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OpenRequest: Pirates launch citizen participation website and seek suggestions on preventing corruption

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Brussels, 28/03/2023 –  The Pirate Party Members of the European Parliament are launching OpenRequest, a unique participatory tool giving citizens the opportunity to suggest issues that should be raised in the European Parliament. For example, citizen suggestions can trigger parliamentary questions to Commission or Council, research tasks to the European Parliament’s Research Service or the sending of an open letter by Members of the European Parliament. On top of that, the OpenRequest website publicly documents the status of the proposals.

The European Pirates have long advocated for more direct democracy and transparency in the European project, which this new tool promotes. In view of the recent Qatargate corruption scandal, Pirates specifically seek citizen suggestions on how the EU could better prevent corruption, conflicts of interest and intransparency.

Marcel Kolaja, Member and Quaestor of the European Parliament for the Czech Pirate Party, comments:

“The European Parliament should be the voice of the citizens. It is the only body of the European Union that the people directly elect. That’s why we want to give them more venues to get involved in the parliamentary process and to alert us to important topics for discussion.“

Patrick Breyer, Member of the European Parliament for the German Pirate Party, comments:

“OpenRequest has proven a popular and successful tool of citizen participation when I was a Pirate Party member of a regional parliament in Germany. Now we are bringing it to the European level. Cultivating and extending citizen participation is a cornerstone of Pirate Party principles.  Politicians should take their role as citizen representatives seriously and find the courage to ask the people for their input and suggestions.”

Markéta Gregorová, Member of the European Parliament for the Czech Pirate Party, comments:

“Both national and European politicians do not take enough account of the real composition of society. For a long time I have been pointing out that there is a lack of, for example, women or young people and various representatives of minorities with different life experiences. It is these groups who bring often neglected topics into the debate because they live them. Through OpenRequest, every citizen of the European Union can make a proposal and give visibility to topics that are not part of the political debate.”

Mikuláš Peksa, Member of the European Parliament and Chairperson of the European Pirate Party, comments:

“Dialogue is a central tool of a functioning and prosperous democracy. Unfortunately, in some countries we see that this necessary component of democracy is in decline. In Hungary and Poland in particular, opposition voices are being silenced. But our tool  enables these people  to make important input through our new website. It only takes a few minutes to make a proposal and it doesn’t have to be complicated, just a well expressed idea. We want to involve as many citizens as possible in the dialogue.”