Focusing on the years 1979–89, this contribution examines the Europapolitik (policies and politics towards Europe) of the German Green party. It argues that as a ‘movement-party’ - part social movement, part political party - the German Greens have faced peculiar challenges and opportunities in the European Community. In particular, their European policy has been defined by a conflict between the demands of their grassroots supporters and the imperatives of traditional party politics. By analysing the Greens’ alternative goals and strategies in Europe, this study demonstrates the contradictions inherent in the Greens’ Europapolitik. It concludes by applying the lessons from the Greens’ 1979–89 experience to the current Green group in the European Parliament.