Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance


Czechia - PIRÁTI (Czechia)

Date of birth : , Moravská Třebová

Written explanations of vote Marcel KOLAJA

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

Need for an urgent EU action plan to ensure food security inside and outside the EU in light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine (RC-B9-0160/2022, B9-0160/2022, B9-0162/2022, B9-0163/2022, B9-0164/2022, B9-0165/2022, B9-0166/2022, B9-0167/2022)


The European Pirates support the need for urgent action to secure food supply both within the Union and outside, and the Union should do all it can. However, one thing it should not do is use the war and looming food insecurity as an excuse to dismantle its earlier commitments towards sustainable, healthy, and environmentally friendly food production. Unfortunately, this could be the unwanted outcome of the resolution, when it proposes measures that would undermine the Green Deal, the ‘farm to fork’ strategy, weaken the common agricultural policy’s strategic plans, raise the limit of the Nitrates Directive, and allow pesticide use on ecological focus areas, etc.
Among other points, we disagree with the idea that a solution to ensure food security in the short and medium term should be the diversification of supply from third countries. This might be an option when it comes to energy, where there are fewer immediate possibilities for the Union to replace sources from Russia with its own. However, in terms of food, we have tools at our disposal in the Union that we should exploit before creating new types of dependencies. Therefore, we voted against the resolution.

Joint Undertakings under Horizon Europe (A9-0246/2021 - Maria da Graça Carvalho)


The European Pirates voted in favour of the report on the Joint Undertakings (JUs) under Horizon Europe in the consultation procedure. Taking into account the opinion of the European Parliament, the establishment of the nine Joint Undertakings will be able to go forward, in order to facilitate the delivery of the objectives of the research program. In its position, the European Parliament insisted on some positive elements such as more transparency and accountability of the JUs, which we support.
On the contrary, we strongly oppose to gender quotas. Parliament agreed that the Independent Scientific Advisory Board shall consist of eight representatives, and that its membership shall be geographically and gender-balanced. We believe that the members should be selected based on their qualification for the job and not because of their gender. We need to do our utmost to support women to be able to apply for these positions and to obtain the necessary qualifications. Gender quotas is an ineffective shortcut in trying to solve the problem of women under-representation.

Europe’s Media in the Digital Decade (A9-0278/2021 - Dace Melbārde)


Protection of journalists, independent media, media freedom and pluralism lie at the core of the Pirate policies. We need to find ways how to finance journals and media houses facing obstacles from their national governments. Especially, we agree that we urgently need to implement legislation tackling strategic lawsuits against public participation to protect European journalists, given the increasing number of attacks across Europe.
Unfortunately, the European Pirates could not support this report given the provisions on territorial licenses, which in our opinion go directly against the interests of European consumers. Promoting geo-blocking on audio-visual content is not compatible with exercising the freedom of movement within the Union. People who move abroad face difficulties in remaining in contact with their native language and culture when territorial restrictions are in place.
Furthermore, calls for deployment of preventive measures outlined in Article 17 of the report would imply general monitoring of the Internet and would potentially endanger users’ ability to post hyperlinks, as they would need to know if the linked content has been made available with the right holders consent, which is of course impossible.

The situation of artists and the cultural recovery in the EU (A9-0283/2021 - Monica Semedo)


The European Pirates voted against the report on the situation of artists and the cultural recovery in the EU due to the unacceptable language on territorial licenses. Pushing for maintaining geo-blocking means denying nearly 450 000 Europeans the right to equal access. We agree that the European Commission in an envisaged dialogue on territorial licenses must discuss with all relevant stakeholders. The COVID-19 pandemic caused a significant increase in demand for audiovisual digital content. Geo-blocking remains a serious obstacle in achieving the European Digital Single Market.
Furthermore, we perceive the call for urgent transposition of the Copyright directive premature, due to the ongoing investigations of the European Court of Justice on practical implication of Article 17. It appears that the obligation strongly incentivises content-sharing service providers to deploy automated means to filter on-line content to prevent re-uploads, which poses serious threats to users’ rights and freedom of expression.

The impact of intimate partner violence and custody rights on women and children (A9-0254/2021 - Elena Kountoura, Luisa Regimenti)


. ‒ Tackling violence against women is one of our key priorities. The disparate legislation in the Union needs significant improvements; therefore, we endorse the report’s recommendations on support and safety for victims of gender-based violence, including children, on access to legal protection, emergency accommodation, and on victim funds, as well as prevention in the form of addressing gender stereotypes and biases and training professionals. We especially sign up to the call on Member States who have not done so yet to quickly ratify and implement the Istanbul Convention.
Unfortunately, we could not actively support the report. We abstained because of paragraph 7 of the report, which radically calls to ‘eradicate cyber violence, including online harassment, cyberbullying and misogynistic hate speech’ and for ‘any other possible actions to eradicate hate speech and online harassment’. This is extremely problematic because the stated aim of ‘eradicating hate speech’ creates expectations that cannot be met and can be used to legitimise ‘any’ radical, disproportionate measure that violates fundamental rights, such as deploying error-prone upload filters.

