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Last Update 26.10.2018
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In accordance with [http://pdl.votopirata.it/obcrypto] five political demands from PP-IT:
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2019 Common European Election Programme of the European Pirates (CEEP)
Today’s European Union as a supranational institution is a project of its member states rather than of its citizens. PIRATES believe that Europe should be organised in the common interest of all European citizens, as well as the interests of member states. PIRATES in the European Union have adopted this election programme and strive together to make our vision for the Union a reality. The democratic deficit within the European Union has existed since its formation and has not been sufficiently addressed in the course of the integration process.
An important goal of all PIRATES is to build a solid democratic foundation for the Union. In order to achieve that goal it is crucial to ensure that political processes are more citizen friendly. Together we must encourage the development of a common European space for culture, politics and society, and protect the existing rich and diverse cultures that exist within the Union. The EU must live up to its own principles on subsidiarity. Decisions should not be taken at an EU level if they can be better resolved on a national, regional or local level. Equal and easy access to communication and an informed citizenry are basic requirements in legitimate democratic decision making. Political decisions at the European level need to be preceded by Europe-wide debate and allow for the adequate participation of all.
PIRATES strongly believe that all people have the right to fair and equal treatment. It is essential that society respect the rights of minorities. We will stand against discrimination of any kind and oppose movements that act against Human Rights. The Internet as a medium of communication offers tremendous opportunities for political development, overcoming top-down, one-way communication. PIRATES will therefore defend the freedom of the Internet with fierce determination at the European level as well as on the global scale.
Democracy Add-On for Europe
PIRATES advocate a directly elected citizens' convention tasked with drafting an EU Constitution to clarify and replace current treaties and address the need for democratic reform within the Union, provided it is accepted by the citizens of the Union through a referendum. The present EU legislative process is dominated by the executive branch (the European Commission) at the expense of the legislative branch (the European Parliament). PIRATES seek an adjustment to the balance of power in European Institutions to favour the legislative branch. Direct democracy at EU level, i.e. pan-EU referendums on constitutional revisions and citizen-initiated legislative referendums, should be part of the new constitution. Citizens shall have the right both to repeal existing legislation and to initiate new legislation.
Innovating Political Participation
PIRATES want citizens to be able to have a more direct and larger impact in the policy debate and decision making process, both individually and collectively.
The European Parliament should set up an e-participation tool. Citizens should be able to publicly discuss legislative proposals, to propose amendments and to support (or vote against) proposed amendments online.
We wish to reform the EU citizens’ initiative. Data requirements shall be reduced. The European Commission should deal even with unsuccessful but interesting initiatives.
Petitioners with a significant number of supporters shall have the right to be heard in person. The European Parliament should open its doors to citizens on a regular basis in order to provide them with the opportunity to directly submit their proposals and concerns to a joint plenary session with Members of the European Parliament and Members of the European Commission. These sessions should also be open to citizens participating remotely via the internet or through social media.
Transparency gives the powerless the power to monitor the powerful. Pirates believe that transparency is needed to allow the public to make democratic decisions.
PIRATES advocate for general and comprehensive whistleblower legislation to protect any person who exposes issues that are in the public interest, including abuse of law, unlawful activities as well as wrongdoings. We strongly believe whistleblowers must be able to equally report internally, to a competent authority or to the media in order to guarantee the freedom of expression as well as the citizens' right to information.
Transparency of the Public Sector
The public sector, including private entities carrying out work on behalf of a public body, must be transparent and publish information as open data by default, without applying restrictions on their re-use. Better legislative transparency is needed, particularly in the Council and in trilogues. Public authorities should have a duty to document information concerning decision-making processes. Public authorities and representatives should be obliged to keep records and proactively publish information such as their agendas, minutes of meetings, third-party documents such as lobbyist input and information justifying decisions taken. The principle of transparency should apply to all public bodies, including the Court of Justice, the permanent representations of member states and the rotating national presidencies of the Council.
PIRATES believe that it is a fundamental right of citizens to inspect, without the need for any specific justification, all contracts or financial benefits related to the delivery of public sector or government projects and services.
The influence of money on politics is one of the key corruption risks in the EU. Where corporate interests have the say, politics is not made in the best interest of the citizens.
Disclosure and containment of external influence on political decisions
PIRATES call for the disclosure of the influence of interest groups and lobbyists on political decisions to protect the democratic process and to make the basis of decisions transparent. Lobbying activities shall be as transparent as possible. The existing lobby register shall be made mandatory. In addition, a legislative footprint shall be published: Everyone involved in policy making shall publish their meetings with lobbyists and written input they receive.
