Tuesday

9th Aug 2022

'Pirates' to run joint campaign in next EU elections

  • Pirate-party-decorated statues in Brussels (Photo: Didier Misson)

'Pirate' parties from around the EU have agreed to campaign as one bloc and to try and form a group in the European Parliament in the 2014 elections.

The decision came at a congress of the so-called Pirate Parties International, a Brussels-based NGO, in Prague over the weekend.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

"The Prague conference is the first step in the joint campaign for the 2014 elections to the European Parliament ... Key issues for the pirate parties are transparency, an open state and better communication with the citizens," Mikulas Ferjencik, the deputy head of the Czech pirate faction told AFP.

The PPI meeting also admitted two new pirate parties (from Greece and Slovakia), debated how to bring down the international anti-counterfeit treaty, Acta, and issues such as "nerd-fatalism" and "nerd-determinism" - defined by one speaker, respectively, as "politics are shit so I don't participate" and "whatever law you make, I'll hack around it."

Originally named after an Internet file-sharing site called 'The Pirate Bay' back in 2006, pirate parties have surged in popularity in Austria and Germany in recent months.

A poll by broadcaster RTL in March recorded support for German pirates on 13 percent, in third place after the centre-right Christian Democrats and the centre-left SPD, but way ahead of government coalition partners, the liberal FDP party.

FDP foreign minister Guido Westerwelle in an interview out on Monday in Handelsblatt described the movement as a threat to German foreign policy in terms of protecting intellectual property in countries such as China and Russia

In Austria, a pirate party on Sunday (15 April) got almost four percent in regional elections in Innsbruck, gaining seats for the first time in a regional assembly.

Pirate parties currently exist in over 50 countries worldwide, including Belarus and post-Arab-Spring Tunisia, and in all but one - Malta - EU member states.

The last EU elections in 2009 saw two Swedish pirate candidates win seats in Strasbourg - 42-year-old Christian Engstrom and 24-year-old Amelia Andersdotter, the youngest member of the assembly. They joined the Green group and are members of the industry, legal affairs and internal market committees, as well as delegaions to south-east Asia and Korea.

In a potential foretaste of things to come, the pair have diligently attended plenary sessions and voted in line with Green party positions.

Engstrom has drafted one report: on the 'Internet of Things,' the practice of giving digital tags to physical objects, such as export products or household appliances, so that they can be monitored or controlled online.

The two MEPs have shown an interest in amendments, resolutions and parliamentary questions on a list of subjects which goes beyond Internet issues such as Acta and Wikileaks, and includes civil liberties in Burma, the persecution of Christian minorities in the Middle East, the salaries of EU officials and civil liberties in Hungary.

Authors urge EU to protect rights against pirates

Film directors and screenwriters should be guaranteed minimum intellectual property rights by EU law, according to a group of leading trade organisations representing authors.

Opinion

Has the Pirate Party boat sunk?

In last year's European election, the Pirate Party of Sweden garnered 7.1% of the vote, but in Sunday's Swedish national election, the IP-skeptical platform saw its support reduced to 0.7%, writes Florian Mueller.

Draghi's grip on power finally unravels

Italy looked set to lose its highly-respected prime minister Mario Draghi on Thursday, after his attempt to relaunch his grand coalition government ended with right-wing parties joining the populist Five Star Movement (M5S) in deserting him.

Column

Albania's post-communist dream has lessons for Ukraine

Comparisons between post-communist Albania and current-day Ukraine are fascinating — and make many pertinent parallels. Ukrainians have a similar determination to belong to "the rest of Europe" as Albanians.

Opinion

Finally, the victims of Utøya got a memorial

A legal battle between locals on the one hand and the state and the labour youth organisation on the other side postponed the inception of the memorial in remembrance of the victims of Anders Behring Breivik.

News in Brief

  1. Rhine river on the brink of closure for shipping
  2. Moldova sees 'prelude to war' with Russia-backed forces
  3. Taliban preventing Afghan evacuations to Germany
  4. Amnesty regrets 'distress' caused by Ukraine report
  5. Energy companies warn UK gas exports to EU are contaminated
  6. EU set for clash over rules on political adverts
  7. Three grain ships due to leave Ukraine on Friday
  8. EU on track to reach gas-storage November target

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBConstruction workers can check wages and working conditions in 36 countries
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Canadian ministers join forces to combat harmful content online
  3. European Centre for Press and Media FreedomEuropean Anti-SLAPP Conference 2022
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers write to EU about new food labelling
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersEmerging journalists from the Nordics and Canada report the facts of the climate crisis
  6. Council of the EUEU: new rules on corporate sustainability reporting

Latest News

  1. Italy poised to elect far-right rulers
  2. UN chief demands access to nuclear plant after new attack
  3. Greek PM embroiled in spyware scandal
  4. How Ukraine made the case anew for an EU army
  5. 'We must take back institutions', Orban tells US conservatives
  6. Putin must lose Ukraine war, Nato chief says
  7. Let Taiwan's democracy shine brighter
  8. Droughts prompt calls to cut water use amid harvest fears

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us