29/5/2019, Brussels – Newly elected Pirate Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) started to negotiate joining one of the European political groups. “We made significant progress in negotiations with the Greens/European Free Alliance group which is the most willing to incorporate our agenda into its priorities for the next five years,” comments Pirate MEP Marcel Kolaja.
The talks included, among other things, the political requests that the group would raise in negotiations about the future President of the European Commission.
“Specifically, we want an explicit moratorium on new surveillance laws”, explains German Pirate MEP Patrick Breyer. “We are sleepwalking into a society of permanent surveillance and mutual distrust unless we stand up for our fundamental rights and liberties and stop this trend. This includes freedom of speech online and preventing upload filters as well as other forms of Internet censorship.”
Another demand is the immediate publication of the Commission’s findings on the Czech PM Andrej Babiš‘ conflict of interest and an audit in Agrofert company.
“It is not only about Andrej Babiš as he himself thinks all the time, it is about all the similar cases in the future. European Commision needs to publish the results of its findings immediately after they are sent to the national government, there is no reason to postpone it at all,” says MEP Mikuláš Peksa.
Apart from the program compatibility, the core of negotiations lies also in the parliamentary committees in which Pirate members can pursue various topics and their priorities.
“We requested seats in all our main areas of expertise. That means Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee (IMCO), Industry, Research and Energy Committee (ITRE), International Trade Committee (INTA) and Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE). Participation in these committees enables us to fulfill the goals from the program with which we succeeded in the elections,” says MEP and the chairperson of the European Pirate Party, Markéta Gregorová.
One of the Pirates will also run for the vice-president of the Greens/European Free Alliance group.
“It is very important for us to be a real, authentic and recognizable part of the group with our own identity. We believe – and in negotiations we could see that – Greens/Eropean Free Alliance is really open and inclusive European group where our approach is strongly reflected and we feel that we can enrich the expertise of our MEP colleagues and add Pirate perspective to the group,” adds Marcel Kolaja.
“The ALDE group did not take a single step to withdraw their support for the Czech prime minister Andrej Babiš and his party,” Marcel Kolaja adds. “We will not join the same group as the party whose chairperson is criminally prosecuted and in a major conflict of interest.”