Pirate Reda: Beware!
Julia Reda, MEP, German Pirate Party
(Flickr ED IIMA 2015 0120 07 45 13)
By Ole Aabenhus
"I do agree with your proposals", said Julia Reda, MEP for the German Pirate Party, at the seminar in the European Parliament, Brussels, where a My!Europe group presented the "20 Recommendations For More Democracy In Europe".
"But", she continued, "a lot of the pro-European forces have not understood the seriousness of the confidence crisis we have in the EU. We continue with business as usual, and what I see is backroom deals across the institutions".
In the past there was at least some initiatives for reform, she said, mentioning Andrew Duff - a British liberal who tried to reform the Parliament from inside - and the federalist MEPs who formed the so-called Spinelli Group. "There was a will to stand up for the European Parliament as an institution and to defend its rights against the Commission and the Council".
She found the proposals in the "20 Recommendations" "extremely important", but feared that they will be "thrown under the bus as soon as they become politically inconvenient".
Take as an example the idea that there should be a budget for balanced lobbying - giving civil society organisations funds to upgrade their influence, she said. This will never come through for one simple reason: That civil society organisations might disagree with you.
The same goes for the recommendation on whistle blower protection, she said pointing to the LuxLeaks affair where the whistle-blowers are now being prosecuted. "We are many who want to do something about it, but now we have to wait for the Commission to make a proposal". There was an idea to do a legislative initiative report, formally requesting the Commission to present a proposal. But this did not happen. "I am a member of the legal affairs committee, but somehow, in some back room, it has been decided NOT to do such a legislative initiative report".
Her end note: "If I can help in any way, I would be happy to do so, but my feeling at the moment is that the situation is probably going to get worse before it will get better".
The pirate party sees itself as "a transnational political movement.. and thus has a special responsibility for the further development of the European idea". The party has prepared an "EU Sixpack" proposal which includes a "Democracy Add-on for Europe".
Julia Reda is chairperson of the Young Pirates of Europe. She was elected MEP in 2014 as the only representative of the German Pirate Party and has joined the Greens as an independent member. In the European Parliament she is on the Steering Committee of the Digital Agenda intergroup, a forum of MEPs interested in digital issues. (Source: Wikipedia).