Enforceable ethics rules for lobbyists shall be introduced. They should prevent lobbyists from exercising undue influence.
Preventing conflicts of interest
Public officials (including Commission Special Advisers) and elected representatives (including Rapporteurs) shall not be unduly influenced by private interests in the performance of their public duties. Conflicts of interest can occur with outside activities and previous jobs, but also through revolving door cases of members of parliament, Commissioners or civil servants taking up new jobs in the private sector. Proper rules must be put in place to ensure that relevant office holders do not have any conflicts of interest, that interests are being declared and that misbehavior is sanctioned. The European Parliament as well as the European Commission Codes of Conduct need to be reformed. Effective transparency and ethics rules are needed for Intergroups and other cross-party groups involving MEPs and lobbyists. An independent body should oversee compliance and impose sanctions where necessary.
Stopping political cronyism
All positions in public bodies and publicly (co-)owned companies shall be filled in open competition.
Re-democratising the input process
Business interests shall no longer dominate policy expertise. The Commission shall introduce effective safeguards against corporate capture of expert and advisory groups, technology platforms and EU agencies.
Because a vastly disproportionate number of meetings with EU officials is dedicated to big business, these meetings should be reduced and more time should be devoted to actively seeking input from citizens, SMEs and other currently under-represented interest groups.
Data Protection and Surveillance
A right to privacy is about protecting the powerless from the abuse and mistreatment of the powerful. Pirates believe that all individuals should have a right to privacy in their own personal lives. Privacy includes the rights to discretion, the right to be anonymous and the right to self-determination. Anonymity does not relieve any person of responsibility for their actions.
Security in Freedom
The expansion of our civil rights, and protection of our freedom is a primary motivation for PIRATES. The threat posed by unlawful and excessive surveillance measures, imposed on us by governments both foreign and domestic, whether in response to terrorism or other types of crime, is grave. There is an immediate need for action to redress the balance and restore our privacy.
Ensure everyone's privacy
Europeans have a proud history of fighting for their fundamental rights and the freedoms of their fellow citizens. To preserve our rights and freedoms, and to ensure the effectiveness of law enforcement, PIRATES demand that data collection and monitoring is limited to people who are suspected of committing or preparing a crime and requires judicial approval and oversight. Adequate protection against crime is an important responsibility of the state. We must ensure this responsibility is fulfilled through an intelligent, rational and evidence-based security policy.
PIRATES wish to abolish the practice of routine, automated and untargeted data collection, storage and matching. We reject the blanket and indiscriminate collection of communications data (data retention) and travelling data (PNR). PIRATES oppose the automated profiling of people to divide them into risk categories (“profiling”) at borders (entry/exit system).
Anyone subject to state surveillance should be informed in due time to safeguard against abuse.
PIRATES oppose the exchange of personal data with countries that lack effective protection of fundamental rights except in emergencies. PIRATES reject the introduction of compulsory monitoring and reporting devices, such as “smart meters”.
PIRATES want to enforce strict standards for any industrial systems automatically processing personal or private information (such as access control systems) essentially making those systems open source, publicly documented and peer-reviewed.
Public spaces are full of cameras that monitor the movement of people and vehicles, track faces, and combine this information without considering the potential for the erosion of privacy. Evidence demonstrates that the presence of such systems has little effect on the rate of crime and that, at best, criminality simply shifts to other spaces. PIRATES support and would prioritise the movement of police personnel from monitoring duties, to patrolling the streets.
Prohibition of electronic spying and collection of biometric data
Routine checks must not unreasonably interfere with privacy. We reject the use of electronic “nude” scanners due their detrimental impact on human dignity, the perusal of private data on electronic devices and other similar invasive procedures. We oppose the collection of biometric data from innocent people and its storage in central databases.
Stop new surveillance plans
PIRATES want to stop the erosion of civil rights, that has taken on dramatic proportions in recent history. To ensure our safety, we do not need new surveillance laws, existing laws are sufficient.
In particular we reject:
Systematic evaluation of existing surveillance powers and moratorium
PIRATES support well-reflected measures to keep us safe but intend to abolish harmful interferences in our fundamental rights. We therefore want the European Fundamental Rights Agency to systematically examine all current and future surveillance powers and programmes as to their effectiveness, cost, adverse side effects, alternatives and compatibility with our fundamental rights.
PIRATES advocate a moratorium on any further interference with our human rights by the security agencies of the EU in the name of internal security until the systematic review of existing powers by the FRA is complete.
