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Pirate Party
IdeologyPirate politics

Pirate Party is a label adopted by political parties around the world.[1] Pirate parties support civil rights, direct democracy (including e-democracy) or alternatively participation in government, reform of copyright and patent laws to make them more flexible and open to encourage innovation and creativity, use of free and open-source software, free sharing of knowledge (open content and open access), information privacy, transparency, freedom of information, free speech, anti-corruption, net neutrality and oppose mass surveillance, censorship and Big Tech.[2][3][4][5][6][7]

Their libertarian philosophy is based on the idea that the Internet is a public space and that everyone should have the right to access it equally, they argue that interference by governments and IT big business violates the right to live as one wishes, without fear or coercion, and that the citizens should have the right to express their opinions freely and without restraint, even if those opinions are controversial or unpopular.

The Pirate Party's focus on these ideas aligns well with the principles of civil libertarianism and cyberlibertarianism,[8] making it a strong ally in the fight for individual freedoms.

While the name pirate party originally alluded to online piracy, members have made concerted efforts to connect pirate parties to all forms of piracy, from pirate radio to the Golden Age of Pirates.

Pirate parties are often considered outside of the economic left-right spectrum or to have context-dependent appeal.[9]


The first Pirate Party to be established was the Pirate Party of Sweden (Swedish: Piratpartiet), whose website was launched on 1 January 2006 by Rick Falkvinge. Falkvinge was inspired to found the party after he found that Swedish politicians were generally unresponsive to Sweden's debate over changes to copyright law in 2005.[10]

The United States Pirate Party was founded on 6 June 2006 by University of Georgia graduate student Brent Allison. The party's concerns were abolishing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, reducing the length of copyrights from 95 years after publication or 70 years after the author's death to 14 years, and the expiry of patents that do not result in significant progress after four years, as opposed to 20 years. However, Allison stepped down as leader three days after founding the party.[11]

The Pirate Party of Austria (German: Piratenpartei Österreichs) was founded in July 2006 in the run-up to the 2006 Austrian legislative election by Florian Hufsky and Jürgen "Juxi" Leitner.[12]

The Pirate Party of Finland was founded in 2008 and entered the official registry of Finnish political parties in 2009.

The Pirate Party of the Czech Republic (Czech: Česká pirátská strana) was founded on 19 April 2009 by Jiří Kadeřávek.

The 2009 European Parliament election took place between the 4 and 7 June 2009, and various Pirate Parties stood candidates. The most success was had in Sweden, where the Pirate Party of Sweden won 7.1% of the vote, and had Christian Engström elected as the first ever Pirate Party Member of European Parliament (MEP).[13][14] Following the introduction of the Treaty of Lisbon, the Pirate Party of Sweden were afforded another MEP in 2011, that being Amelia Andersdotter.

On 30 July 2009, the Pirate Party UK was registered with the Electoral Commission. Its first party leader was Andrew Robinson, and its treasurer was Eric Priezkalns.[15][16][17]

In April 2010, an international organisation to encourage cooperation and unity between Pirate Parties, Pirate Parties International, was founded in Belgium.[18]

In the 2011 Berlin state election to the Abgeordnetenhaus of Berlin, the Pirate Party of Berlin (a state chapter of Pirate Party Germany) won 8.9% of the vote, which corresponded to winning 15 seats.[19][20] John Naughton, writing for The Guardian, argued that the Pirate Party of Berlin's success could not be replicated by the Pirate Party UK, as the UK does not use a proportional representation electoral system.[21]

In the 2013 Icelandic parliamentary election, the Icelandic Pirate Party won 5.1% of the vote, returning three Pirate Party Members of Parliament. Those were Birgitta Jónsdóttir for the Southwest Constituency, Helgi Hrafn Gunnarsson for Reykjavik Constituency North and Jón Þór Ólafsson for Reykjavik Constituency South.[22][23] Birgitta had previously been an MP for the Citizens' Movement (from 2009 to 2013), representing Reykjavik Constituency South. As of 2015, it was the largest political party in Iceland, with 23.9% of the vote.[24]

