EU Commission launches consultation on the transparency of political advertising

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Transparency of political advertising

Public consultation

About this consultationFeedback period22 January 2021 - 02 April 2021 (midnight Brussels time)TopicJustice and fundamental rightsTarget audienceThis open public consultation covers an essential part of our democratic process which raises important questions for citizens, political actors and the businesses which offer services in this area. The Commission is inviting all interested stakeholders, including the general public, academics, digital companies and other businesses, associations, civil society, media organisations, public authorities and political parties, to contribute to this consultation.

Why we are consultingThe European Democracy Action Plan announced a legislative proposal on the transparency of sponsored political content as well as support measures and guidance for Member States and other actors, such as national political parties and competent authorities. 

This initiative addresses all actors involved in financing, preparing, placing and disseminating political advertising (such as political and marketing consultancies and advertising and campaign organisations) and complements the rules set out in the proposal for a Digital Services Act, which applies to online intermediaries, and the wider EU framework for the digital services market. It is also complementary to the revised Audiovisual Media Services Directive, which extends the European qualitative standards applicable to audiovisual commercial communications in traditional audiovisual media services to those available on video-sharing platforms. 

The initiative will cover both online and offline activities, and could cover the range of elections in the EU, including European Parliamentary elections. More information can be found in the inception impact assessment for this initiative. The initiative will be complemented by the revised Regulation on the statute and funding of European political parties and foundations, planned for Q3 of 2021 that aims to increase transparency of funding for European political parties and foundations and to enhance the European dimension of European elections.

The consultation will build on the extensive consultations already conducted in the preparation of the Digital Services Act, the European Democracy Action Plan and the 2020 EU citizenship report, as well as the experience obtained from the European Parliamentary elections in 2019. It seeks input on the following topics:1. political advertising and related services2. relevant rules for political advertising3. European Parliamentary elections4. transparency requirements5. targeting and amplification
Responding to the questionnaireYou can contribute to this consultation by filling in the online questionnaire. If you are unable to use the online questionnaire, please contact us using the email address below.

Questionnaires are available in some or all official EU languages. You can submit your responses in any official EU language.

For reasons of transparency, organisations and businesses taking part in public consultations are asked to register in the EU’s Transparency Register.


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