9th board - 2nd meeting - 2.3 European Pirates list in the European Parliament elections in Italy

This first post contains background information for point 2.3 on the agenda for the 2nd meeting of the 9th board, taking place 21/03/2024

I will add a second post with my assessment of the situation, and suggestions for possible next steps.


At the 14th Council of the European Pirate Party the following decision was taken regarding participation in the European elections in Italy:

We propose to organize a joint list, with a name and a logo that will be decided later on. In addition, we propose the following:

  • that the European Pirate Party appoints Pirati as the organisation responsible for collecting all candidatures and any mandatory or relevant information needed to participate in the 2024 European Parliament Election in Italy in compliance with Italian electoral law;
  • the process will strive to include pirate candidates from both Pirati and PP-IT, as well as any other relevant candidates, ensuring a fair representation of pirate interests in Italy;
  • every candidate will have to accept CEEP24 and sign the CPS 2024;
  • the board of the European Pirate Party, supervising all the process, will receive all documentation no later than March 15th 2024 and it will ultimately decide the final list of candidates within March 31st 2024, so every candidate can start campaigning;
  • the board will also be in charge of ensuring that candidates will be presented in a Pirate list in the next Italian European Election 2024, appointing any Italian pirate in order to fulfill the requirements of the Italian laws.

This Board meeting was scheduled on 21st of March to give the Board a reasonable amount of time to scrutinize the candidates that was supposed to be presented to the Board by Pirati (no later than) 15th of March. However, to this date Pirati has not presented any proposal for a list. 14/03/2024 they sent the following email to the board:

Dear members of the board,

On Sunday Pirati held an assembly for discussing, amongst other things, our current situation regarding the European elections.

We want to proceed with the presentation of a Pirate list, however we cannot confirm any name yet, because of the uncertainty surrounding who will be exempted from the signature collection.

Back on January 29th the Italian government issued a decree regarding the European Elections. In order to be valid, according to the Italian law it needs to be converted into law within 60 days, being approved, eventually with some changes, by both the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate. The Italian Senate approved the conversion yesterday, including a provision that excludes lists like ours from the benefit of being exempted from signature collection. If the conversion is approved with the same terms within March 29th by the Chamber of Deputies too, we will - by the letter of the law - be required to collect the signatures, something that is not going to be feasible even if the signature requirements were halved, considering that the term for presenting the lists of candidates in the five “circoscrizioni” will be April 29th/30th.

Therefore, in case this conversion gets approved as-is, we might proceed and then challenge the upcoming rejection for the sake of emphasize the anti-democratic spirit of the approved conversion, especially because it’s a scandal that such uncertainty exists basically one month before the terms for presenting the list, but it’s even hard to foresee what to do when it’s not even clear what are the obstacles on our way. As a backup plan, we are also considering including some Pirates in other lists.


Marco Confalonieri

15/03/2024 the Board also received the following email from the Italian Pirate Party:

Subject: European Elections 2024 - Anti-European Collegiality Amendment - Communications

Dear President and Members of the Board of the European Pirate Party,

The amendment to Article 14, paragraph 4, of Italian Law No. 18/1979, which limits the exemption from the collection of signatures only to parties or political groups that have obtained a seat in one of the Italian constituencies in the European Parliament in the previous elections (the italicized and underlined part constitutes the addition), has been approved by the Italian Senate, and next week, upon approval by the Chamber of Deputies, will become law. This amendment is specifically intended for the upcoming European elections in 2024 (without postponement for the 2029 elections).

It is evident that there is an attempt to exclude the so-called “European collegiality”; the intention, namely, is to turn these European elections into national elections. This would effectively transform the European Parliament into a replica of the European Council, with the sole addition of representatives of the minorities of individual national states. This effort stands in clear violation of the Venice Convention (which prohibits modification of electoral law within a year before elections) and the principle of free movement within the Union, applicable to enterprises and individuals but not to political parties.

It is the intention of the Italian Pirate Party to oppose, in all possible forums, from political to judicial, this surge of anti-European sentiment. This is not the first time that, alongside a political battle, we have been compelled to resort to a judge of the republic. When, in 2011, another association utilized both the name (pirates) and the symbol (the pirate flag), we obtained a cease and desist order and compensation for damages against the legal representative (Milan Tribunal order of March 30, 2012, confirmed on appeal on June 28, 2012). When in 2019 the Italian Parliament unjustly imposed a sanction on us, we took them to court and prevailed, a decision later upheld on appeal (Rome Tribunal judgment no. 8767/2021 and Rome Court of Appeal judgment no. 288/2024).

