The compromise text proposed by the Czech Presidency for the Regulation on political ads poses risks to democracy and civic space.
The text poses risks by:
- defining the free expression of political ideas and civic engagement as political advertising, therefore imposing disproportionate obligations on simple civic participation;
- establishing a sanctions regime that applies to users of political advertisements on unclear grounds and leaving to the Member States the task of laying down the rules on sanctions, potentially discouraging civil society from using advertisement and restricting civic space;
- postponing necessary measures to ensure the integrity of electoral processes in the EU until 2026, including the establishment of ad repositories for online political advertisements and further restrictions to the processing of personal data in political advertising.
Together with 33 CSOs, we addressed a letter to EU Ministers for European Affairs to call for a regulation that clearly defines the scope of political advertising with no side effects for civic participation, defines adequate sanctions to advertisement service providers and ensures that key measures for the integrity of electoral integrity are implemented as soon as possible.
Read the letter here.