The 2014 European Parliament election took place between the 22 and 24 May. Felix Reda was at the top of the list for Pirate Party Germany, and was subsequently elected as the party received 1.5% of the vote. Other notable results include the Czech Pirate Party, who received 4.8% of the vote, meaning they were 0.2% off getting elected, the Pirate Party of Luxembourg, who received 4.2% of the vote, and the Pirate Party of Sweden, who received 2.2% of the vote, but lost both their MEPs.[25]

Reda had previously worked as an assistant in the office of former Pirate Party MEP Amelia Andersdotter.[26] On 11 June 2014, Reda was elected vice-president of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament.[27] Reda was given the job of copyright reform rapporteur.[28]

The Icelandic Pirate Party was leading the national polls in March 2015, with 23.9%. The Independence Party polled 23.4%, only 0.5% behind the Pirate Party. According to the poll, the Pirate Party would win 16 seats in the Althing.[29][30] In April 2016, in the wake of the Panama Papers scandal, polls showed the Icelandic Pirate Party at 43% and the Independence Party at 21.6%,[31] although the Pirate Party eventually won 15% of the vote and 10 seats in the 29 October 2016 parliamentary election.

In April 2017, a group of students at University of California, Berkeley formed a Pirate Party to participate in the Associated Students of the University of California senate elections, winning the only third-party seat.[32]

Czech Pirate Party entered the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Parliament for the first time after the election held on 20 and 21 October 2017 with 10.8%.

Czech Pirate Party, after finishing at the second place at the 2018 Prague municipal election, held on 5 and 6 October 2018, with 17.1%, formed a coalition with Prague Together and United Forces for Prague (TOP 09, Mayors and Independents, KDU-ČSL, Liberal-Environmental Party and SNK European Democrats). The representative of the Czech Pirate Party, Zdeněk Hřib, was selected as a Mayor of Prague. It is probably for the first time, when any pirate party has a mayor in one of the major cities of the world.

At the 2019 European Parliament election, three Czech Pirate MEPs and one German Pirate MEP were voted in and joined the Greens–European Free Alliance, the aforementioned group in the European Parliament that has previously included Swedish Pirate MEPs and German Julia Reda.

Common policies

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While parties vary insofar as specific policies go, common themes of the Pirate movement include:

  1. Defend the freedom of expression, communication, education; respect the privacy of citizens and civil rights in general.
  2. Defend the free flow of ideas, knowledge and culture.
  3. Support politically the reform of copyright and patent laws.
  4. Have a commitment to work collaboratively, and participate with maximum transparency.
  5. Do not support actions that involve violence.
  6. Use free software and open-source software and hardware, DIY and open protocols whenever possible.
  7. Politically defend an open, participative and collaborative construction of any public policy.
  8. Direct democracy/E-democracy
  9. Open access
  10. Open data
  11. Crowdfunding and crowdsourcing[citation needed][33]

Copyright and censorship

Some campaigns have included demands for the reform of copyright and patent laws.[34] In 2010, Swedish MEP Christian Engström called for supporters of amendments to the Data Retention Directive to withdraw their signatures, citing a misleading campaign.[35]

International organizations

  Elected in EU Parliament
  Elected nationally
  Elected locally
  Registered for elections
  Registered in some administrative regions
  Unregistered but active
  Status unknown

Pirate Parties International

Main article: Pirate Parties International

Pirate Parties International (PPI) is the umbrella organization of the national Pirate Parties. Since 2006, the organization has existed as a loose union[36] of the national parties. Since October 2009, Pirate Parties International has had the status of a non-governmental organization (Feitelijke vereniging) based in Belgium. The organization was officially founded at a conference from 16 to 18 April 2010 in Brussels, when the organization's statutes were adopted by the 22 national pirate parties represented at the event.[37]

European Pirate Party

Main article: European Pirate Party

The European Pirate Party (PPEU) is a European political party founded in March 2014 which consists of various pirate parties within European countries.[38]

Pirates without Borders

Pirates Without Borders is an international association of pirates. Unlike Pirate Parties International (which accepts only parties as voting members and organizations as observing members), Pirates Without Borders accept individuals as members. The PWB see themselves as a basis for international projects. Through global cooperation, they strive to reveal the impact of multinational trade agreements on all people on Earth, and foster freedom and democracy.[39] PWB originates from an independent committee for the coordination of Pirate parties in German-speaking countries, known as DACHLuke (DACHL = Germany-Austria-Switzerland-Luxembourg).

