Prague, 18/09/2023 – On Saturday, Pirate Party MEP Marcel Kolaja was elected to lead the Pirate candidates for the European elections 2024. Kolaja is followed by MEP Markéta Gregorová as runner-up, with Zuzana Klusová, a Pirate representative from the Moravian-Silesian Region, in the third position. Mikuláš Peksa, an MEP, and David František Wagner, a policy advisor, were elected to the fourth and fifth positions. The candidate list was determined through a vote among Pirate Party members during the extraordinary National Forum.
“As Pirates, we have selected strong and authentic individuals to head our candidate list. Alongside them, we can effect positive changes in both Europe and our country. I firmly believe that we will secure more seats than we have in the past, enabling us to promote our liberal policies more effectively and work towards a united, modern Europe that upholds human rights,” comments Marcel Kolaja, who already led the Pirate candidate list for the 2019 European elections.
Similar to Kolaja, Markéta Gregorová entered the European Parliament for the first time in 2019 and will defend her position from the second slot on the list. “For me, this signifies not only significant validation of my previous work but also a commitment to improve and harness the invaluable five-year experience for the advancement of pirate ideas. As you may know, I have been focused on security and human rights issues, particularly in the realm of new technologies. I intend to continue in this area and extend my emphasis to include artificial intelligence,” Gregorová explains, emphasizing that AI could be a game changer in international security, especially concerning increased propaganda from countries like China and Russia.
“The gradual conservative shift in Europe brings with it an increased inclination to surveil our every move and employ it against us. This is why I aim to leverage my experience to compel Europe into action. Someone has to take the initiative. I won’t allow authoritarians to erode our freedom,” says Gregorová.
Zuzana Klusová currently serves as the head of a social service for children in a socially excluded area in the Karviná region. She comments: “Every vote for me is also a vote to aid coal regions. Poverty, inequality, and injustice create fertile ground for the rise of extremism and the spread of disinformation. I’m pleased that, as Pirates, we are cognizant of this fact. Instead of surveillance, repression, and censorship, we aspire to pursue systematic assistance and education, advocating for the same within the European Union.”
“My objective is to enhance the environment and, more importantly, enhance the quality of life for individuals in coal regions. I want European funds to address real issues faced by real people. I’m determined to champion a free, sustainable, and socially equitable Europe where every person, regardless of their origin, social status, sexual orientation, or appearance, has an equal opportunity to succeed,” Klusová adds.
Pirate Party members selected current MEP Mikuláš Peksa for the fourth position on the Pirate candidate list. In Brussels, Peksa concentrates on subsidy policies, safeguarding the rule of law, digitalization, and modernizing the economy with a focus on sustainability and climate protection. “The pursuit of a transparent, equitable, and sustainable Europe certainly does not sit well with Czech subsidy magnates, be it the agricultural baron Andrej Babiš or coal tycoons like Daniel Křetínský. However, Europe must serve all its citizens, not just a privileged few,” says Peksa.
“In the European Parliament, I aim to champion fair competition, equitable taxation, and the judicious allocation of subsidies. Meeting environmental challenges requires us to be an innovative, diverse, and prosperous society.”
Short biographies of the leading Pirate candidates for the European Parliament:
Marcel Kolaja (born 29 June 1980) pursued a degree in computer science at Masaryk University in Brno. He has held various roles in the field of information technology, including product manager. In 2019, he was elected to the European Parliament as a member of the Pirates. He previously served as its vice-president and currently holds the position of bursar.
Kolaja is particularly interested in societal functioning in the digital age, advocating for open technologies, internet freedom, media independence, transparency, and a united Europe. As bursar, he oversees administrative and financial matters related to the institution’s operations. Additionally, he serves on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee and the Culture and Education Committee. He has also been involved in the Committee to investigate the use of the Pegasus spyware and the Special Committee on Artificial Intelligence in the Digital Age.
In his leisure time, he enjoys running, cycling, motorcycling, and hiking with his canine companion, Freddie. He is an ardent nature and mountain enthusiast.
Markéta Gregorová (born 14 January 1993), a native of Most, holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations and European Studies and a Master’s degree in Public Administration and Security Studies. She has worked in various roles, including web application tester, e-commerce specialist, marketer, and PRist. In October 2018, she became a non-elected representative of the City of Brno, a position she relinquished upon receiving her MEP mandate in May 2019.
Within the European Parliament, Gregorová focuses on arms export restrictions, hybrid threats, security issues, and human rights under authoritarian regimes. She serves on the International Trade Committee and coordinates the Security and Defence, Foreign Interference and Disinformation Committees, in addition to being a member of the Constitutional Affairs and Foreign Affairs Committee. Her future plans involve continued exploration of the impact of modern technology on security, with a particular emphasis on artificial intelligence.
Beyond her political pursuits, she is a member of the band Definitive Entente, a proud owner of a cat named Cat, and maintains a lengthy list of favorite YouTubers.
Zuzana Klusová (born 28 June 1985) is a politician, media consultant, and co-founder of S.O.S. Karviná. She pursued studies in media studies and social work at the Faculty of Social Sciences at Masaryk University in Brno. She chairs the Environment Committee and represents the Pirates in the Moravian-Silesian Region. Her journey into civic activism began in 2012 when she opposed OKD’s plan to disrupt a picturesque part of Karviná – Staré Město, a venture that was successfully thwarted thanks to her association’s efforts. In 2021, the association preserved the old Fryštát railway station building, which they intend to transform into a community center. Klusová currently serves as the head of the social service for children in a socially marginalized locality.
In the European Parliament, her focus will be on cohesion policy, the transformation of coal regions, and ensuring equal opportunities and tools for all EU citizens, regardless of their origins and status. She emphasizes that the success of the Green Deal depends on improving the quality of life in industrial areas in tandem with environmental initiatives.
In her free time, she engages in furniture restoration, mountain hikes, and reading books by Paulo Coelho.
Mikuláš Peksa (born 18 June 1986) graduated in physics from the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics at Charles University. He worked as a Linux server administrator and C++ programmer in Germany. Upon returning to the Czech Republic, he was elected to the Czech Parliament in 2017 and later to the European Parliament in 2019.
In Brussels, Peksa concentrates on subsidy policies, upholding the rule of law, digitalization, and modernizing the economy with a focus on sustainability and climate protection. He is a member of the Parliamentary Committees on Industry, Research and Energy, Economic and Monetary Affairs, Budgetary Control, the Special Committee on Pandemic Diseases COVID-19, and the Subcommittee on Fiscal Affairs. Additionally, he chairs the EP Delegation for Ukraine and leads the interest groups for Cannabis Legalization and Friends of Tibet.
Currently residing in Brussels with his girlfriend, Mikuláš enjoys strategic computer and board games, larps, and programming.
David František Wagner
David František Wagner (born 14 November 1988) graduated from an eight-year grammar school in Písek and earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the Faculty of Education at Charles University. His professional background includes roles as a lecturer, secretary of the Pirates’ parliamentary club, assistant to a member of parliament, and currently, an advisor and head of the office of MEP Mikuláš Peksa.
His primary focus lies in ecological and economic matters. In the European Parliament, he intends to champion a fair market, an equitable tax system, environmental issues, climate change mitigation, judicious subsidy allocation, and a well-thought-out diplomatic, trade, and industrial policy towards partners and threats.
Apart from his political engagement, he writes analyses for the media, organizes experiential events and larps, and designs educational and recreational games.