AIG Newsletter 13 December 2022
AIG op-ed: The EU is moving fast and breaking things with its political ads regulation
Last week the AIG placed an op-ed on the Media Leader/Mediatel website to highlight our concerns about the scope of the proposal for a regulation on political advertising, and how it might impact commercial issues-based advertising and the risk of self-censorship, which runs counter to the broader principle of freedom of expression. Please feel free to share this wider with your networks.
Council’s general approach on transparency and targeting of political advertising’s proposal
On 6 December, the Council published its general approach on the transparency and targeting of political advertising proposal. The document outlines the Council’s approach in its negotiations with the EP, based on the compromise text (Annex). According to the Presidency, the text strikes the right balance between the positions of the delegations and provides a good basis for the general approach.
The text was also discussed in COREPER on 1 December. An additional text was added to the document to clarify that this regulation does not alter national rules concerning the bans or limitations on political advertising (Recital 13). In addition, clarifications were introduced around communications from public authorities or Governments to specify that it is not considered political advertising if it concerns legislative and regulatory initiatives. There were also changes concerning the application time, where it specifies that the regulation will apply 12 months after its publication on the Official Journal. Other significant changes included definitions to provide legal clarity, the strengthening of transparency requirements and the role of competent authorities was better defined. On sanctions, the Presidency introduced a maximum threshold to provide some level of harmonisation.
EP JURI Committee adopts draft opinion on Transparency and targeting of political advertising
On 29 November, the EP JURI Committee adopted its opinion on the Transparency and targeting of political advertising proposal. Rapporteur Angelika Niebler MEP (EPP) underlined that democracy was one of the highest values of the EU, and therefore required citizen participation. She specified that political advertising gave voters the possibility to determine the different political position of the actors in the political scenario. It was a very important information tool for enhancing participation and democracy.
The opinion also underlined the importance of respecting media and expression freedom. The Rapporteur believed it was necessary to separate editorial content from political advertising by definition. The regulation should apply only to EU and national elections, therefore excluding regional and local ones. The main actors subject to this regulation would be digital political advertising services.
EUROPEAN MEDIA FREEDOM ACT
Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council discusses Regulation establishing the European Media Freedom Act
On 29 November, the Czech Presidency presented its progress report on the European Media Freedom Act (EMFA) during the Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council meeting. The progress report was divided into three sections:
- Background of the proposal, the Commission text and the impact assessment, and the work of other institutions/bodies;
- An overview of the work done so far in the Council's preparatory bodies.
- The main issues discussed and the progress that has been made within the Council.
The main points in the progress report tabled are: the legal basis, a clarification of the relationships between the proposed regulation and other legislative acts, the setting of a minimum level of harmonisation, the flexibility of the member states to adopt more detailed or stricter rules, certain definitions like editorial responsibility and serious crime, the rights and obligations of media service providers, the new media service board, coordination of measures, and the issue of transparent allocation of state advertising. The Presidency noted that negotiations on the technical level will continue throughout December and subsequently under the Swedish Presidency.
CULT’s Rapporteur presents her draft report on the Implementation of the AVMSD
On 1 December, Rapporteur Petra Kammerevert MEP (S&D) presented her draft report on the implementation of the AVMSD. The Rapporteur stated she would consider amendments, especially regarding the relationship between the AVMSD and other directives (DSA). The other members of the Committee could now present amendments to the draft until the deadline: 12 January.
CONSUMERS IN THE GREEN TRANSITION
EP IMCO - Empowering consumers for the green transition – amendments published
Yesterday, amendments to the IMCO Draft Report on the proposal for empowering consumers for the green transition through better protection against unfair practices and better information were published. These include some concerning amendments that look to implement marketing restrictions. The consideration of amendments is due to take place 23-24 January. The AIG intends to draw up some messaging to send to MEPs ahead of this date.
This will be the last AIG newsletter for 2022. We wish you happy holidays and we look forward to continuing our positive engagement in the new year!
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
- 14 December: The European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency is organising a webinar on Patents and Innovation.
- 14 December: Microsoft is hosting an event entitled Digital Values in the Democratic Age - How can tech companies reinforce and strengthen European democracy?
- 15 December: IAB Europe and Google are organising a webinar entitled Privacy Sandbox: Personalised Ads APIs (Topics and FLEDGE).