PP Structure Proposal

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The goal of this document is to propose a structure for the Pirate Party Belgium.

The objectives are:

  • To create an organization that is as close as possible to a self-organizing network, essentially creating an Adhocracy.
  • To decentralize decision and policy making.
  • To avoid introducing single points of failure.

Three Pirate Rule

There is only one real fundamental rule in the Pirate Party, namely "The three pirate rule". The Three Pirate Rule tells us that only three pirates are necessary to execute an idea. They don't need any further “Permission” to continue and run this idea as an “official” Pirate Party activity. The idea behind the Three Pirate Rule is to guarantee the freedom of initiative, vision and opinion for everyone.

There are three conditions for the Three Pirate Rule:

  1. Don't do anything illegal
  2. Don't do anything that can damage the good name or the reputation of the party.
  3. Don't use any funds of the party. You may ask for funds.


The heart of the Pirate Party are it's members. It's the members that link all subgroups of the party together. He or she has the possibility and is encouraged to participate in one or more subgroups. There are two basic types of subgroups:

  • Regional subgroups (big or small) are called Crews
  • Subgroups around specific themes or activities are called Squads

The Crews

Definition: A Crew is a self-organizing, location based unit of the Pirate Party. They are advised to follow these guidelines:


  • A Crew links to a specific location (community, city, province, region, country...).
  • A Crew is made of 3 to 11 Pirates. 7 is ideal. With 7 people it is possible to sit around a single table and have a serious conversation. Above 11, the Crew is strongly advised to split and form 2 new Crews. If the Crew has only 3 Pirates left they are encouraged to join another Crew or recruit new Pirates into there existing Crew.
  • The 3 pirate rule applies to the creation of a Crew.
  • Every Crew chooses a captain and a navigator.
  • The Captain presides the meetings and represents the Crew to the outside world. The Navigator coordinates the meetings, helps new members and is responsible for the updates of the wiki page. Captain and Navigator can be forced to resign by voting at any time.
  • A Crew is ideally socio-economically diverse and representative of their region.
  • A Crew organizes at least 1 event a month.
  • In decisions crews attempt to reach consensus. When voting is necessary the outcome of the vote is clearly noted down in the meeting report.
  • Pirates are encouraged to join multiple Crews. This will stimulate cooperation and sharing of ideas between crews.

Possible goals

  • Recruit, welcome and orient new members
  • Discuss, debate and act
  • Communicate with local media
  • Adapt the party program to local themes
  • Participate in elections

The Squads

Like crews are the localized units, the squads are the functional units. Examples of squads can be an IT, website, reports, actions, studies, propositions, events organizing, press squad.

Definition: A squad is a self-organizing, functional unit of the Pirate Party. Their goal is to work on a specific common interest. They are advised to follow these guidelines:


  • Any group of three pirates that want to tackle a specific problem can start a squad. (three pirate rule)
  • Squads will often cooperate mostly on-line as geographic proximity of squad members is not guarantied.
  • A squad can be composed of pirates from different crews. It is desirable that multiple crews are represented.
  • A pirate can be a part of multiple squads.
  • In decisions squads attempt to reach consensus. When voting is necessary the outcome of the vote is clearly noted down in the meeting report.
  • A squad has a well defined contact point (Wiki-page, mailing list,…)
  • A squad should work in a highly transparent way.

The National Crew

The national crew is like any other crew in the Pirate Party Belgium and will follow the same principles. Because of the specific language situation in our country there are three captains, one for every region. This ensures that the balance between the regions is respected and that everybody in the country can talk to the national crew in his or her own language. The regional co-captains may also be referred to as co-presidents. The navigator of the national crew is also called the General Secretary.

Suggested activities

These are the "classic" activities most crews put together.

The PirateBeers

These are informal get-togethers where the goal is to welcome and recruit new members. PirateBeers are announced and held publicly, and regularly. They are an opportunity for a prospective pirate to take a first step and get more info about the project. They are organized by the crews, with the essential mission: a systematic, regular and convenient way to recruit new members.

These moments must be accessible: avoid gatherings around a large table (always intimidating) and opt instead for small group discussions. Each small group should be hosted by a member of the organizing crew.

The Working Meetings

These are formal meetings, with an agenda published a week ahead, and notes, published at most a week after the meeting took place.

These meeting-notes should contain at least the following elements:

  • Date and time of the meeting
  • Names of those present, excused and absent
  • The approval of the notes of last meeting
  • The issues discussed at the meeting


Be creative if you feel like something must be organized for Pirate Party just do it. Some ideas could be nights out, visits, LAN parties, participation to an event, conferences, drinking, press conference,... It's important to be very clear what the event is and who it is targeted to.

Financial aspects

The following rules apply to the Pirate Party Belgium, its crews, squads and every formal or informal structure which presents itself as a part of the Pirate Party Belgium.

  • All fixed and liquid assets are to be used to realize the goals of the Pirate Party.
  • Every bank account needs to have an audit every year in which a written finance report is presented. This report will be made public.
  • Every Pirate has access to the financial report of that account by simple request.
  • The account balance is published monthly on a publicly accessible page.
  • Every bank account of the Pirate Party:
    • must be registered under a Pirate Party associated non profit organization, with a single exception for the party membership account (to allow for anonymity);
    • must have at least 2 titular holders;
    • must contain the words "Pirate Party" or a translation thereof in its title;