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Council and Parliament agree on political advertising regulation

The Council presidency and European Parliament announced their political agreement on a draft regulation addressing transparency and targeting of political advertising (the Regulation) on 7 November 2023.

The Regulation aims to alleviate the risk of information manipulation and foreign interference in elections, while allowing citizens to recognise political advertisements and make informed decisions.

The scope of the Regulation will include political advertising provided for remuneration as well as “in-house” activities such as advertisements within political parties, and political advertising campaigns. Political views expressed in a personal capacity and journalism will not be caught.

The Council emphasised that the Regulation will ensure political advertising takes place in accordance with fundamental rights, including the right to privacy, and is intended to facilitate open and fair political discussions in Member States based on objective and transparent information.

The Council notes that the Regulation would place stringent limitations on the use of personal data in targeting and advertising delivery methods. Any data that is used in targeted online political adverts must have been collected directly from the data subject, who must provide explicit consent for this specific use. Notably, the Regulation would also create a blanket ban on profiling activities which use sensitive data (such as data revealing racial or ethnic origin or political opinions).

The Council has stated that the Regulation will continue to be finalised at a technical level in the coming weeks.

The press release is available here.