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Today's European Union as a supranational institution is a project of its member states rather than of its citizens. PIRATES hold the opinion that the future of Europe ought to be organised in the common interests of all European citizens, as well as the interests of member states. Therefore all PIRATES in the European Union have adopted this election programme and strive together to make our vision of the European Union reality. The democratic deficit within the European Union has existed since the beginning and has not sufficiently been addressed in the course of the integration process. An important goal of all PIRATES will be to fix this and to build a solid democratic foundation for the European Union. In order to achieve that goal it will be crucial to design political processes that are more citizen friendly and to encourage the development of a common European cultural space while protecting existing cultures. The EU should live up to its own principles on subsidiarity and decisions should not be taken at an EU level if they can be better resolved on a national, regional or local level.
Political decisions at European level need to be preceded by Europe-wide debates - allowing for adequate participation of all. Without equal, non-discriminating communication, adequate participation will not come into existence; hence, no proper decisions representing the general public interest may be taken. The internet as a new sphere of communication offers tremendous opportunities, providing the possibility for political development, helping to overcome political top-down, one-way communication, and breaking the dominance of the mass media. PIRATES will therefore defend the freedom of the internet with fierce determination at the European level as well as on the global scale.
PIRATES demand the writing of a new European Union treaty designed to replace the current treaties, provided it is accepted by the citizens of the Union through a referendum.
The present EU legislation is dominated by the executive branch / the European Commission / at the expense of the legislative / the European Parliament. PIRATES demand to readjust the separation of powers, favoring the legislative branch.
Changes in EU primary legislation (e.g. a treaty) may only come into effect, if a majority of EU citizens approve in a simultaneous vote across the EU, besides the current requirements of agreement on the govenmental level. The EU executive must see to it that these votes can be conducted even on short notice.
We, the European Pirates, want a common standard for citizen initiatives at local, regional, national and European levels. We want citizen initiatives that can modify constitutions, laws, etc. always being followed by a referendum.
We PIRATES want a larger and more direct participation of the citizens in the policy debate and decision making process, both individually and collectively. We therefore demand the removal of unfair barriers to the participation of new political parties in the EU elections, such as the requirement of collecting a certain number of signatures in order to stand for election.
We 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 basics of decisions transparent.
We PIRATES advocate for a general and comprehensive legislation, which shall be valid in all member states, to protect persons who report cases of corruption, insider trading, or disclose ethics violations (“whistle-blower”).
Transactions of the public sector, including private entities carrying out by delegation a public role, must be transparent. The state, politics and the executive organs are stewards of the tax money of the citizens. We PIRATES believe that it is a fundamental right of the citizens to inspect all contracts in the public sector, with no justification required to request any information. Any exceptions to transparency should be narrow, clearly and operationally listed in the transparency law.
The results of any research carried out with public funds, completely or in part, 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 or with the use of public money, 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. It shall be made available in an appropriate form, which shall also include a form for data processing. Access must not be limited by application procedures, licenses, fees or technical means.
Next to stimulating more open data we strive for a Freedom of Information Act on the EU level that shall abolish the critical aspects (e.g. the definition of “document”, the time limit for appeal) of the current EU Regulation and therefore lower the barriers for access to information.
To conserve and expand civil rights and freedoms are posing a vital challenge for us. Because of the rising number of surveillance measures, which are imposed on us in reference to “international terror” and other “threats” and which rarely hold up in court, there is a grave need for action.
The Privacy of the individual should be valued at all times and protected from being exploited by public and economic actors.
To preserve our historical heritage of freedom rights and to ensure the effectiveness of the security and law enforcement, we advocate that a public information collection, control and monitoring is in the future only targeted at people who are concretely suspected of committing or preparing a crime, and is allowed and supervised by the judiciary power. To protect our open society and in the interest of an efficient security policy, we want to give up automated data collection, data storage and data matching. In a free Europe such a wide detection of many innocent people is unacceptable and harmful.
Safeguards against abuse. In addition, everyone who was specifically followed or had his/her data accessed by the state official(s) should be informed of these facts in due time.
Prohibition of wide interception of communications. The European directive on storing data dictates watching and storing information about all telecommunications connections and also about movement of all cellphones. We, in cooperation with other European pirate parties, seek the abolishment of this directive.
Adequate protection against crime is an important task for the state. In our opinion it has to ensure this task only through an intelligent, rational and evidence-based security policy based on scientific evidence.
