Brussels, 3rd November 2023
DOT Europe – the trade association representing leading internet companies in the EU – wishes to express its concerns over the suggested implementation timeline of the Regulation on the transparency and targeting of political advertising, ahead of the trilogue taking place on 6 November.
Our members welcome this legislative initiative and its potential to streamline procedures, increase transparency for users and clarify each actor’s role in the value chain, especially in times of elections. However, we have seen some proposals to drastically reduce (to just a few months) the time allocated to political ads publishers to work towards compliance for at least some of the new requirements proposed in the draft Regulation.
These new requirements are all the more crucial as they entail, first, important technological changes for service providers which would be very difficult to implement in such a short timeframe. Second, while the initial proposal clarified the roles and responsibilities of each actor, a phased compliance timeline poses a risk of confusion and contradiction in the way the proposal is applied (e.g., a political ad must be declared as such before requirements deriving from this status are triggered).
The upcoming European elections represent a pivotal moment in European democracy, and our members are making every effort to ensure that, to the best of their abilities, they contribute to a secure and fair electoral process. We understand the willingness of co-legislators to have rules in place for the next European elections but the new obligations emanating from this proposal will need to be translated into concrete changes in the system, which cannot happen overnight. Furthermore, the practicalities of electoral processes and necessary preparations beforehand must be considered when devising compliance deadlines.
We therefore urge all negotiators to pay attention to these concerns before concluding the interinstitutional negotiations and choose a reasonable application deadline that is workable for all stakeholders. Otherwise, we fear that companies will be unable to properly comply with the new rules, as they will lack the necessary guidance and oversight. Although well-intentioned, this asymmetric implementation deadline could impair the goals that the Political Advertising Regulation is trying to achieve.
We look forward to continued collaboration and dialogue to shape a regulatory framework that serves the best interests of both the industry and European democracy.
For more information from DOT Europe contact:
+32(0) 472 26 83 02
About DOT Europe
DOT Europe (previously called EDiMA) is the voice of the leading internet companies in Europe. DOT Europe’s mission is to develop ideas and support policy initiatives that foster an innovative, open and safe internet for Europe’s citizens and businesses. More information is available here: https://doteurope.eu/
DOT Europe represents 22 of the leading internet companies: Airbnb, Amazon, Apple, Discord, Dropbox, eBay, Etsy, Expedia Group, Google, Indeed, King, Meta, Microsoft, Mozilla, Nextdoor, OLX, Shopify, Snap, Spotify, TikTok, Twitter, Yahoo.
Its members produce and manage a variety of products, services and applications including browsers, entertainment platforms, social networks, marketplaces and review sites. More information is available here: https://doteurope.eu/members