Economy and Finances Chapter (official version from the joint collaboration)

Economy and Finances (new title of the chapter)

Our economic program aims to support sustainable economic growth focused on long-term development, broad improvements in quality of life, and fostering a competitive, fair, and inventive economic environment. In this regard, we believe it is necessary to consider a broader set of economic metrics besides mere immediate gross productivity. Such measures must capture the development of long-term economic opportunities, well-being, environmental and social sustainability, and successful collaboration across the whole EU.

The tax mix should be based on establishing an environment of fully internalized externalities of economic activities to cultivate an entrepreneurial environment and a long-term well-developing society.
To achieve this, we propose the following points: Moving a larger part of the tax burden from labour to capital. To facilitate this, tax harmonization across European jurisdictions should be further developed. This should include targeting strategic capital allocation for tax avoidance, and intentional obscuring of corporate structure (incl. public entities). We should focus on empowering local communities’ decision-making and interests regarding their local tax structure together with establishing an all-European harmonization framework (yet not unification of tax rates or tax base definitions, only framework of the shared approach). We will support global coordination on taxation, particularly in questions of international corporations.

Competitive Economic Environment
A transparent, fair, and harmonized economic environment is the core of a thriving economy. The economic environment should ensure the prohibition of a high concentration of market power and instead focus on SME development. An example of a policy supporting SME are a minimal untaxed revenue for every business and streamlining regulations (e.g., threshold effects).
Economic policies must support entrepreneurship with a particular focus on genuine start-up ventures and investments especially innovative ones (against rent-seeking).

Financial Markets and Multinational Corporations
Regulation, supervision, and taxation of the financial markets should encourage investment into long-term development strategies which are environmentally and socially sustainable. The environment should deter financial dominance, capital concentration, and for-profit short-term reallocation (e.g., buy-backs). Speculative investments should bear heighten disincentives and should be more transparent.

Fiscal Policies (except taxation) - title tentative @Emerodh ** tasked to prepare an initial draft**

  • points to consider:
  • feasible & healthy budget (EU direction, regulation??? document)
  • sensitive approach (if decided to approach approached) the topic of shared European debt (very sensitive!)

European Economic Integration
The next steps of European economic integration should support labour mobility, equality, and broad economic development of all European regions. Further, there should be continued support for the economic development of physical and institutional infrastructure, particularly of cross-border regions.

Principles of International Trade (@DavidFW * tasked to finalize)*
Pirates stipulate that in all negotiations of the European Union on trade agreements the following conditions must be met: The European Parliament must ratify the treaty and the treaty must be negotiated to uphold the following principles. The ultimate goal of international trade agreements is the positive development of all involved parties. There is comprehensive access to information and public hearings during the negotiating process. The proposed treaty includes respect for freedom of the Internet, social and civil rights, and sustainable social and economic development. The interests of small and medium-sized enterprises must be considered.

We as pirates see the potential of crypto assets and that they may have a positive role in economic development. We want to protect cash for its anonymity including digital cash.

@Emerodh said:

I checked and there is no Industrial policy team, so maybe we can do a thing about it and projects of common European interest

Need to review the electricity market stuff by the environment group

@DavidFW @Emerodh when you have a moment, please have a look at the two sections that we agreed to finalize. Thanks!

Does it make sense to meet (again). Or would I be better off resigning as coordinator?

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From my side, I feel like we did a lot of great work in Strasbourg on the text above with many people involved (which btw. includes parts of your text as well, e.g. focus on tax evasions, international trade agreements etc.) so I would appreciate if we could keep working on this one. It results from a consensus among people from many pirate parties which should also help with the rounds of approvals once finished (especially, we made sure to remove all the definitely nonacceptable points for some parties to avoid issues in the future). As for me, I am happy to meet if you think that helps (as a group or bilaterally the two of us if you’d like a chat about what & how it went down in Strasbourg or the draft) and I would definitely appreciate everybody’s comments on all or something in it. I am not sure though if a full-on meeting is necessary at this point. I would say a meeting would be great down the road once we have finalized the two remaining chapters that we agreed to add to it.

Not sure how others feel about it?

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Also, I would like to tag here some people that mentioned interest (or were part of the group) in having a look & providing some comments on the text. Would be great to get broad feedback and to keep working on this together.

@bjornlevi @wab @TheBug @anderserk and also if somebody knows how to tag Katarina, Janusz, and Ludovic Hautier that were there with us, please do so (couldn’t find them).


