Daniel Cohn-Bendit is co-president of the Green group in the European Parliament.
How advanced is the Green party in its preparations for the European elections?
We are in the process of organising our gathering. We're making progress on the list, which will be called 'Europe Ecologie', but it is very difficult. It is difficult because getting together means that we come up against each other's practices and views. Indeed, such difficulties can be seen both within the French Greens and elsewhere.
What are the main difficulties that you are experiencing at the moment?
We are not used to working together, and we do not even have the same way of working politically. We have to agree to move together at a similar pace, which is never easy.
On 20 October, we will present a manifesto, which is a common text to which all those who wish to join us must adhere. The text is still being drafted, but internally, we already know the main focus. It has been drawn up collectively by all those who have already joined our gathering.
Can you confirm that you will top the 'Europe Ecologie' list when it is unveiled in the Ile-de-France?
Yes, my colleague alongside me on the list should be Eva Joly. Unless she makes it to the top of the list in another French region. For the moment, nothing is set in stone. But for these elections, I predict a score of 10% for our list.
Is the climate and energy package in danger?
We are facing three problems. The first, and this is a great disappointment, is that the climate package's 'mother', Chancellor Angela Merkel, is today backtracking.
The second problem is that in the current situation with the financial crisis, political leaders feel they have to cut back on their proposals.
Finally, the third problem is that with countries as different from one another as Poland and Germany, we must create a compromise that is both sustainable and acceptable for everyone.
In any case, it is a mistake to think that we have to put our climate demands on hold because of the financial crisis.
If you were in Angela Merkel's shoes, how would you respond to German industries that are seeking to put the brakes on the adoption of ambitious objectives?
I would tell them: "Listen, too much is too much. We have been telling you for fifteen years now that you have to reduce the CO2 emissions of cars and you still haven't done so. Now you will do it, because regulation will oblige you to do so."
It is in fact industry's way of thinking never to think of the common interest. But public authorities must think of the common interest. And today, the common interest is that we cannot continue like this.
In terms of regulation, we must apply the same logic to the environment that we are applying to finance. We cannot say that we have now understood that we should have subjected the financial sector to more regulation earlier on and then do less in the environment: this is not logical!
According to you, is there a chance that the negotiations on the climate and energy legislative package will succeed before the Poznań conference, which will take place at the end of 2008?
We must succeed. One way or another, the Poznań negotiations will lead to a conclusion. But the question is knowing what kind of agreement will emerge.
At the moment, we are seeing a big fight. For its part, the European Parliament is carrying out its role. At the beginning of the week, we held the vote in the environment committee. Now, member states and the European Parliament must also exercise their role.
What do you think of the way in which the French Presidency has led the negotiations?
Firstly, the French Presidency has ideas, and it has a very good coordinator in Jean-Pierre Jouyet. But it is faced with a bureaucratically dysfunctional Europe.
On the one hand, you have the presidency, and on the other, the permanent ambassadors who sit in COREPER and in institutions of a similar ilk. They only have one thing on their minds: "Presidencies come and go, but us, we stay."
Today, it is these technocrats who are making policy. So, as the French Presidency comes to an end, we will see whether Paris will put politics before technocracy.