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

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

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

Russia and the West to partition Ukraine?

Challenges remain in DPRK despite ‘slight’ improvements in health, wellbeing: UNICEF

Forget GDP – for the 21st century we need a modern growth measure

11 lessons the history of business can teach us about its future

INTERVIEW: UN’s top official in North Korea foresees ‘surge’ in humanitarian aid

Car clocking: MEPs call for new legislation to combat odometer fraud

Migrant caravan: UN agency helping ‘exhausted’ people home

ECB ready to counter the rise of the euro?

Debunked: 5 myths about the future of work

Yemen: Committee brings warring parties to the table in Hudaydah, builds on ceasefire

Parliamentary bid to democratize Myanmar constitution a ‘positive development’ says UN rights expert

Greece did it again

Libya: UN mobilized to support thousands uprooted by Tripoli clashes, renews call for humanitarian truce

The British are the most positive in Europe on the benefits of immigration

Using ‘leprosy’ metaphors in political rhetoric ‘fuels public stigma’ and discrimination: UN rights expert

How a trade war would impact global growth

Where do Americans stand on immigration? They’re not as divided as you might think

The Chinese spirit

Security Council unanimously agrees to extend UN Cyprus Mission amid political impasse

Fears for food security and the future of farming families, as Fall Armyworm spreads to Asia

Mechanism to protect democracy in the EU needed more than ever, says the EP

Tsipras bewildered with Berlin’s humiliating demands; ECB expects political sign to refinance the Greek banks

Press coverage of migration crisis in Europe: a call for collaborative action

COP24: World sports join team UN in race against climate change

Across the world, women outlive men. This is why

Yemen war: The battle rages on, children suffer most

Why precision medicine is the future of healthcare

The challenges of mental health: an inconvenient reality

Four ways innovation can help to beat heart disease

Elections in Europe: No risks for the EU, leaders readying to face Trump-Brexit

The Netherlands is paying people to cycle to work

Brussels waits for the Germans to arrive

THE COMMITTEES: ‘All roads lead to the Fifth’

Main results of Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) – 18-19/10/2018

Bangladesh, South Africa and Bolivia all beat the US for women’s representation in politics

Young people are Europe’s biggest value and hope

UN chief condemns attack targeting international forces in northern Mali

European Union disenchanted with Turkey

EU elections: Can EU citizens’ awareness eradicate fake news more efficiently than Facebook, Twitter and Google?

How three US cities are using data to end homelessness

EU countries invested €5 trillion abroad

COP21 Breaking News_05 December: Children Will Bear the Brunt of Climate Change: UNICEF

WHO reports ‘very strong progress’ in battling DR Congo Ebola outbreak

Foreign Affairs Council (Trade) of 22/05/2018: EU relations with key trading partners

“A sustainable economy, low-carbon, resource-efficient, resilient and more competitive on the global stage”, EU Commissioner Vella in a Sting Exclusive

Euro celebrates its 20th birthday

Greece and Ukraine main items on EU28 menu; the course is set

The IMF sees Brexit’s ‘substantial impact’ while the world’s economy holds its breath

Use space technology to build a better world for all, urges UN chief

Chinese “BeiDou” GPS goes to market

UN chief ‘deeply saddened’ by Ethiopia plane crash which killed 157, including at least 21 UN workers

Human rights breaches in Iran, Egypt and Tanzania

Parmesan cheese on shelves in Italy (Copyright: European Union, 2014 / Source: EC - Audiovisual Service / Photo: Daniela Giusti)

CETA at risk again: Italy says it won’t ratify EU-Canada trade deal over product protection fears

1 million citizens try to create a new EU institution

It’s time to strengthen global digital cooperation

UN Forum examines three pillars of 2030 Global Goals

We could be sleepwalking into a new crisis. How should the business world prepare?

COP21 Breaking News: “There is an ecological debt that the world needs to pay back to Africa”, French President Francois Hollande promises 2 Billion euros by 2020 from Paris

‘Historic’ moment: Palestine takes reins of UN coalition of developing countries

We must work together to build a new world order. This is how we can do it

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