Brussels, BELGIUM – Last night, the EU co-legislators reached a provisional political agreement on the new European rules that will govern the transparency and targeting of political advertising, paving the way for formal adoption of the Regulation.
The Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA Europe) reiterates that the tech sector has always supported the Regulation’s overall aim of increasing transparency in political advertising, as well as the underlying objective of safeguarding the integrity of elections and democracy across the European Union.
While progress has been made on important issues during the negotiations, such as clarifying that only paid-for political messages and coordinated campaigns are in scope, the deal still leaves vague language unaddressed, which risks making harmonised implementation difficult.
Personalised ad targeting has made it possible for users to receive advertising that is actually relevant to them, while keeping electoral campaigns affordable. The newly agreed rules will significantly impact the current model, and risk undermining the ability to have meaningful electoral debates online.
CCIA Europe welcomes the 18-month implementation period agreed for most of the provisions. EU negotiators were keen to strike a deal in time for the 2024 European Parliament elections, and some of the new rules will already apply to those EU-wide elections in June next year.
However, caution needs to be applied when introducing new rules for political ads once the electoral process is already underway, in order to avoid creating a confusing framework that would negatively impact political campaigns.
The following can be attributed to CCIA Europe’s Senior Policy Manager, Claudia Canelles Quaroni:
“CCIA Europe recognises lawmakers’ hard work to reach this landmark agreement. Before the new rules come into force, however, important details still need to be clarified. How can the new ad targeting rules be applied in practice for instance?”
“It is crucial to provide sufficient clarity in order for political advertising publishers to implement the EU’s new ad rules in a proper way, and without harming freedom of expression in electoral processes.”