Common Political Agenda Agreed by European Pirates in Athens

Common Political Agenda Agreed by European Pirates in Athens

Based  not on simple majority but by consensus , European Pirates adopted a  common political agenda in Athens. “PPEU Athens 2013” will be remembered  for the formulation of a first ever common Pirate programme. 

edit 12/11/13: the first common pirate programme was made in the Uppsala declaration. This is the second time a common programme is created.

The working group responsible for a Common European Election Programme for the European Pirate Party achieved its goal in Athens recently. At the end of the workshop, PPI co-chairman Gregory Engels, who chaired the meeting, stated that the most remarkable thing about the Athens meeting is the fact that, for the first  time in the history of the European Pirate Movement, we have a common programme but  there is still a lot to be done.

On Saturday 2 November 2013 , after welcoming of representatives by members of  PPGR, “Pirates in Athens”  and “Pirates in Education“,  all participants started working at once and focused on the composition  of the proposals made by the Pirate Parties. By the afternoon of Sunday , the  final draft of the adopted programme was ready. The most important  thing about it was that is based only on the topics that Pirates can take a unanimous stand on. It must be noted that some Pirate Parties agreed on topics that were eventually left outside the draft and certainly broadened it.

G. Engels  said that he was waiting for more Pirate Parties to participate in the  process of the formulation of the programme and also noticed  that the text is too long, “longer than expected.” Pirates have to “cut  a long story short” by lessening its length in order to fit in the size  of a flyer and take it to the streets. 

Martina Poser, delegate of PPDE and coordinator of this pan-european effort, expressed her enthusiasm through the mailing list of PPEU: “I  can only say that I am very happy with the outcome of the conference  and hope you will be, too, even if perhaps some of your favourite topics  haven’t been adopted. The adoption process was based on consent and not  on majority decisions, so one party opposing a position was enough to  kick a topic out. If you think about it, it is really fantastic that  there is still so much left that we all have in common!” 

Until 17 November 2013, all European Pirates can submit their amendments to the programme. Following that there will be 2 weeks , until 1 December 2013, for ratification by the parties. 

The Pirates’ Vision for the EU

«All  Pirates have adopted this election programme and strive together to  make our vision of the European Union reality» one can read in the  preamble of the “text of Athens”.  Pirates agreed that there is a democratic deficit within the European  Union (has existed since the beginning) that needs to be filled by  larger and more direct participation of the citizens in the policy  debate and decision making process, both individually and collectively,  by emphasizing that “the EU should live up to its own principles on  subsidiarity and decisions should not be taken at an EU level if they  can be better resolved on a national, regional or local level”.
The core principles of the Pirate Movement, commonly accepted by the Pirate Parties, are the dominant topics, such as transparency in politics and the public sector,open access and the free availability of data to the general public, the protection of privacy and civil rights, the reform of copyright and patent slaws, net-policy and net-neutrality, also international trade policy by taking  into account the interests of small and medium-sized companies, the  degradation of private monopolies and opening up of markets. 
 The proposed text is  the result of a two-day brain storming session in order to provide the jointly accepted  political platform of the Pirates and extended in the topics:

 

  • Citizen Participation and Open Government: Better direct participation by citizens and the removal of unfair Barriers.
  • Transparency: Political transparency and anti-corruption policy, disclosure of influence on political decisions,  whistle-blower protection laws in public administration and in the private sector and Transparency of Public Sector.
  • Open Access and Open Data
  • Protection of Privacy // Civil Rights Security in freedom, ensure everyone’s privacy, systematic evaluation of existing surveillance powers and programmes, Removal of excessive monitoring, stop new monitoring plans and a Fundamental Rights “stamp” for new safety measures.
  • Security Research and Monitoring Software
  • European Data Protection Regulation With a High Level of Data Protection
  • Condemnation of Movements Against Human Rights
  • Public, Free, Secular and Universal Education
  • Ban Indiscriminate Personal Identification in Public Spaces
  • Unify Police Standard Procedures Towards More Progressive Ones
  • Respect for Self-Determination and Privacy as part of International Trade Agreements
  • Free Software, Libre Culture and Free Knowledge
  • Free Software: Mandatory Use of Free Software in Public Administration, Free Culture, Free Knowledge and Education
  • Promotion of the Commons
  • Copyright
  • Patents: Patents for the information age, degradation of private monopolies and the opening markets, patents in the information society and international regulation of intellectual monopolies
  • Net Policy: Net Neutrality and the upgrading of net infrastructure,
  • International Trade Policy: Principles for trade agreements, stronger participation of the parliament, comprehensive information and public hearings, taking into account the interests of small and medium-sized companies and the degradation of private monopolies and the opening of markets
  • Energy Policy
  • Abolishing Daylight Saving Time
 

PP DELEGATES ABOUT “PPEU IN ATHENS 2013”

ppeu_at_athens

We  asked the delegates of the participant Pirate Parties to write about  the meeting from their point of view and these are their responses:

Muriel Rovira  PP-CAT

“I  am very happy because it is a very difficult task to find a common  ground among so different sensibilities. Although we are just volunteers  and not professionals, and the European Pirates have many cultural and  organizational differences, we are learning very fast to work together  and are becoming extremely effective at reaching agreements. There is  still a lot of work to do, but I think we are all surprised of how much  we could already agree on.” 

