Swedish Pirate Party to Vote on PPI Membership

Swedish Pirate Party to Vote on PPI Membership

Members of the Swedish Pirate Party will vote to decide whether or not to terminate the Party’s Observer Membership status within Pirate Parties International (PPI). This vote follows the termination of PPI membership by Pirate Party Australia, Pirate Party UK and, most recently, the Icelandic Pirate Party. The Belgian Pirate Party briefly suspended its membership in March, but its members ultimately voted to stay within PPI. Pirate Times is informed that the outcome of the Swedish vote will likely be known on, or shortly after, 6 May 2015.

The Swedish Pirate Party (PPSE) was not a founding member of PPI, due to “several unresolved questions” relating to the stability of the organisation. According to a document circulated within PPSE, observer status was seen in 2012 “as a step in the right direction … without taking responsibility for the organization at its current stage.”

In the view of the party’s leader at the time, Anna Troberg, membership within PPI would only be viable if PPSE was represented by the party leader (or someone directly below following her directions) rather than an autonomous international coordinator. It was “extremely important” for PPSE’s membership to be “characterized by constructive exchange of experience and practical work forward rather than trench warfare.”

PPSE was unanimously granted membership at the PPI General Assembly conference in Kazan on 20 April 2013. At the same conference, board members for the past year expressed their lack of motivation, concerns for the direction of PPI (especially following the mass resignation of the Court of Arbitration) and a “demoralising experience” of feeling powerless.

The document circulated discusses the termination of memberships by PPAU and PPUK, adding that both parties “stated clearly that they wished to continue cooperating with different Pirate Parties but not under the flag of PPI” and also briefly mentions the PirateInt initiative.

It also makes some positive statements of PPI’s activities, especially its value as a “meeting place for pirates” at the yearly conferences, as well as the progress made towards becoming observers in the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and World Trade Organisation (WTO). There is concern that these memberships are “not essential for the pirate movement at this stage”, but there is support for the “ThinkTwice” conferences that “act as a meeting point between pirates, academia and ‘regular people’.”

However, the conclusion drawn in the circulated document is that PPI has deteriorated since PPSE became an Observer Member: “The largest problem with PPI is that [it is] attempting to become an important international organization ‘despite [its] members’, rather than working ‘collaboratively with [its] members’.” The board proposal from PPSE, to its General Assembly, is to terminate observer membership within PPI.

Featured image: CC-BY-SA, Anne Kekki

Source document for PPSE board and GA decision.