Since the Pirate Parties International Conference 2011 on 12 and 13 March 2011, PWB is an "observing member" of Pirate Parties International. The previously independent project "pirate streaming" has become a part of Pirates without Borders since 3 May 2011[citation needed].[40]

Parti Pirate Francophone

In Parti Pirate Francophone, the French-speaking Pirate Parties are organized. Current members are the pirates parties in Belgium, Côte d'Ivoire, France, Canada, and Switzerland.[41]

European Parliament elections


State Date % Seats
Sweden 7 June 2009 7.1 2
Germany 7 June 2009 0.9 0


State Date % Seats
Croatia* 14 April 2013 1.1 0

*Held in 2013 due to Croatia's entry into EU


State Date % Seats
United Kingdom1 22 May 2014 0.5 0
Netherlands 22 May 2014 0.9 0
Austria2 25 May 2014 2.1 0
Croatia 25 May 2014 0.4 0
Czech Republic 25 May 2014 4.8 0
Finland 25 May 2014 0.7 0
France 25 May 2014 0.3 0
Germany 25 May 2014 1.5 1
Greece3 25 May 2014 0.9 0
Estonia4 25 May 2014 1.8 0
Luxembourg 25 May 2014 4.2 0
Poland 25 May 2014 <0.1 0
Slovenia 25 May 2014 2.6 0
Spain 25 May 2014 0.2 0
Sweden 25 May 2014 2.2 0

1Party only participated in North West England constituency
2PPAT is in alliance with two other parties: The Austrian Communist Party and Der Wandel. The alliance is called "Europa Anders" and also includes some independents in their lists
3with Ecological Greens
4PPEE are campaigning for an independent candidate (Silver Meikar) who supports the pirate program


State Date Votes % Seats
Czech Republic 24 May 2019 330,844 4.8 3
Finland 26 May 2019 12,579 0.7 0
France 26 May 2019 30,105 0.1 0
Germany 26 May 2019 243,302 0.7 1
Italy 26 May 2019 60,809 0.2 0
Luxembourg 26 May 2019 96,579 7.7 0
Spain 26 May 2019 16,755 0.1 0
Sweden 26 May 2019 26,526 0.6 0

National elections

This article needs to be updated. Please help update this section to reflect recent events or newly available information. (February 2019)
Country Date % Seats
Sweden 17 September 2006 0.6 0/349
Germany 27 September 2009 2.0 0/622
Sweden 19 September 2010 0.7 0/349
United Kingdom 6 May 2010 0.4 0/650
Netherlands 9 June 2010 0.1 0
Finland 17 April 2011 0.5 0
Canada 2 May 2011 <0.1 0
Switzerland 23 October 2011 0.5 0
Spain 20 November 2011 0.1 0
Greece 6 May 2012 0.5 0
Greece 17 June 2012 0.2 0
Netherlands 15 March 2017 0.3 0
Israel 22 January 2013 0.1 0
Iceland 27 April 2013 5.1 3/63
Iceland 29 October 2016 14.5 10/63
Iceland 15 September 2017 9.2 6/63
Iceland 25 September 2021 8.6 6/63
Australia 7 September 2013 0.3 0
Australia 2 July 2016 <0.1 0
Australia 18 May 2019 TBA 0
Australia (as Fusion Party) 21 May 2022 TBA 0
Norway 9 September 2013 0.3 0
Germany 22 September 2013 2.2 0
Austria 29 September 2013 0.8 0
Luxembourg 20 October 2013 2.9 0
Slovenia 13 July 2014 1.3 0
Sweden 14 September 2014 0.4 0
Israel 17 March 2015 <0.1 0
Finland 19 April 2015 0.9 0
United Kingdom 6 May 2015 <0.1 0
Germany 24 September 2017 0.4 0
Czech Republic 21 October 2017 10.8 22/200
Iceland 28 October 2017 9.2 6/63
Slovenia 3 June 2018 2.2 0
Sweden 9 September 2018 0.1 0
Luxembourg 14 October 2018 6.5 2/60
Israel 9 April 2019 <0.1 0
Finland 14 April 2019 0.6 0
Belgium 26 May 2019 0.1 0
Czech Republic 9 October 2021 15.68 (in coalition with Mayors and Independents 4

Elected representatives

Representatives of the Pirate Party movement that have been elected to a national or supranational legislature.

