• Sweden edition
 
Elections 2014
'Carl Bildt is a hypocrite': Swedish Pirate MEP
Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

'Carl Bildt is a hypocrite': Swedish Pirate MEP

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".

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
Abba's Björn defends Sweden's Spotify
Swedish artist Laleh alongside Björn Ulvaeus. Photo: Björn Ulvaeus

Abba's Björn defends Sweden's Spotify

Björn Ulvaeus has joined the row over Spotify's streaming costs, saying the music industry had to evolve but admitting that songwriters are losing money. He spoke to The Local's blogger Natalia Brzezinski from his newly adopted home, New York. READ  

Dark weekend looms for southern Sweden
Stockholm City Hall under the cover of clouds. Photo: TT

Dark weekend looms for southern Sweden

Southern Sweden looks set to stay under a blanket of cloud until at least Tuesday, as the darkest November in decades continues. READ  

Gothenburg rabbi reacts to death threats
Rabbi Hillel Ḥayyim Lavery-Yisraëli. Photo: Private

Gothenburg rabbi reacts to death threats

Gothenburg's rabbi received death threats following an attack on a synagogue in Jerusalem earlier this week. Leading figures in the Jewish community have told The Local they fear that anti-Semitism is spreading across Sweden, with Malmö already a key target. READ  

Rush hour chaos after train signal failure
The signal failure is affecting the service between Södertälje and Stockholm. Photo: Thomas Eneborg/TT

Rush hour chaos after train signal failure

Passengers travelling to and from the Swedish capital were forced to make alternative travel arrangements on Friday morning after a signal failure ground the rail service between Södertälje and Stockholm to a standstill. READ  

Swedes' blonde only school photo goes viral
Student Patricia Spång Lundahl holds the sign 'Jimmie sent the rest home' in the protest school photo. Photo. Private

Swedes' blonde only school photo goes viral

A protest school photo by Swedish students to highlight the anti-immigration polices of the Sweden Democrats has generated a storm on social media. READ  

The Local's Countdown to Christmas
Decorating your home for Swedish Christmas
Swedish Christmas decorations on the tree. Photo: Imagebank Sweden

Decorating your home for Swedish Christmas

With Advent just a week away, Swedes are already itching to put out their Christmas decorations. Wondering how to get that Scandinavian Christmas feeling in your own home? Here are The Local's top ten decorating tips for a 'God Jul'. READ  

Israel ambassador to make Sweden return
Isaac Bachman, Israel's ambassador to Sweden. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

Israel ambassador to make Sweden return

Isaac Bachman will come back to Stockholm on November 29th stating that it was a "compromise" when he was recalled to Israel following Sweden's decision to recognize Palestine. READ  

The Local Recipes
How to make Swedish mulled wine
Swedish mulled wine served the traditional way. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

How to make Swedish mulled wine

Come colder days, Swedes rely on one drink in particular to warm them up again: glögg. The beverage has been a Christmas tradition in Sweden since the 1890s. The shops are already packed with the stuff, but why not make your own? John Duxbury shares his favourite recipe with The Local. READ  

Sweden to implement Unicef rights of child law
Prime Minister of Sweden Stefan Löfven sits next to Queen Silvia of Sweden during high level meetings at U.N. headquarters on Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014. AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

Sweden to implement Unicef rights of child law

Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has said that the government will incorporate the Unicef convention on the rights of the child into Swedish law, following talks in New York during his state visit. READ  

Umeå museum rewrites Swedish history
The Women's History Museum is part of Umeå's new cultural centre (white building). Photo: Karl Jóhannesson/Flickr

Umeå museum rewrites Swedish history

Sweden's first women's history museum opens in Umeå this weekend. Deviating from traditional history, it aims to raise questions about sex, power, and identity. But can the concept pull more female - and male - visitors to the region? The Local asked director Maria Perstedt. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Society
What's on in Sweden: November 20th to 27th
National
Timeline: Julian Assange sex allegations
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Family life in Stockholm
Lifestyle
Five unique backpacker hostels in Stockholm
National
How to boost your career in Skåne, Sweden's south
Blog updates

21 November

Editor’s Blog, November 21st (The Local Sweden) »

"Hello from Stockholm, Our week started with reports another Russian plane had been spotted in Sweden’s airspace,..." READ »

 

21 November

Exclusive Interview with Abba’s Bjorn Ulvaeus (Stockholm in my American Heart) »

"Most of us will agree that actions speak louder than words. But when the two are..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Bones show off Sweden's history
National
What new word are Swedes voting on?
National
Why African Swedes are angry about Santa's helper
National
Pine, tar, and tinder: flavours from the north
Gallery
Selfies, solidarity and Hillary Clinton: Stefan Löfven on tour
Gallery
People-watching: November 19th
Society
Why are international professionals leaving Sweden?
Business & Money
Meet the Swedes who made suits for The Hunger Games
Technology
'I'm among the first Swedes with a microchip'
National
What is Sweden doing about bird flu?
Gallery
Property of the week: Eriksberg
National
Vecka45: Sweden's most innovative week
Gallery
In Pictures: The clubs and loves of Sweden's Sven-Göran Eriksson
Society
What's On in Sweden: November 13th to 20th
Gallery
People-watching: November 16th
National
Driving (expats) home for Christmas?
Lifestyle
Make your own Swedish pea soup
Politics
"Totally unacceptable": Defence Minister on Stockholm submarine
Society
The A-Ö guide to making life in Sweden easier
National
How a Swedish party inspired a masterpiece
National
Seen the new Ace of Base yet?
National
Meet the Irish woman thundering into Swedish rock
Gallery
In Pictures: Ace of Base through the years
Society
Ten things you should never say to a Swede
Gallery
People-watching: November 12th
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
National
Opinion: 'We have to talk about Sweden's Isis fighters'
Business & Money
Price hike for new mortgages in Sweden
National
Toy store catalogues 'too white' in Sweden
National
Pirate Bay co-founder released from prison
National
Southern Sweden had 201 days of summer
Gallery
Sweden's ten most powerful people
Gallery
Property of the week: Mariestad
National
Introducing... Healthcare in Stockholm
National
What you need to know about Stockholm hospital bug epidemic
Lifestyle
Young Serbian shouts for students in Sweden
Lifestyle
How to make your own chocolate kladdkaka
Gallery
People-watching: November 9th
Lifestyle
What's On in Sweden: November 7th - 14th
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

829
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
swedishdowntown.com
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
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
aa-europe.org/sweden
The Local Spain is hiring!
The Local is seeking a new editor for our site in Spain to join our growing team of internationally-minded, driven, ambitious and clued-up journalists
Click here for the full job description