Our economic program aims to support sustainable long-term development and overall quality of life improvements and foster a competitive, fair, and innovative economic environment. In this regard, we believe it is necessary to consider a broader set of economic metrics besides immediate gross productivity. Such measures must capture the development of long-term economic opportunities, well-being, environmental and social sustainability, and successful collaboration across the whole EU.
Competitive Economic Environment
The environment for all economic activity needs to facilitate resilience and competition and stimulate and enforce transparency. This incentivizes social progress in a sustainable, fair, and democratic way. The Pirates aim to protect individuals, preserve opportunities, and promote individual autonomy and well-being by dispersing and de-concentrating public and private power. Competitive markets provide a fertile ground for entrepreneurship. Competition policy should aim to prevent excessive market concentration and monopolistic practices that hinder new businesses’ market entry. Facilitating opportunities for entrepreneurship, including SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) and start-ups, leads to job creation, innovation, and economic dynamism, contributing to overall prosperity. An effective competition standard should look beyond consumer welfare and be science-based. Rather than sanctioning the abuse of a dominant position, competition policy should focus more on preventing market power. Competition enforcement agencies should be adequately resourced and get institutional support and a sufficient legal mandate. Ideally, the competition authority must be independent and shielded from direct political interference.
Pirates believe trade and cooperation are a way towards development and shared wealth. However, we see many challenges in the current trade environment. At the same time, trade agreements have been abused in the past to empower private entities at the expense of public courts, exploit communities, and promote nepotism and cronyism.
We propose basic principles regarding international trade. For trade treaties, the European Parliament must ratify the treaty, which must be negotiated as transparently as possible, including public hearings and comprehensive access to information. Trade should enlarge our markets and allow for more competition. Therefore, trade agreements should not give out more or less hidden special favours. The ultimate goal of international trade agreements is the positive development of all involved parties. Therefore, we must always ask that our partners uphold at least the most basic labour and enforce paying up for common externalities that damage us all through Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism and similar tools.
Trade is also an economic and political tool. We support economic sanctions against authoritarian regimes, especially those actively undermining European security and committing crimes against humanity. These sanctions should be precisely targeted to damage the wealth of the government elites, hinder the offensive and persecuting capacities of these regimes, and avoid the suffering of ordinary citizens as much as possible. We should not supply weapons and surveillance technologies to authoritarian regimes.
Last years have also seen a surge in protectionism and the closing of free trade in critical technological areas like microchips or renewable energy technologies. We believe that Europe should attain the highest possible level of strategic autonomy concerning these and that we need to reduce our overdependence on authoritarian regimes. The way to get that autonomy and prosperity is through trade with new partners, research, technological excellence, and cooperation. Trade wars have repeatedly proven to be detrimental.
The tax mix should establish an environment of fully internalized externalities of economic activities to cultivate an entrepreneurial environment and a long-term well-developing society.
To achieve this, we propose moving a larger part of the tax burden from labour to capital. To facilitate this, tax harmonization across European jurisdictions should be further developed. This should include targeting strategic capital allocation for tax avoidance and the intentional obscuring of corporate structure (incl. public entities). We should focus on empowering local communities’ decision-making and interests regarding their local tax structure together with establishing an all-European harmonization framework. We do not aim for a unification of tax rates or tax base definitions, only a framework of the shared approach. We will support global coordination on taxation, particularly as regarding international corporations.
Financial Markets and Multinational Corporations
Regulation, supervision, and taxation of the financial markets should encourage investment into long-term development strategies which are environmentally and socially sustainable. The environment should deter financial dominance, capital concentration, and for-profit short-term reallocation (e.g., stock buybacks). Speculative investments should come with heightened disincentives and be more transparent.
European Budgetary Rules
Budgetary policy is an essential tool of economic policy. The current budgetary rules are targeted at preventing budgetary deficits, and they stop member states from reacting in times of crisis.
We propose to discard these and replace them with long-term budget sustainability assessments to prevent excessive budgetary imbalances.
This will allow member states to implement investment policies despite the defence, environmental, and social challenges of our time, as well as encourage balancing their savings and consumption, which will foster a dynamic internal market.
European Economic Integration
The next steps of European economic integration should support all European regions’ labour mobility, equality, and broad economic development. Moreover, there should be continued support for the economic development of physical and institutional infrastructure, particularly of cross-border regions.
We, as the Pirates, see the potential of crypto assets and that they may have a positive role in economic development. We want to protect cash for its anonymity, including digital cash.