Antonios Motakis PP-GR

“Running  in the European elections with a common platform is a powerful  statement in favor of our shared Pirate values. Additionally, European  Pirates’ goals need to be pursued also within the European institutions,  and having a common platform will allow us to work together towards our  goals.”

Yohan Aglae PP-FR

“These three days and three nights of works in Athens  have been a wonderful experience to me. Even if I had the chance to  experiment cultural differences in a business-oriented environment, it  was my very first in a political one. As always, it’s a thrill to see  all of us, European Pirates united, working for a more peaceful, libre  and open, citizen-centric Europe, with so much enthusiasm and determination. As a delegate from France,  my ambition was to push towards the adoption of the broader possible  common program with the objective to show another visage of Europe made of European Citizens first, instead of a Europe  dying of conflicting national interests. The French Pirates really  defend a vision of Democracy very inclined towards no looser agreements  and common interests reached through critical and fair-minded  discussions. We heavily welcome that this approach is shared by most of  our counterparts. Therefore to us, the Athens  meeting is no doubt a success (many kudos to our host, Pirate Party of  Greece and its outstanding members !!!). Key advances have been made in  the common European program and I suppose most of the non-consensus  parts will still be adopted at one point by France in our domestic EU agenda.”

Anton Nordenfur PP-SE

“It’s  exciting to see such a big movement spreading like wildfire, as well as  contrary to that simile organising so well. Here we met with delegates  from so many different countries with different cultures, different  philosophies, different ways of looking at the world, and still we  manage to find connections, manage to find common dreams and visions we  all strive for. These meetings are vital for our organisation to live  and flourish, and after seeing this I am certain the Pirate movement  will be around for quite some time.”

Joan Rovira  PP-CAT

“I was asked to attend the PPEU meeting in Athens  as a delegate for PP-CAT because I am the coordinator of the group in  charge of developing the election programs of our party. This was my  first time at a PPEU meeting. I initially was rather sceptical of the  progress we could make in agreeing on a common PPEU program for the next  elections to the EU Parliament. The whole process was short of time and  a few days before the meeting we had no background documents to work  on. The draft proposal provided by the German Pirates certainly became a  crucial starting point. We decided to make several amendments – mainly  additions – to the points addressed in the document and to address some  new points that we felt were missing.  Martina did a great job in  putting together in a systematic and logical way the contributions from  all parties. On Saturday 2, 10pm,  when we started, the task ahead looked enormous, likely impossible to  achieve. The debates were lively, often passionate, but respectful in  spite of the often dissenting positions. We worked the two days until  dark, allowing however for generous lunch breaks that gave the  foreigners the opportunity to enjoy the wonderful Greek food, while  somehow continuing the debate on the common program and other topics. We  even had the chance of a rush visit to the Acropolis.

I  think that by the end of the second day we were all surprised that all  points on the agenda had been discussed and of how far we had been able  to advance the common program proposal. The hospitality and organisation  by the Greek pirates was a key factor for the success of the meeting.  There is still a lot of homework and coordination to be done to finish  the program, but if we are able to maintain a similar level of  commitment in the following weeks, I am sure that we will be able to  produce a rather unusual piece of work: a common European program,  democratically discussed and adopted by all national parties, which will  bring some fresh air on some of the big present and future challenges  the EU faces and on the policies required to address them  appropriately.”

For the record, delegates were from PP-GR – Antonios Motakis , PP-FR – Yohan Aglae, PP-CZ – Mikuláš Peksa ” and Markéta Gregorová, Libor Špaček, remotely, PP-CAT – Muriel Rovira, Joan Rovira, PP-DE – Jens Stomber and Martina Poser via remote, PP-SE – Anton Nordenfur, PP-BE – Paul Bossu, remote and non delegate participants from PP-DE, Alexander Spies, Gregory Engels, Mia Utz

Watch more comments on the “PPEU Athens 2013” by Mikuláš Peksa, Gregory Engels, Mia Utz and Alexandre Spies at PPGRs channel 
Pictures: CC-BY-SA, PPGR
Stathis Leivaditis

About Stathis Leivaditis

The English “pirate” is derived from the Greek word “πειρατής” (peiratēs) and this in turn from the verb “πειράομαι” (peiráomai), “I attempt”, which is a derivative of the noun “πείρα” (peîra), “experience”. Coming from the depths of the centuries, the word “pirate” took on another dimension in our days. The ruling classes saw pirates as rebels and hated them. Rebels without a state, they were not submissive to any law, except from the laws they instituted themselves, improvising together. This is the feeling of a Pirate: when something doesn’t work, you have to attempt to bring a new concept. Sometimes it goes beyond a certain point and perhaps exceeds certain limits, because it is an expression of challenge; the challenge to change the system. I’m a member of the Board (and former chairman) of Pirate Party of Greece, also a member of press team of PPGR, former journalist, now a free lancer. I'm in the team of Pirate Times from the start, I joined voluntarily and consciously because I am interested to meet pirates from around the world, to exchange views and spread the pirate spirit.

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