The Renew Europe Group in the European Parliament welcomed last week’s adoption of a report on transparency and targeting of political advertising, complementing the Digital Services Act Regulation (DSA) by establishing specific rules for transparency in this area.
During the negotiation process, Renew Europe pushed to make it easier for citizens to recognise political advertisements, including clearer information on why they are seeing the ad and who paid for it. Moreover, the report strengthens governance by improving cooperation between national authorities and asking for more harmonised penalties for infractions. The legislation also better defines and regulates different digital techniques, such as targeting, given the current lack of clarity on how advertisements are directed at users.
Renew Europe wants to fight more effectively against all forms of disinformation and external interference in democratic processes, while preserving open public debate, which is essential for society.
Sandro Gozi MEP (L’Europe Ensemble, FR), European Parliament Rapporteur for the Regulation on the Transparency and Targeting of Political Advertising, said:
“Regulating political advertising is essential to provide our citizens with more transparency and a more open and democratic political debate. This report is essential to complement the actions we are taking to combat all forms of disinformation and foreign interference in our electoral processes. It will also help to remove obstacles for the creation of a true Single Market in this field and to build a favourable environment for transnational campaigning. The European Parliament elections are close and we must be ready. The Parliament is ready, we expect the Council to be ready too.”
Anna Donáth MEP (Momentum, HU), Rapporteur on the opinion issued by the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, which had exclusive competences on targeting, added:
“Online targeting and ad delivery techniques are used by the big tech industry involving personal data, sometimes even very sensitive data, not only provided by us, but also observed and inferred from our daily online activities. The use of this data creates specific audiences, fosters polarisation, causes deep divisions in our societies, risking the integrity of public debate, electoral processes, and our democracies. As LIBE Rapporteur, I am proud of the broad agreement and the solid text we found in this house to counter these unhealthy practices and to protect our democracies and fundamental rights by restricting the use of those data. Instead, we propose a system based only on consent, on personal data provided by the users.”