal governments including the three largest cities in Sweden. This makes it easier for the Green Youths in Sweden to influence policies in Swedish politics. But there are also differences in organizational structures and how our ideas are being spread. There are also, as I see it, more well functional institutional resources in the Swedish society that makes it easier for new ideas and policies to be implemented, to for example in environmental and equality reforms. Therefore I admire the struggle that the Young Greens of Georgia are going through, that this is one thing that I later will bring back to Sweden, the activist mentality, which over time have partly been lost in the Swedish green movement. Time to get angry once again!