The EU is to take action to prevent the misuse of personal data in political campaigns ahead of elections to the European Parliament.
EU ambassadors today backed a proposal to impose financial penalties on European political parties and foundations if they try to take advantage of breaches of data protection rules to influence the outcome of EP elections.
The adoption of the Council’s position on the proposed new rules paves the way for the opening of negotiations with the Parliament at the beginning of next year.
The new rules take the form of amendments to the 2014 regulation on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations.
They establish a verification procedure for determining whether a breach of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, established by a national supervisory authority, is linked to political activities of a European political party or foundation in the context of EP elections.
The sanctions are imposed by the Authority for European Political Parties and Foundations after receiving an opinion from the committee of independent eminent persons established under the 2014 regulation. They would amount to 5% of the annual budget of the European party or foundation concerned.
The aim of the Council and the Parliament is to adopt the new rules in spring 2019.
The Commission submitted its proposal for the new rules as part of the ‘Securing free and fair European elections’ package on 12 September 2018.