The European Commission has launched a public consultation on a European Democracy Action Plan: “Protecting European democracy from interference and manipulation”. The consultation is open for feedback until 15 September 2020.
The objective of the Plan’s consultation is to ensure that “citizens are able to participate in the democratic system through informed decision-making free from interference and manipulation affecting elections and the democratic debate”. The Plan to be adopted will be a non-legislative act, likely a communication, and will be presented by the end of 2020.
The consultation focusses on the following sections:
- Integrity of elections and political advertising: questions cover issues relating to the evolving space for public debate and electoral campaigns, including key issues such as the transparency of political advertising online, possible threats to the integrity of elections and the role of European political parties;
- Strengthening media freedom and media pluralism: questions touch upon improving the protection of journalists and their rights, as well as the issue of media independence and cross-border cooperation;
- Tackling disinformation in the EU: questions focus on the definition of disinformation and the possible actions the platforms and other actors could undertake to tackle the phenomena of disinformation. This is notably the most interesting part of the consultation from the point of view of EuroISPA.
The aspects related to content moderation online, with a focus on online disinformation, show that the European Democracy Action Plan and the Digital Services Act will be complementary.