We may accept surveillance of citizens in a public space only in clearly defined cases and only at the necessary minimum level. People must be informed about the rules for using the collected personal information, maximum storage time and the deletion policy. We reject further exchange of the collected data, especially in automatic ways.
Prohibition of wide spying (cameras, communication, mobile phones etc.). Public spaces are full of cameras that allow watching movement, face identification, and connection with information about traffic without acceptable reasons for this kind of encroachment on privacy. In addition, studies show that the presence of cameras has minimum effect on criminality, or criminality simply moves to other places. This is why we support and prioritise police personnel moving from watching the cameras to walking the streets.
Prohibition of electronic and biological spying. Routine checks must not unreasonably interfere with privacy, so we reject „stripping“ with help of electronic scanners, perusal of private data on electronic devices and other similar invasive procedures. We oppose wide biological material collection from innocent citizens and its storage in central databases.
To encourage wise safety measures and stop harmful measures, we want that the European Fundamental Rights Agency examines all existing European powers and programs of security agencies systematically and according to scientific criteria of effectiveness, cost, adverse side effects, the alternatives and their compatibility with our fundamental rights (systematic evaluation).We want to equip the European Agency for Fundamental Rights in such a way that they can accomplish this task.
Centralized databases run by the state, e.g. health registry, are at risk of leaks and abuse of sensitive information. We demand that citizens must retain control of their personal information and that it must be properly secured.
We want to abolish unnecessary and excessive surveillance of the EU, including:
We want to stop the progressive dismantling of civil rights, that has taken dramatic proportions since 2001. We advocate a moratorium on any further interference with our human rights in the name of internal security, as long as the systematic review of existing powers is not completed. To ensure our safety, we do not need new laws, existing laws are sufficient.
In particular we reject:
We demand that the European Commission and the Council should in the future send any proposal for new security measures currently in draft to the European Agency for Fundamental Rights to examine its compatibility with our fundamental rights, its efficacy, its costs, its harmful side effects and alternatives. Only through such a “law-stamp” the progressive erosion of our fundamental rights and the use of false security resources can be counteracted in an effective way.
In principle, we PIRATES support the funding of research through the EU. However, this funding must not be misused as hidden subisidy for security and defence companies whose business model relies on expanding the indiscriminate surveillance of the population. 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 problematic technologies suitable to limit fundamental rights.
The emerging EU Data Protection Regulation should not lead to a lowering of data protection standards, but must strengthen the rights of European citizens in all European countries. It shall be ruled out that, for example, Facebook in Ireland can escape effective supervision and control.
The use of personal data for data trade, advertising or market or opinion research must be allowed only with the consent of the person concerned. Therefore, the Pirate Party calls for the removal without replacement of any private access privileges on officially collected data. The European data protection law must take this into account and include a mandatory reservation of consent.
The direct access to personal data and live communication of European citizens and businesses on the Internet by American intelligence clearly shows that there is a great need for action at the international level. Here we want to take measures to protect personal data, the privacy of citizens and their free development of personality and to prevent industrial espionage in the future.
We PIRATES will campaign for a Europe-wide policy that achieves at least the highest existing level of data protection in Europe and that takes into account the demands named above.
We, the European Pirates, are against movements which don't respect Human Rights. We condemn any movement fueled by xenophobic, fascist or discriminatory ideas against any collective.
We, the European Pirates, want to ensure that every European citizen has a proper education, based on Human Rights, far from ideological and partisan fights, and aimed at ensuring critical thinking, tolerance, cooperation, culture and tools for a proper personal development.
We, the European Pirates, are against police forcing demonstrators to identify themselves if they are not commiting a crime. If anyone can be targeted in a demonstration or political development, manifesting your opinion becomes a danger.
We, the European Pirates, want to improve police standard procedures to a common level, based on the most progressive standards in all member countries and focused on proper identification and avoiding abuse of power. Abuse must be punished with demotion and dismissal from office and loss of all benefits (except pension) and the permanent inability to hold any public office.
We PIRATES consider self-determination of the people and privacy as self-evident. Therefore they also need to be respected and promoted in the context of trade agreements. As those principles apply to all people, the EU has to make sure that trade agreements will not allow their trading partners to breach them. On this account, we refuse to accept control mechanisms in trade agreements which contradict this position.
We, the European Pirates, support the promotion of software that can be used, analysed, disseminated and changed by everyone. This so-called free and 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.
We, European 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 and promotes local technical support. We will initiate the migration of the public sector to free software which doesn't have security risks rising from the hidden code and does not bring the dependency on a specific supplier.
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 our and future generations.
