Road to European Elections 2024

Call for full transparency for political ads

Call for full transparency for political ads

Call for full transparency for political ads

On Tuesday, 27 February, members of the European Parliament will adopt a regulation on transparency and targeting of political advertising, empowering voters to make informed decisions in a safer environment during elections. The new regulation aims to increase transparency in political campaigns, both online and offline, and to avoid disinformation and foreign interference.

The adoption of the new regulation is a major victory for the Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament who successfully included a repository for online political advertisements. The S&Ds also ensured that purely private communication would remain outside of the scope of the regulation.

Maria-Manuel Leitão-Marques, the S&D shadow rapporteur on ‘Transparency and targeting of political advertising’, said:

“With these new rules, we aim to ensure that all elections across the EU are more transparent and to counterattack disinformation and foreign interference. We are making it easy for citizens to recognise political advertisements, to understand who is behind them, and to know whether they have received a targeted advertisement so that they are better placed to make informed choices.

“The Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament successfully ensured the setting up of a European public repository for online political advertisements. The repository will contain copies of the online ads and detailed information on the identity of sponsors, the amount spent on the campaign, and engagement metrics.

“Foreign interference in electoral processes is likely to continue. This represents a severe threat to the security of the EU and its member states. In this context, the S&Ds pushed to introduce a ban on the financing of political advertising in the EU by sponsors who are non-EU citizens, or not residents or established in the EU three months or less before an electoral process or referendum.”

The new rules will enter into force in 2025, except for the non-discriminatory provision of cross-border political advertising that will already apply during the EU elections.

The online repository will be established and managed by the Commission and will contain copies of all online political ads for a period of ten years. It should be publicly available and allow anyone interested to search this public database and allow for the data to be used for further analysis. 
 Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

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