Internationale Koordination/Proposal for a Common European Election Programme
|Proposal for a Common European Election Programme - English Textversion|
|PPEU_Manifesto - Deutsche Textversion|
- 1 German Proposal for a Common European Election Programme 2014
- 1.1 Preamble
- 1.2 Democracy Add-On for Europe
- 1.3 Data Protection and Surveillance Policy
- 1.3.1 Security in Freedom
- 1.3.2 Security Research and Monitoring Software
- 1.3.3 European Data Protection Regulation with a High Level of Data Protection
- 1.4 Refugee Policy
- 1.5 Political Transparency and Anti-Corruption Policy
- 1.5.1 Disclosure of influence on political decisions
- 1.5.2 Setting Up of a Mandatory Lobby Register at All European Levels
- 1.5.3 Tightening of the Rules on Transparency and Casual Earnings of MEPs
- 1.5.4 Introduction of Cooling-Off Periods for Top Politicians
- 1.5.5 Whistleblower Protection Law in Public Administration and in the Private Sector
- 1.5.6 Transparency of Public Procurement
- 1.6 Open Access and Open Data
- 1.7 Net Policy
- 1.8 Copyright Policy
- 1.9 Free Software, Free Culture and Free Knowledge
- 1.10 Patent Policy
- 1.11 Agricultural Policy
- 1.12 Social Policy
- 1.13 Economic and Financial Policy
- 1.14 International Trade Policy
- 1.14.1 Principles for Trade Agreements
- 18.104.22.168 Stronger Participation of the Parliament
- 22.214.171.124 Comprehensive Information and Public Hearings
- 126.96.36.199 Privatisations only after a Referendum
- 188.8.131.52 Taking Into Account the Interests of Small and Medium-Sized Companies
- 184.108.40.206 Social and Ecological Standards
- 220.127.116.11 Trade Agreements Between Trading Partners With Huge Economic Disparities
- 18.104.22.168 Regulation of Intellectual Monopolies
- 22.214.171.124 Promotion of the Commons
- 126.96.36.199 Respect for Self-Determination and Privacy
- 1.14.1 Principles for Trade Agreements
- 1.15 Energy Policy
- 1.16 Traffic Policy
- 1.17 Drugs and Addiction Policy
- 1.18 Abolishing Daylight Saving Time
PAD zur Vorbereitung der PPEU Programm Konferenz in Athen http://pads.pirateparty.gr/p/Athens_2013_Mumble_Prep
German Proposal for a Common European Election Programme 2014
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 on the common interests of all European citizens, rather than the special interests of a single member state. 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. The primary 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 create a common European cultural space. 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.
Democracy Add-On for Europe
PIRATES demand the convocation of a constituent assembly (Constitutional Convention) for the European Union. The aim of the Constitutional Convention will be to restructure the political system of the EU and its relations to the member states and regions, thus establishing a truly democratic foundation. The process to create this must be transparent and include the European citizens in a comprehensive manner. The members of this assembly are to be elected democratically and should represent the cultural diversity of the Union. All citizens will then hold a vote on the compiled draft of the constitution across the Union at the same time. PIRATES also demand that citizens should be able to take part in votes all over the EU, in order to influence European legislation. They should be able to suggest changes to legislation or stop European laws in the making by means of a "citizens' initiative". This European Citizens' Initiative must be easy to use and free of charge. Changes in EU contracts or the constitution of the EU may only come into effect if a majority of EU citizens approve in a simultaneous vote across the EU. The EU executive must see to it that these votes can be conducted even on short notice. 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, favouring the legislative branch. Therefore, the initiative and decision-making power of the European Parliament should be broadened.
Data Protection and Surveillance Policy
Security in Freedom
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.
1. Ensure everyone's privacy
To preserve our historical heritage of freedom rights and to ensure the effectiveness of the security and law enforcement, we advocate that public information collection and surveillance is in the future only targeted at people who are concretely suspected of committing or preparing a crime. 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 monitoring of innocent people is unacceptable and harmful.
2. Systematic evaluation of existing surveillance powers and programs
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 security policy based on scientific evidence.
To encourage wise safety measures and stop harmful measures, we want the European Fundamental Rights Agency to examine 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 it can accomplish this task.
