PPEU: Progress in Paris

PPEU: Progress in Paris

During the first week-end of February, the Statutes Group of the PPEU project had a meeting in Paris. About thirty pirates from a dozen Pirate Parties were physically present, while others followed the debates remotely from Mumble. There was much to discuss, from the structure of the PPEU and even its own name to the recent contact between the Swedish Pirate Party and the Eurosceptic EUDemocrats. It was also an occasion for the Pirates of Europe to meet and socialize in the French capital.

Original Agenda

This meeting had two main objectives. The first one was to establish the meaning of the PPEU, why it is needed for, what Pirate Parties want of it and who should be members of it. Since the inception of the project for a PPEU, these had already been discussed at length, but this was the time to settle on them. The second objective was to determine the inner organisation of the PPEU: how and by whom should decisions be taken.
Apart from these topics, were a planned explanation from the Swedish Pirate Party on their projects to make an alliance with the Eurosceptic EUDemocrats and a conference with Richard Stallman.

Saturday: the purpose of a PPEU

Apart from PPSE, who seems to want the PPEU to be only a minimal platform to receive and share funding from the EU and stick to the core Pirate principles, all present Parties want the PPEU to be a tool to elaborate and share programs and ideas, though the opinions on the degree of binding it should have are very diverse. Despite those diversities, everybody agreed that the PPEU should help its members in organisational and official matters and inter-PP communication as much as it could.
In the end, the present delegates agreed on a proposal of five purposes for the PPEU that will have to be approved by each Pirate Party before the next conference

  • Facilitating coordination and cooperation between its members.
  • Assisting its members to promote the Pirate movement in Europe.
  • Taking as its principles the Pirate manifesto, as will be annexed to the statutes.
  • Functioning as a link between European Pirate Parties and Pirate MEPs.
  • Encouraging and supporting its members in organizing events focused on European topics

This non-exhaustive list of PPEU functions will be the first test of involvement for the currently participating Pirate Parties: only those who ratify these will be accepted to the future conferences.
Regarding membership requirements, despite PP-FR’s opposition, the decision has been taken to stick to the resolution of the Barcelona conference: ordinary members should be Pirate Parties based in states that are members of the EU, a candidate state for the EU, a state which applied for candidate status,an EFTA state or a state which is within Europe.

Sunday: building the PPEU

After a dinner in Paris, a good night of sleep and some purely organisational decisions, Sunday was spent mainly on two issues.
The first one was a presentation by the Swedish Pirate Party of their negotiations with the EUDemocrats alliance, an European political party composed mainly of eurosceptic national parties. According to delegate Mattias Bjärnemalm, though the political agendas of the two formations are divergent on many topics, they could agree on a few core principles to make an alliance to get fundings for the upcoming 2014 European elections. This alliance could potentially be at any level: national or PPEU, though the latter has the favour of PPSE.
This proposal faced strong opposition from the French delegates and the Swedish Pirate Party asked all the Pirate Parties for their opinions on this issue. The final decision on this agreement will be taken by PPSE in April, taking these opinions in consideration.
The second issue was on the formation of a core status group to work permanently on the statutes of the future PPEU between conferences. By vote, PP-DE Martina Pöser, who had been one of the leaders of the PPEU project since the beginning has been nominated to choose the members of this group.
Other decision-taking issues, such as the majority mode for decision making inside PPEU or the use of the Liquid Democracy tool EuroLiquid, have been held over for the next meeting because of the lack of time in Sunday afternoon.

Social event and conference

Besides decision-taking and internal politics issues, this meeting has also been an occasion for the European Pirates to enjoy each other’s company and to learn more about each other in the lunches and dinners in Paris restaurants and cafés. Taking advantage of the presence in Europe of the Free Software Foundation president, Richard Stallman, the French Pirate Party dedicated the end of Sunday’s afternoon to a conference featuring the free software advocate. Questions and talks between him and the Pirates allowed everybody to refresh their spirits after the debates of the weekend and refocus on the core principles and motivations of the Pirate Parties.

The minutes of the meeting are now available – added 25 February 2012

Picture CC-BY-SA Flaschenpost and Moyan Brenn for the background.