strasbourg - To prevent companies or other countries from manipulating elections in Europe, the European Commission proposes new rules. 'We must protect our free and fair elections,' said President Jean-Claude Juncker.
The daily EU administration warns of 'massive online disinformation campaigns. 'Without explicitly referring to them, Juncker referred to the scandal surrounding Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, and attempts by Russia to exercise electoral influence.
The rules for political ads on the internet are being tightened. European political parties can be fined if they abuse personal data in order to deliberately influence the outcome of the European elections. That can amount to 5 percent of their annual budget. They can not apply for a European subsidy for the year of the offense. National parties must also provide information about their expenses for advertising campaigns on the internet.
'We must not be naïve: some want to disrupt the European elections and they have sophisticated instruments', warns vice-chairman Frans Timmermans. It urges the Member States to work closely together to prevent electoral manipulation and data abuse, to 'strengthen our democratic resilience. '