Pirate parties ready for 2014 EU elections
(PRAGUE) - Some 200 representatives of Pirate Parties International (PPI) from more than 20 countries gathered Saturday in Prague to discuss their programme for the 2014 EU legislative elections.
"The Prague conference is the first step in the joint campaign for the 2014 elections to the European Parliament," deputy head of the Czech Pirate Party Mikulas Ferjencik told AFP.
"Key issues for the pirate parties are transparency, an open state and better communication with the citizens," he said, adding the pirate movement would have a common programme.
The PPI, founded in 2010, is a non-governmental organisation uniting pirate parties worldwide.
The first pirate party was established in Sweden in 2006, only three years before it won two seats in European Parliament elections.
The weekend conference is also set to discuss the pirate parties' joint steps against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) and the European Parliament's Data Retention Directive, the organisers said.
"We are not here to tell the people what to do but to tell them -- beware, ACTA poses a threat to the freedom of information and the freedom of speech," Pierre Magnin, head of the Pirate party of Reunion, the first French pirate party, told AFP.
A controversial global pact to battle counterfeiting and online piracy faced a new setback Thursday as the European Parliament's pointman on the legislation urged fellow lawmakers to reject it.
Twenty-two of the 27 European Union member states as well as other countries including the United States and Japan signed ACTA in January but the treaty has yet to be ratified anywhere else.
ACTA's aim is to beef up international standards for intellectual property protection, for example by doing more to fight counterfeit medicine and other goods.
Several European governments and lawmakers have voiced reservations about the agreement while protesters have marched against it in some cities, voicing fears that it may curtail Internet freedoms.
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