Europe takes a leap toward Net Neutrality

Thursday, 3 April, 2014 - 10:45

MEPs voted to establish Net Neutrality in the EU as part of the Telecoms Single Market Regulation.  Net Neutrality requires Internet service providers to treat all traffic equally regardless of the source.

Net Neutrality has fostered competition and levelled the playing field online. Formalising it in law will prevent ISPs from hindering access to online services, like email, video on demand or online shopping where it competes with their own, or where the service provider hasn't paid extra for special treatment.

Pirate Party to stand Euro Candidates in North West Region

Friday, 28 March, 2014 - 13:30

There's More to Life than Nick v Nigel

The Pirate Party will be standing in the upcoming May 22nd European Parliament elections in the North West region.  

First on the Pirate Party North West list is Maria Aretoulaki. She runs her own IT consultancy as well as being a dubstep DJ and promoter. Born in Greece, Dr Aretoulaki speaks 4 languages and has lived in 3 different EU countries.

Andy Halsall : EU-US free trade deal must not diminish European standards

The free trade agreement between Europe and America raises the possibility that consumer, employee and environmental protections will be seen as inconveniences that can be reduced rather than levelled between the two partners.

The wave of announcements on both sides of the Atlantic on the proposed negotiations between the European Union and the United States on the 'world's biggest ever' free trade deal came with a surge of positive predictions of such an agreement's impact and not without good reason. After all, the EU and US enjoy one of the closest economic partnerships in the world and certainly the largest.

If you look at the relationship in terms of bilateral trade, the picture is pretty clear with more than €2bn a day passing between the two in 2012. According to the Office of the US Trade Representative, transatlantic investment is directly responsible for around 6.8 million jobs. It is a relationship that has a broad impact. Not only does it help to produce economic prosperity on both sides of the Atlantic but also in dozens of other trading partners around the world.

It is hard to argue that any measures that might make this partnership more efficient, or remove barriers to competition would not be a good thing. Of course, as with any relationship in which both sides are competing, the positive aspects come with a few negatives. Disagreements and tariffs may be minor but they do pose a barrier to access for both EU and US businesses. Current subsidies and state support ensure that in some areas competition is less than ideal, or even impossible.

Prospective EU Candidate: George Walkden

George Walkden's picture

I'm a lecturer and researcher in linguistics at the University of Manchester, where I've been working since receiving my PhD in 2012. Before that I studied French and German, and lived and worked briefly in Germany in the (justifiably) much-reviled pharmaceutical industry. My main policy interests are, unsurprisingly, in issues surrounding access to knowledge: the costs of higher education, the dangers of digital exclusion, language policy, and open access to academic research.

 I've been active in promoting the latter for some time now, and founded a no-fees open access e-journal in 2011. I look forward to the opportunity to stand as a candidate, and will bring my administrative, public speaking, language and research skills to the team.As regards Europe, though I am pro-referendum as a consequence of my belief in direct democracy, I think the evidence indicates that membership of the EU is beneficial to its citizens. Nevertheless, I am deeply sceptical about the level of transparency and democracy in EU institutions: for instance, the ongoing central role of the unelected European Commission is not acceptable in a 21st-century EU. 

Prospective EU Candidate: Maria Aretoulaki

Maria Aretoulaki's picture

I'm Maria Aretoulaki and I'd like your backing as a Euro candidate for the North West region.

I first came to Manchester back in 1991 as a postgraduate student of Computational Linguistics from Greece and an ex-Teacher of English as a Foreign Language. After a 9-year break working in Germany at Universities, Research Institutes and start-ups, I came back in 2005 to work for a big IT company near Manchester airport. 

Since 2008, I've been running successfully my own IT Consultancy, DialogCONNECTION Ltd., based in the Manchester City Centre and serving clients all over the world (US, Asia, and Europe, including the European Commission in the past 6 months). So, having lived and worked here for a total of 14 years, Manchester is my chosen home!

