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The European Union is currrently experiencing its worst crisis since foundation. The common currency (the Euro) has not functioned as an engine for further integration. The blatant conceptional flaws of the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) are further contributing to the imbalances among Euro-member states which surfaced in the recent economic and financial crisis. One-sided European rescue policies; in particular the austerity measures such as cuts in pensions, wages and social benefits, are a slap in the face to all citizens: the poor crisis management results in the socialisation of losses and privatisation of gains, while widening the economic and social division between and within member states. What is more, this type of crisis-management constitutes an undemocratic setback for the European integration process.
In order to effectively solve the European debt crisis, PIRATES demand timely, single measure-haircuts, effective restructuring and, if necessary, recapitalisation of ailing banks. Should - following a consequent involvement of owners - the equity ratio still be too low, the respective bank may be stabilised by converting borrowed capital into own funds. As last resort, the socialisation of the concerned banks may be considered; however only if insolvency must be avoided for fear of devastating overall economic consequences. In order to soften the shock of drastic social cuts, investments of small scale savers, pension funds and life insurances ought to be guaranteed up to a reasonsable fixed limit.
The European Union cannot survive without solidarity. PIRATES demand that economically weak member states are supported by means of a “Marshall-Plan” - an investment and development programme to boost short-term economic activity and strengthen long-term growth.
Our goal is the reorganisation and modernisation of european economies towards an energy-efficient and resource-conserving economic structure. In order to restore the rule of law and market-oriented principles within the EU, the necessary rescue measures for financial institutions and governments must come under independent scrutiny and, if necessary, should be reversed. Disclosure of all corresponding transactions is crucial here.
The partly criminal conduct of the financial sector - in combination with insufficient banking regulation and supervision within the EU - has proven to be harmful to the common good, and constitutes the major reason for the financial crisis PIRATES call for an effective European supervisory mechanism independent from the ECB and allowing it to identify and efficiently inhibit credit excesses in a timely fashion. For the further stabilisation of the European banking sector the effective separation of “Investment Banking” from other business activity (separate banking system) must be made mandatory by law. To ensure independence of the Eurozone from the whims of US rating agencies and international financial markets, PIRATES call for the immediate foundation of an independent European rating agency.
PIRATES regard the increasing interference of the European Commission into budgetary policies of single member states as a violation of the democratic principle and an imminent danger for the economic development and the process of European integration. Consequently, PIRATES reject the fiscal pact as an intervention into budgetary sovereignty of member states without democratic legitimation. Further steps towards Eurozone integration imperatively require increased democratic legitimation, proper accountability and more effective parliamentary control.
The ESM agreement violates the basic constitutional legal principles as well as the legal principles of a democratic polity (especially the parliamentary prerogative and the rule-of-law principle) and also the transparency principle of the Pirate Party. Demands of the Pirate Party:
1) Decisions taken by the Board of Governors on the rescue shall be decided and controlled by the democratically elected Members of the European Parliament.
2) All lending procedures shall be transparent. The annual financial statements and the annual reports of the ESM should be presented in a machine-readable format for all.
3) The ESM monitoring reports should be accessable and published for all.
4) Every rise of an authorized capital shall be decided pronounced by the democratically elected representatives of the respective national parliament.
5) The European Parliament shall have the authority to elevate the immunity of the members of the Board Governors including the members of the Board Directors.
6) The income of the members of the Board Governors and of the Board Directors has to be published.
We PIRATES demand that all exceptionary stabilisation and consolidation measures for member states of the European Union require that the member state will offer complete transparency of its political and administrative system.
Measures like credits or debt cuts have to be linked to the adoption of freedom of information and transparency acts in those states.
Only this may ensure that financial means will be used in the interest and under the supervision of the people of the country concerned. We assume that due to the additional transparency the money will be invested into measures that will promote the economic stability of the country in the long run.
Essential foodstuffs and water constitute the basis of life for all people. Too often, their price and availability become issues of life and death. Consequently, we PIRATES want to ban all trading in food and related agricultural commodities that is not concerned with producing and distributing food for consumption. Details need to be regulated by international treaties which guarantee that commodity futures always lead to physical deliveries and which prohibit contracts for margin differences, options, short sales and other derivatives.
We PIRATES want the European Union to pass legislation modeled after the Calfornia Transparency in Supply Chains Act which would oblige large corporations with an annual revenue of at least 100 Million Euro to disclose their measures taken against human trafficking, slavery, forced and child labor and debt bondage in their chain of supply.
We PIRATES stipulate that in all negotiations of the European Union on trade agreements the following conditions which are consistent with our principles and convictions will be met:
Instead of exerting pressure to privatise public services through trade agreements, any decision about such privatisations shall be left to the direct democratic control of the people. We PIRATES object to any privatisations which derive solely from trade agreements and demand that for such a decision a referendum shall be mandatory.
At the moment trade agreement smainly take into account the interests of global enterprises, while small and medium-sized companies rarely benefit. On the contrary, those companies will be increasingly ousted from the market. We want to change that.
Trade agreements shall fix mandatory social and ecological standards. If breached, every party to the agreement shall have the right to adopt punitive tariffs and other appropriate anti-dumping measures. We PIRATES will advocate for the inclusion of such standards in trade agreements, especially those of the WTO. Violations of such standards shall be tried by the WTO Panel.
Trade agreements with developing countries shall take into account their structural and economical weaknesses by offering them favorable conditions for mutual trade. These advantagous conditions shall especially apply for the trade with agricultural products and raw materials. There also need to be special adjustments made in the area of patent regulations. We PIRATES want to champion this cause.
We want to work towards provisions in trade agreements which support the use and development of open formats and open source software and regulate the mutual recognition of liberal licence modells like Creative Commons.