New rules in European Union for political advertising

New EU rules to set common standards on the transparency and targeting of political advertising come into force today. These rules will allow citizens to identify messages that seek to influence their opinions and political decisions and aim to promote free and fair elections.

A notification mechanism for problematic ads will need to be put in place and all political ads will be stored in an online repository. The regulation also restricts the misuse of personal data. In order to protect European democratic processes from outside interference, the regulation prohibits the sponsorship of advertising by non-EU countries three months before an election or referendum.

The Code of Conduct for the European Parliament elections in 2024 was also signed under the auspices of the Vice-President of the European Commission, Vera Jourova. By signing it, European political parties committed to maintaining ethical campaign practices. Against a backdrop of growing concern about protecting the integrity of Europe's elections from internal and external threats, this commitment by political parties is of great importance.

The political parties that have signed the Code of Conduct are: Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, European Christian Political Movement, European Conservatives and Reformists, European Democratic Party, European Free Alliance, European Green Party, European People's Party, Party of European Socialists and Party of the European left. Identity and Democracy said they would also join the Code of Conduct for the 2024 European Parliament elections.

As an example of a commitment under the Code, signatories will promote inclusive political discourse and participation by refraining from using or disseminating discriminatory statements against specific groups based on gender, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, age or sexual orientation. Another example is the parties' commitment to refrain from political advertisements sponsored by undeclared interests or otherwise engaging intermediaries to deliver campaign messages without clearly identifying who is responsible for them.

The Code of Conduct will serve as a comprehensive checklist for political parties, candidates, media and citizens to monitor ethical behavior during the election campaign.