European Pirate Party Network to Coordinate Election Campaigns in 2014
Members of pirate parties from over 20 countries met Saturday in Prague to draw up a united campaign so as to win more seats in the European parliament during the 2014 elections.

Founded in 2010 the Pirate Parties International (PPI) is a non-governmental organisation that gathered all the Pirate parties around the world. That includes the Swedish pirates who first united in a party in 2006 and the successful German pirates.

This two-day event united the 200 representatives of PPI around the will of increasing the number of pirates in the European parliament. At the moment they already have two seats, which are held by Amelia Andersdotter and Christian Engstroem from Sweden.

"The Prague conference is the first step in the joint campaign for the 2014 elections to the European Parliament," deputy head of the Czech Pirate Party Mikulas Ferjencik told AFP.

This weekend, the stars were the Germans. Indeed, recent polls suggest the Pirates are now the third largest party in Germany, with 13% support. This follows their victories in September in Berlin (8.9%) and in March in Saarland (7.4%) and confirms the increasing importance of this movement.

"Key issues for the pirate parties are transparency, an open state and better communication with the citizens," he said, adding that the pirate movement would have a shared agenda. With ACTA, the emerging majority concerned with digital rights were compelled to engage politically in order, as they saw it, to save the Internet.

This meeting on Prague was also the perfect occasion to point out the challenges facing the pirates. The various movements appearing in the different countries are at different stages of their development. In comparison to the big Swedish and German parties, in Greece some groups are only a few months old and only have a handful of dedicated members. In consequence, while some delegates would like to establish a common European Pirate Party (the project has the working title of PP-EU), others are currently concerting all their efforts on establishing a local presence.

Thus, the most probable result of these discussions for 2014 is to formulate a common program limited to critical key points backed by all pirate parties. In the long term, however, the pirates fully intend to hold on to a European political party.

Are you involved in a Pirate Party? Do you think this movement is viable?

Author: +Kellya Clanzig

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