This travel report was originally published in Belarusian on the homepage of the Pirate Center Belarus.
About a year ago, a number of organisations from all over Europe founded the Young Pirates of Europe, with the main goals of sharing the core pirate platform: Copyright reform, free access to information and education, protection of human rights, and the the union of pirates’ youth.
During the year, new contacts were built among pirates from different European countries: We have been discovering each others ideas and experiences.
This year’s EPIC meeting was held in Brussels, where Julia Reda is now working as member of the European Parliament. She has been chairwoman of YPE in the previous year and became a President of organisation this year.
There was a tour through the European parliament. Officially, the parliament covers travel costs (but only for citizen of European Union), which was one of the reasons why EPIC took place in Brussels. Finally, I, as Belarusian Pirate, got inside with others.
The building of the European Parliament looks like a spaceship. So aseptic. Ideal from the one side. Like a building of big corporations it has its own ecosystem and networking.
Face control, id and passport check and then only about an hour in a room with presentation about the Parliament’s workflows. After that, Julia Reda spoke about her field of work – the hot topic today is copyright reform.
After lunch, it was time for the EPIC itself in one of the rooms inside the parliament. There were delegates from eleven countries: Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden, France and the Czech Republic.
Some words about the EPIC agenda and what happened:
- New members were accepted: Austria and the Czech Republic.
- Then it was voting to stop YPE activity in Sweden, because there were problems with bank account opening, and reopen YPE in Belgium.
Accepted: 9 votes – pros, 1 – cons.
- Just for fun the next voting was to rename “Treasurer” to “Master/Mistress of Coin”.
Accepted: 8 – pros, 1 – cons, 1 – abstain.
- But after that motion to rename “Treasurer” back was added suddenly. Rejected.
- Voting on renaming “Chairperson” to “President”. The last word has no gender what makes it easy to use everywhere.
Accepted: 9 – pros, 1 – abstain.
- A motion to allow Board members make changes to Statutes, if so requested by authorities for organization registration. It can be not transparent issue if not to separate correctly such formal changes and all the other changes.
Accepted: 7 – pros, 1 – cons, 2 – abstain.
- Another motion – possibility for delegates to change Statutes on-line between General Assemblies, if it is needed.
Accepted: 10 votes – pros.
Accepted: 9 votes – pros, 1 – abstain.
Then there were reports from auditors and board members. Only Julia Reda and Lukas Martini from ex-board attended the meeting. They told about board activity during the last year.
- Voting on new board and auditors.
You can find details in the official report.
President: Julia Reda (Germany). General secretary: Lukas Martini (Germany). Master of Coin: Robrecht Colson (Belgium). Board members: Sviatlana Yermakovich (Belarus), Bernhard Hayden (Austria), Arnaldur Sigurdarson (Iseland), Saara Siintola (Finland). Auditors: Florian Zumkeller-Quast (Germany) and Juliana Okropiridse (Austria).
Finally the official part of YPE agenda was over. Networking process was continued inda HackerSpace.
The main planned activity for a day was offered by Julia Reda and supported by the others: visit “Atomium” monument to make photos with it and upload to Internet. It was a hack for fun against “freedom of panorama” ban in Belgium (there are also such ban in law in Belarus, France..). So to get real pleasure you needed to upload photos somewhere on the Internet and got them deleted.
As there were no exact plan everybody did what he or she wanted. As for me, I tried to find common points for pirates deals with young pirates. Some words about european pirates:
- Finnish pirates prepare for elections and going to invite volunteers from Scandinavian countries.
- Iceland pirates have 3 pirates in the Parliament and hold public positions. So they are hacking the system from the inside.
- Czech young pirates haven’t had a big progress but the last year they helped to organize election process in Czech Republic.
- German young pirates have some internal problems between board of different cities, because each pirates’ structure has its own activity and agenda.
- France. Sometimes pirates organize CryptoParties but only for pirates. In future they can make such events more open for people.
- Swedish young pirates helped to organize elections and all forces have gone to make it.
So belarusian Pirates Center (as Falanster’s project) has no less progress than the others pirates’ organizations: hold educational events – CryptoParties, Wiki-Days, Open Data day, launching Creative Commons Affiliate. And does not take care about elections agenda that is popular in other countries.
My own opinion is that Minsk is more beautiful than Brussels so everybody is welcome to marvelous country – Belarus!
P.C. There were positive moments, like BikeKitchen at the Brussels street and crowds of bicyclists at the Day Without Cars :)