Patrick BREYER : Written explanations of vote 

Members can submit a written explanation of their vote in plenary. Rule 194

The Turkish military operation in northeast Syria and its consequences (RC-B9-0123/2019, B9-0123/2019, B9-0125/2019, B9-0126/2019, B9-0127/2019, B9-0128/2019, B9-0129/2019, B9-0133/2019)  
 

The Members of the Pirate Delegation abstained on amendment 18a. We consider that Turkey is no longer a credible candidate for joining the European Union, most recently due to its unilateral intervention in northeast Syria, which constitutes a grave violation of international law. We, however, strongly condemn the parts of this amendment that state that Turkey was ‘not a European country’. A great number of Turkish citizens have shown their enthusiasm for joining the EU on the basis of peace, rule of law and fundamental freedoms.

Foreign electoral interference and disinformation in national and European democratic processes (B9-0108/2019, B9-0111/2019)  
 

. – The Pirate Delegation considers foreign electoral interference a critical problem that is becoming increasingly dangerous to our democratic institutions as the basis for peace and prosperity. Free and fair elections are a cornerstone of the European Union. Particularly, media pluralism, civic education, critical thinking, protection of privacy and freedom of speech are key to defending ourselves against foreign interference. However, our core principles of freedom of speech and the freedom of the Internet are being challenged by paragraph 28 of the resolution, which calls on the Commission to ‘close down accounts of persons engaging in illegal activities aimed at the disruption of democratic processes or at instigating hate speech’. Closing down accounts could lead to the distortion of elections through excessive censorship. Free access to information is an essential prerequisite to counter disinformation and foreign electoral interference. Illegal content should be removed and, where applicable, those responsible prosecuted. Closing down accounts, however, would introduce a new type of sanction that could exclude citizens from communication channels needed for work, education and/or personal life. Restricting access to accounts would hamper the right to anonymous and free speech.

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