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More transparency in political advertising to protect democratic processes

Today, European Democrats are happy to welcome the adoption of the report on transparency and targeting of political advertisement by the Committee of Internal Market and Consumer Protection. The EDP acknowledges and thanks EP rapporteur for this Regulation, and EDP Secretary General, Sandro Gozi, for his work and dedication in order for this vote to be successful. This makes things easier for citizens to recognize a political advertisement and to be aware of what its reason is and who finances it.

Governmental cooperation is improved through this as national authorities can agree on harmonized penalties. MEPs and other officials face the challenge of fighting dis and misinformation which disturb the democratic process. This report goes well in hand with DSA legislation (Digital Services Act Regulation)

Secretary General of the EDP, Sandro Gozi, has stated that “Politics is constantly changing shape, and political advertising is becoming an ever more important dimension of it. Once in force, we hope by the end of this year, elections in the EU will be more transparent and resistant to the manipulations as witnessed in the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

The report will make abusive online political advertising a thing of the past by making it impossible to prey on people’s specific weaknesses. We need to eliminate the current obstacles to truly transnational campaigns during the European elections. This legislation will also make political actors more accountable for the adverts they disseminate. And when rules are broken, better sanctions will be able to be imposed in an equal way across the EU.”

Gozi continues to emphasize the importance of this report in so far that “we establish the fight against disinformation and foreign interference; a ban on voter manipulation using digital techniques; the elimination of obstacles to the freedom of political advertising services and to true transnational European campaigns; greater accountability of political actors on advertisements; and more effective sanctions imposed fairly throughout the European Union.”

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