Pirate party and opponent of chat control disappears from European Parliament Pirate party and opponent of chat control disappears from European Parliament

Patrick Breyer and Pirate Party lose EU Parliament seats

Patrick Breyer, a staunch defender of digital rights, laments the Pirate Party’s exit from the EU Parliament as a blow to online privacy.

In the wake of the recent European Parliament elections, the German Pirate Party has lost its representation in the legislative body. This outcome was confirmed by Patrick Breyer, a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) and a prominent figure within the Pirate Party. Breyer, known for his staunch opposition to chat control measures, expressed deep concern over the implications of this loss for digital rights across Europe.

Breyer has been a vocal critic of chat control, a controversial initiative where authorities aim to monitor citizens’ chat messages. His efforts in the European Parliament have positioned him as a leading advocate for digital privacy and freedom. In an analysis by BCW and VoteWatch, Breyer was recognized as the most influential MEP in the field of digital affairs, underscoring his significant impact on EU digital policy.

Following the election results, Breyer took to social media to voice his dismay. “The fact that the [German] Pirate Party will no longer be represented in the European Parliament is a disaster for our digital rights,” he posted on Twitter. He further questioned his followers, “Are you one of those who appreciate our work but still did not choose #Piraten? For what reason?”

BCW Brussels echoed this sentiment, acknowledging Breyer’s social influence on EU digital policy. Their Influence Index highlighted Breyer’s leadership in the field, underscoring the potential gap his absence might create in ongoing and future digital rights discussions.

Breyer has been a relentless advocate for transparency and privacy, regularly publishing updates on European plans for chat control. His departure from the European Parliament raises concerns about the future of these critical issues.

As we saw recently with France considering approval of a European chat control plan, the potential for increased surveillance is becoming a significant concern. The proposal mandates user consent for monitoring messages on all communication apps, including those with end-to-end encryption.

With France’s backing, a European majority in favor of the plan seems likely, further emphasizing the critical role the Pirate Party and Patrick Breyer played in defending digital rights. Breyer’s absence may leave a vacuum in the advocacy against such invasive measures.

Who will represent the Pirates in the EU?

The only surviving pirate representing the party is going to be Markéta Gregorová, who represents the Czech Pirate Party. This was confirmed by Patrick Beyer himself in an update he gave on Mastodon:

On the outcome of the European elections: Many thanks to our 186,000 #Pirates voters in Germany. Congratulations to @marketkagwho will be the last #Pirate to represent us in the new EU Parliament.

The bitter election result (due in part to our own mistakes) is a disaster for us, the progressive parties as a whole and for digital civil liberties. We will live to regret this. The conservatives and far right triumph, which will mean less #transparency and less #freedom – only mentioning #ChatControl and #EUGoingDark . None of this has even been discussed in the run-up to this election.

Editorial note: A small correction was made post-publishing to emphasize that the German party lost the seat, which Patrick himself represents.