PIRATES support the funding of research through the EU, however the frequent involvement of government agencies in surveillance and filtering operations like INDECT and CleanIT demonstrates a clear intention to use such technologies in a way which makes them publicly funded tools for dismantling civil rights. We therefore argue that the EU must not fund technologies that limit fundamental rights.
ePrivacy: Protecting our privacy online
The proposed e-Privacy regulation will update privacy rules for e-communications. We reject attempts to allow providers to retain communications data indiscriminately for “security” purposes. The collection or use of personal data for data trade, advertising or market or opinion research must be allowed only with the active and informed consent of the person concerned.
We defend unrestricted access to the Internet and online Services. We support legislation that aims at removing any registration or any other restrictive requirements on the provision of Internet content or services. Additional Internet privacy legislation is needed to ensure that information society services can be used and paid for anonymously, and do not indiscriminately record our online activities. We intend to replace the surveillance economy by an anonymous micropayment economy.
The right to use encryption shall be guaranteed. Support for end-to-end encryption shall be made compulsory for manufacturers of telecommunications equipment. Transport encryption shall be made compulsory for telecommunications operators, especially operators of international cables. National and inter-EU communications shall no longer be routed via third countries to prevent foreign intelligence agencies from intercepting them.
Protecting freedom of expression online
Freedom of speech is the cornerstone of a democratic society. It must not be placed in the hands of private corporations or algorithms. The decision to remove content shall be reserved to an independent public body such as a judge.
Online intermediaries should not be liable for actions of their users. The use of automated upload filters to detect and block “terrorist content” or copyright infringements online should be banned, because they frequently lead to the deletion of legal content, including documentation of human rights violations in conflict zones, and they impinge on users' rights to use copyright exceptions such as quotation or parody.
Ban indiscriminate personal identifications in public spaces
PIRATES are against individuals being required to identify themselves if they are not suspected of committing a crime, especially when they are exercising their rights to protest or assemble. If anyone can be targeted in a demonstration or in the expression of their views then freedom of expression is endangered.
Export controls of surveillance and censorship technology
We support export controls of surveillance and censorship technology. We will not support the proliferation, by means of export credit or other state guarantees, of European-made surveillance and censorship technology to authoritarian countries that do not respect the rule of law. We will fight to uphold the privacy of journalists, activists and citizens around the world, by supporting legislation that prevents oppressive regimes from acquiring such technology and services from any entity in the European Union.
The European approach to asylum and refugees must be based on the acknowledgement of human rights and fully respect the Geneva Convention on Refugees and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
EU neighbourhood policy and EU development policy should be geared towards lasting improvement of living conditions and focus on the promotion of human rights in all partner countries and regions. We denounce all tendencies to create a repressive apparatus of surveillance and control in Europe or to re-introduce border control at EU internal borders.
PIRATES want a fair and balanced copyright law based on the interests of society as a whole.
We strive for the abolition of information monopolies. The European Union has given in to a series of demands to introduce information monopolies that are supposedly designed to motivate creators and inventors to produce more works. In reality the only beneficiaries of the monopolies are huge corporations, while the market as a whole is failing. This market failure is apparent by the frequent bullying of individuals and SMEs by collecting societies and the loss of orphan works and out-of-commerce works to society. Our goal is to create an environment where the motivation to create goes hand in hand with freedom of information.
Improved public availability of information, knowledge and culture is a prerequisite for the social, technological and economic development of our society. PIRATES therefore demand that copying, storing, using and providing access to literary and artistic works for non-commercial purposes must not only be legalised but protected by law and actively promoted. For this purpose, copyright exceptions must constitute users' rights and legal protections for digital locks on cultural goods (technological restrictions management) must be abolished. Everyone shall be able to enjoy and share our cultural heritage free from technological barriers, the threat of legal action or censorship.
The commercial monopoly given by copyright should be restored to a reasonable term. Derivative works shall always be permitted, with exceptions that are very specifically enumerated in law with minimal room for interpretation.
The internet as a medium should know no borders. PIRATES consider artificial national barriers for cultural goods a hindrance to the European internal market and demand their abolishment. Digital borders shall be abolished; citizens should be able to access cultural goods across borders without any hindrance. In order to make “this video is not available in your country” a thing of the past, we need one European copyright law that ensures that when using works is legal in one EU country, it is legal throughout the EU. All exceptions to copyright shall be made mandatory throughout the EU. PIRATES also oppose different general conditions of access to goods or services, for reasons related to a customer's nationality, place of residence or place of establishment.