EU Road Safety Policy Framework 2021-2030 – Recommendations on next steps towards "Vision Zero" (A9-0211/2021 - Elena Kountoura)


The European Pirates voted against the report on the EU Road Safety Policy Framework 2021-2030. The reason is the report’s call to record and access in-vehicle data for the purpose of research and roadworthiness tests. While on the face of it, this looks as a laudable intention to improve road safety, it would turn badly against people’s privacy. The records to be collected would include personal data such as the drivers’ location and movements, and there is no call in the text that it should be anonymised. Moreover, we must prevent a situation in which driving records could be used against drivers by the police to test their roadworthiness. It should be the authorities testing the drivers’ roadworthiness rather than their own cars controlling them. At a time when cars are turning into big computers, it is easy to lose ownership of our data. Imagine your laptop would be recording everything you do, just in case you do something wrong!

A new ERA for Research and Innovation (B9-0370/2021)


ERA presents new ideas and angles of possible development for European science – and the lesson from the tragic health crisis we went through is now obvious. Cooperation, open science, open data sets and the empowerment to share in order to actually drive European science forward are important claims of the report.
It still has a long way to go, and should encompass clear requirements on public money/public results, but we see it as mostly a step in a good direction – with one major exception: after all the important statements on openness and sharing as a basis of scientific cooperation, we see the uncritical support for a Unitary Patent as a clear and big step backwards which contradicts a lot of good work that has been done on the report. It must be clear that an excessive protection of patents does not promote innovation but stifles it.

Challenges ahead for women’s rights: more than 25 years after the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (B9-0114/2021)


This resolution highlighted many areas in which we need to make progress in order to achieve gender equality, such as pay transparency, stepping up the fight against gender-based violence, the role of education and zero tolerance for discrimination, access to safe and legal abortion, etc.
However, it included two problematic points, which led to our abstention on the final vote. First, we do not support the introduction of binding quotas in elected bodies. We of course stand behind the representation of women, but quotas are not the right way to achieve it. On the contrary, they limit the free choice of voters, conflict with constitutional law, and could result in a discrimination vis-a-vis other groups, creating a system with no choice and not based on capabilities.
Secondly, the resolution is calling for any actions to be used to eradicate hate speech and online harassment. As much as we might fight against these phenomena, we consider the use of ‘any’ means to be disproportionate and with the risk of opening the door to solutions we strongly oppose, such as error-prone automatic filters.

Reducing inequalities with a special focus on in-work poverty (A9-0006/2021 - Özlem Demirel)


. ‒ Tackling in-work poverty is a critical issue and we support the majority of this report’s proposals. The reason why we abstained is the stance the report takes on sex work, labelling it a serious form of violence and exploitation. This perspective completely disregards situations in which prostitution is legal. Pirates are in favour of decriminalising and regulating sex work, with clear rules that protect the sex workers’ rights. We underline that they should always have the right and means to leave sex work and should be supported to have a real choice.
On the other hand, we wish to highlight some of the important measures advocated by the report, such as strengthening investments in digital technology in rural areas. We need more available coverage, but also quality and efficiency that can sustain new modes of work and service delivery for remote regions. This can go a long way in reducing inequalities and increasing employment, as well as investments in lifelong learning and developing the digital skills necessary for the job market.

Addressing product safety in the single market (A9-0207/2020 - Marion Walsmann)


. ‒ The European Pirates agree that it is necessary to ensure that consumers are not exposed to unsafe products in market places, especially medical protective equipment. However, this cannot be achieved merely by increasing the responsibility of private companies and by obliging them to use automated technologies to tackle misleading practices and disinformation. Such technologies are inefficient as they make errors, leaving misleading practices online, while sometimes removing completely legitimate products. They fail to tackle disinformation or any other context-dependent speech even more often, as demonstrated by repeated mistakes made during the COVID-19 pandemic.



Parlement européen
60, rue Wiertz / Wiertzstraat 60
B-1047 Bruxelles/Brussel

Parlement européen
1, avenue du Président Robert Schuman
CS 91024
F-67070 Strasbourg Cedex