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Commentary by Hugo Müller-Vogg: Even Green opponents are allowed to sponsor the party conference – as long as the cash is right

The Greens know the proper etiquette. That’s why the party, at their federal delegates’ conference in the Karlsruhe trade fair halls, visibly thanked “all sponsors and exhibitors.”

It is common practice for companies and associations to use party conferences to draw attention to themselves and their concerns, whether for the CDU, SPD, CSU, FDP or the Green Party. After all, this fills the party coffers, which are always not very well filled.

The sponsors do not do this selflessly. They know that party conferences are teeming with political decision-makers. And contacts with politicians can never hurt.

Some sponsors of the Greens are surprising

When the Agency for Renewable Energies, whose purpose is “convincing work for the energy transition,” sponsors the Greens, it is not surprising. Nor is it surprising that “solid UNIT – The network for innovative solid construction” is on board. Its aim: construction with the lowest possible ecological footprint.

On the other hand, it is surprising when other sponsors, whose positions are not approved or even fought by the Greens. It quickly brings to mind an old Roman saying: “Money does not stink.”


One does wonder why the Greens allow themselves to be supported by the chemical and pharmaceutical company Bayer, as well as by the Farmers’ Association. After all, both have advocated for the further use of Glyphosate in agriculture for another ten years.

Exactly what the Greens wanted to prevent in Europe. But the Glyphosate lobby was able to convince a majority in the European Parliament of how useful the controversial herbicide is.

Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) at a Green meeting?

One would also not expect the Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) at a Green Party meeting. The VDA stands for much that the Greens strictly oppose: allowing “combustion engines” to be accredited beyond 2025, not hindering individual traffic, and not allowing a speed limit of 100 km/h on highways.

The Economic Association for Sugar (WVZ) is also not a good fit for a Green Party conference. It fights, for example, against restrictions on advertising for sugary products.

This is exactly what the green Minister for Food and Agriculture, Cem Özdemir, wants to enforce. According to the WVZ, however, there is “no scientific basis” for advertising bans.

One would not necessarily expect the online retailer Amazon or the Association of Private Health Insurance (PKV) to be among the financiers of the Greens.

After all, the former is known for poor working conditions and its anti-union corporate policy. And the latter, from the perspective of green health policy-makers, ensures that the “rich” are better cared for in the event of illness than AOK patients.

Even Lufthansa was allowed to land in Karlsruhe at a sponsor’s place. This is despite the fact that, in the eyes of the Greens, it offers despicable things like domestic flights. In addition, from the perspective of green activists, ideally no one should fly anymore – aside from Green ministers and their own vacations to Far Eastern beaches.

Even opponents of green politics are allowed to participate – as long as the cash is right

So, one can say: Even critics and opponents“`html

Supporters of green politics are allowed to attend Green events – as long as the money is right. The party actively seeks to persuade companies, associations, clubs, and initiatives to present themselves at the fringes of our party congresses or other events,” as stated on their website.

However, the Greens publicly disclose who sponsors them and with what amounts. This is something the CDU and FDP have avoided so far. It is now legally regulated that sponsorship income, as well as party donations, must be made public from 2025 onwards.

Although the Greens would prefer to completely prohibit donations from companies and associations. This was already decided by a Green party congress back in 2011.

As long as there is no ban, the Greens are not squeamish

Actually! However, as long as there is no ban, the Greens are not squeamish. They do not want to “put themselves in a worse position than their political competitors in the political competition,” explained the Greens’ current treasurer Marc Urbatsch.

The fact that in Karlsruhe, the location of their founding party congress 43 years ago, the Greens are being financed by “big capital,” is something the environmentalists of that time could not have foreseen. But as Robert Habeck put it: “Our ideology is called reality.”

Even in Karlsruhe, it is evident that the Greens have long since become a “normal” party, as phrased by a Hessian SPD politician who is not well disposed towards them. Occasional, idealistic rebellion, especially by younger party members, does not change that.

In the real existing green reality, what the writer Curt Goetz formulated is absolutely true: “Most people have two kinds of morality: one for themselves, and another for everyone else.”




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