Members' Research Service By / July 12, 2022

Towards new rules on transparency and targeting of political advertising [EU Legislation in Progress]

Electoral campaign rules, including those relating to political advertising, are crucial to guarantee that electoral processes are free and fair, and that all candidates have equal opportunities to address potential voters.

© Julien Eichinger / Adobe Stock

Written Maria Diaz Crego (1st edition).

Political advertising is central to influencing how people vote, and may affect citizens’ perceptions of the legitimacy of their own political system, particularly when published in the run-up to elections. Rules governing political advertising are therefore key to guaranteeing citizens’ fundamental rights and the integrity of democratic processes. So, it is not without reason that regulating political propaganda during electoral periods is one of the common focal points of electoral law. However, traditional rules on campaigning may either be ineffective or difficult to enforce in an online environment where new techniques are used to target potential voters with tailored political messages based on large amounts of personal data revealing their sensibilities and vulnerabilities.

To address the new challenges posed by online electoral campaigns, the European Commission presented a proposal that aims to build a harmonised set of rules on transparency and targeting of political advertising, and would apply to both online and offline political advertisements. The proposal is currently under discussion by the European Parliament and the Council through the ordinary legislative procedure. In the Parliament, the Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) is responsible for the file. The rapporteur presented his draft report to the committee on 16 June 2022.

Versions

Proposal for a regulation of the European parliament and of the Council on the transparency and targeting of political advertising
Committee responsible:Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO)COM(2021) 731l
25.11.2021
Rapporteur:Sandro Gozi (Renew, France)2021/0381(COD)
Shadow rapporteurs:Pablo Arias Echeverría (EPP, Spain)
Maria-Manuel Leitão-Marques (S&D, Portugal)
Alexandra Geese (Greens, Germany)
Virginie Joron (ID, France)
Adam Bielan (ECR, Poland)
Stelios Kouloglou (The Left, Greece)
Ordinary legislative procedure (COD) (Parliament and Council on equal footing – formerly ‘co-decision’)
Next steps expected: Committee vote on the draft report
EU Legislation in progress timeline

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