To accomplish this, we need the support of the European Pirate Party and all Pirate Parties of individual Member States of the European Union. In order to advocate for our (and your) cause, we must present our emblem and thus challenge, both politically and judicially, our exclusion from the 2024 European (no longer just national) elections.

In concrete terms, we request approval, this time from both the German Pirate Party and the Czech Pirate Party, as well as the European Pirate Party, for the composite emblem and - as in 2019 - formal legal attestations (under Article 12 of Law 18/1979).

In addition to political actions, both at the national level and, on your part, at the level of the European Union through MEPs, we are in negotiation with other Italian parties facing the same situation, considering engaging a legal firm (the same one that successfully annulled the last two Italian electoral laws), for which we also seek financial assistance.

Awaiting your favorable response, we extend our best regards.


Aldo A. Pazzaglia

Italian Pirate Party


These are my personal reflections on the situation regarding Italy. It is based on the correspondence above, but also on firsthand experience in advising Pirati on how to collect candidates, and whom to approach.


  • Pirati has failed to deliver on the first part of the third bullet point in the decision (“the board of the European Pirate Party, supervising all the process, will receive all documentation no later than March 15th 2024”). This will make it difficult for the Board to deliver on the second part of the same bullet point (“it will ultimately decide the final list of candidates within March 31st 2024”).
  • There is no flexibility in the Council decision surrounding the mandate given to the Board. The board is only mandated to decide on a list before March 31st.
  • It is unclear to me why “uncertainty surrounding who will be exempted from the signature collection” would lead to Pirati being unable to confirm any names at this point. It would be helpful if Pirati could clarify this.
  • We have no information on when Pirati expects to be able to present a list. It would be helpful if they could clarify this.
  • It seems that the Italian Pirate Party is unaware of the decision taken at the 14th Council meeting. This makes me uncertain as to what extent the second bullet point in the decision has been complied with. (“the process will strive to include pirate candidates from both Pirati and PP-IT, as well as any other relevant candidates, ensuring a fair representation of pirate interests in Italy”)


  • The board has room within the limits of the Council decision to delay its decision on the candidates for the Italian list until 31 March at the latest.
  • Such a decision can be taken on Discourse (if initiated on 29 March at the latest, to allow for the minimum 48 hours for votes to be cast). There is no need for a separate Board meeting for the decision.
  • If the Board has not been able to take a decision before that point it would need to convene a Council meeting to either decide on the list, or to give a new mandate to the board to decide. The decision to convene a Council meeting can be taken on Discourse.

My take would be to have a list put forward (what the currently drafted or have), which includes Pirati, PP-IT and any other candidates, whether it would be ordered or not, and regardless of whether it would be eventually declared valid by italian election authorities.

In the meantime they are obviously free to prepare for that eventuality, meaning appeals, electoral alliances etc.

Hi @Mab and @Emerodh, I will answer to some of the points raised.

The idea for our list was to have known pirate-friendly politicians and personalities that could give us an advantage. However, this uncertainty means that politicians who have the possibility to run for other lists who are guaranteed to be present on the ballots will choose that possibility, or delay their response keeping us as a “backup option”.

The alternative is of course to run with a list mostly composed by Pirates, and people who can take the challenge of running in an election where we could have to fight heavily just to be able to be present on the ballots. In this case we would be determined to challenge the upcoming signature requirements through the judicial system.
To do this though, as you remembered in your bullet point, it’s fundamental to have PP-IT’s input too.

I have no idea why PP-IT seems unaware of the decision taken at the 14th CM, as you wrote, because an initial contact regarding this topic was made by @solibo, who then wrote the following to Aldo Pazzaglia and me (I have Alessandro’s permission to post it) on February 14th:

I followed up on February 22nd:

I received an answer from Aldo on February 27th. I am not sure I can report it word by word, since I don’t have Aldo’s permission to share it, but basically in the first part he acknowledged the threat posed by the amendment I cited, and in the second he cited two “debts” that according to him Alessandro and I have towards PP-IT, asking us to settle it before proceeding to manage the emergency.

Please note that I already contested my “debt” through a lawyer in march 2021, as I reminded him in my follow-up, and I think @solibo contested his.

After our Assembly, on March 14th, I sent the following to Aldo:

As you can see, @Emerodh’s suggestion is exactly what we had in mind, but we lack input from PP-IT to be able to proceed with this plan.

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