In today’s speech, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen failed to give a complete picture of the state of the European Union. While the European Pirates Delegation in the Greens/EFA group agrees with some proposals and conclusions, von der Leyen sugarcoated key issues such as vaccination success rates and the implementation progress of the European Green Deal. Moreover, the Commission must ensure that a new European Cyber Resilience Act does not interfere with our fundamental rights online.
German Pirate Party MEP Patrick Breyer comments:
“Recklessly insecure information technology on the market has become a major risk to our security and our lives, to which there is no military solution. The upcoming European Cyber Resilience Act is an opportunity to hold commercial manufacturers liable for the damage caused by vulnerabilities in their products. Furthermore, governments need to have vulnerabilities fixed as soon as they are discovered and stop exploiting and incentivizing them for the purposes of surveillance. Finally, the Commission must stop attacking and undermining secure end-to-end-encryption under the guise of combatting child pornography. When it comes to cybersecurity, the Commission had a lot to say, but actions speak louder than words.”
Marcel Kolaja, Czech Pirate Party MEP and Vice-President of the European Parliament, comments:
“I am glad that von der Leyen has made the digital single market and digital skills one of the top priorities, it really is a make-or-break issue. The Single market is simply the main driver of our post-pandemic recovery. Therefore, we need to focus on making the digital single market fair and competitive. We just cannot allow a few gatekeepers to dictate rules on the market. Europe has to emphasize democratic principles in the digital world as well. Hence, most importantly, the Digital Services Act and the Digital Markets Act must protect fundamental rights in the digital world and bring control over data and information back into the users’ hands.”
Mikuláš Peksa, Czech Pirate Party MEP and Chairperson of the European Pirates, comments:
“The Green Deal has been accepted as the European way out of the current economic depression and towards a solution to the climate crisis. What was not mentioned is how much the implementation of the plan, especially in some countries, is falling behind both in ambition and possibilities. Individual national plans are of wildly differing quality, with the Czech one lacking ambition, vision and specific plans on how to ensure that the funds will get to those in need and not get swallowed by the biggest industries. If the Commission does not step up its control of consistency, we will end up with massive investments flowing to the worst places and a debt we will all have to pay – and without any real benefit for the climate.
“One of the main messages of the speech was a success story – in the end, we managed to get our vaccination drive going and over 70% of adult Europeans are vaccinated. This is a success for sure, even if it is a success that will require even more work in the future, deployment of booster shots and more research. However, the status of vaccination shows a grim story about two Europes. While the average vaccination rate in the EU is above 70%, some countries such as Czechia are falling behind. And in some countries like Bulgaria, where the rate is below 20%, the vaccination drive ended in disaster. But this is not THEIR problem, but OUR problem – in an open and connected Europe, nobody is safe until everybody is safe. This is a time for help and solidarity.”
Czech Pirate Party MEP Markéta Gregorová comments:
“I’m glad that the European Commission is aware of the seriousness of the current problems at the border with Belarus. And I agree that sending migrants over the border with Poland and Latvia is simply hybrid warfare by Lukashenko. Europe must confront this: we cannot close our eyes to the dictatorial regime and the blackmailing practices of Belarus. I’m also glad the Commission will further continue to fight forced labour. Banning products, which were for example made in Chinese Muslim internment camps in the Xinjiang Province by Uighurs or children is a step in the right direction.”