Pirate Party of Sweden

Czech Pirate Party

Czech Pirate Party MPs in 2019

Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Republic

Since the 2021 Czech legislative election, only the following 4 MP are in office:

The following served as MPs from 2017 to 2021

Senate of the Czech Republic (in office)

European Parliament

Former representatives

Pirate Party Germany

Former representatives

Pirate Party Iceland

Former representatives (Iceland)

Pirate Party Luxembourg

National parties

Main article: List of Pirate Parties

Outside Sweden, pirate parties have been started in over 40 countries,[48] inspired by the Swedish initiative.

See also


  1. ^ Fredriksson, Martin (2015). "Piracy & Social Change| The Pirate Party and the Politics of Communication". International Journal of Communication. 9: 909–924.
  2. ^ "About the PPI".
  3. ^ Gerbaudo, Paolo (2019). The Digital Party: Political Organisation and Online Democracy. Pluto Press. ISBN 9780745335797.
  4. ^ Beyer, Jessica L. (2014). "The Emergence of a Freedom of Information Movement: Anonymous, WikiLeaks, the Pirate Party, and Iceland". Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication. 19 (2): 141–154. doi:10.1111/jcc4.12050.
  5. ^ Hartleb, Florian (2013). "Anti-elitist cyber parties?". Journal of Public Affairs. 13 (4): 355–369. doi:10.1002/pa.1480. Closed access icon
  6. ^ Fredriksson, Martin; Arvanitakis, James (2015). "Piracy, Property and the Crisis of Democracy". eJournal of EDemocracy and Open Government. 7 (1): 134–150. doi:10.29379/jedem.v7i1.365.
  7. ^ Fredriksson, Martin (2015). "Piracy & Social Change| The Pirate Party and the Politics of Communication". International Journal of Communication. 9: 909–924.
  8. ^ Dahlberg, Lincoln (2017). "Cyberlibertarianism". Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Communication. doi:10.1093/acrefore/9780190228613.013.70. ISBN 978-0-19-022861-3. Closed access icon
  9. ^ Simon, Otjes (22nd January 2019). All on the same boat? Voting for pirate parties in comparative perspective. Political Studies Association, 2020, Vol. 40(1) no. 38–53 SAGE Publishing. Page 49: "This indicates that instead of not appealing along left-right lines at all, pirate party's left-right appeal is context-dependent. Moreover, it is more closely related to sympathy for these parties than to party choice".
  10. ^ Anderson, Nate (26 February 2009). "Political pirates: A history of Sweden's Piratpartiet". Ars Technica. Retrieved 7 August 2015.
  11. ^ Downie, James (24 January 2011). "What is the Pirate Party – and why is it helping Wikileaks?". New Republic. Retrieved 7 August 2015.
  12. ^ Igler, Nadja (19 September 2006). "Österreichs Piraten sehen grün". Future Zone (in German). Retrieved 7 August 2015.
  13. ^ "European elections 2009: Sweden's Pirate Party wins a seat in parliament". The Telegraph. 8 June 2009. Archived from the original on 12 January 2022. Retrieved 7 August 2015.
  14. ^ Edwards, Chris (11 June 2009). "Sweden's Pirate party sails to success in European elections". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 August 2015.
  15. ^ Harris, Mark (11 August 2009). "Pirate Party UK sets sail". techradar. Retrieved 8 August 2015.
  16. ^ "Pirate Party launches UK poll bid". BBC News. 13 August 2009. Retrieved 8 August 2015.
  17. ^ Barnett, Emma (11 August 2009). "Pirate Party UK now registered by the Electoral Commission". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 12 January 2022. Retrieved 8 August 2015.
  18. ^ "Pirate Parties: From digital rights to political power". BBC News. 18 October 2011. Retrieved 8 August 2015.
  19. ^ Dowling, Siobhan (18 September 2011). "Pirate party snatches seats in Berlin state election". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 August 2015.
