Amelia Andersdotter, the youngest MEP
By Carlo Peano
Cafebabel Brussels has interviewed Ms. Amelia Andersdotter. She is the youngest current Member of European Parliament (MEP) and her party – the Pirate Party – is having success not only in Sweden, but also in other European countries, such as Germany. She works at the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy and at the Delegation for relations with the Korean Peninsula. She is also substitute in the Committee on International Trade, in the Committee on Budgetary Control and in the Delegation for relations with the countries of the Andean Community.
Cafebabel Brussels: So, why did you decide to enter politics?
Amelia Andersdotter: I think it wasn’t so much a decision, I think it was more an accident. A friend call me on April 2006 and said that there was a new political party that wanted open source in the public sector. I was a student at high school, I was very antagonist with all of the windows software that they were using in my school environment and I accepted.
CB: What do you think about European Union?
AA: Nice place to live, I guess. I think actually it is one of the better place to live in the world right now.
CB: How was the election for the European Parliament? How was your experience?
AA: The European Parliament election isn’t like one election, it’s actually 27 elections set separately. I would like to have more debate about policy making, like in a national or local election. On the other hand, European Union is also a big machine. You can’t say “I will fix this and I will fix that!” and automatically guarantee to the electorate that you would do that, because, of course, you have other 750 colleagues.
CB: Pirate Party wants to preserve the right to privacy. In your opinion, what are the biggest threats which our right to privacy is facing in Europe?
AA: We have a very pro-American view of industry in European Union. There are some of the political groups in this building, which are cherishing American companies. I think it’s a bit tragic! In the US they don’t have as many privacy in law like in Europe. Europe already has a quite strong privacy protection. It provides us a basis for alternative models and economic development as well.
CB: In your opinion, how are the EU policies about copyright?
AA: In the copyright debate I find greatly distressing that we refuse to have flexibilities and to prioritize the use and access to material. In Sweden, the Royal Library recommends not to publish anything – online or in an open archive – that is made in the last one hundred years. That means a century of culture is locked away and nobody appears to be reacting to this. The other day in this building one of my colleague said “This is about whether or not you want intellectual copyright or if you don’t want it at all!” and it’s actually a very infantile argument, but sadly also very meaningful about the state of the debate here. It isn’t whether or not somebody wants to download something for free without remunerating an artist! It’s that we have a century of culture locked away!