On 3 December, European Commission Vice-President for Values and Transparency Věra Jourová unveiled one of the major and most awaited initiatives of 2020, the European Democracy Action Plan. This initiative aims to tackle problems of election interference, disinformation and online political advertising while strengthening the European media ecosystem.
With the aim of empowering citizens and building a more resilient European Union, the European Democracy Action Plan sets out a series of measures around three main pillars:
- Promote free and fair elections. This includes measures such as legislation on political advertisement and a revision on the financing of European political parties as well as elections observatory missions in third countries.
- Strengthen media freedom and pluralism. To protect journalists, some measures including sustainable funding for project and the upcoming recommendation on the safety of journalists will be put in place.
- Counter disinformation. The action plan aims to improve the existing toolbox for countering foreign interference and to establish a co-regulatory framework of obligations and accountability of online platforms as well as a monitoring mechanism of its implementation.
As Liberals, we are convinced that the current technological transformation has implications on every aspect of society especially for fundamental rights such as liberty of expression, data protection and privacy. We warmly welcome and support this initiative as it represents a strong commitment from the EU to protect our democracies.
The European Democracy Action Plan will be implemented until 2023, ahead of next European elections and will be complemented by the upcoming Digital Services Act expected to be launched on 15 December.