Introduction of the Pirate Party Croatia
At the last General Assembly of the Pirate Parties International three new parties received full membership status. One of them was the Pirate Party of Croatia, which we will introduce at this point. For the Pirate Party of Croatia Ivan Voras answered our questions.
Interviewer: Will the Pirate Party of Croatia participate in any upcoming elections? Please tell us about your expectations for the next elections you will participate in.
Ivan Voras: The next elections in Croatia will be local elections in about a year from now. We will be present in the areas where we can muster a sizable and effective local branch. We expect a mild success, but hope to profit greatly from the publicity the elections will generate for us.
Interviewer: What are the core topics of the Pirate Party of Croatia? Are there topics that are unique to the Pirate Party of Croatia, something that distinguishes them from other Pirate Parties?
Ivan Voras: Probably not unique, but surely with differently-weighted emphasis. In Croatia, the main points of our platform will be on introducing more transparency into all aspects of the government – from politics to daily operation, and on expanding the use of modern technologies into politics and the society at large. There are still areas in Croatia with poor or no broadband access, which needs to be addressed, as well as the question of metro-wide free WiFi access.
Interviewer: Tell us more about the inner structure of the Pirate Party of Croatia.
Ivan Voras: The current structure is mostly ad-hoc and based on the contributions of individual members, with little formal structure (except that required by the government for all political parties). We are planning to implement a decentralized structure based on strong local branches, composed of members which can perform actual useful work for the branch and are currently successfuly beginning this process.
Interviewer: If you think 5 years ahead, what will be different compared to today’s situation?
Ivan Voras: We must be realistic – the success of the German Pirate party will be hard to
duplicate in an underdeveloped country like Croatia, but we hope to gain popularity with students and the educated layers of population, as well as with disgruntled but progressive-thinking population, who are aware of the potential which can be realized from better integration of technology and the society.
Though we hope that we could have some seats in local and (eventually) state-level offices, we would actually also be happy if the problems we point out get solved in any way possible. If we can force our traditional political competitors, with our existence or actions, to solve these problems, we would also be happy with the outcome.
We intend to be a party which focuses on results which can be achieved either within or without government positions, not on promises and talk.
Interviewer: How do you manage to keep your financial balance? Do you have any special fund-raising methods? How can people support the Pirate Party of Croatia?
Ivan Voras: At the time of the writing of this text we have been officially registered as a political party for less than a month. Our current assets have exclusively come from donations of enthusiastic members, and we are hoping to rely on the donations for some time in the future. Our donations are transparent and targeted for specific, published purposes, and we hope that this will be a real reflection of our popularity.
Interviewer: How many members does the Pirate Party of Croatia have at the moment? Can foreigners become members of the Pirate Party of Croatia?
Ivan Voras: We currently only accept members willing to invest time in working on specific tasks which are needed to establish a real, functional political party. This means that there are relatively few official and active members – around 40, but there are also around 200 potential members “in waiting” and whom we will probably have join as “inactive” supporters once we are ready for such a thing. We have a couple of thousand people following our Facebook and Twitter pages, whom we consider sympathizers.Due to constrains in Croatian law on political parties, foreigners can be engaged as active observers, supporters, or honorary members while being engaged in specific activities, such as open-source initiatives.
Interviewer: How long does has the Pirate Party of Croatia existed?
Ivan Voras: We consider that the birthday of our Party was on the 13th of April, so we are really young. Even so, it is always surprising to watch how much support and interest we have collected in this short amount of time.
About Daniel Ebbert
I’m a pirate from Germany but I live in the Netherlands to study there when I'm not travelling, which happens quite often. I’m a member of the Pirate Party Germany since 2009 and of the Pirate Party of the Netherlands since 2012. Picture: CC-BY 3.0 Tobias M. Eckrich