The free flow of knowledge and information is essential for us PIRATES and must be promoted and guaranteed in education. Educational institutions should increasingly use the learning resources available under a free license, and where there is no restriction of copyability.
The technical progress creates new opportunities to share knowledge and learning concepts internationally and develop them together. For increased use of these opportunities, we support free and open education materials (OER). We are committed to the development and use of such materials. National and international OER projects are a concrete way to transform this vision into reality.
We welcome the existing EU activities in support of teaching and learning materials free of charge, and will seek to ensure that this will be continued and expanded. The availability of educational media under free licenses that are available for all is essential for barrier-free access to education, even beyond the borders of the EU.
From a long term perspective, we see innovation as the key towards the sharing and development of our cultural and intellectual wealth. We support educating citizens and students in all types of educational facilities about their right to information and about free formats and software. Furthermore, we support the digitization and publication of documents stored in public libraries and archives.
We want to work towards provisions in trade agreements which support the use and development of open formats and free libre open source software and regulate the mutual recognition of licence models like Creative Commons.
We, the European Pirates, want a fair and balanced copyright law based on the interests of society as a whole.
We strive for abolition of information monopolies. Information monopolies prevent people from sharing and using information. The politicians have given in to a series of information monopolies that supposedly motivate creators, inventors and producers to be more active. In reality though, the only ones benefiting from the monopolies are huge corporations whereas the market as a whole is failing (bullying of the collective societies, patent wars, orphan works). Our goal is to create an environment where the motivation to create goes hand in hand with the freedom of information.
We therefore demand that copying, providing access to, storing and using literary and artistic production for non-commercial purposes must not just be legalised, but protected by law and actively promoted to improve the public availability of information, knowledge and culture, because this is a prerequisite for the social, technological and economic development of our society. 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 restored to a reasonable term. Derivative works shall always be permitted, with exceptions which are very specifically enumerated in law with minimal room for interpretation.
The internet as a communicative space knows no borders. PIRATES consider artificial national barriers for cultural goods within the European internal market as a hindrance for the European integration process and demand their abolishment. Overall, a change of approach is required in the area of rights to immaterial goods and their restrictive enforcement. Further monopolies in the sectors of information and culture have to be prevented. By law, the state should only allow or maintain monopoly rights for immaterial goods if these are not conflicting with the general interest. Any monopoly-rights must be temporarily limited; neither their time-span nor their scope may be enlarged retrospectively.
The creation of so-called “commons”, such as free software, free cultural goods, open patent pools and free, open education must be promoted and legally protected.
Social life, increasingly taking place in digital spaces, must not be restricted by rights to immaterial goods. “Fair-Use Regulations” will ensure that. We demand European standards for copyright contracts to strengthen the position of creators versus processing and collecting entities and create a balance in the interest of the general public.
European collecting societies must ensure comprehensive transparency and fair participatory rights for their members.
Transitioning from the industrial to the information age, many global patent laws function as deterrent to innovation rather than as incentive by now . But the traditional approach is not just loosing touch with a changing world. The patenting of knowledge in areas like genetics and biotechnology, as well as software, renders it a tangible threat for the future of our society. Today's seed monopolies and costly legal disputes about often trivial patents already demonstrate how it is both innovators and consumers who have to pay the price. We want freer and fairer markets without the limitations of current patent law, which therefore needs to be reformed or replaced with an approach that actually makes sense, instead of one that further stifles innovation.
In general, an increasing dismantling of monopolies and opening markets are the clear political objective for our party. Patents as government-guaranteed private-sector monopolies provide basically an artificial restriction to the general welfare, which requires constant review and justification.Even if the patenting of industrial goods in the past is generally seenas a success story (neither provable nor refutable), the social and economic conditions of invention in the post-industrial and globalized society have fundamentally changed by now.The increasing international competition also leads to an increasingly misappropriated use of the patent system, where you often can not see a compensation for the society any more. We therefore want to put a halt to the increasing abuse of patents. Patenting of trivialities or even the blocking of progress by patents should be prevented at all costs.This also applies in particular to the field of the pharmaceutical industry. The high demand for money and the monopolistic structure of the market require a reorganization to make use of the resources of society in a reasonable manner and not waste them through blockades and for the benefit of individuals. Patents on pharmaceuticals also have some impact that is ethically highly reprehensible.
