European Pirates Have a Board With Amelia at Head

European Pirates Have a Board With Amelia at Head

On 20-21 March 2014 nearly 400 Pirates gathered in the European Parliament in Brussels. Their goal was to create ‘The European Pirate Party(PPEU) and bond together closer. People came from all over Europe and 34 speakers were booked for the following Internet Governance and Beyond conference which took place just after the founding of PPEU. Swedish Pirate MEP Amelia Andersdotter was unanimously elected, by the delegates of Pirate Parties, as the head of PPEU.
 
Technology is changing politics in a dramatic way and traditional politicians are unable to understand this acceleration. The founding of PPEU and the elections for the first Board of the European Pirate Party took place during two days of the previous month. These are a few important steps towards changing the political landscape of Brussels. 
 
Day 1, Thursday 20th of March
 
The first event of the conference was the opening key note. Amelia opened the international conference Internet Governance and Beyond and welcomed the Pirates: “It’s been a long road to get here. We have tried to gather as many Pirates as we can from as many countries in the European Union as we can to share this movement of coming together”. After Amelia, Anke Domscheit-Berg followed with a message from her husband and also one from Peter Sunde. 
Julia Reda, the lead candidate of PPDE for the European elections(as well as the chairperson of YPE), talked about how thethe world is changingand described in simple terms what Pirates are standing for in this changing world. She mentioned that the Pirate’s strongest weapon is that “we are an international movement”.
Rick Falkvinge, the founder of the Pirate movement, who in his address voiced his opposition to the title of the conference. He stressed that the term “internet governance” is not an “internet term” but “a governmental and corporate term” and urged listeners to read the essay “World of Ends. After the keynotes ended the night continued with  exploring the beers of Brussels together with fellow Pirates.
 

Day 2, Friday 21st of March

 PPEU founding day, with  the election of the first Board, was the main attraction for the Pirates. Julia Reda, directed the processes perfectly and solved problems, giving space and place for the voicing of opinions before the decision making took place. Reda showed her abilities in organizing and proved that she is a real leader. The delegates of PP voted for the candidates. As it was expected Amelia Andersdotter (SE) elected as chairwoman of PPEU. 

Even though formalities are important all the pirates present were not happy about them:

 “I wanted to complain about how much we can get to spend creating  structures, it was a general rant, but the European Parliament seemed as  a good place to do that. […] All  morning long we had been hearing about boards, chairs, treasurers,  delegates, boards, those structures that more often than not tend to be a  barrier more than a resource” – Luis Cuerdo
 
The Human Geography of the Board of PPEU
But how did Pirates vote? They elected a Swede for the chair and two vice-chairpersons, Martina Pöser, German, candidate MEP for PPDE (in a way PPEU is Martina’s baby) and Maxime Rouquet, French, who has been on the board of PPFR for several years. 
Also they elected Radek Pietron, chairperson of PPPL, as treasurer and five further members of the Board. Antonios Motakis, Greek international coordinator for PPGR voted in the first round, Gilles Bordelais, French, the head of the working group on Europe for PPDE, Paul Bossu, Belgian, board member of PPBE with international activity, Cristian Bulumac, Romanian, an advisor to the European Parliament and a member of PPRO, Anders Kleppe, Norwegian, founding member of PPNO. 
That makes two French people, a Swede, a Pole, a Greek, a Belgian, a Romanian, and a Norwegian, covering the majority of central and north Europe with only one country from the south. The Board of PPEU met physically right after the end of Day 2 to discuss some typical things that should be carried out for a new organisation, eg registration of PPEU to the Belgian Authorities, creation of a bank account, a website, and social media (twitter, facebook) accounts.
Also  the European Pirates voted on  their logo and nominated Amelia and Peter  Sunde, co-founder of the Pirate  Bay, who’s running as a candidate MEP  for the Finnish Pirate Party,  for the Commision Presidency.
 

Highlights of the ConferenceInternet Governance and Beyond”

The international Conference “Internet  Governance and Beyond”, with great speakers, supplied Pirates with food for thought on their  leaving Brussels and returning to their homes. They certainly felt more knowlegable about their core issues and ready to face  the Euroelections. 
 
Parallel sessions were held in two rooms (the programme)  In the session about the TTIP, Rick Falkvinge asked Willi Kampmann, speaker, to leave his lobbyist mask for a second and think if this is the world he wants to leave to his children? That was at the point when Kampmann mentioned that his organization represents the interests of German and other countries’ farmers in the EU.
Alexandra_M, member of the press team of PP-GR, described her PPEU and YEEA experience in Brussels in a short informal note:
“One of the most important factors of the conference was the… human factor, the way people interacted and collaborated. Social scientists would call this ”the social capital”, which is what is missing from our brutally devided societies. It was not only the intriguing panels and the discussions in the corridors of the European Parliament, but also everything else outside the so called ”euro bubble”. Self motivated people, who worked together to create, discuss and make a difference! It was the brainstorming over beers, the late hours over laptops, the peacefull, inclusive and productive meetings, the creative and imaginative workshops, the playfulness and so much more! All these among a new generation of thinkers and brilliant policy makers of the 21st century, who could actually share, care and be trully open!”
Featured image: CC BY-SA PPEU
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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