On her first visit to Spain Amelia, who will become the second Euro MP for the Swedish Pirate Party if the Treaty of Lisbon is ratified by the Irish, began the informal debate by explaining the rise of the party especially in the wake of the infamous Pirate Bay trial verdict. Artur Serra (VEP & i2CAT) and Luis Ángel Fernández Hermana (FeRS) had set the scene by explaining that the Virtual European Parliament was very interested in discovering how the participation in the European elections had increased in Sweden while decreasing in all other countries in the Union.
Amelia suggested that the increasing participation in her country was due to young people voting en masse, especially for her party and she went on to say that her party had captured the imagination of young people in Sweden by insisting that European issues are Swedish issues and demonstrating the importance of the debate about intellectual property, patents, participation and innovation amongst others.
File-sharing and the issues around it are now commonplace topics in the Nordic country having been placed firmly on the agenda by the activities of the Pirate Party and the publicity generated by the Pirate Bay trial. In fact the Pirate Bay verdict had resulted in Pirate Party membership increasing from 15,000 to 40,000 members in just 1 week.
After her brief presentation the debate opened up to the members of the public. In answer to questions, Amelia outlined the political structure of the Pirate Party explaining that while many members were anarchists or libertarians they had chosen the route of parliamentary democracy as the only feasible way to have a voice in European politics. She talked at length about patents and copyright issues, about the party’s policies and objectives, how the party intends to work in Brussels and why they used the name pirates.