Further monopolies in the sectors of information and culture have to be prevented. We must reverse the trend of introducing ever new exclusive rights at EU level, such as rights for database producers, press publishers, sports rights or trade secrets protection. By law, the state should only allow or maintain monopoly rights for intangible goods if these are in the public interest. Any monopoly rights must be temporally limited, neither their time-span nor their scope may be expanded retrospectively.
The creation of commons, such as free software, free cultural goods, open patent pools and free and open educational material, must be promoted and legally protected.
Social life, increasingly taking place in digital spaces, must not be restricted by monopoly rights over intangible goods. The introduction of “fair use“ regulations will ensure that social interactions remain unencumbered. Freedom of information must be safeguarded by safeguarding the right to link: Hyperlinks are a fundamental building block of the Internet and must never constitute a copyright infringement.
European collecting societies must ensure comprehensive transparency, fair participatory rights for their members and fairer contract terms for artists.
PIRATES support the promotion of software that can be used, analysed, disseminated and modified by anyone. Free/Libre Open Source Software is essential for users' control of their own technical systems and provides a significant contribution to strengthening the autonomy and privacy of all users. PIRATES support a high level of consumer protection which allows the free use, analysis, dissemination and modification of such software.
Mandatory use of free software in public administration
PIRATES think citizens' data must be processed, managed and secured with free software tools wherever possible. Proprietary software may only be used as long as free software cannot effectively be used or created for that specific purpose.
Free software reduces administrative costs, promotes local technical support and increases the ability to identify malicious code. We will drive the migration of the public sector to free software so that there is no longer a dependency on specific suppliers. Free and open source software shall be given precedence in public procurement of software. Software created by or for the public sector should be licensed as Free Software.
Free culture is an important resource for the education and creativity of society. PIRATES strive to promote artistic activity and cultural diversity to ensure a rich educational and artistic environment for current and future generations.
Free Knowledge and Education
PIRATES believe that the free flow of knowledge and information is essential and must be promoted and guaranteed in education. Educational institutions should increasingly use learning resources available under free licenses where there are no restrictions on copying.
Technological progress creates new opportunities to share and develop knowledge and learning concepts internationally. To capitalise on these opportunities, we are committed to the development and support of free and open educational materials.
The availability of educational media under free licenses to all is essential for barrier-free access to education, both within and beyond the borders of the EU.
PIRATES see innovation as the key to the development of our cultural and intellectual wealth. We support educating citizens and students about their right to information and about free formats and software in all types of educational facilities.
PIRATES support the digitisation and publication of documents stored in public libraries and archives across the EU. The digitisation of works in the public domain shall not allow organisations to claim new rights on the digital copy. Works created by the public sector should not qualify for copyright protection, as copyright in such state-owned works is frequently used as a tool for censorship or restricting access to information.
Promotion of the Commons
PIRATES will work towards adopting provisions in trade agreements which support the use and development of open formats and Free/Libre Open Source Software and promote the mutual recognition of licence models like Creative Commons.
The results of any research funded, in whole or in part, by public money must be published in open access scientific journals or by other means which make them readily accessible to the general population for free.
All data created for public use, regardless of origin, should be freely available to the general public, as long as personal details are not revealed without the consent of the concerned individuals. Such data shall be made available in an appropriate form, which shall also include a form for data processing. Access must not be limited by fees, licenses or excessive application procedures or technical means. PIRATES strive for a Freedom of Information Act at the EU level that shall abolish critical aspects of the current EU regulation that act as barriers for access to information, such as the definition of “document” and the time limit for appeal.
Patents in the Information Age
Patents mostly function as a deterrent to innovation rather than as an incentive. The patenting of knowledge in areas like genetics and biotechnology, as well as software, renders it a tangible threat to the future of our society.
Monopolies on plants and seeds and costly legal disputes about often trivial patents already demonstrate how it is both innovators and consumers who have to pay the price. Patent law needs to be reformed or replaced with an approach that enables freer and fairer markets instead of continuing to further stifle innovation.
Rebalancing Patents with the Common Good
PIRATES believe that patents do not exist to allow big businesses to stifle competition with an ever-growing tide of trivial and overreaching patents.
We therefore want to halt the continued and increasing abuse of patents.
Patents in the Information Society
Economic success in the information society is no longer just dependent on technological inventions, but on the development of knowledge and sharing of information. The effort to regulate these factors, now, via the patent system is diametrically opposed to our demand for freedom of knowledge and human culture.
Patents should never be granted for “inventions” that are trivial, non-substantial, computer programs, business models or works of nature. These types of patent impede the development of an information society and result in the privatisation of the commons. Small and medium IT companies throughout Europe prove that patents on software are no prerequisite to economic success. Innovation must be fairly rewarded, but this does not necessarily require the granting of monopolistic privileges that stifle innovation and negatively affect the access to essential goods.
The EU, its member states and other industrialised countries should not force less developed countries to accept patent provisions that are likely to be detrimental to their essential needs, health, education or development opportunities.
Patents, Medicines and Health
PIRATES oppose the frequent abuses of patent privileges, such as introducing spurious changes to medicines with expiring patent protection. Uncompetitive practices such as paying competitors in order to delay the marketing of generics should be actively prevented. We support the establishment and funding of alternative methods to incentivise pharmaceutical innovation, to progressively replace patents in this area. It is our aim to break the direct link between the reward for advances and the price of the end product to ensure medicines are affordable for all.
Universities and research institutes should be able to carry out scientific research for health and medicine without being encumbered by patents.
International Regulation of Intellectual Monopolies
PIRATES strive for a revision of the TRIPS Agreement in favour of restricting exclusive rights on intangible goods. We would aim for similar restrictions to apply to all trade agreements which may include similar or even more far-reaching regulations on patents and copyright.
Principles for Trade Agreements
PIRATES stipulate that in all negotiations of the European Union on trade agreements the following conditions must be met:
Stronger participation by the European Parliament
Trade agreements contain political decisions that are important and difficult to change after they are adopted. Therefore, the European Parliament, the only body in the EU that has a direct democratic mandate, should have equal rights to the European Commission when dealing with trade policies.
The European Parliament via its Committee on International Trade (INTA) should participate as an equal partner of the European Commission in negotiations of trade agreements.
Comprehensive access to information and public hearings
All documents concerning the negotiations of trade agreements should be made available to the European Parliament as well as to the public. All negotiations and hearings with stakeholders should be conducted in public. We demand that all results of consultations, especially submissions by stakeholders, must be published promptly and in full.
Respect for privacy and self determination
PIRATES consider the right to privacy and self-determination of the people as self-evident. Therefore they also need to be respected and promoted in the context of trade agreements.
As these principles apply to all people, the EU has to make sure that trade agreements will not allow their trading partners to breach them.
The interests of small and medium-sized enterprises must be taken into account.
At the moment trade agreements mainly take into account the interests of global enterprises, while small and medium-sized companies rarely benefit; SMEs are increasingly ousted from the market. We want to change that.
The digital revolution has changed social and economic structures throughout Europe; free and equal access to the internet is now a basic requirement for participation in civil society.
Citizens should have the option to access the Internet anonymously.
PIRATES wish to include the right of “digital participation” in the European Charter of Fundamental Rights.
We will support measures which seek to ensure the capacity of representative civil society to participate in multi-stakeholder forums. We will oppose any attempts by corporate, governmental or intergovernmental agencies to take control of Internet governance.
The principle of network neutrality must become European law to ensure strong incentives for investment, fair competition and equal treatment of everybody in the digital space.
Everyone must be able to have access to an Internet connection that does not discriminate against any service or competitor. Traffic management measures shall only be allowed in exceptional circumstances, operated in a clear and transparent manner and only for technical reasons.
Non-discriminatory access to the Internet must apply uniformly across the entire EU. We reject measures by the telecommunications companies that threaten freedom of access.
Upgrading of Net Infrastructure
PIRATES strongly support the Europe-wide development of state of the art communications infrastructure. Our goal is to provide access to broadband for everyone in the EU.
While networks are improved and modernised, any monopoly over infrastructure must be avoided.
Unlocking the Net: A right to interoperability
Commercial social and messaging platforms are well known to spy on their users, to help advertisers manipulate them and to censor online communications. When leaving such platforms, PIRATES want users to have the right to take their contacts to an alternative service and keep in touch with them. Social and messaging platforms need to be made interoperable.
Security in the digital era
With the Internet of things, computers start affecting the world in a direct and physical manner (e.g. car or hospital technology). IT devices that are insecure and vulnerable to integrity and availability threats increasingly risk our lives and property. We can no longer afford security disasters happening regularly.
PIRATES want users to control over the technology they use in their daily lives. They need a right to modify and repair devices on their own.
PIRATES want to oblige commercial manufacturers of IT devices to provide regular updates for a reasonable period of time. If updates or fixes for vulnerabilities aren’t provided within a reasonable timeframe after their discovery, commercial manufacturers shall be held liable. When a manufacturer decides to abandon a product that is still in widespread use, the source code and development tools should be made public to allow the community to maintain it.
Public authorities shall be obliged to disclose vulnerabilities they find or acquire. There shall be no backdoors in encryption technology as that would weaken and threaten the integrity and security of all systems.