Proposal for a relationship agreement with the Greens/EFA Group


In the European elections 2009, 2014 and 2019 the European Pirate Parties ran in the elections without any formal Group affiliation. After each election, the elected Pirate MEPs then proceeded to negotiate with different political Groups about Group membership.

The Groups get resources and political influence in the European Parliament based on their size (and to some extend national diversity), so they have an incentive to accept new members, even if they come from parties not affiliated to the European Political Parties around which the traditional Groups are formed. At the same time, elected MEPs gets visibility, influence and resources from their Groups. This gives them incentive to join one Group or the other, and has been the reason that the Pirates set out to join a Group in 2009, and after subsequent elections.

In early 2021 the current pirate delegation started discussing the possibility of formalizing a an agreement between the European Pirate Party and a political Group, with the aim to ensure all pirate MEPs can stay together as one delegation in the EP, and to maximize the resources and influences available to this delegation. The topic is put on the agenda of the 8th Council meeting in May 2021, and a formal negotiation team is formed, with the task to start negotiations with the Greens/EFA Group.

This team has now, after multiple rounds of negotiations, produced a proposal for a relationship agreement with the Greens/EFA Group. You can find the draft in it’s entirety below. This proposal is scheduled to be voted by the Greens/EFA Group 13 December, and would come into effect if also adopted by the European Pirates Council meeting.


The Board suggests that the Council approves the following agreement with the Greens/EFA Group.

Relationship agreement between the Greens/EFA Group and the European Pirate Party

§1 Purpose of the relationship agreement

  1. This relationship agreement is the expression of the political will of two separate and progressive European political families to co-operate in order to strengthen their mutual political interests in the European Parliament.

  2. The purpose of this agreement is to facilitate a constructive and mutually beneficial inclusion of the European Pirates in the Greens/EFA Group, and relies on both parties adhering to a sincere commitment, which is based on the principle of not harming the other part, and on mutual respect.

  3. This agreement builds on the realization that the Pirates share the overall political values governing the Group, while at the same time recognizing that the free mandate of each elected Member of Parliament to vote according to their own conviction allow the pirate delegation to adopt political positions, including voting lists, that diverge from the Majority position in the Group.

§2. Membership of the Group.

  1. All MEPs elected to the European Parliament on the lists supported by the European Pirate Party shall be granted membership in the Greens/EFA Group, and jointly form the Pirate delegation within the Group.

  2. Any MEP not elected to the European Parliament on the lists supported by the European Pirate Party, but who express interest to join the Pirate Delegation in the European Parliament, can be granted membership into the Group, as part of the pirate delegation, upon request by the Pirate delegation to the Bureau of the Group. Such request shall follow the same procedure for approval, including scrutiny of the prospective member by the Bureau, as for any independent MEP applying for membership in the Group.

§3. Presence in the Bureau of the Group

  1. The Group shall strive to ensure that one member of the Pirate delegation is also a member of the Bureau of the Group.

  2. Should no member of the Pirate delegation be elected as a part of the Bureau of the Group, they shall have the right to select one member to attend and participate in the affairs of the Bureau of the Group, without voting rights.

§4. Pirate Staff arrangements

  1. The Pirate delegation shall be supported by a Team of dedicated Group staff. The size of the team shall, as a minimum, equal the numbers of MEPs in the Pirate delegation.

  2. Any change to the size of the Pirate staff team shall be carried out in such a way as to avoid any negative impact on current Group staff organigram. If this is not possible, the change shall, in agreement with the Pirate delegation, be delayed until this condition can be met.

  3. The Pirate staff shall, as a rule, be recruited as contractual agents, unless impossible for statutory reasons, with grades on par with equivalent roles in the Group secretariat.

  4. The job description(s) and recruitment(s) of the Pirate staff shall be done in collaboration between the Pirate delegation and the Group Secretariat***.***

  5. Pirate staff who work on Committees shall be fully integrated in the Committee WGs of the Group, in the same way as the regular Group staff.

