Last week, a German court struck down the German five-percent barrier for elections to the European Parliament. This means that the German Piratenpartei will get its first EU seat at about one per cent of the votes total.
The court decision is a testament to German courts still working, and we remember how they also struck down the Data Retention Directive as unconstitutional. (Unfortunately, this last fact has not prevented the EU Big Brother Hawks from clapping their ears and going la la la la la.)
As Germany has 97 seats in the 2014 EU elections, and lack an initial threshold, this means that every party will get its first seat at 0.7 to 0.8 per cent of the vote, using the Sainte-Laguë method for seat distribution. The German Piratenpartei has never been at those low levels in any election, or for that manner, in any poll since its first election. It is currently polling well above the five-percent barrier that doesn’t exist any longer.
Thus, regardless of how other countries’ Pirate Parties fare in the next three years, under every scenario in the planning calendar, there will be Pirate Members of European Parliament through at least 2019. Likely from several countries, but from at least one. The Swedish party gets its first seat at about 4.6 per cent, which we’ll need to fight for in 2014 like we did in 2009 when we won that seat and one more.
See also Christian Engström, Pirate MEP.