Press release

Pirates vote against new EU Commissioner appointments

Strasbourg, 05/10/2023 – Today, the European Parliament formally votes on the appointment of two new candidates for the European Commission, Climate Commissioner-designate Wopke Hoekstra and new European Green Deal chief Maroš Šefčovič. While Parliament is expected to back the controversial nominations after many hours of hearings and untransparent political agreements, the four Pirate Party Members decided to vote against them. Neither candidate gives the impression of being seriously concerned about climate protection outside of political calculations. The leaders of the Pirate Parties in their home countries Slovakia and the Netherlands also criticize the decisions.

Mikuláš Peksa, Czech Member of the European Parliament and Chairperson of the PPEU, comments on the designated Climate Commissioner Wopke Hoekstra:

“Pirates see climate protection and the fight against the climate crisis as one of the key issues of our time. But Mr Hoekstra, a former employee of the oil company Shell, has long been working in exactly the opposite direction. That’s why we have no choice but to reject the candidate. If we really want to protect Europe and our climate, we need a Commissioner who is committed to his goal.” 

Zuzana Šubová, Pirate Party leader of Slovakia, comments on her countryman Šefčovič:

“I believe that appointing Maroš Šefčovič as the Commissioner for the Green Deal is a decision that raises fundamental questions about our commitment to a sustainable, united Europe. His troubling pro-Russian stance, anti-EU rhetoric, and a cloud of corruption create a dissonance within the very heart of our shared values. The Green Deal demands a commissioner with a proven track record in environmental stewardship and unwavering dedication to the European project. It is imperative that we place the responsibility for shaping our green future in the hands of someone who will steer a steady and resolute course, not someone whose opinions shift with the political winds.”

Mark van Treuren, Pirate Party leader of the Netherlands, comments on his fellow countryman:

“Appointing Wopke Hoekstra as the Commissioner-designate for Climate Action sends a troubling message about our commitment to genuine climate progress. His previous affiliation with Shell raises serious doubts about his commitment to the urgent climate action that our planet demands. I believe that the European Union should be led by individuals who wholeheartedly champion the transition to a sustainable future, rather than those with ties to industries that have historically resisted change. Our citizens deserve a Commissioner who will fiercely advocate for bold climate action in line with our shared environmental goals.“

Patrick Breyer, Member of the European Parliament for the German Pirate Party, comments:

“Two candidates for the highest EU posts on climate protection, neither of whom will protect the climate – this is the latest move by Big Sister von der Leyen, whose replacement is more than overdue. Šefčovič is the candidate of a party in Slovakia that is making headlines with anti-EU rhetoric and open flirtations with Russia. And in the EU Parliament, Social Democrats are deliberately looking the other way and the Conservatives are cheering. They are responsible for citizens increasingly turning their backs on this EU and the gradual take-over of Europe by authoritarian parties. Pirates are standing up against power play at the expense of our future.”

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