  6. The Pirate Staff shall, upon request, be supported by one trainee. This trainee shall be selected by the Group Secretariat, among candidates suggested by the Pirate delegation. In all other aspects, the trainees shall follow the same rules as the regular Group trainees.

§5 Budget

  1. The Pirate MEPs shall follow the same distribution for budget line 400 between individual MEP and Group budget as the rest of the Group.

  2. In case of the Pirate delegation consisting of at least four members, the Group shall adopt a separate budget line in the Group budget dedicated to costs specifically tied to activities of the pirates.

§6. Work in Committees

  1. The Group shall endeavor to ensure that Pirate members, if possible, can have seats in committees of their preference.

  2. Pirate MEPs shall be fully incorporated in the Group WGs of the Committees where they are members, and share the same opportunities and responsibilities as other members of the group.

§7 Visibility

  1. The Group shall ensure that the Group website clearly indicate that the European Pirates act as a distinct subgroup within the Group.

  2. This distinction of the Pirate delegation can also, when agreed between the Pirate Delegation and the Group, be extended to material produced by the Group.

  3. This agreement shall not be understood as having any bearing on the name or logo of the Group, or the use of, or the rules governing the use of said name and logo.

§8 Pirate delegation meetings

  1. The Pirate Members will follow the rhythm of meetings proposed by the Greens. The Pirate Delegation may hold separate meetings when needed.

§9 dissolution or changes to this agreement

  1. This agreement shall, barring the dissolution of the Greens/EFA Group, stay in force perpetually, unless either part decides to withdraw from the agreement, or if it is replaced by another document codifying the relationship between the Greens/EFA Group and the European Pirate party. This agreement can be changed at any time, by both parties consenting to the change.

  2. In the case that the Pirate delegation should at any time constitute either a) at least 15% of the Members of the Group, or b) a minimum of 8 Members of the European Parliament, this shall trigger a negotiation between the European Pirate Party and the Greens/EFA Group to redefine the relationship to better reflect the size of the pirates within the group.


Short summary of the proposal

The purpose of the proposal is to formalize the relationship between the Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament and the European Pirate Party. It clarifies

Instead of Pirate MEPs joining the Group as independents on an individual basis, the Group will now recognize that all Pirate MEPs are welcome in the Group, and that they form a distinct pirate delegation. This delegation is granted access to the Bureau meetings of the Group. The agreement goes on to specify the resources the Group commit to this delegation, namely Staff, Budget and Visibility.

Staff: The Group commits to dedicate Group staff to support the pirate delegation equal to the number of MEPs in the delegation. The Group will also dedicate an intern to the delegation.

Budget: In addition to the normal Information budget the Group provides to all Members, there will be an additional budget line for the pirate delegation in case it consists of at least 4 members.

Visibility: The Group will indicate on the Website of the Group that the Pirates are part of the Group, and that they are separate from the Greens and from the EFA members of the Group.

Below is a short FAQ about the deal. I will try to add other questions as they come up.


Q: What is this deal about?
It is a deal that clarifies, before the EU elections, which political Group in the European Parliament elected pirate MEPs will join after the elections. Here’s a summary of the content.

Q:Why make a deal now?
The deal has been negotiated for two years, and it is scheduled to be approved now to give clarity to all parts before the elections next year.

Q: Does this deal mean that the Pirates are now Greens?
No, the deal explicitly states that the Pirates are separate from the Greens, but working together in the same Group in the European Parliament.

Q: What does the Pirates get from the deal?
Staff, Budget and Visibility (See the summary above for explanation).

Q: For how long is this deal binding?
The deal don’t have an end date. It can however be ended by either side at any time.

Q: why don’t we get more stuff from this deal?
The deal provides the minimum resources that the Pirates will be entitled to, there is still room to discuss other things with the Group in the future on a case by case basis. It also contains a clause saying it will be reopened to “to better reflect the size of the pirates within the group” if the pirates end up with 8 MEPs or 15% of the entire Group.

Q: I want a better deal!
That is not a question. But if you want a better deal, make sure to get more pirates elected!

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