• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3

'Carl Bildt is a hypocrite': Swedish Pirate MEP

Oliver Gee · 7 May 2014, 15:04

Published: 07 May 2014 15:04 GMT+02:00

The Pirate Party can boast two out of Sweden's 20 MEPs, enough to make them the fifth most popular Swedish party in the European Parliament. And they're planning to grow this year.

"Ideally we'll get three seats this year," Christian Engström told The Local on Wednesday.

And the party, which Engström classes as a focus- rather than a single-issue party, has grand plans after a possible re-election.

The party aims to legalize file sharing, promises a free internet, and plans to tackle mass surveillance. Engström added that the European Parliament was the only global institution to do anything following the revelations by Edward Snowden.

"The internet is the most important thing to happen to mankind since the invention of the printing press," he said. "It's obvious and natural that there should be a number of policy issues that arise from that."

"But unfortunately the Pirate Party is the only party to realize this," he said.

Engström had little praise for Sweden's tweeting, blogging foreign minister, Carl Bildt, who spoke at the opening of the Stockholm Forum for Internet Freedom and Development (SIF) last year, as bloggers and hacktivists alike travelled to Sweden to talk about the internet.

"He's happy to support fundamental rights on the net in various totalitarian societies far away, but his own government refuses to repeal the data retention law even after the Court of Justice has found it breaches fundamental rights in Europe," Engström said.

"He is a hypocrite, unfortunately."

Engström instead puts his hopes to the next generation.

"But young people understand," he added. "They grew up with the internet, it's a part of their reality. But most of the old Swedish parties seem to regard the internet as some kind of toy to take away from kids when they're being naughty." 

Even though the party has only two out of 751 seats (the other belongs to Amelia Andersdotter), Engström said the European Parliament remained an excellent place for focus parties as it offered "the only way to get anything done".

Story continues below…

He pointed to previous successes including stopping the Acta agreement and defending net neutrality. They even convinced the Greens to adopt their programme on file sharing.

"This demonstrates that if you're focused on a particular area you can make a difference in the EU parliament," he concluded.

With advanced voting opened to Swedes on Wednesday, Engström hoped to see more than just Swedish Pirates earning seats when the results were tallied.

"We're hoping for some German Pirates and maybe some Finns," he told The Local, adding that the results can only improve with each passing year. "Each year, one year's worth of voters stop voting and they are replaced by digital natives. We need more Pirates in Europe." 

Oliver Gee (oliver.gee@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Foreigners in Sweden still more likely to be unemployed
A grim outlook is predicted for foreigners in Sweden. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

Unemployment is falling among native Swedes, but foreign-born citizens are struggling to keep pace.

'Help! My name is Jihad'
Jihad Eshmawi. Photo: Private

My name doesn’t make life easy for me, Jihad Eshmawi tells us.

Why fewer Swedes are using condoms in 2016
Photo: Robert Henriksson / SvD / TT

Younger Swedes are better at protecting themselves than their older compatriots.

Swedish economic growth 'best in Nordics'
A new report says Sweden has the best growth prospects of the Nordics. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Sweden's economy is out-pacing its Nordic rivals, but high levels of household debt are still a problem.

IN PICTURES: 8 of Sweden’s wondrous national parks
Vadvetjåkka is Sweden's northernmost national park. Photo: Peter Rosén/Rosénmedia

It’s National Parks Day in Sweden. Who knew? A perfect opportunity surely to take a closer look at some of the country’s most amazing natural wonders…

Why Swedish football is introducing a green card
Swedish referees could soon be reaching for a green card. Photo: Andreas Hillergren/TT

You’ve heard of the red and yellow cards, but how about the green card?

Sweden won't charge foreign minister over 'queue jump'
Sweden's foreign minister, Margot Wallström. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Sweden's foreign minister Margot Wallström will not be charged over claims she was given special treatment to secure an apartment in Stockholm.

Swedes don’t want to join the euro - now or ever
Euros? Nej tack! Photo: Jens Meyer/AP

We'll keep our krona, thank you very much.

Opinion
'Bigotry is not dead in Sweden – we still need to talk'
Stockholm Pride 2015. Vilhelm Stokstad/TT

Sweden still needs to do more to confront intolerance, argues columnist Paul Connolly.

Spotify gains listeners but it's still bleeding cash
Spotify's offices in Stockholm. Photo: Lars Pehrson/SvD/TT

The Swedish streaming giant expanded rapidly last year but hasn't yet turned a profit.

Sponsored Article
How to find student housing in Malmö: 5 tips
Fastighetsbyrån
Gallery
Property of the week: Vika, Falun
Sponsored Article
'Sweden gives artists the space to follow their dreams'
National
Is this the most Swedish tattoo ever?
Gallery
People-watching: May 20th-22nd
Blog updates

20 May

Editor’s blog, May 20th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hello readers, Do not mention Abba! Or cuckoo clocks! Our most read article this week was…" READ »

 

17 May

What about “att”? (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! It often seems like the small words are the ones that cause the most confusion.…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
Food, fun, and reliable sun: Summer in Dubrovnik
National
How to really annoy a Swede abroad
Sponsored Article
How Stockholm startups help new employees feel at home
National
How this war veteran is warming hearts in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: May 18th
National
How this Swede's viral ad totally nailed Stockholm's housing crisis
Sponsored Article
Can you afford to live in Stockholm? (Hint: yes)
Gallery
Property of the week: Vasastaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
Lifestyle
The best Swedish cities for dating
Gallery
People-watching: May 13th-15th
Sponsored Article
'Only soft power can defeat radicalism'
Culture
BLOG: Eurovision as it happened
Sponsored Article
Why Stockholm attracts so many successful researchers
National
Why a 116-year-old Swede isn't the world's oldest woman
National
Youth unemployment falls in Sweden
Sponsored Article
'Sweden gives artists the space to follow their dreams'
Gallery
People-watching: May 11th
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
Gallery
People-watching: May 6th-8th
Sponsored Article
Can you afford to live in Stockholm? (Hint: yes)
Politics
Why Sweden's Greens are in free fall
Sponsored Article
Stockholm makes it easier for refugees to meet startups
National
Can these cartoon Swedes help foreigners blend in?
National
Why this fearless woman is the talk of Sweden
National
Sweden set for sunny weekend
Fastighetsbyrån
Gallery
Property of the week: Vollsjö, Sjöbo
Features
How to be a cool Swede during a hot summer
Gallery
People-watching: April 29th - May 1st
Analysis & Opinion
Why Sweden's fretting about Brexit
3,305
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
psdmedia.se