The General Assembly 2016 of Pirate Parties International

The General Assembly 2016 of Pirate Parties International

Since January I was busy on several levels in organizing the general assembly together with some Pirates: Jessica Zinn from Berlin (Germany), Jelena Jovanovic from Belgrade (Serbia) and former Chairman of PPI, Andrew Reitemeyer from Pongaroa (New Zealand). We were appointed from the board as the general assembly committee.

PPI GA - Photo CC-BY-NC by Mike Herbst

PPI GA – Photo CC-BY-NC by Mike Herbst

I did the supervision of the preparations, setting up the event website and gathering information about all things to organize and to communicate with the board members about the progress done. Jelena took over the part of social media and communication with potential speakers and lecturers for workshops. Jessica was taking care of the location, social events and drinks/catering, Andrew set up a crowdfunding campaign for pirates, spreading calls for volunteers and getting in touch with delegates from pirate parties all over the world. On July 22nd, nearly everything was set up.

Friday evening, the unofficial start of the GA begun with our social event at “Holzmarkt” at the Spree waterside, where several pirates gathered for a meet and greet. About 30 pirates were chatting and laughing, greeting and discussing. What a great evening and joy to meet so many great people of our movement!

Saturday morning, the start of the general assembly was delayed nearly two hours because of remote delegates searching their proxies on the ground, although we set up several meetings before on Mumble, where nobody attended. A pity, really. And live streaming also wasn’t starting on time, because of technical matters (Unfortunately the Sunday recording went wrong). That was really awkward. Unfortunately, it added up with some dissatisfaction on our Mumble server, because remote delegates wanted to vote themselves and weren’t heard by the chair of the assembly (which was sorted out later). Pirate Party Canada left PPI for reasons (this will be part of another article). To be honest, at this point of the agenda, I was torn apart.

PPI GA - Photo CC-BY-NC by Mike Herbst

PPI GA – Photo CC-BY-NC by Mike Herbst

But to be fair: this time PPI GA was organized in a way that has not been done before: Speakers from all walks of life, and not necessarily connected to Pirate Party, additionally very interesting workshops added to the scene. That was marvelous. Despite the delayed start of the assembly, I opened the assembly and keynote speakers took over: Rick Falkvinge, founder of the first Pirate Party in Sweden and Bruno Kramm, chairman of Berlin Pirates both held inspirational speeches. They were discussing the future of the Pirate movement and looking back ten years to reflect of its greatest achievements.

The agenda included special guests: Christian Mihr (Reporters Without Borders), Lauri Love and top (Anon Uk Radio tuned in via video conference). Workshops on Saturday were done by Norbert Schepers with “The Drone Wars” (Rosa Luxemburg Foundation) and a hacking WiFi routers workshop “Occupy Wifi” held by Israeli Pirate from Haifa, Yoav Lifshitz and “Crowdsourcing an European Constitution” with Netherlands’ Pirate Thomas de Groot.

Back to general assembly – new observer members of Pirates Parties International were accepted:

* Internet Party Serbia
* New York Pirate Party
* Pirate Party North Rhine-Westfalia

PPI GA - Photo CC-BY-NC by Mike Herbst

PPI GA – Photo CC-BY-NC by Mike Herbst

The assembly did make some other decisions on Saturday as well: the future seat of PPI is going to be Geneva in Switzerland. A statutes amendment passed, which says that the board is elected for two years with rotation among the board members by electing every year only a part of it (SAP-5 Term of Office). After several other statutes amendments and the reports of the board there were the elections of the board:

– Chairperson – Guillaume Saouli / PP-CH (2 years)
– Vice-Chairperson – Bailey Lamon / PP-CA (1 year)
– Board Member – Andrew Reitemeyer / PP-NZ  (2 years)
– Board Member – Keith L. Goldstein / PP-IL (1 year)
– Board Member – Thomas Gaul / PP-DE (2 years)
– Board Member – Raymond Johansen / PP-NO (1 year)
– Board member – Koen de Voegt / PP-BE (2 years)

Meanwhile, I’ve presented the relaunch of the website of Pirate Parties International.

Sunday had some incredible speakers and workshops as well: Bernd Fix (Wau Holland Foundation, Chaos Computer Club) held an amazing talk about “Digital disobedience”, which left a lot of impressions.

Alternate board members were elected:

1. Alternate Board member Nikolay Voronov / PP-RU (2 years)
2. Alternate Board member Patrick Schiffer / PP-DE (1 year)
3. Alternate Board member Adam Wolf / PP-DE (2 years)
4. Alternate Board member Gregory Engels / PP-DE (1 year)

Court of arbitration:

Kjell Segers PP-BE
Jelena Jovanović PP-RS
Carlo von Lösch PP-IT
Denis Simonet PP-CH
Sebastian Krone PP-DE
Tom J. Quitter PP-JP

Lay auditors:

Mikulas Peksa / PP-CZ
Frantisek Navrkal / PP-CZ
Harry Hensler / Pirate without Borders

In between there was a presentation of the upcoming merchandising shop of PPI, which was set up by Gordon Thomas and me. There still needs to be some translations and technical work, it’s going to be launched on August 8th.

At the end of the general assembly, there were interesting speeches by Joe Fionda (The Hacker Wars) and Alex Kohler (Pirate Security Conference) from Pirate Party Germany. Finally all remaining pirates helped with uncluttering the room and had some nice socializing in the open yard of the location.


You can read more in the minutes of the PPI GA .

A very nice greeting to PPI from the President of Liberland, Vit Jedlička.

gallery of pictures from the assembly by Mike Herbst.

Bert van der Lingen (PPNL) wrote a short essay about his visit of the general assembly (in Dutch).

Patrick Schiffer

About Patrick Schiffer

I am living in Duesseldorf, Germany and I am a Member of the Pirate Party since March 2012. I’ve studied Arts & Visual Communication at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands. I speak german, english, french and dutch fluently. I am interested in developing & spreading the ideas coming out of and getting into the Pirate movement worldwide. For that, I think this international newsletter is a great thing. And I’d love to work & communicate with pirates from different countries all over the world so that I would like to help and contribute by spreading news, commenting, making graphics, writing & lectorating for Pirate Times. I am active in several working groups in Germany and in co-coordinating the founding of the PP EU.

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