European Parliament

Maria Aretoulaki : "Bloody EU regulations, coming here and giving us rights!"

Unfortunately, the current political rhetoric on the subject of EU membership focuses on "immigration" and "foreigners coming here and stealing our jobs". Nobody is talking about all the "foreigners" who come here and pay taxes which fund UK schools and UK hospitals, nor of the "foreigners" who set up businesses here and give Brits jobs (as well as contribute to the growth of the UK Economy). And of course nobody is talking about all the Brits who emigrate and thrive in other EU countries. Even less do we speak of all the "Bloody EU Regulations, coming to this country and giving us rights!" to adapt the Tweet shown here. We all need to rethink our relationship with the EU, as well as demand its democratic reform. What we need is Family therapy. It would be wrong to go straight for Divorce. The first step is of course to go out and vote in the European Parliamentary Elections! And vote for candidates who stand for democracy and civil and human rights. The fewer people go out and vote, the less representative of our will, beliefs, and needs the appointed MEPs are going to be. This is what brings fascists into power: apathy and scapegoats.

Europe takes a leap toward Net Neutrality

Thursday, 3 April, 2014 - 10:45

MEPs voted to establish Net Neutrality in the EU as part of the Telecoms Single Market Regulation.  Net Neutrality requires Internet service providers to treat all traffic equally regardless of the source.

Net Neutrality has fostered competition and levelled the playing field online. Formalising it in law will prevent ISPs from hindering access to online services, like email, video on demand or online shopping where it competes with their own, or where the service provider hasn't paid extra for special treatment.

Euro Candidate Vote 2014

Loz Kaye's picture

It's the run up  to the Euro Elections in May. For so many of us it was the success of our sister party in Sweden in 2009 in the European Parliament that inspired us - that showed us there is a place for us that were feeling politically homeless. I know that Christian and Amelia have made a big impact in the EP and are respected - even by those that don't really see things our way! I would love to be able to send representatives from Pirate Party UK to Brussels and Strasbourg.

This election will be hard, and no doubt dominated by the negative UKIP agenda. We are offering something really different - a vision for a Britain really engaged internationally, but pushing for the fundamental change that Europe needs on all levels to make it really work. To make it truly democratic and a politics of the people.

The Tories simply can't deliver the reform they promise as they have isolated themselves. They are the "Billy no-mates" of Europe. We can deliver real change, and stand up for the things we care about, digital rights, ending mass surveillance, access to health care, protecting whistleblowers, working towards a citizens' income. 

Andy Halsall : UK needs new 'productive' Euroscepticism

If you take a cursory glance at British politics over recent weeks, you might be forgiven for assuming that as a Brit you only have two options when it comes to the European Union. Either you are pro-EU and opposed to change, opposed to a referendum and happy with the creeping political union that we are seeing. Or you are Eurosceptic, opposed to everything the EU stands for, opposed to any political union and not only want to see a referendum, but actively want to remove Britain from the bloc. Of course that is not even remotely true: there is not a binary split on Europe, and if you look at the detail there is a whole spectrum of positions and, more to the point, there is a lot to talk about.

The biggest problem that we seem to face when it comes to the debate on Europe is not even one of policy or direction – these are things we can work out through discussion – it is one of labelling. The pro and sceptic positions, beyond presenting a false dichotomy, make it too easy to pigeon-hole people in ways that are not only unfair, but also wildly inaccurate.

My party, the Pirate Party UK, is supportive of a referendum on Britain's membership of the EU. It is in our manifesto and it is the only position we can take given our principles. The reasons for that are obvious: the drive toward greater political union, one accelerated by the recent economic downturn, has the potential to change the EU in a way that was not entirely obvious when we joined. The potentially massive change in our relationship with the EU is something that people must have a say in. As a result we have, on occasion, been labelled as Eurosceptic and frankly, it is a term I would be happy to embrace, if we could shed some of the rather negative baggage that currently comes with it.

Pirate Party Celebrates Historic ACTA Rejection by the European Parliament

Wednesday, 4 July, 2012 - 11:15

ACTA Dead in current form

Today the European Parliament rejected the controversial ACTA treaty by 478 votes to 39, with 165 MEP's abstaining.  Negotiated in secret by the EU, US, Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Korea, Singapore and Switzerland, ACTA would have imposed draconian restrictions on the freedom of the Internet and access to generic medicines for the world's poorest.

Pirate Party Leader Loz Kaye commented:

ACTA back on track for imminent vote in Europe

Wednesday, 28 March, 2012 - 22:30

The European Parliament decided yesterday to overrule the wishes of the European Commission who said ACTA required a legal review by the ECJ, and instead press on for a decision. [1]

It is typical of the whole process behind ACTA that it is activists who have had to break the news about the latest stage of this controversial treaty. The European Commission has apparently accused us of being anti-democratic. But we are the ones asking citizens to be interested in politics and contact their MEPs.

Stop Copyright Extension Now

Will Tovey's picture

Once again a move to extend copyright is making its way through the European Parliament. The move to extend the copyright on sound recordings (and other "neighbouring rights") began in April 2009 when, under intense pressure from the music publishing lobby, the European Parliament agreed to increase the duration of this copyright from 50 years to 70 years (compromising on the Commission's and lobbyists' demand of 95 years).

However, before this could be implemented, elections were called and a new Parliament was voted in, including one member from the Pirate movement. Now, nearly two years later, this process has been resurrected following a change of heart within the Danish government.

Ask your MEPs to oppose the "Gallo Report"

Peter Brett's picture

Back in June, we discussed the "Gallo Report" on copyright infringement, from the European Parliament's committee for legal affairs (JURI). This report is a bit of a disaster: although it recognises that the available data on copyright infringement is woefully lacking, it nevertheless demands increased regulation and stricter enforcement even in the absence of the data to support it. As if that wasn't foolish enough, it also confuses copyright infringement and counterfeiting. If this report was adopted by the EP as a resolution it would be a serious setback for the Pirate/Green/Social Democrat group of MEPs who have been working hard to promote evidence-based approaches to making policy in this area (among others) within the EP.

Keep your MEPs on their toes!

Editor's picture

During the weeks leading up to the UK General Election — and during the exciting aftermath — our focus has very much been on UK parliamentary politics, and since the election, we've been dealing with our internal elections and getting our paperwork done. But what's been going on at the European Parliament in Strasbourg in that time? Yesterday morning, my attention was drawn to our fraternal Pirate colleague Christian Engström's blog, and in particular two issues that need your action as soon as possible.

Since Christian is the only Pirate MEP, his blog is highly recommended reading!

Pirate Party UK supports MEP calls for ACTA openness

Saturday, 13 March, 2010 - 21:00

Today marks a change in tide for the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), as MEPs once again aligned with Pirate ideals to vote in favour of fully transparent negotiations. In a landslide 663-13 decision, the European Parliament threatened the Commission with legal action if MEPs continued to be kept in the dark.