On 30 January, European Commission Vice-President for Values and Transparency Věra Jourová outlined the main priorities that will shape the forthcoming European Democracy Action Plan.
At a conference on disinformation and online manipulation, Jourová underlined that democracies are currently under threat particularly due to the quick evolution of disinformation, online manipulation and external interference, and stressed the need of a European response to face this challenge.
“Disinformation and foreign interference are a soft underbelly of our democracy, because they attack one of our dearest values – freedom of speech and the right to information,” she said.
The European Democracy Action Plan, overseen by Jourová, is one of the tools designed by the European Commission to help improve the resilience of democracy and address the evolving threats. The initiative will be released at the end of 2020.
Strengthening the media sector, making online platforms more accountable and responsible, and protecting the democratic process are the main priorities of the Democracy Action Plan.
In this context, Jourová outlined the need to strengthen the regulation on online political advertising and to fight the aggression and interference of external actors – mainly Russia and China – that undermine the European democracy, in order to foster a digital ecosystem that can defend and promote democracy.
“The ultimate answer to the threat lies not with the platforms but in the society - with media, civil society and people who are empowered through education and media literacy”, she concluded.
See Jourová’s full speech at “Disinfo Horizon: Responding to Future Threats” conference here.