Disinformation: EU Commission welcomes intermediary report on Code of Practice

Source: EU Commission

The Commission welcomes the adoption by the European Regulators Group of Audiovisual Media Services (ERGA) of the monitoring report on the effectiveness of the Code of Practice on disinformation of October 2018. 

This report confirms that the Code has provided the foundation for a structured dialogue and has had a positive impact in the fight against online disinformation, despite shortcomings. It suggests that a co-regulatory backstop may be necessary in order to ensure more transparent and effective actions. 

Vice-President for Values and Transparency, Věra Jourová, said: “I am glad to see that the Code of Practice and our dialogue with the signatories are showing an initial positive impact, but more remains to be done. This report will fuel our ongoing work on the European Democracy Action Plan which will propose measures to counter disinformation and evolving threats for our democracies. It will aim, among others, at creating a more transparent and responsible political debate in the digital world.” 

European Commissioner for Internal Market, Thierry Breton, said: “The coronavirus pandemic has shown the importance of fighting disinformationby mobilising all relevant players, from platforms to fact checkers to public authorities. We will continue to foster cooperation with researchers and independent fact-checkers to keep European citizens fully informed and safe. We will also clarify the roles and responsibilities of online platforms this year with the Digital Services Act.” 

The Commission will soon publish a study by Valdani, Vicari and Associates (VVA) an independent consultant contracted by the Commission to assist with the evaluation of the Code. These reports, the upcoming Commission report on the 2019 European elections as well as the annual self-assessments presented by the Code signatories last October, will feed into the Commission's comprehensive assessment of the Code. 

The Commission also announces that the European University Institute in Florence has been selected to set up the creation of the European Digital Media Observatory in June, to promote cooperation with researchers and independent fact-checkers. You will find a comprehensive factsheet on the actions taken against disinformation in the context of the coronavirus outbreak.

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