Feed for thought on the fiscal rules thing. Hypes me to get working on the draft hehe

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I’m always okay with more people getting involved

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Good article for sure. Very “French” approach (which I like in a way, btw. if you’d like to read probably the best analysis of the “French” vs. “German” approach to economics I couldn’t recommend more this book: "The Euro and the Battle of Ideas", whatever one might think about Brunnemeier…).
I like the focus on the medium-term approach (my favourite time horizon :laughing:) and for sure appreciate stressing that debt issues are common European issues (and yet keeping it reasonably separated from the general fiscal question which I am still not sure if it should be a common European issue, some light framework at most with few exceptions at most…), and of course targeting procyclical fiscal behaviour (easier said than done though). Also, I really appreciate saying that one of the main tasks of economic policy will be getting ready & dealing with major shocks and crises - that’s definitely going to be key to development in my mind.

On the other hand, as always with this approach (“anti-rule-based”) I think it intentionally creates too much space for politics in fiscal issues and medium planning. It might sound good but especially in times of populism on both sides of politics that would mean only an inevitable failure of the sustainability approach to debt or econ development. I’d say the framework should be a political decision but within the framework, it should be more strategic rather than based only on the current election cycle decisions.

How do you think we should get inspired by it?

About Competitive Economic Environment, we think this part still needs some work. As it stands the text does not yet quite reflect what has been discussed at the table in Strasbourg.

Economic growth is not an end in itself. The problem is that concentration and market power are producing negative effects to society. Pitching corporate power versus SMEs is the horizontal view. The vertical view is equally distressing. For example in franchising industries, what vertical restraints like resale price maintenance do is enforce a low-wage business model on downstream franchisees. Taxing profits has mainly distributional implications only, it does not take away the source of the problem, monopoly power to charge high prices. Regulation should facilitate entry for competitors, this brings innovation and growth.

To sum it up, fair markets (agreed upon Pirate term, wherever the broad public discusses antitrust) help advancing societal welfare by increasing competition.

We have brought forward two major issues to promote fairness of markets, that of the standard and political influence.

The standard should have its foundation in science and focus on “competition” issues like reasonable conditions for new players to enter markets. The central problem with today’s “consumer welfare” standard is the burden of proof. Ideally a competition authority must be independent and shielded from direct political influence.

Before proceeding, we would like to have some input from others as well.

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Oh hi, sorry for the delay, took quite some time to get in all the different new things happening in this area. However, here is Trade

Pirates believe that trade and cooperation is a way towards development and shared wealth. However, we see a lot of challenges in the current trade environment. At the same time, trade agreements have been abused in the past to empower private entities at the expense of public courts, exploit communities and promote nepotism and cronysm.

We propose basic principles that we will uphold regarding international trade. Considering trade treaties, the European Parliament must ratify the treaty and the treaty must be negotiated as transparently as possible, including public hearings and comprehensive access to information. Trade should be enlarging our markets and allowing more competition, therefore trade agreements should not give out more or less hidden special favours. The ultimate goal of international trade agreements is the positive development of all involved parties. Therefore, we need to always ask for at least the most basic working standards to be upheld by our trade partners and enforce paying up for common externalities damaging us all through carbon border adjustment mechanism and similar tools.

Trade is also an economical and political tool. We support economic sanctions against authoritarian regimes, especially the regimes that are actively undermining European security and commiting crimes against humanity. These sanctions should be precisely targeted to damage the wealth of the governemnt elites, hinder the offensive and persecuting capacities of those regimes and to avoid suffering of the common citizens as much as possible. We should not supply weapons and surveillance technologies to undemocratic regimes.

Last years have also seen a surge in protectionism and closing of free trade in critical technological areas like microchips or renewable energy technologies. We do believe that Europe should attain highest possible level of strategic autonomy concerning these and the need to reduce our overdependence on authoritarian regime in mainland China. Way to get that autonomy and prosperity is through trade with new partners, research, technological excellence and cooperation. Trade wars and protectionism have repeatedly proven themselves as dead ends.

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I am really sorry, I have been caught up in things as well.

The subject of european budgetary rules is huge, because it then leads you to a lot of other subjects. In a concise manner, talking about these budgetary rules makes you dive into growth and Optimum Currency Area (OCA) theory. When feeling playful you could make the case for the european union troubles having their source in this only subject : budgetary rules without budgetary union.

So, on the more practical side, for such a subject to be in our program, we need to stay vague but laser focus in our logical reasoning.

Before putting forward a detailed proposal, I would like to submit to you the following architecture for such a text :

  1. First there was the 2008 financial crisis, with embedded risk in enormous debt, which hit the already fragile southern countries and caused the european 2014 debt crisis. During these, the implemented answer was austerity, which is still damaging these countries. It is then clear that the european budget rules served as a pro-cyclical tool reinforcing the recessionary effects.

