Saturday

21st Apr 2018

'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.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

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.

Focus

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.

Investigation

MEP friendship groups offer 'backdoor' for pariah regimes

MEPs are using so-called 'friendship groups' to cater to foreign governments without oversight and little public scrutiny. Initially set up to promote cultural exchanges, some have become lobbying platforms to push state views from governments with poor human rights records.

Getting secret EU trilogue documents: a case study

On Thursday, the European Parliament will vote on a political deal on organic farming, following 19 months of behind-closed-doors negotiations. EUobserver here details a five-month odyssey to get access to the secret documents that led to the deal.

News in Brief

  1. Audit office: Brexit 'divorce' bill could be billions higher
  2. MEPs urge better protection for journalists
  3. Dieselgate: MEPs back greater role for EU in car approvals
  4. European parliament adopts new organic farming rules
  5. EU granted protection to half million people in 2017
  6. Report: Facebook to carve 1.5bn users out of EU privacy law
  7. Greek court ruling permits migrants to travel to mainland
  8. Commonwealth summit hopes for trade boost after Brexit

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersWorld's Energy Ministers to Meet in Oresund in May to Discuss Green Energy
  2. ILGA EuropeParabéns! Portugal Votes to Respect the Rights of Trans and Intersex People
  3. Mission of China to the EUJobs, Energy, Steel: Government Work Report Sets China's Targets
  4. Martens CentreJoin Us at NET@WORK2018 Featuring Debates on Migration, Foreign Policy, Populism & Disinformation
  5. European Jewish CongressKantor Center Annual Report on Antisemitism Worldwide - The Year the Mask Came Off
  6. UNICEFCalls for the Protection of Children in the Gaza Strip
  7. Mission of China to the EUForeign Minister Wang Yi Highlights Importance of China-EU Relations
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersImmigration and Integration in the Nordic Region - Getting the Facts Straight
  9. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMacedonians in Bulgaria Demand to End the Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  10. Counter BalanceThe EIB Needs to Lead by Example on Tax Justice
  11. ILGA EuropeTrans People in Sweden to be Paid Compensation for Forced Sterilisation
  12. International Partnership for Human RightsThe Danger of Standing Up for Justice and Rights in Central Asia

Latest News

  1. ECJ ruling set to end 10-year 'mouth tobacco' lobbying saga
  2. Whistleblowers, Syria and digital revolution This WEEK
  3. MEP friendship groups offer 'backdoor' for pariah regimes
  4. Macron and Merkel pledge euro reform
  5. Obscurity surrounds EU military fund's expert groups
  6. New EU party finance rules short circuit accountability
  7. Draghi to stay in secretive 'lobby' group
  8. Bulgaria offers lesson in tackling radical-right populists