After Paris - First meeting of the PPI board.

I don't think I'm too far off the mark when I say that the Pirate Party here, and Pirates around the world are looking forward to seeing changes in the PPI. After years of division and problems I think many of us are unsure as to whether that change is even possible. We've been concerned about the direction of the PPI, its role, even its ability to manage itself, I've been worried about the people leading the organisation and those involved in shaping its direction. Well, it may be early days, but it feels like something may have changed.

How people work together is important, taking a look at that was part of the reason I attended today's board meeting. I won't claim it was perfect, or even that there might not be a few problems on the board, but at the same time it seems like PPI board has some solid new members who are keen and able.

Liam Dolman : Day two of the Pirate Parties International Conference

So after a long day of bureaucracy, voting the PPI conference is finally over.  

For the formal GA, it seemed that 22 parties were present in the room, or as remote delegates (growing to 23 later - but we'll come to that).  That list included the Pirate Parties of Australia, Belarus, Belgium,  Brazil, Catalonia, Croatia, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Khazakstan, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey and United Kingdom. So whilst its a diverse group PPI continues to be overrepresented from the Parties in and around Europe.

The morning was occupied by discussions and votes intended to establish if the current General Assembly was legitimate and decide whether  it was announced within the correct time frame. Ultimately those present accepted Gregory Engles' explanations and his apology, not everyone was happy with the result, but it it allowed the conference to move on.

A bright point was two new parties, Norway and Costa Rica applying to become Ordinary Members, with an additional party applying for membership after the deadline. The room voted to admit the Pirate Party of Norway into PPI and deferred the applications of the Second Pirate Party of Greece and the Pirate Party of Costa Rica to the next Assembly because there was a feeling that the information provided was insufficient. So, halfway through the conference, the PPI family was a little larger than it had been at the beginning.

The meeting then proceeded to the Board reports to the membership. Gregory Engles, PPI Board Co-Chair, failed to produce a written report once again but gave a verbal report detailing a failed application to WIPO, the abandonment of an international press platform due to communication difficulties and the pinning of blame of PPIs financial situation onto the previous treasurer, but more on that later. Fortunately, It was not all doom and gloom as there has been some successes such as the think twice conference and Gregory committing himself to produce an official report in the coming weeks. A little preparation and planning would have been appreciated, it usually prevents... problems.

PPI GA 2014 - It's all about the money

This years PPI conference, with a few exceptions, was all about the money.  With membership fees on the agenda again and hours of work and agreements between the PPI and other members parties earlier in the year, you might have thought that the organisation would be ready and eager to show it is capable of running its financial and administrative affairs.   

At the very least you might have thought it would want to report some of the positive progress that was made earlier in the year.  Unfortunately it didn't, or probably more accurately, it couldn't.   

If anything it's the deathly silence on the issues, and upbeat generalisation from PPI boad members on its own administration and finance that people will take away from the assembly.  From a purely personal perspective, what little trust I had has been eroded further.  But lets look at why:

Firstly we should look at our work with the PPI.   

We summarised our work at the request of Muriel Rovira Esteva from the Pirates of Catalonia  - we had emailed out summaries of what had been done interested parties a few months ago, but Muriel wanted something that drew it all together. That report is available here, but I'll go over the main points.

After the vote on our membership of PPI in July 2013 we went to the PPI board via Gregory Engels and Thomas Gaul to see what support we could offer and how we could deal with the issues we had found on during the debate.

Our International team attended PPI board meetings and made sure we discussed the issues our members had identified. We worked on and got agreements on what PPI would aim to do and we helped with IT, finance. structural issues and processes. In all we invested hours of time on practical work, as well as on talking through the problems. 

On PPI finances we passed on financial documents, including departmental budgets and an  annual return and we ran PPI through the processes we used to get there.  Processes that it was agreed PPI would modify and implement.

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