  2. Budgetary policy is the core component of the policy mix (with monetary policy) to help steer the economy, smoothing out he economic cycle. The problem is, in a non OCA area like the european union in which individual countries can’t use the monetary tool or a common budget, that restricting national budgets on arbitrary and asymetric (deficits only, not surpluses) rules without coordination or cooperation prevents you from using the budgetary tool as a counter-cyclical stabilizer.

  3. As a consequence, and in spite of the defense, industrial and environnemental challenges ahead of us, there is a need to reform the budget rules (punish excess surpluses and deficits, better sustainability evaluation than arbitrary and outdated numbers), as well as improve the european monetary union institutions (european deposit guarantee scheme). It is also possible to go further and advocate for a common european budget or debt, financing european wide investments.

Always very open to suggestion. I am not sure my train of thought and proposal are clear.

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  • Growth vs degrowth in the Preamble
    : I think this summarises our consensus in Strassbourg April 15: Degrowth is not something to aim for. This does not imply that growth is the central goal of our program.
  • It simply means we do not approach growth vs degrowth in a dogmatic one size fits all situations way. This first sentence is (still) very growth-dogmatic.

Pirates aim for long-term development, improvements in quality of life, and for fostering a competitive, fair, and inventive economic environment.
It is necessary to consider a broader set of economic metrics beyond mere immediate gross productivity. Such metrics must capture the development of long-term
economic opportunities, well-being, environmental and social sustainability.
Successful collaboration across the whole EU could help shift the focus towards broader metrics.


Order of topics:

“Competitive Economic Environment” is a broader topic than “tax”. We propose to have It precede Tax in the text.
(Wietze & Danny)


Two taxations were discussed in Straatsburg, but I do not see them reflected in the text.

  1. Tax on Kerosine  to ensure fair competition between means of transportation.
  2. Tax on stock buybacks. (current income tax avoidance tool).

The question was under which group these topics should be, but I would like to check that they are covered.


We (Danny & Wietze) would like to propose the following text:

Competitive Economic Environment

The environment of all economic activity needs to facilitate resilience and competition, and to stimulate and enforce transparency. This incentivises social progress in a sustainable, fair, and democratic way. Pirates aim to protect individuals, preserve opportunities, promote individual autonomy and well-being by dispersing and de-concentrating public and private power. Competitive markets provide a fertile ground for entrepreneurship. Competition policy should aim to prevent excessive market concentration and monopolistic practices which pose barriers for new businesses to enter markets. Facilitating opportunities for entrepreneurship leads to job creation, innovation, and economic dynamism, contributing to overall prosperity. An effective competition standard (e.g. Steinbaum & Stucke) should look beyond consumer welfare, and be science-based. Rather than needing to sanction the abuse of a dominant position, competition policy should focus more on prevention of market power. Competition enforcement agencies should be adequately resourced, get institutional support, and a legal mandate. Ideally the competition authority must be independent and shielded from direct political interference.


This sounds good. I would have two points to consider:

I am unsure how much the second last paragraph fits in the overall spirit of the chapter. I have nothing against it per se I think it would be better elsewhere.

Also, I would prefer to refrain from targeting concrete countries in the text (e.g., China). Maybe we could replace the sentence with a more general one: “We do believe that Europe should attain the highest possible level of strategic autonomy concerning these and the need to reduce our overdependence on authoritarian regimes.”

What do you think? @DavidFW and others

Thanks for this, I know what you mean it’s a super difficult topic. I’ve been through a few loops on this myself. At the end I think the best way forward is to keep it simple, focused on a few basic rules/principles rather than going broad and targeting main topics. It is not supposed to solve all the issues but pinpoint the general approach and some particular topics that we’d like to promote/focus on in the next few years (that’s at least how I see it).

That being said, I would suggest refraining from reviewing what happened in recent decades. I am unsure how is there to gain from it at this point (after Covid, inflation…), it might bring more issues and blow this subchapter out of proportion. I would also say we shouldn’t go too much into technicalities (such as deposit schemes, even though I like the topic a lot… ), I think for most people it doesn’t say much about our position.

I don’t know about the others but I like the topic of pro-cyclical/counter-cyclical spending strategies and general coordination across Europe as well as a coordinated approach to the Sovereign debt issue. Maybe we could pin down a couple of general principals that could work in that direction?

I have to admit I never really understood how a degrowth/no-growth attitude fit in with the (I hope) undisputed fact of increasing productivity… I would still rather keep a very mild pro-growth attitude in the chapter for multiple reasons but before pushing them onto you, would do the others thinks?

I think the kerosine tax would better fit in the “Transportation” chapter since it’s targeting “means of transportation” rather than tax revenue etc., wouldn’t it?

As for stock buybacks, I know it’s been super misused lately but on its own, it’s just a normal way of paying back debt/financing. I think the problem was more with the badly designed cheap money regime… how exactly would you imagine it worded?