Reinforcing democracy and integrity of elections package

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EESC opinion: Reinforcing democracy and integrity of elections package

Key points

The "Reinforcing democracy and integrity of elections" package was issued by the European Commission on 25 November 2021. The EESC was asked to address two of the three legislative components of the package: the revision of the Regulation on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations, and a proposal for a Regulation on transparency and targeting of political advertising.

The EESC:

  • welcomes the aims and motivation of the package but also suggests being more ambitious in the Regulations and putting them into action as soon as possible.
  • proposes additional actions to promote conscious political participation by citizens and a role for civil society in ensuring transparent, accessible and honest political activities.
  • supports including all aspects linked to political campaigning in the election package, including through a stronger focus on countering disinformation.

Concerning specific aspects of the package:

On the transparency and targeting of political advertising, the EESC suggests specific proposals for improvement, including using a broad but clear definition of political advertising; broadening the scope of penalties for wrongdoings; limiting possibilities for non-EU players to exert influence; prohibiting targeted political advertising based on pervasive tracking and processing of information concerning an individual's on- or offline behaviour; limiting or stopping targeting and amplification techniques in political advertising that involve the processing of personal data; completely prohibiting targeting based on special categories of sensitive personal data; etc.

On the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations, the EESC suggests specific proposals to strengthen standards concerning gender balance; tackle discrimination and promote human rights; limit donations to parties from countries outside the EU; limit the involvement of EU parties in national referendum campaigns; etc.

On resilience and strengthening the role of civil society in electoral processes, the EESC calls for the creation of an annual event to share best practices and draw up an annual plan to strengthen democracy, participation and civic dialogue and the implementation of Article 11 TEU; support for civil society funding, including for conducting impartial and inclusive "get out to vote" campaigns; the removal of remaining barriers preventing inclusive participation in elections, including for mobile citizens and EU citizens with disabilities; the harmonisation of legislation relating to European Parliament election conditions, etc.


The "Reinforcing democracy and integrity of elections" package was issued by the European Commission in November 2021. The EESC was asked to address two of the three legislative components of the package: the revision of the Regulation on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations, and a proposal for a Regulation transparency and targeting of political advertising. In this Opinion, the EESC welcomes the aims and motivation of the package but also suggests specific recommendations to make the text of the Regulations more ambitious. One of the main objectives of the Opinion is to promote conscious political participation by citizens and a role for civil society in ensuring transparent, accessible and honest political activities.