In that time, apart from being active in the professional world of the IT Business, I have channelled my love for electronic music by supporting the associated music scene of the North West and becoming a DJ, podcaster, and promoter myself, playing and organising gigs all over England, broadcasting online radio shows and supporting young producers in making a name for themselves. 

Prospective EU Candidate: Jack Allnutt

Jack Allnutt's picture

Hi, I'm Jack and I would like you to select me to be one of the Party's candidates in the European Parliamentary Elections in May.   

I've been a Pirate for a long time. I joined the Party shortly after it was formed and after reading about the success of the Swedish party, I believed in the ideas that the party stood for.  I could see that there was a need for a Pirate Party in the UK and, as a computer programmer and self-confessed geek, the ideas of re-balancing copyright, the protection of privacy and restoration of civil liberties and promotion of free/open source software in the public sector struck a chord.

Since then I have been involved in activism on the ground, organising regional meet-ups and working with our candidates during the general election, and local and parliamentary elections in Greater Manchester.  I have been a part of every election Pirates have been involved in here in Manchester. I have delivered thousands of leaflets, made the case for our candidates to people all over Manchester. I've done this because it is the right thing to do, because our Party and our candidates are needed. I'm willing to work for that.

Euro Candidate Vote 2014

Loz Kaye's picture

It's the run up  to the Euro Elections in May. For so many of us it was the success of our sister party in Sweden in 2009 in the European Parliament that inspired us - that showed us there is a place for us that were feeling politically homeless. I know that Christian and Amelia have made a big impact in the EP and are respected - even by those that don't really see things our way! I would love to be able to send representatives from Pirate Party UK to Brussels and Strasbourg.

This election will be hard, and no doubt dominated by the negative UKIP agenda. We are offering something really different - a vision for a Britain really engaged internationally, but pushing for the fundamental change that Europe needs on all levels to make it really work. To make it truly democratic and a politics of the people.

The Tories simply can't deliver the reform they promise as they have isolated themselves. They are the "Billy no-mates" of Europe. We can deliver real change, and stand up for the things we care about, digital rights, ending mass surveillance, access to health care, protecting whistleblowers, working towards a citizens' income. 

International Trade Policy

Principles for Trade Agreements

PIRATES stipulate that in all negotiations of the European Union on trade agreements the following conditions must be met:

Protection of Privacy & Civil Rights

Data Protection and Surveillance

Security in Freedom

The expansion of our civil rights, and protection of our freedom is a primary motivation for PIRATES.

The threat posed by unlawful and excessive surveillance measures, imposed on us by governments both foreign and domestic, whether in response to terrorism or other threats is grave. There is an immediate need for action to redress the balance and restore our privacy.

Andy Halsall : UK needs new 'productive' Euroscepticism

If you take a cursory glance at British politics over recent weeks, you might be forgiven for assuming that as a Brit you only have two options when it comes to the European Union. Either you are pro-EU and opposed to change, opposed to a referendum and happy with the creeping political union that we are seeing. Or you are Eurosceptic, opposed to everything the EU stands for, opposed to any political union and not only want to see a referendum, but actively want to remove Britain from the bloc. Of course that is not even remotely true: there is not a binary split on Europe, and if you look at the detail there is a whole spectrum of positions and, more to the point, there is a lot to talk about.

The biggest problem that we seem to face when it comes to the debate on Europe is not even one of policy or direction – these are things we can work out through discussion – it is one of labelling. The pro and sceptic positions, beyond presenting a false dichotomy, make it too easy to pigeon-hole people in ways that are not only unfair, but also wildly inaccurate.

My party, the Pirate Party UK, is supportive of a referendum on Britain's membership of the EU. It is in our manifesto and it is the only position we can take given our principles. The reasons for that are obvious: the drive toward greater political union, one accelerated by the recent economic downturn, has the potential to change the EU in a way that was not entirely obvious when we joined. The potentially massive change in our relationship with the EU is something that people must have a say in. As a result we have, on occasion, been labelled as Eurosceptic and frankly, it is a term I would be happy to embrace, if we could shed some of the rather negative baggage that currently comes with it.


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