The Center for European Studies-European Union Center (CES-EUC) at the University of Michigan is pleased to announce that Cem Özdemir, current Chairman of the German Green Party (Alliance '90/The Greens), will be coming to Ann Arbor on April 8 to discuss the current state of German politics and his party’s vision for the future. The title of his talk is “Driving on a Dead End Road: Why Germany Fell Behind and What it Takes to Get Back to the Forefront of Progress.” Özdemir will address changes in the German political landscape in recent years and the Green Party’s strategies for bringing progressive and environmentally-focused politics to power.

Özdemir joined the Green Party in 1981 and was elected to the German Parliament in 1994, becoming the first Member of Parliament of Turkish descent. Özdemir served two consecutive legislative terms from 1994-2002; during this time, he was the Speaker on Internal Affairs for the Green Parliamentary Group, where he was a strong advocate of reforms to the German citizenship laws passed in 2000.

Özdemir was an elected member of the European Parliament from 2004-09, during which time he was a member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and a proxy member of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs. Özdemir was the European Parliament’s rapporteur on Central Asia and second Vice-Chair of the Permanent ad-hoc Delegation for Relations with Iraq. He also served as Vice President of the European Parliament’s CIA Committee, a temporary committee dealing with alleged CIA activities in Europe whose final report was adopted by the European Parliament in February 2007.

SPONSORS: Center for European Studies-European Union Center and Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures.