Table of Contents
Pirate Common European Election Programme 2019
Today's European Union (EU) 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 to 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 EU level if they can be better resolved at 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 must have the right to fair and equal treatment. It is essential that society respects 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 European level as well as on a global scale.
Agriculture & Fisheries
Towards a Sustainable Europe
As we are part of nature our quality of life depends on natural resources like unpolluted water, air, soil and food at our homes. We achieve a sustainable and healthy food production for all, now and tomorrow. We advocate a strong role of the Committee of Agriculture and Rural Development, provided that lessons are learnt from past mistakes in EU agricultural policies. It is their duty in order to protect our natural resources and change nature’s exploitation into nature prospering.
Common Agriculture Policy (CAP)
We want a CAP that supports natural and cultural diversity. We are convinced that multiplicity of food production which is locally adapted and in the hands of many independent and self-determined actors will grant food safety and quality of life in the countryside and cities as well. The CAP must provide the frame which stipulates equal rights, opportunities and commitments.
The role of subsidies in European agricultural politics must change towards a greater focus on diversity and equality. Financial support must be granted according to sustainability criteria.
Aspects of Land Use
As land is becoming a limited resource, Pirates demand the following:
- Property of land shall be more committed to social and natural welfare.
- To enhance resilience, Pirates want to preserve and develop small scale farming and subsistence agriculture.
- Urban and suburban agriculture and gardening need to be encouraged to reduce transport, supply nutrition, spread knowledge, satisfy human needs.
Using Biological Diversity
The Pirates support:
- The baseline ‘no patents on life' must be strictly realized.
- Exports of a European surplus food products into third countries must be reassessed, if they may damage the markets for local food.
- In trade agreements with third countries, the EU shall avoid unfair trade practices based on its trade power.
- Fishing quotas must be adjusted according to the scientifically evident sustainability.
- The European programme to combat illegal fisheries must be strengthened.
- We want farmers to crop in smaller fields without heavy machinery.
- The soil bonification based on the organic matter level and water holding capacity should be established.
Use of technology and digital solutions
Pirates will work towards these goals:
- The EU shall establish the frame for open access to digital applications and open interfaces.
- Publicly funded data on, for example, climate, weather, soil, and water must be easily accessible for the public. The EU must ensure that any such datasets which have been obtained by using proprietary technologies will not pass into private hands.
Citizen Participation and Open Government
Democracy Add-On for Europe
Pirates advocate a directly elected citizens' convention tasked with drafting a new EU treaty 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.
The European Union shall join the Open Government Partnership, a multilateral initiative that aims to promote open government, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance.
Anti-corruption and Containing Corporate Lobbyism
The influence of money on politics is one of the key corruption risks in the EU and a threat to its democratic foundation. Political decisions will not be made in the best interests of all citizens when corporate interests are allowed to dominate.
Disclosure and Containment of External Influence on Political Decisions
To protect the democratic process and to make the basis of decisions transparent, Pirates call for the disclosure of the influence of interest groups and lobbyists on political decisions. Lobbying activities shall be as transparent as possible. That can be helped by making the existing lobby register mandatory, linked to a transparent calendar on the Internet. Every EU citizen should have a chance to look up with whom the elected representative met, what was the purpose of the meeting and what happened there. The whole process brings demanded multi-level controlling system needed for a reliable democracy. In addition, a legislative footprint shall be published: everyone involved in policy making shall publish their meetings with lobbyists and written input they receive. All draft bills and amendments shall be traceable to their original author.
Enforceable ethics rules and an oversight mechanism 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. Comprehensive rules limiting the revolving-doors phenomenon shall be adopted.
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.
Political Campaign Financing
All European political parties shall provide public insight into their bank accounts for campaign funds. The Authority overseeing European political parties shall be given effective auditing and sanctioning tools.
Transparency and Whistleblower Protection
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.
Education, Culture, Research & Free Knowledge
Improved public availability of information, knowledge and culture is a prerequisite for the social, technological and economic development of our society. However, it has been hindered by artificial information monopolies which are supposedly designed to motivate creators and inventors to produce more works, while in reality the only beneficiaries of the monopolies are huge corporations, and the system as a whole is failing to meet the claimed objectives. This failure manifests itself in many forms, including the frequent bullying of individuals and SMEs by collecting societies, privatisation of profits from publicly funded works, or the loss of orphan works to society. Our goal is to create an environment where the motivation to create goes hand in hand with freedom of information. This requires a thorough copyright reform and also systemic changes in public sector.
Promotion of the Commons and Free Culture
We 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 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.
Existing cultural heritage shall be to the largest possible extent digitised and made freely available to the public.
Free culture is an important resource for the education and creativity of society. We strive to promote artistic activity and cultural diversity to ensure a rich educational and artistic environment for current and future generations.
In order to foster the spread of culture and knowledge that is the basis for all cultural creation, we want to limit the commercial copyright monopoly period to last between five and twenty years. Free non-commercial file sharing should be allowed.
We want a fair and balanced copyright based on the interests of society as a whole. We strive for the abolition of information monopolies, which were supposedly designed to motivate authors to produce more works. In reality, only a handful of privileged benefit 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. Copying, storing, using, and providing access to literary and artistic works for non-commercial purposes must not only be legalized 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 such as digital restrictions management (DRM) must be abolished. Everyone shall be able to enjoy and share our cultural heritage free from the threat of legal action or censorship.
The commercial monopoly given by copyright should be shortened 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. We consider artificial national barriers for cultural goods a hindrance to the European internal market and in contradiction with European values. We need to unify European copyright laws and make exceptions to the copyright monopoly mandatory across the EU. “This video is not available in your country” should be a thing of the past.
Introducing new monopolies in the sectors of information and culture has to be prevented. By law, the state should only allow or maintain exclusive rights for intangible goods if these are in the public interest. Any exclusive rights must be temporally limited, neither their time-span nor their scope may be expanded retrospectively.
Social life, increasingly taking place in digital spaces, must not be restricted by exclusive 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 world wide web and must never constitute a copyright infringement. Remixing, parodies, quotes, and sampling shall be exempt from the exclusive right of commercial copyright monopoly.
European collecting societies must ensure comprehensive transparency, fair participatory rights for their members, and fair contract terms for artists.
Free Knowledge and Education
Educated and critically thinking population is a necessary condition for sustaining functional democracy, welfare, social cohesion, and the very success of the European integration. We strive for universal access to high quality education across the EU that enables people's personal development, unhindered by their social background.
The education system must provide citizens all the basic skills for independent life in the information society, including functional literacy, legal minimum, network privacy, basic financial literacy, and media education. Through education we shall improve people's resistance to propaganda and psychological manipulation.
We shall spread successful educational models (such as media education in Finland) from local level to all member countries.
We consider teachers mobility as an extremely useful way to spread the educational know-how across Europe and to fight the underdevelopment of national education systems. It shall become common for teachers at all education levels to have experienced at least a semester teaching abroad.
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 without any restrictions on copying. 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. Borderless education is an important part of any European welfare programme that won't leave parts of Europe behind.
We support the digitisation and publication of documents stored in public libraries and archives across the EU.
We 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 Free Software in all types of educational facilities.
We strive for efficient and transparent creation of knowledge without artificial barriers to its dissemination. Therefore, we fully support transition to open science in all branches of research.
Taxpayer-funded scientific results shall be published in open-access academic journals. The status quo of commercial publishers appropriating work created by public institutions has to end and the results shall be accessible for everyone.
The excessive focus on bibliometrics has led to a situation when it is hard to follow current development in one's own field due to the necessity of filtering out useful information from huge quantity of publications, often filled with bombastic claims or even irreproducible results. Therefore, public funding shall be allocated not only on production of original scientific results, but also on their verification and aggregation in an easily accessible way (e.g. maintaining a wiki for a given scientific branch, cf. ).
We shall introduce hard funding for development of free (open source) scientific software.
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.
Environment, Climate and Energy
The Pirates support the aims and principles declared by the EU to safeguard our water, air, soil, natural environment and raw materials for the sake of our health and well-being. We also agree with doing this in a sustainable way by taking account of economic, social and regional aspects and by acting responsibly towards future generations and animal welfare.
The Pirates appreciate the progress made thanks to EU environmental laws. However, while voluntary measures by potential polluters may work sometimes, they cannot be relied upon. Legal loopholes and weaknesses are being used to serve economic interests with the public ultimately having to pay for the environmental and health damages. We, therefore, seek more effective implementation and enforcement of the principles of precaution, prevention, ‘polluters paying’, as well as tackling problems at their sources. Sanctions in the case of non-compliance need to be strengthened. Environmental whistleblowers play a vital role for the benefit of society. They need to receive more support and compensation arrangements which match more realistically their professional and personal damages.
To increase transparency and reliability, we want to make the scientific approach mandatory in any environmental decision-making process. The public has the right to easy, timely and reliable access to environmental data and the decisions resulting from it. This information should also include methods of monitoring and investigations. The data should be available at all times on governmental websites. Scientific advice and specifications which form the basis for administrative and legal decisions need to be sourced from independent experts. Participation in relevant meetings needs to be affordable. Furthermore, a diverse supply of independent scientists needs to be maintained. This can only be achieved by adequately funding academic research into acute and emerging environmental problems rather than increasingly promoting research with links to industry.
Implementation of environmental laws has to focus on achieving the stated aims and not just generate additional records and registrations. Regulations must not require registrations in every single EU country, a central registration should be sufficient so as not to obstruct access to the common market for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The environmental impact of any associated bureaucracy has to be taken into account when deciding on the suitability of an approach.
The Paris Agreement to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels has to be implemented. The necessary concepts and technologies for achieving the climate protection goal have been developed. The Pirates demand the legal conditions for these technologies to be used. Emissions of CO2 from cross-border goods, as resulting from power generation, for example, should be attributable to the importing countries. The expansion of electricity production using renewable energy must not be restricted by law in the countries of the European Union. Construction of new renewable energy sources must be subject to careful consideration of wider impact on the environment and we have to weigh their net environmental benefit.
We want to establish a sustainable and reliable energy infrastructure. The transition from fossil resources to renewables and clean energy sources is necessary. Use of energy sources has to be sustainable and must not be in conflict with other environmental objectives. Our target is a transparent and decentralized structure of energy suppliers which guarantees participatory options for all citizens and prevents monopolies.
EU is the richest economical area in the world. Yet the income from the burden of the taxation is not shared equally.
Tax evasion schemes, primarily but not exclusively those employed by large international corporations, are one of the most pressing problems today. There are three main areas we are focusing on: breakdown of the social contract, race to the bottom, and the digital economy.
Breakdown of the Social Contract
It is a common practice that companies are tasked by their shareholders to pay as little taxes as possible. However, it is national states that use the collected taxes to provide an environment in which the companies can thrive. The companies are granted safety, rule-of-law, enforceability of obligations, legal protection, infrastructure, education. It is thus in their best interest to support such environment by paying their taxes.
There are many tax evasion tools available and Pirates will strive to limit them as much as possible. Numbers from IMF suggest that tax evasion schemes cost us almost €500 billion a year, while in 1990 it was below €100 billion/year. This is an alarming trend. To illustrate the magnitude of the issue, €500 billion is almost half of the EU financial framework for 2014-2020, about 20 % more than the volume of charity worldwide, or 3-5 % of the worldwide tax collection.
We propose to fight this by the OECD Base erosion and profit shifting and EU Anti tax-avoidance directive to deter profit shifting to a low or no tax country and virtual transfer of non-existing goods and services.
Race to the Bottom
Many states tend to provide tax breaks or other fiscal incentives to attract branch offices of large international corporations. These often do not produce anything of tangible value and thus serve only to reduce the tax burden of their parent companies. In many cases, the effective tax rate for companies taking advantage of these opportunities was less than 1% of the tax base. The result of the inter-state competition to attract companies is a race to the bottom in terms of tax revenue.
The European Commission is struggling against the race to the bottom practices by enacting rules for the the single internal market. For example in an investigation under Article 107, TFEU ruled that the Irish tax system constitutes an illegal state subsidy to Apple and that Apple is required to pay € 14 billion in tax debts.
Proposed solutions - CCCTB (Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base); greater oversight by the Commission over tax haven in the EU. The Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base calculates the taxation of a multinational entity in each country of the EU based on the sales, capital and labor in each of the respective country. This will eliminate mismatches between national systems, preferential regimes and hidden tax rulings, which tax avoiders exploit. It will remove the need for transfer pricing and fights the profit erosion, which is a primary route for profit shifting.
The internet is a global medium transcending geographical boundaries. Since the existing legal framework is more or less territorial, it often fails to grasp intricacies introduced by digital economy.
Our goal is to bring the finances of the digital economy under democratic control and align its objectives with those of society.
Proposed solution - to change the current rules of the so-called “permanent establishment” and tax certain digital services at the place where it was created at a rate of 3 % of the turnover. This will be applicable to the companies considered as to have taxable digital presence based on their annual revenues or number of contracts between digital and their customers in a taxable year. Ultimately, the new system secures a real link between where digital profits are made and where they are taxed.
Structural funds are an important tool to strengthen the Europe’s cohesion and express solidarity in Europe still divided by the different performances of national and regional economies. We will support any effort to increase its flexibility so that it can respond promptly to the up-to-date developments of the economy or security situation. We will also support any effort to decrease the bureaucratic burden associated with the processing of the applications for subventions (for example, based on the differentiation among applicants according to the real results of their applications in the past.)
The funds should be managed in a transparent and efficient way, the EU Commission should maintain a substantial control role in the shared management of the funds. A more important role of the EU Parliament could be considered in the future.
It is fully legitimate to limit funding of the projects as a response to abuse of the funds and fraudulent use of the subsidies. However, we oppose, as a step contradictory to the original sense of the structural funds, any effort to use the limitation of the access to the funds as a means of pressure to the receiver countries in connection to unrelated political issues.
Human Rights in the Digital Era
Right to Self-determination
We consider the people’s right to self-determination as self-evident.
Right to Privacy
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 and the right to be anonymous. 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.
Privacy and Mass Surveillance
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), traveling data (PNR) and biometric data. Pirates oppose the automated profiling of people to divide them into risk categories (“profiling”) at borders (entry/exit system).
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, crime simply shifts to other spaces. Pirates support and would prioritize the movement of police personnel from monitoring duties, to patrolling the streets. 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.
Pirates oppose the exchange of personal data with countries that lack effective protection of fundamental rights except in emergencies.
Stopping 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:
- The proposal to make fingerprinting of all identity card holders in the EU obligatory.
- Attempts to allow providers to retain communications data indiscriminately for “security” purposes in the context of the proposed ePrivacy regulation.
- The proposed creation of a centralized EU Identity Register including fingerprints and facial images (“interoperability”).
- Unilateral cross-border law enforcement access to data bypassing mutual assistance channels (“e-evidence regulation”).
- Screening travelers using lie detectors („iBorderCtrl“ project).
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.
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.
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 with 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.
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.
Pirates support the promotion of software that can be used, analyzed, 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.
Free Software, Formats, and Protocols in Public Administration
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.
Citizens and businesses must not be forced to use proprietary software when dealing with public administration. Online communication with government must be based on free and vendor-neutral protocols and formats.
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.
We 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. We will support the creation of mechanisms to share the national-level data across the entire EU.
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.
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.
Net Neutrality is crucial for keeping the Internet free for everybody. We will not allow any traffic restrictions. Namely, restrictions based on the nature of the content/service. We will also not allow restrictions based on the geographical location of the broadcaster and the recipient. Traffic management measures shall only be allowed in exceptional circumstances, operated in a clear and transparent manner and only for technical reasons.
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 modernized, 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 have control over the technology they use in their daily lives. Users 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 of 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.
We will support legislation aimed at securing the possibility of transferring personal data from one Internet service to another and maximizing interoperability between different Internet service providers.
Foreign Affairs Policy
The goal of the European Foreign Affairs policies is to build durable diplomatic relations between the European Union and other states. These bilateral relations can be based on cultural, economic or technological exchanges.
The building of the European diplomacy has to respect the freedom of the Internet, the protection of human rights and sustainable development.
Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid Policy
The European Pirates are committed to implement United Nations’ “Agenda 2030” and significantly advance on implementation of Sustainable Development Goals both inside, as well as outside, the EU.
The Development Cooperation needs to continue to play a vital role in the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the EU.Pirates advocate for strengthening the ties with the Global South countries and use the development cooperation instruments in the benefit of those countries. We consider the 0.33% of Development Aid to Gross National Income for the “new EU member states” as a realistic amount corresponding with global responsibility these countries should play, and we will encourage these countries to increase their funding until this target is achieved.
We strongly discourage to use development aid as a mean to prevent short-term goals like limitation of economic migration, due to the fact that development cooperation programmes and partnerships are based on predictability and long-term effect. In that regards, we support revision of EU’s New Consensus on Development adopted in 2017.
Pirates are committed to implementation of Agenda for Humanity as outcome of the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit. Even though Pirates consider the Cluster Approach to humanitarian aid as important means for coordination of all humanitarian stakeholders involved in response, we advocate for Cash-based Approach in provision of humanitarian aid to people in need.
International Protection of Fundamental Rights
The European Union should be a political actor protecting European and international whistleblowers. They should be able to benefit from the right to political asylum in the EU.
The European Union must integrate the protection of human rights without making any difference attributable to sexual orientation or gender.
Pirates want to pay special attention to the stabilization of conflict outbreaks and fragile states, as their instability is a source of problems for the entire international community. Conflict resolution has to be based on respect for International Law which is the base for a peaceful international community.
Pirates support joint efforts to protect nations of the European Union. Any European Armed forces (existing or newly created) must be put under supervision and/or control of the European Parliament through the parliamentary reservation. It is necessary to ensure that they will not be used against the Parliament’s will.
Use of Weapons
Pirates are striving for more stringent regulation of the world arms trade and banning arms exports to conflict areas.
The Pirates seek a more peaceful world, and support more stringent regulation in arms trade. The Pirates will therefore strive for better information sharing on arms export licence decisions and denials, to ensure a coherent EU arms export policy. The EU should further increase its support for Arms Trade Treaty implementation and universalisation to reduce the possibility of export of arms into areas of conflict via countries with loose arms trade regulation.
Tamper-proof Marking of Military Weapons
The Pirates demand the application of the UN tool for marking and tracking of military weapons (small arms). All small arms for military use produced in the EU or outside the EU under license of an EU manufacturer have to be marked with a tamper-proof method to ensure that each weapon can be uniquely identified.
The tamper-proof marking will make it possible to transparently track how weapons are illegally exported into critical regions. With the ability to actually track the weapons to their origin countries, exporters, and manufacturers who participate in illegal sales into banned regions will be identified.
Defense and Technology
The Pirates support starting negotiations in the framework of the United Nations Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons on a regulatory instrument to ban “Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems”, or weapons that can select and engage targets without human supervision.
Cyberwar is a threat to international peace and stability especially due to the lack of transparency and the difficulties of attributing responsibility.
In accordance with our principles of technical development and transparent conduct of power, the Pirates support an international treaty on cyber warfare. The treaty will bind signatories to declare any use of cyber weapons. Under cyber weapons falls all software and IT systems that, through ICT networks, monitor, manipulate, deny, disrupt, degrade or destroy targeted information systems or networks of both foreign governments and individuals. Additionally, signatories will commit themselves to not actively undermine the security of civilian systems.
Policies dealing with migration and asylum have to respect the human dignity of migrants and asylum seekers.
European Pirates demand a common European immigration policy that:
- enables ways of legal migration to the european labour market,
- values language skills and other given skills of the applicants positively in the process,
- recognizes given certificates and professional qualifications in a simplified way,
- enables member states to adjust their requirements according to their situation and needs.
European Pirates demand a common European Asylum Policy that implements the following:
- ensures freedom of establishment in Europe for those whose application was approved;
- promotes the possibility of family reunification first for those whose application was approved;
- possibilities for applications on asylum should be introduced even outside of Europe and if accepted help ought to be offered.
International Trade Policy
We reject multilateral international agreements that entrench dysfunctional monopolies and patents to the detriment of civil rights and human freedoms.
The Pirates require all trade agreements to respect the protection of personal data of consumers and firms.
Principles for Trade Agreements
Pirates stipulate that in all negotiations of the European Union on trade agreements the following conditions must be met:
- The European Parliament must ratify the treaty and the treaty must be negotiated upholding the principles listed below;
- There is comprehensive access to information and public hearings during the negotiating process;
- The proposed treaty includes respect for freedom of the Internet, social and civil rights, and sustainable development;
- The interests of small and medium-sized enterprises are taken into account.
Those conditions are expanded below.
Participation of the European Parliament
Trade agreements contain political decisions that are important to society and difficult to change after their adoption. Therefore the European Parliament, the only body in the EU that has a direct democratic mandate, should have relevant position when dealing with trade policies.
The European Parliament should have access to all the negotiation material via its Committee on International Trade (INTA) and have the right to be an observer to negotiations, and the right to make binding remarks to the European Commission.
Comprehensive access to information and public hearings
The Pirates are against secret negotiations. Documents concerning the negotiations of trade agreements should be made available to the European Parliament as well as to the public. We demand that all results of consultations must be published promptly and in full.
Respect for freedom of the Internet, social and civil rights, and sustainable development
Pirates consider the people’s right to privacy and self-determination 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.
All future European trade agreements should be based on the principle of sustainable development. The agreement cannot be ratified if it has a negative impact on the environment.
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 responsibility of international corporations
The European Union must make it possible to engage the legal responsibility of companies in the event of infringement of European environmental law for their actions on the territory of the Union but also for their actions outside the territory of the EU if in the latter case the seat of their parent company is in the territory of the European Union.
Social Affairs & Healthcare
All people have the right to the highest attainable standard of the quality of health care. This includes preventive, curative and palliative health care. It also includes the underlying social determinants of health, such as safe food, potable water, basic sanitation and adequate housing, safe and healthy working conditions and a healthy environment.
Availability & comfort of the patient
Pirates want an equal access to health care for everyone, irrespective of the resources available to a state, and support:
- No discrimination (direct or indirect) in access to health care, irrespective of the resources available to a state.
- Health goods and services accessible to everyone. States must ensure that no persons face barriers in accessing their right to health including the access to information about health and health services.
- Health goods and services affordable for everybody regardless of their income level.
- Health laws and policies designed and implemented in a transparent manner and with meaningful participation of persons affected by it. All health systems must include a framework for accountability, which should include access to effective judicial or other appropriate measures for violations of the right to health.
- Reducing patents for medicines or at least avoiding administrative prolongation of patents.
- Easier cross-border care utilization: Improving opportunities to use health care systems abroad on the account of domestic health insurance companies.
- EU health card for the world: Negotiation of the validity of the European Health Insurance Card (Blue Card) in the non-EU countries.
- No matter how health systems have been structured (private, public or mixed), the health services should be available, accessible, acceptable and of good quality for all persons and should guarantee universal health care for all.
Free Movement of Workers
EU nationals working in another EU country have to overcome dozens of administrative obstacles to work in and fully integrate into another EU country - especially different social security systems, different nature of the payment into these systems, registration to health care systems etc.
Therefore the EU should encourage its Member states to continue in removing administrative barriers to the Free movement of Workers through the harmonisation of social security systems and public healthcare systems, especially the harmonisation of payments into these systems and sharing the information between the member states.
The majority of international conventions regarding the preparation, manipulation, and consumption of psychoactive substances is outdated and not based on scientific facts. For example, scientific evidence suggests that legalization of cannabis results in less harm to people and society than prohibition.
European Pirates propose that the EU should:
- Work to change the international conventions regarding psychoactive substances towards a science-based view.
- Set up a framework facilitating the scientific approach which among other things should share information and help fund research on psychoactive substances.
- Advocate for the legalization and regulation of cannabis in the individual member states as a means of restricting the black market.
Space as a Vital Factor
Satellite-based communication and navigation, Earth observation for weather forecast, disaster relief, and pollution tracking, and orbital based research are normal parts of our life today.
Europe plays a vital, yet relatively small role in space technology. We want to stimulate this sector and open it up for new startups. This will generate a major push for technology as well as collaboration between EU member states and partner nations.
EU Space Vision for Future
Due to technology advancement and commercialization of space industry things like off-Earth mining, colonization of other planets, interstellar and interplanetary travel or planetary defense are no longer topics for distant future but the present day.
The EU needs to articulate a clear vision, strategy, and objectives to protect international cooperation, multilateral global governance and basic principles of rule of law, justice and democracy in the space domain. This should include the development of the EU Agency for the Space Programme that is politically and financially accountable to the European public through the European Parliament and receives an adequate EU-wide mandate for space security.
Compact Industrial Space Policy
The monopoly on technology, research and capacities has shifted from the state towards private and commercial entities. An EU-wide compact strategy to support space industry should be based on stimulating business environment, abundant funding and support of public and private research efforts and a clear vision on the main objectives for the EU. To create a true European industrial space base, additional funding in the likes of the European Defence Fund will be required to support research of technologies from interstellar light-sailing to resources extraction or autonomous European launch capacities to provide space benefits to all humankind.
EU Strategies on Space Resources and Planetary Defense
Clear adherence to international space law principles and global support will provide a stable and stimulating regulatory framework to attract and motivate private companies. Embracing the OST’s benefit-sharing principle for space resources utilization to make space accessible and contributing to all humankind, including developing countries, should be part of the development policy.
Fragmented national capacities for near earth objects (NEOs) observation will be pulled into a single EU agency with an adequate funding. Observation and prospecting of NEOs will serve both planetary defense and resources utilization to develop joint capabilities.
Support of research and development of high-end multi-purpose mitigation and resources utilization technologies, such as laser techniques, to create a functioning and secured space economy. Utilization of space resources in-situ to foment a functioning space economy that will translate into better and more accessible space-based services.
The space programme should also fund goals that are or seem to be out of reach today. Working on far-flung targets, like building an interstellar light-sailing laser, space elevator or space hook, will stimulate the development of radically new technologies and materials. To ensure civilian use for humankind benefit as well as effective scientific and economic collaboration, such large and powerful space technologies should be developed in par with international partners.
Reaping Benefits of the Space Programme
Pirates believe that the results of the research fueling the space programme have the potential to improve the lives of all EU citizens. We will ensure that open access principles are applied to the results making them broadly available. We will also support the application of technologies to in everyday lives. For example, we will drive the increase in Internet coverage through the use of satellites into remote regions which are difficult to cover by conventional means. The goal of this initiative is to spread the basic human right for Internet throughout Europe and also to support the dislocation of the digital workforce from the overcrowded cities. To achieve that and ensure democratic control of EU space benefits, the Administrative Board of the newly planned EU Agency for Space Programme should include European Parliament representatives with voting rights.
The fundamentals of our concept stand on principles of intermodality, networking, and sustainability. What new and innovative approach do we want to take in the European transport policy? We base our thinking on a complex view of supply chains, careful planning and transparent financing throughout the entire project lifespan. Knowledge of the whole image is time-limited; we appreciate confrontation with attentive, critical minds as it helps to prevent mistakes at the time of their appearance when it is easy to recognize and correct them.
Alternative fuels cannot save our planet while we continue to waste energy. We support a Shared Mobility Principles for Livable Cities initiative – where you can walk, you should not drive. Where you can drive together, you should not ride solo. The EU is losing billions of euros daily in productive time when commuters are stuck in traffic jams. That is why we promote coworking or work from home wherever applicable; civil service included.
Shunting goods around Europe for the purpose of tax optimization or importing them just because of holey local workers' rights is hypocrisy. We aim to create legislation which enables consumer to see the complete costs of production supply chains in order to transform EU preferences accordingly; e.g. promoting local waste-free food consumption over overseas imports.
In the long-term we envisage the use of bikes and public transport to access transport hubs, trains for domestic travel inside EU, and planes primarily to reach overseas destinations. Sharing is caring! Our priority here is adequacy: the total cost of any solution (including long-term maintenance) has to be proportional to the overall public benefit. We support innovative solutions like autonomous truck trains, smart roads and parking lots, freight trams or modular buses where appropriate.
Keep it Simple, Smart
European transport rules are full of exceptions. To get these rules aligned, competitive salary and working conditions for all professional drivers across the continent must be implemented, as well as truck driving ban harmonization and a single market for locomotives and trams. We support progressive legislation for autonomous, driverless cars to settle liability issues and keep the EU on the top of the automotive innovation ladder.
Different modes of transport should be made legally equal, have a transparent system of subsidies and their cost should reflect all applicable externalities.
Big Brother on the Road
We aim for a single, publicly controlled, easy-to-use toll satellite system for commercial transport on highways, allowing the use of open source apps, enabling to process anonymized big data and thus improve both municipal and interstate traffic management. We insist that eCall and other similar movement recording devices remain optional and their data strictly anonymous, so that participation in any such transport monitoring activity remains a transparent tool of choice with public benefits, rather than a compulsory means of government surveillance using outsourced contractors and opaque control mechanisms.
Local Cross-border Travel
Current transport streams, especially in new EU countries, still copy mainly the old national hierarchy. Utilizing new dynamic transport options (bike and car-sharing schemes, on-demand public transport, hailing apps) we will strive to allow new natural transport streams, that will ignore national borders. All EU citizens have the right to truly free movement. These measures allow boosting of peripheral regions that are often the least performing within the countries.
Large EU metropolitan areas are currently in legal limbo regarding the ride-hailing apps (Taxify, UBER), thereby hindering further research and development of those projects. We believe that the legislature has to reflect the current technology development and that one common framework for ride-hailing apps should exist on EU level, allowing GPS and similar technologies to be recognized as a certified system for the calculation of distances. Legalizing ride-hailing apps will be a great benefit for rural areas and less wealthy individuals.
Harmonized Legislation for Automated Vehicles
The EU should work towards a harmonized legislation for autonomous vehicles.