European Commission calls on national political parties to join efforts to ensure free and fair elections in Europe

Ballots 2019

(Arnaud Jaegers, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.


In September 2018, as part of the State of the Union, President Juncker proposed measures to bolster European democracy and protect free and fair elections in Europe. Ahead of the European elections, Commissioner Vera Jourová has written to national political parties calling on them to ensure transparency of political advertising, to be ready to face cyberattacks and to respect European data protection rules during the campaign.

Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President said: “We know there are forces which are trying to disrupt our societies, meddle in our elections and subvert our democracies. They will most likely step up their malicious activities in the run-up and during the European elections. We cannot be naïve. It’s time we too step up our democratic defences as soon as possible so that people will be better informed, and their data better protected.”

Věra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality said, “Our elections and ultimately our democracies are challenged by new threats.  Today, I call on all political parties to play their part in securing free and fair elections. Voters deserve transparency to make an informed choice. Online political advertising should be as transparent as the advertising you receive in your mailbox or on the market. Political parties also need to secure their networks to prevent cyberattacks and fully respect data protection rules. I expect all political actors to take their responsibility; at the same time the new sanctions introduced will also ensure the rules are respected.”

The package of measures  adopted in September aims to bolster European democracy and protect free and fair elections in Europe. It includes a series of actions addressed to national and European political parties and foundations. Today, the Commission calls on national parties to ensure transparency of the sources and amount of campaign funding for online activities during the upcoming European Parliament election campaigns. To increase this transparency the Commission urges national political parties, foundations and campaign organisations to:

  •          ensure citizens can easily recognise online paid political advertisements and communications, and the party, foundation or organisation behind them;
  •          make information available about their spending for online activities on their websites. This includes paid online political advertisements and communications, as well as information on any targeting criteria used in the dissemination of such advertisements and communications;
  •          make their paid online political advertisements and communications accessible through their websites.

The Commission also reminds political parties and campaign organisations to implement appropriate measures to be able to tackle cyberattacks and recalls their obligations concerning the protection of personal data. Political parties that do not respect data protection rules to deliberately influence or attempt to influence the outcome of European elections will be subject to new sanctions, introduced by the amended Regulation on the European political parties and foundations at the European level, which is expected to enter into force in April. Sanctions could amount to 5% of the annual budget of the European political party or foundation concerned. In addition, those found to be in breach would not be able to apply for funding from the general budget of the European Union in the year in which the sanction is imposed.These sanctions target infringements of rules on the protection of personal data being used by the European political parties or foundations to deliberately influence or attempt to influence the outcome of European elections. The European Commission calls on Member States to introduce similar sanctions at national level.

Next steps

Following the European Parliament elections in May, the Commission will prepare a report, including on the implementation of the Elections’ Recommendation, based amongst others on input from the political parties.

Background

In September 2018, President Juncker presented the Elections package to better protect our democratic processes from manipulation by third countries or private interests. This came as a response to challenges posed by online campaigning and to threats observed in recent elections and referenda directed at discrediting and delegitimising elections in Europe. It includes a set of measures which aim to increase transparency in online campaign activities, assist stakeholders in the application of data protection rules in the electoral context, improve coordination between responsible national authorities and among Member States at the European level, and introduce the possibility to impose sanctions for the illegal use of personal data in order to deliberately influence the outcome of the European elections.

The European Parliament welcomed the package in its Resolution on the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica case adopted on 25 October 2018. The Council of national Ministers set out detailed expressions of support and commitments to action on the part of the Member States in its Conclusions on securing free and fair European elections of 19 February 2019.

Responding to the Recommendation, Member States have established national networks to formalise cooperation among national authorities to jointly identify threats and gaps, share good practices, and exchange on how to apply electoral rules online . These national networks have met twice at a European level as the election cooperation network, assisted by the Commission, to share expertise and best practices among the Member States including on threats, gaps and enforcement, most recently on 27 February. The next meeting will take place on 4 April.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Mozambique pledging conference hopes to soften devastating blow of back-to-back cyclones

This billion-dollar campaign wants to protect 30% of the planet by 2030

ILO welcomes new UNDP report that places decent work at the heart of sustainable development

UN rights chief calls for release of hundreds abducted and abused in South Sudan

The future of manufacturing is smart, secure and stable

European Globalisation Adjustment Fund, who gets it and who pays the bill?

4 innovative renewable energy projects powering Europe’s green future

The Europeans with a job diminish dangerously

Civil protection: Parliament strengthens EU disaster response capability

Drinking water: new plans to improve tap water quality and cut plastic litter

Global health challenges require global medical students

Brexit negotiations: back to square one, tougher words, no good faith

After this year’s Climate Action Summit, what happens next?

Parlamentarians to “break up” with reality in the Google antitrust case

3 ways governments and carmakers can keep up with the future of transport

10 things Europe does better than the rest of the world

“If they think they can slave an entire nation, then they will just have the opposite results!”, Alexis Tsipras cries out from the Greek parliament

How can we measure real progress on the Sustainable Development Goals?

Cambodia: Giving back to UN peacekeeping

UN chief condemns terror attack in Kismayo, Somalia

How public private partnerships must evolve to create social impact

Summer 2018 Interim Economic Forecast: Resilient Growth amid increased uncertainty

5 amazing people fighting to save the oceans

Chinese economy to raise speed and help the world grow

Somalia: UN congratulates Puntland region’s newly-elected President

We are close yet so far…

EU Youth Goals – we are shapers not listeners

The Commission unsuccessfully pretends to want curbing of tax evasion

FROM THE FIELD: Stopping aquatic hitchhikers to safeguard environments at sea

New roadmap toward healthier and cleaner oceans adopted by UN Environment and European Commission

5 facts to know about Africa’s powerhouse – Nigeria

Global Citizen-Volunteer Internships

European Defence Fund on track with €525 million for Eurodrone and other joint research and industrial projects

The relation of deforestation and respiratory diseases

Here’s how data can shine a light on financial crime

Why South Africa is on a path of economic renewal

Eurozone has practically entered a deflation trap

EU budget 2019 approved: focus on the young, innovation and migration

Yemen war: The battle rages on, children suffer most

Despite progress towards peace, Afghanistan facing ‘daunting challenges’ ahead of presidential vote

“Asia-Pacific takes stock of ambitious development targets”, written by the Heads of UNFPA and ESCAP

G7 summit: Trump Vs. G6 leaders on trade and climate change

Who will secure Lithuania?

Act now to end violence, Zeid urges Nicaraguan authorities

China is the first non-EU country to invest in Europe’s €315 billion Plan

Intel @ European Business Summit 2014: Better decisions now, the new business dashboard 

New forms of work: deal on measures boosting workers’ rights

Maros Sefcovic Canete European Commission Energy

Better late than never? Commission runs now to fight energy dependency on Russia with the sustainable energy security package

Warmongers ready to chew what is left of social protection spending

How can consumers be effectively protected from insurance sellers?

China and UK relations post Brexit as EU addresses Chinese takeovers

Manipulating privacy and reaping the benefits of technology

South Sudan ‘revitalized’ peace deal must be inclusive, Security Council hears

Conditions deteriorating alarmingly in Yemen, warns senior UN official

Malta: MEPs conclude fact-finding visit to assess Caruana Galizia murder inquiry

Investing in rural women and girls, ‘essential’ for everyone’s future: UN chief

At last Britain considers a super-soft Brexit

Long live Eurozone’s bank supervisor down with the EU budget supremo

Human health – litmus paper for the climate change?

MWC19 Wrap Up, in association with The European Sting, GSMA’s Brussels Media Partner for the 6th Consecutive Year

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s