3. Remove excessive monitoring
We want to abolish unnecessary and excessive surveillance by the EU, including:
- suspicionless, widespread retention of all telephone, cell phone, e-mail and Internet connections
- the use of biometrics in passports and visas, also with asylum seekers
- the transfer of passenger and payment data to third countries such as the USA and, generally, the delivery of personal data to countries without effective protection of fundamental rights
- the compulsory introduction of digital metering devices ("smart meters") without the affected persons having a choice
- the enhanced surveillance of external borders ("Eurosur")
- the cross-border access to police data ("principle of availability") without strong and effective European data protection and protection of fundamental rights.
4. Stop new monitoring plans
We want to stop the progressive dismantling of civil rights that has assumed 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:
- the disclosure and retention of data from electronic passenger records when traveling in the EU by monitoring authorities ("EU PNR")
- electronic recording of all persons from non-EU countries that enter and leave Europe, and the introduction of a licensing system for visa-exempt persons ("Smart Borders")
- automated profiling of people to divide them into risk categories ("profiling"), or other mass data analysis
- systematic monitoring of payments or restrictions of the identification-free payments with cash or electronic cash
- an EU-US agreement on data on the basis of the completely inadequate mandate of the European Council.
5. Fundamental rights "stamp" for new safety measures
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.
Security Research and Monitoring Software
In principle, we PIRATES support the funding of research through the EU. However, this funding must not be misused as hidden subsidy 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.
We intend to democratize publicly funded security research across the EU and align it with the needs and rights of the European population. Advisory bodies such as the European Security Research and Innovation Forum need to include not only administrative and industrial representatives, but an equal number of representatives from parliamentary groups, criminologists and victims' associations as well as non-governmental organizations to effectively protect civil liberties and privacy. Requests for tender must not be issued before an impact assessment about the implications of said project is conducted and evaluated by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights.
We reject further development of technologies aimed at expanding surveillance and supervision of the population. Instead, security research must extend to and focus on the prevention of crime and avoidable disasters and provide independent evaluation of the efficiency, costs, and drawbacks of a proposed measure as well as a review of any viable alternatives. Because a subjective feeling of safety is a requirement to our general well-being, we intend to support research on how the public understanding of security can be improved upon and the distorted view and portrayal of public safety can be countered.
We PIRATES oppose the production, maintenance and support of surveillance software. We condemn trading in such technologies as well as the provision of services to help establish or run surveillance operations. Surveillance software includes any software which enables external parties to gain access to confidential and non-public data, communications and activities stored on an electronic device without the knowledge of its actual users. This is important because surveillance software is used in the European Union and worldwide to overturn fundamental human rights, like the right to privacy, often in order to track, imprison or even torture dissidents and fight democratic movements.
In order to actively take measures against surveillance software, we PIRATES demand that manufacturers of and service providers to these tools are required by law to disclose comprehensive information about their products, business partners and customers. Furthermore we demand a legal obligation to release the complete source code of said software not only to the supervising parliamentary body, but the general public.
European Data Protection Regulation with a High Level of Data Protection
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 is to 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.
PIRATES propose a fundamental reform of the EU policy on refugees and asylum. Any “full boat” ideology is unacceptable. The European approach must be based on the acknowledgement of human rights and fully respect the Geneva Convention on Refugees and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
All member-states must accept refugees and asylum-seekers according to their capacity. No individual member-state should be left alone with the financial, logistic and administrative burden; European solidarity is called for instead. “Frontex”, the agency for the control of EU-borders, which often violates international law and human rights, is an incarnation of the European Union's misanthropic exclusion policy. PIRATES demand to dismantle the agency altogether.
EU neigbourhood policy and EU development policy must be geared towards lasting improvement of living conditions and focus on the promotion of human rights in all partner countries and regions. We denounce all tendencies to create a repressive apparatus of survey and control in Europe.
Political Transparency and Anti-Corruption Policy
Disclosure of influence on political decisions
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 bases of decisions transparent.
Setting Up of a Mandatory Lobby Register at All European Levels
We PIRATES recognize the consultation of stakeholders - for example, NGOs, trade unions, environmental, civil-rights and business organizations - as an integral part of the policy development process of the society - as long as this exchange is sufficiently open and transparent. What we reject is the disproportionate influence of individual groups by shifting the political process toward informal networks of relationships outside the formal legislative process. We PIRATES call for a mandatory register of lobbyists for the institutions of the European Union (EU). Lobbyists and interest groups should have to enlist in the register to get the opportunity to be consulted on proposed legislation by the European Parliament. This register must be regularly checked by authorized, independent bodies.
Tightening of the Rules on Transparency and Casual Earnings of MEPs
We PIRATES call for the publication of the casual earnings of parliamentarians, commissioners and senior officials from the European Union and the identification of potential conflicts of interest and dependencies.
Since the fulfillment of their mandate is central to the work of the MEPs, the maximum number of functions in supervisory, administrative and advisory boards or other bodies should be limited by amending the Code of Conduct for the Members of the European Parliament to encourage them to fulfill their primary activity conscientiously.
Violations of the code of conduct and declaration duties must be punished by high administrative fines.
Perquisites, allowances and monetary benefits, as well as employers must be published immediately upon receipt in a machine-readable form on the Internet, to make it possible to link the data to the register of lobbyists and voting behaviour in plenary session and in committees.
Introduction of Cooling-Off Periods for Top Politicians
We PIRATES refuse to accept retired leaders shortly taking over tasks of political advocacy for businesses and organizations in the area of their former responsibilities. To give elected representatives and government officials less incentive to make their political action dependent on the interests of potential future employers, we PIRATES call for the introduction of waiting periods (so-called "cooling-off") for members of the European institutions and senior EU officials, provided that no superior law is violated. This applies to those policy fields where decision makers were responsible in their previous political function and where there may be links between the decisions made in office and the intended employment.
Whistleblower Protection Law in Public Administration and in the Private Sector
We PIRATES advocate for a general and comprehensive legislation, valid in all member states, to protect persons who report cases of corruption or insider trading or disclose ethics violations ("whistleblowers").
Transparency of Public Procurement
Transactions of the public sector must be transparent. Executive and administrative organs of the state 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. The use of budget funds must be identifiable and verifiable for everyone. The tender criteria shall be published in a way that the citizens may follow the decision process (e.g. on the Internet). It would be desirable that all submitted offers are published directly after the end of the offer period. Public procurement and projects and organizations subsidized by tax funds should be stored in a central database and published on an online portal.
Open Access and Open Data
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.
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 should be made available in an appropriate form, which would 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 would 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.
Upgrading of Net Infrastructure
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 net 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.
Protect Net Neutrality EU-Wide
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.
All endpoints of the Internet must be available without any form of unlawful restriction. Traffic management measures should only be allowed in exceptional circumstances in a clear and transparent manner and only for technical reasons. We demand that the quality and openness of the Internet has to be monitored constantly by an independent institution to ensure that there are no filters or blocks or any other obstacles in place. We say "No" to throttling, deep-packet inspection and Internet-blocking!
Legal Guarantee for Anonymous, Pseudonymous and Autonymous Access to Network Services
We PIRATES reject a constraint to use legal names on the Internet.
We are committed to guarantee citizens the anonymous access to the Internet and the users of social networks and similar services a pseudonymous and an autonymous access to these services by law. The freedom of expression and self-definition of a person may not be curtailed for reasons of ostensible safety.
Free, Legally-Binding Digital Signatures and E-Mail Encryption for Everyone
We PIRATES are committed to give every person the ability to encrypt electronic communications for a tap-proof correspondence and to sign digitally in a legally-binding way. To this end encryption technologies need to be legalized in the EU and their use is to be taught and promoted.
This is to ensure that unauthorized third parties (e.g. companies and public authorities) are not able to decrypt the encrypted content. Encryption alone may never justify a "reasonable suspicion" for surveillance measures.
We, the European Pirates, want a fair and balanced copyright law based on the interests of society as a whole.
We therefore demand that copying, providing access to, storing and using literary and artistic production for non-commercial purposes must not only 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 temporally 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.
Free Software, Free Culture and Free Knowledge
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.
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.
Free Knowledge and Education
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 copiability.
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 teaching and learning 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 free teaching and learning materials 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.
Patents in the Information Age
Transitioning from the industrial to the information age, many global patent laws by now function as deterrents to innovation rather than as incentives. But the traditional approach is not just losing 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.
Degradation of Private Monopolies and Opening Markets
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 seen as a success story (neither provable nor refutable), the social and economic conditions of invention in the post-industrial and globalized society have fundamentally changed. The increasing international competition also leads to an increasingly misappropriated use of the patent system, where you often cannot 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 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.
Patents in the Information Society
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, or anything unethical. They impede the development of an information society, privatize common goods without reimbursement or necessity 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.
Agriculture should conserve, rather than endanger, natural resources and ecological balance. Seeds, whether bred genetically or conventionally to be resistant against pesticide, may cause particular harm to the environment when they are introduced to virgin ecological systems. Plants bred for resistance will only work in conjunction with specifically adjusted pesticides. Thus, farmers are often forced to use specific pesticides produced by monopolistic companies. This constraint will lead to a direct dependence on the owners of rights of seeds and pesticides. We reject this forced combination of seeds and pesticides and their protection through patents.
PIRATES oppose the allocation of public money in the form of agricultural subsidies without reciprocal contributions in sectors such as the protection of climate, environment, nature, animals and biodiversity. If subsidies are granted at all, effects in terms of potential benefits and added value for consumers and society must be regularly evaluated and grants adjusted accordingly - at both EU and national level. Our long-term goal is to abolish all agricultural subsidies. In order to protect agri-businesses against sudden elimination, decreasing adjustment should be applied over a transition period, while payments are being limited to a decent amount per individual farmer.
European Unconditional Basic Income
For us PIRATES the protection of human dignity is a central task of the European Union. Therefore we will strive to guarantee every resident the minimum income needed to exist and to be an integral part of society. Persons can only live in dignity, if their basic needs are taken care of and they are integrated into society. Thus, as we are living in a monetary economy, everyone will need an income. We PIRATES believe that the vast majority of people will use a secure livelihood as the basis for developing their economic and social potentials. A secure existence empowers people to educate themselves and do research free of economic necessities and facilitates economic innovation. It will make it possible, and easier, for people to work as a volunteer, to look after children and relatives in need, to offer independent news services, to be politically active and to create art and free software. Hence, the whole of society will benefit from it.
Therefore we PIRATES campaign for an unconditional basic income in all of Europe. Every legal resident should be entitled to it, without any means test, application or any other bureaucratic effort. Referendums should decide upon the amount of the basic income and other framework conditions.
But there is more to this than that: To provide for the future of the welfare systems of the European countries there needs to be a change in their basic strategy. Current pillars like economic growth and (full) employment will not be able to sustain the welfare state in the future.
Until there is an unconditional basic income we will fight for (a) minimum wage(s) in all of Europe. This will limit competition on wages and will improve the inhuman working and living conditions of millions of people in Europe. Furthermore, it will increase domestic demand in Europe.
As a first step that can be realized in the short term towards a European basic income, we call for the introduction of a European unconditional income base. The income base, which would not in itself be sufficient to live on, is paid in addition to existing benefits and not offset against them. An income base would already be a benefit for low-income regions in Europe. It would stimulate consumption and thus boost the European single market. We PIRATES have also developed operational funding models that are not an additional burden on state budgets.
Economic and Financial Policy
European Economic and Monetary Union
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 nationalisation 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 reasonable 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.
Transparency and Democratic Control of the ESM
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 should be decided and controlled by the democratically elected members of the European Parliament.
2) All lending procedures should 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 increase of an authorized capital should be decided and pronounced by the democratically elected representatives of the respective national parliament.
5) The European Parliament should have the authority to lift the immunity of the members of the Board of Governors including the members of the Board of Directors.
6) The income of the members of the Board of Governors and of the Board of Directors has to be published.
Transparency Requirements for Emergency Loans
We PIRATES demand that all exceptional 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.
Ban on Food Speculation
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.
Uncovering Trafficking and Slavery in the Supply Chain
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 labour and debt bondage in their chain of supply.
International Trade Policy
Principles for Trade Agreements
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:
Stronger Participation of the Parliament
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.
Comprehensive Information and Public Hearings
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 should be conducted in the public eye. We demand that all results of the consultations, especially submissions by stakeholders, shall be published.
Privatisations only after a Referendum
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.
Taking Into Account the Interests of Small and Medium-Sized Companies
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.
Social and Ecological Standards
Trade agreements should fix mandatory social and ecological standards. If breached, every party to the agreement should 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 should be tried by the WTO Panel.
Trade Agreements Between Trading Partners With Huge Economic Disparities
Trade agreements with developing countries should take into account their structural and economical weaknesses by offering them favourable conditions for mutual trade. These advantageous 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.
Regulation of Intellectual Monopolies
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.
Promotion of the Commons
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 models like Creative Commons.
Respect for Self-Determination and Privacy
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.
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 decentralised integration of the energy market in the European Union, favouring a wide range of small and medium-sized energy providers. Only a decentralised 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.
PIRATES defend the agreed climate goals of the EU. Successful reduction of global warming gases will only be possible with a mix of energy efficiency, an improved system for emissions trading at the European level, and strong support for renewable energy. We favour stronger cooperation and joint investments into the European energy infrastructure. State subsidies for fossil or nuclear energy, including legal liability waivers for nuclear power plants, are counterproductive to the changes we want to happen; they inhibit a climate-friendly and largely self-sufficient energy supply in Europe.
PIRATES demand the abolishment of all subsidies and aid in favour of any fossil or nuclear energy-production. Transparent pricing and disclosure of the mix of energy sources is a prerequisite for a functional, consumer-controlled energy market. Only then, European consumers can take informed decisions as to what and where to buy - according to their individual preferences.
PIRATES demand a mandatory and European-wide commitment of the energy suppliers to present the relevant data barrier-free. In the implementation process of the European internal energy market, state-of-the-art, net-supported technologies (SmartGrid) will play a key role. Admittedly, the detailed documentation of individual energy use does involve a certain risk of abuse. Hence, highest data safety standards must be respected.
PIRATES view mobility as a fundamental right. Sustainable traffic policy, however, must find better solutions than the use of individual cars, while all the negative and environmentally harmful effects are loaded on the society. We support the reduction of road-based traffic in the context of multi-modal traffic planning, while emission-free urban mobility is the supreme goal.
On European level, PIRATES demand that all carriers and systems of transport shoulder a fair share of the overall costs, based on the costs-by-cause principle.
PIRATES regard interconnectedness of traffic infrastructure and the extension of trans-European railway corridors, as a substantial contribution to the process of European integration. Harmonization of technical standards, reduction of administrative hurdles, and suitable complementary construction are indispensable requirements for the creation of a common European traffic system.
PIRATES consider the transport of goods via shipping and rail as trendsetting. The extension of transnational traffic lines for cargo is a primary goal. Decisive shift of traffic volume to railways will be essential to meet environmental requirements, relieve the road networks and optimize the capacity of all transport systems. The promotion of pan-European inland-water transport will offer an ecologically sound alternative to transport of cargo on roads. The capacities of shipping are to be expanded on the European level, while decent technical standards must be made mandatory also for ships registered outside the EU.
PIRATES demand a unification of European airspace, to increase security and efficiency and to allow for innovative routing. Reduction of noise, pollution and environmental damage is a central goal of the PIRATES' air traffic policy. We demand the standardization and expansion of passenger rights, in particular in the area of data protection. PIRATES also support the use of suitable communication technologies so that traffic may be avoided as much as possible.
Drugs and Addiction Policy
The current "European Strategy on Drugs" focuses on drug prohibition and to push the consumption of drugs into illegality. But the "war on drugs" has failed. It needs to be replaced with an accepting and humane drug policy which respects without prejudice an individual's ability to make informed decisions and relies on education to prevent abuse and harmful behaviour.
Fighting Drug-Related Crime With Legal Distribution
We PIRATES want a drug policy which allows for legal means to supply users and does not punish the cultivation, production, purchase or possession of drugs for personal use, nor their consumption. Consumers shall not be brought into contact with organized crime any longer, so we can institute meaningful ways to protect the immature and prevent additional and unneccesary harm caused by the absence of quality control. Sparing the addicted the descent into a life of crime helps facilitate their recovery.
To further decriminalize the common practive of cannabis consumption, an open approach to deal with so called "Cannabis Social Clubs", in which members grow a limited amount of cannabis for personal use, must be found. Cannabinoid-containing medications must be free for medicinal use without special restrictions.
Measures for Outreach and Harm Reduction Among Drug Users
As long as a considerable amount of consumed drugs is acquired from illegal sources, harm reduction measures, such as drug checking, need to be easily available and low-risk behaviour should be promoted.
The primary goal of drug policy must be the prevention of harmful consumption patterns. When these patterns are already present, we have to reach out and offer support. Addiction must be recognized as an illness across Europe, and the rights and dignity of addicts should be respected. Common standards for drug-related treatments are a neccesary prerequisite.
For the Re-Evaluation of International Agreements on Drugs
International agreements have to allow for the decriminalisation of drug consumers and make it possible to offer legal opportunities to obtain drugs. This is the only way to effectively combat organised crime. International agreements which prevent such a policy have to be terminated as soon as possible and no new agreements like that should be negotiated.
We PIRATES will campaign for the European Union leading the way in this regard.
Abolishing Daylight Saving Time
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.