The European Commission convenes today the ninth meeting of the European Cooperation Network on Elections to discuss, among others, the transparency of political advertising. According to Eurobarometer figures published today, nearly four in ten Europeans saw online adverts which they could not clearly identify as political, whilst more than five in ten report to have been exposed to disinformation. As announced in the European Democracy Action Plan, the Commission will present an initiative to ensure greater transparency in political advertising later this year. Věra Jourová, Vice-President for Values and Transparency, said: “There is a clear need for greater transparency in online political advertising. One in three Europeans could not tell if an online ad targeting them was political or not. That’s not right. The same rules should apply online as offline.” Didier Reynders, Commissioner for Justice, said: “The Eurobarometer shows the changing electoral trends in Europe. Given the Coronavirus pandemic, six in ten Europeans are in favour of remote voting. Making digitalisation accessible to all is already on the cards and we will push this further to ensure that no one is left behind.” The participants of the European Cooperation Network on Elections will also discuss disinformation in the context of elections and will be debriefed on the work of the Rapid Alert System. The Eurobarometer published today shows that, compared with 2018, fewer Europeans are concerned about elections being manipulated through cyberattacks (57%, -4pp) or fraud in remote voting (63%, -5pp). In addition, an overwhelming eight in ten Europeans consider that online social networks and Internet platforms should observe the same rules as traditional media in a pre-election period. Today’s Eurobarometer and a factsheet are available here. More information on the European Cooperation Network on Elections is available here.
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