Sunday

4th Dec 2016

'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.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

"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.

MEP barred from questioning Oettinger on plane trip

The Hungarian Green MEP who uncovered EU Commissioner Oettinger's flight to Budapest on a private plane of a lobbyist was not allowed to ask the German politician on the issue in the EP.

Column / Rem@rk@ble

Juncker’s time is running out

EU Commission chief's defensive media blitz reinforces the very thing he wants to deny: It’s time to leave.

News in Brief

  1. Talks on wholesale roaming rules to start
  2. Lead MEP Dieselgate committee: Italy and Slovakia will cooperate
  3. Transparency NGO sues EU commission on Turkey deal
  4. Pro-EU liberal wins UK by-election
  5. Finnish support for Nato drops, Russia-scepticism grows
  6. Cyprus talks to resume in January
  7. Documents from German NSA inquiry released
  8. Transport commissioner 'not aware' of legal action on emissions

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. CESIElects Leaders and Sets Safety & Health at Work and Gender Equality Among the Guidelines For Next Term
  2. European Gaming & Betting AssociationContinues to Grow its Membership and Welcomes its Newest Member Association
  3. ACCASupports the Women of Europe Awards, Celebrating the Women who are Building Europe
  4. European Heart NetworkWhat About our Kids? Protect Children From Unhealthy Food and Drink Marketing
  5. ECR GroupRestoring Trust and Confidence in the European Parliament
  6. UNICEFChild Rights Agencies Call on EU to put Refugee and Migrant Children First
  7. MIRAIA New Vision on Clean Tech: Balancing Energy Efficiency, Climate Change and Costs
  8. World VisionChildren Cannot Wait! 7 Priority Actions to Protect all Refugee and Migrant Children
  9. ANCI LazioRegio-Mob Project Delivers Analysis of Trasport and Mobility in Rome
  10. SDG Watch EuropeCivil Society Disappointed by the Commission's Plans for Sustainable Development Goals
  11. PLATO15 Fully-Funded PhD Positions Open – The Post-Crisis Legitimacy of the EU (PLATO)
  12. Access NowTell the EU Council: Protect our Rights to Privacy and Security