Economic success in the information society is no longer dependent on technological inventions, but on the development of knowledge and 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 definitely never be given for things that are trivial, non-substantial, computer programs, business models, life–forms or anything unethical. They impede the development of an information society, privatize common goods without reimbursement or neccesity and have no potential for innovation in the original sense. Small and medium IT companies throughout Europe illustrate that patents on software are no prerequisite to economic success.
The EU and other industrialised countries should not force (e.g. at the occasion of the negotiation of trade agreements) less developed countries to accept IP provisions that are likely to be detrimental to the essential needs of health, education and development opportunities. They should not bully countries either that lawfully use the safeguards of existing agreements for public health or any other objectives (e.g. compulsory licenses of medicines).
We oppose the frequent abuses of patent privileges, such as evergreening practices (introducing spurious changes to medicines with expiring patent protection), paying for delay (to pay a compensation to a generic producer in order to delay the marketing of a potential generic competitor, the consequent reduction in the price of the medicine).
We support the establishmet and funding of alternatives to monopolistic incentives to pharmaceutical innovation (patents, test data protection), such as those that delink the reward of the innovation from the price of the product (prizes, health innovation funds, patent pools, international treaty for biomedical research, etc).
We PIRATES strive for a revision of the TRIPS Agreement in favour of reducing exclusive rights on immaterial goods, especially in patent and copyright regulations, in accordance with our programmatic goals. The same shall apply to other trade agreements which include similar or even more far-reaching regulations on patents and copyright (TRIPS+). We will only give our consent to new trade agreements, if they do not contain regulations about immaterial goods which are contrary to our convictions on the matter.
Net neutrality as a cornerstone of non-discriminatory access to the Internet must apply by a uniform decision for the entire EU. We reject measures of the telecommunications companies that threaten the freedom of access, such as the unequal treatment of service providers. We address in particular the current proposals of the European Commission (“Kroes Telecoms Package”), which abstains from a strong codification of the principle of net neutrality due to the lobbying of providers and telecommunications companies.
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 in a clear and transparent manner and only for technical reasons.
The digital revolution changes the social and economic structures throughout Europe. Free and equal access to the internet is the basic requirement for participation in digital life. PIRATES wish to include the right to “digital participation” in the European Charter of Fundamental Rights. We strongly support the European-wide development of a state of the art communication- infrastructure by the EU. Our goal is to provide access to broadband for everyone in the EU. The principle of network-neutrality must become European law to ensure strong incentives for investment, fair competition and equal treatment of everyone in the digital space. While networks are improved and modernized, any monopoly over the communication- infrastructure must be avoided.
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:
We will campaign for the need for consent of the European Parliament in trade policy instead of just a consultation right. Trade agreements contain political decisions that are important and difficult to change. Therefore the only democratically legitimated body in the EU needs to have equal rights as the European Commission in trade policy.
The European Parliament via its Committee on International Trade (INTA) shall participate as an equal partner of the European Commission in negotiations of trade agreements.
The European Parliament needs to be informed right from the start and comprehensively about the state and the strategy of negotiations.
All documents concerning the negotiations of a trade agreement have to be made available to the European Parliament as well as the public. All negotiations and hearings of stakeholders shall be conducted in the public eye. We demand that all results of the consultations, especially submissions by stakeholders, shall be published.
The EU should be more active in enforcing anti-monopoly and pro-competition policies.
At the moment trade agreements mainly 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.
The EU and other industrialised countries should not force (e.g. at the occasion of the negotiation of trade agreements) less developed countries to accept provisions on protection of rights on immaterial goods that are likely to be detrimenal to the essential needs of health, education and development opportunities. They should not bully countries either that lawfully use the safeguards of existing agreements for public health or any other objectives (e.g. compulsory licenses of medicines).
A functional European internal market for energy must be geared to security of supply, resource protection, consumer benefits and competitiveness. The yet incomplete structure of the existing EU-internal energy market ought to be adjusted to the challenges Europe faces in the sectors of energy and climate protection. PIRATES advocate decentralized integration of the energy market in the European Union, favoring a wide range of small and medium-sized energy providers. Only a decentralized energy market can guarantee affordable and stable energy supply for households and businesses; hence PIRATES lobby for net-neutrality within the European energy infrastructure. Independent, consumer friendly, energy networks will lead the way to break up the actual oligopolistic structures of the European energy market and strengthen the rights of consumers.
We Pirates want to abolish daylight saving time in the European Union. The valid time afterwards shall be decided via referendum. Time changing policy offers no benefits for saving energy, but causes only unnecessary conversion efforts. The only valid reason to continue the practice is its uniform implementation within the EU, which could, however, also be achieved by abolishing it everywhere.