  20. ^ Kulish, Nicholas (19 September 2011). "Pirates' Strong Showing in Berlin Elections Surprises Even Them". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 August 2015.
  21. ^ Naughton, John (20 September 2011). "Could the Pirate party's German success be repeated in Britain?". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 August 2015.
  22. ^ "Iceland vote: Centre-right opposition wins election". BBC News. 28 April 2013. Retrieved 8 August 2015.
  23. ^ Penny, Laurie (8 May 2013). "Laurie Penny on Iceland's elections: A shattered fairy tale". New Statesman. Retrieved 8 August 2015.
  24. ^ Edick, Cole (2015). "The Golden Age of Piracy". Harvard International Review. 36 (4): 7–9 – via Ebscohost.
  25. ^ Collentine, Josef Ohlsson (26 May 2014). "All Pirate Party votes in the EU election". Pirate Times. Retrieved 8 August 2015.
  26. ^ Nordenfur, Anton (6 January 2014). "Julia Reda tops German list to European Parliament". Pirate Times. Retrieved 8 August 2015.
  27. ^ Reda, Felix. "Election as Vice-President of the Greens/EFA Group". Felix Reda. Retrieved 8 August 2015.
  28. ^ Steadman, Ian (29 January 2015). "The Pirate Party's lone MEP might just fix copyright across the EU". New Statesman. Retrieved 8 August 2015.
  29. ^ Hudson, Alex (19 March 2015). "The Pirates becomes the most popular political party in Iceland". Mirror. Retrieved 7 August 2015.
  30. ^ "The Pirate Party is now measured as the biggest political party in Iceland". Vísir. 19 March 2015. Retrieved 7 August 2015.
  31. ^ Björnsson, Anna Margrét (6 April 2016). "Almost half of Icelandic nation now want the Pirate Party". Iceland Monitor. Retrieved 6 April 2016.
  32. ^ Andrea Platten | Senior Staff (14 April 2017). "Executive seats split between CalSERVE, Student Action in 2017 ASUC elections". The Daily Californian. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
  33. ^ Khutkyy, Dmytro. "Pirate Parties: the social movements of electronic democracy". Journal of Comparative Politics.
  34. ^ Copley, Caroline (20 September 2009). "Germany's 'Pirate Party' hopes for election surprise". Reuters blog. Reuters. Archived from the original on 23 September 2009. Retrieved 5 March 2014.
  35. ^ Engström, Christian (2 June 2010). "Urging MEPs to withdraw their Written Declaration 29 signatures". Christian Engström blog. Retrieved 5 March 2014.
  36. ^ Pirate Parties International Archived 21 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine in the wiki of Pirate Parties International, retrieved 21 January 2011
  37. ^ "22 Pirate Parties from all over the world officially founded the Pirate Parties International". Pirate Parties International. 21 April 2010. Archived from the original on 4 March 2012. Retrieved 5 April 2012.
  38. ^ "Here comes the European Pirate Party". PirateTimes. 30 March 2020.
  39. ^ "Pirates without Borders Wiki". Pirates without Borders. Archived from the original on 27 April 2012. Retrieved 5 April 2012.
  40. ^ "PPI Conference 2011: all Pirates and interested persons are welcome!". Facebook.
  41. ^ "Pirate Party - Telecommunication Systems - 2729 -". Retrieved 30 October 2020.
  42. ^ "Bc. Frantisek Navrkal".
  43. ^ "Mgr. Radek Holomcik".
  44. ^ "Bc. Frantisek Navrkal".[verification needed]
  45. ^ "Tomas Vymazal".
  46. ^ "Mgr. Radek Holomcik".[verification needed]
  47. ^ "Pirát Peksa zvolený do europarlamentu se vzdal mandátu v české sněmovně. Nahradí ho analytik Navrkal". iROZHLAS. 6 June 2019.
  48. ^ "Piratenpartij presenteert verkiezingsprogramma" (in Dutch). 3VOOR12 NL. 20 May 2010. Archived from the original on 28 September 2011. Retrieved 9 April 2011.