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AIG Newsletter 29 January 2024

Advertising Information Group-Newsletter

Lesedauer: 5 Minuten


In this week's newsletter, the European Parliament's IMCO Committee confirmed a provisional agreement on political advertising, which aims to safeguard election campaign integrity and combat disinformation. Meanwhile, negotiations on the AI Act continue to progress, with key provisions added that address biometrics, emotional recognition, and high-risk applications. Additionally, the Council and EP CULT have confirmed a provisional agreement on the European Media Freedom Act which emphasises editorial independence, transparency in media ownership, and balanced content moderation on large online platforms. Lastly, the EDPB and EDPS assess the role of Data Protection Officers, highlighting challenges faced and providing recommendations for improvement in their recent reports. 



On 24 January, the IMCO Committee voted in favour of the provisional agreement reached in trilogues on the proposal for a regulation on transparency and targeting of political advertising with 33 votes in favour, 1 against and 8 abstentions. The new rules aim to guarantee the integrity of election campaigns and to prevent disinformation and foreign interference. Furthermore, the regulation will allow voters to better recognise political ads. Other important elements include the regulation of targeting strategies, the protection of personal data, and the protection of freedom of expression. The text is now expected to be voted by the Parliament during the plenary session of 26-29 February. Then, the rules will apply after 18 months from the entry into force.


On 22 January, Rapporteur Dragos Tudorache (RE, RO) briefed the LIBE Committee on the status of the AI Act negotiations. Tudorache underlined the positive impact of the EP mandate on the current version of the regulation. For example, he mentioned that biometric categorisation systems, emotional recognition in workplace and education, predictive policing, and targeted scrapping of images on the internet would now be prohibited. Another important result for the LIBE Committee was the inclusion of migration management, border management, and additional use cases in education and democracy as high-risk applications. Further achievements include the introduction of a fundamental rights impact assessment. Lastly, Tudorache talked about biometrics and the exception for national security, underlining that the EP reluctantly accepted the Council position. 

On 24 January, the IMCO Committee was briefed by Rapporteur Brando Benifei (S&D, IT). Benifei noted the difficult nature of the negotiations and the initial distance between the EP and Council positions. In this context, he also talked about biometrics and underlined that the EP reached a compromise establishing limited exemptions for real time remote biometric identification. However, he stressed that the EP should ensure that the reference to national security is used in a correct way. Concerning general-purpose AI models, Benifei said that they managed to secure more stringent obligations for transparency and documentation for all these models and stricter obligations for the high-impact ones. 

Please note that journalist Luca Bertuzzi leaked the current version of the text on 22 January. 


The agreement on the European Media Freedom Act which had been provisionally reached at the end of last year, was agreed upon by the Council on 19 January. This was soon followed by EP CULT on 24 January (with 23 votes in favour, 4 against and 2 abstentions). The agreement will now be finalised and formally adopted by both institutions by April 2024.

The agreement reached guarantees citizens' access to a plurality of editorially independent media content, namely by obliging Member States to ensure the editorial and functional independence of public media, through the appointment of heads and board members through transparent and non-discriminatory procedures, the carrying out of transparent and objective funding procedures, and an independent monitoring of media’s political independence. The EMFA will oblige all media to publish information on their direct and indirect owners, including if they are directly or indirectly owned by the state or a public authority, in a national database. Furthermore, according to the text, Member States are prohibited from interfering with editorial decisions and will protect journalists right to not to disclose their sources. 

One of the legislation’s most controversial parts concerned content moderation by very large online platforms (VLOPs). VLOPs will be required to distinguish independent media from non-independent sources. Media would be notified that the platform intends to delete or restrict their content and have 24 hours to respond (shorter timeframe in case of crisis). If after the reply (or in absence of it) the platform still considers the media content does not comply with its conditions, it can proceed with deleting or restricting. However, if the media disputes the decision, they have the right to bring the case to an out-of-court dispute settlement body and request an opinion from the European Board for Media Services (a new EU board of national regulators to be set up by the EMFA).


The EDPB, in its recent plenary, approved a report based on its second coordinated enforcement action investigating the role of data protection officers (DPOs) in the European Economic Area (EEA). The report highlighted challenges faced by some DPOs, such as inadequate resources and the lack of independence, but overall the majority felt well equipped and properly consulted. The EDPB report also provided recommendations  to improve DPO independence and ensure there are sufficient resources. The report aligns with EDPB's 2021-2023 strategy, which focuses on enforcement and cooperation, while the next action in 2024 will focus on implementation of the right of access by data controllers. 

On January 18, the EDPS published the results of its survey on the role, responsibilities and tasks of data protection officers in the EU institutions, bodies, offices and agencies (EUIs). Conducted as part of the coordinated enforcement action of the European Data Protection Board, the survey assessed DPOs' compliance with the applicable law and the Regulation (EU) 2018/1725, emphasising independence, implementation of advice, and duties to ensure compliance. The findings will guide ongoing efforts to strengthen the role and independence of DPOs in EU institutions. 


30 January: Navigating the AI Revolution: A Tech Policy Guide for Small Businesses.(Connect Commerce Council)

1 February: Workshop on Open Source key areas for Digital Autonomy(European Commission

1 February: The future of connectivity: turbocharging Europe’s competitiveness.(Friends of Europe)

5 February: From Research to Reality – digital solutions for European challenges(Belgian Presidency and European Commission)

7 February: Empowering the Cultural and Creative Sectors in Data-Drive Audience Development(Belgian Presidency)

8 February: What the EU is doing for a better internet for kids?(European Parliamentary Research Service)

20 February: Competitiveness in a digital decade - What policy mix for 2024 and beyond?(EURACTIV)

21 February 24: Masters of Digital – Europe 2030: A Digital Powerhouse(Digital Europe)

22 February 24: Unpacking the Digital Identity Mapping Results(EU-US Trade & Technology Council)

22 February 24: What the EU is doing in the development of AI?(EPRS)

Stand: 29.01.2024