October 2021 Session

October 2021

Bringing Back Essential Sectors and Empowering Workers

The global health crisis has shed light on the vulnerabilities of our essential sectors and supply chains. The complications of the production of PPE and crucial pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines, as well as events such as the 2021 Suez Canal obstruction, highlighted the fissures in global supply chains. This realisation has led to public debates about the need for more local production that also enables more just, sustainable, and resilient societies in Europe.

During the pandemic, many of us stood on our balconies to clap for the hospital workers doing their best to treat coronavirus patients. But essential workers in the care and social sectors need more than our applause – they need better and more support. Even before the crisis, unions and activists in countries like France or Belgium were sounding the alarm about the impact of the lack of funding in the healthcare sector. Moving towards more crisis-resilient and sustainable societies will also mean ensuring that everyone is able to live dignified lives.

How can this recovery also lead us to more fair and just societies where everyone has equality of opportunity? How can we ensure that we value and protect the essential sectors and workers that our economies and societies depend on?

As the Greens, we believe in re-localising certain essential production sectors of our economy, to prioritise internal and regional markets and to shorten supply chains. We have been demanding an improvement of working conditions and salaries, especially for health and social care workers. We are working to ensure that specific plans are put in place for the recovery of sectors heavily affected by the crisis.

Film: 20 October at 00:00 CEST – 21 October at 23:59 CEST

When Tomatoes Met Wagner

Elias, a small farming village in central Greece, is dying out. But two cousins team up with the village grannies to cultivate the tomato seeds they have kept for hundreds of years. With a little help from Wagner’s music -which they use to help their tomatoes grow- the team succeeds to export little jars with organic tomato recipes across the world. The film follows the protagonists of this unlikely quest, as they struggle to survive and make their dream come true. Humorous and bittersweet, this is a story about the importance of reinventing oneself in times of crisis and the power of human relationships.

Director: Marianna Economou
Country: Greece
Duration: 72 min
Access: due to distribution rights regulation, this screening will exclusively be available for all European countries.

Debate: 21 October at 19:30 CEST

Following the screening of ‘When Tomatoes Met Wagner’, we hosted a debate on Thursday 21 October at 19:00 CEST. The month of October was dedicated to investigating the production of agricultural produce and the vulnerabilities of the supply chains that distribute it, which have been highlighted by the pandemic. The debate explored what our approach should be to the production of life-saving and essential goods, in light of the health and environmental crises we are facing.

We discussed this issue with Thomas Waitz, Co-chair, European Green Party, Geneviève Savigny, Farmer, Member of the French Farmers’ Union, Enrico Somaglia, EFFAT Deputy General Secretary, Mar Garcia, Secretary General, European Green Party, moderated by Dr Sam Murray, Music Lecturer and EGP Amendments Committee Member.

At the beginning of the event, The Green Screen featured the artistic spot of Ilan Benattar, a photographer and urban explorer, who travels around Europe to photograph its abandoned industrial spaces for his series, Lost Factories.

  • Artistic spot:
    The photographer and urban explorer Ilan Benattar has travelled across Europe photographing abandoned industrial spaces for his series, Lost Factories.
  • More information
  • Watch the artistic spot