Pilot project for International Pirate Partnerships Announced
Today, Friday 22 February 2013, the Pirates of St. Vith, in Belgium and the Pirates of Düsseldorf are starting the first “grenzenlos Piraten-Partnerschaft” (border-less pirate partnership). The concept of partnerships, also called twinning, between two local Pirate groups in different geographical locations has existed for a few year between the Pirates in Berlin and North-Rhine-Westfalia. At an international workshop, held on the 20 January 2013 in Hanover, the concept was introduced by Markus Bahrenhoff and Paul Bossu and it was decided to take the well-working concept into an international space. The Pirates in Aachen (Germany) and Maastricht/Heerlen (Netherlands) have such a partnership already. True to the slogan of the Lower Saxon election Campaign “Ideenkopierer” (idea copier), the examples working within Germany and between Aachen and Heerlen/Maastricht are now being copied.
The pilot project, as announced today, will involve the pirates from a German-speaking community in Belgium on the one hand, and the Pirates from the North-Rhine Westfalian Capital Düsseldorf on the other hand. Besides some existing personal ties and a convenient travel distance, both regions share a common language. The knowledge gathered from this project will go to help the Pirates living in non-German-speaking Belgium to find suitable partnerships as well, with Liége likely to join Aachen and Maastricht, and Brussels having its eyes set on Frankfurt am Main. There are ties already between Pirates in other countries such as the German city of Hanover and Dutch Groningen, so the hope of the coordinators is that the partnerships turn out to be a good idea and will in turn be copied more and more. There have been positive signals from a number of other parties, ranging as far as Sweden and Croatia, to the project.
Next to networking, and fostering the international aspect of the Pirate movement and community, dissemination of knowledge is one of the key motivations to get this project started, and bet on its success. The hope is that international contacts will become even more common in most pirates’ lives, and that the international networks extend much further than just involving international coordinators. Sharing ideas and experiences on topics like campaigning, and gaining knowledge of problems experienced in neighbouring countries, has been one of the strengths of the pirate movement right from the beginning, and might be key in its continuing success.
Practically. the partnerships could consist of a mix of joint mumble sessions, visiting each other’s real world meetings, and travelling together to ongoing elections campaigns elsewhere. Activities like couchsurfing and getting help for ongoing elections campaigns are likely to be much easier with partnership programmes. Cooperation between Pirate groups from all over Germany has been a key factor in the success the German pirates have had in 2011 and 2012, and it is about time to put it on the next level!
Featured image: CC-BY-SA Pirate Times