President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen. Photo: European Commission
How to Safeguard Democracy in Europe Under Digital Regime
The challenges to democracy range from political manipulation in elections and disinformation to polarisation and a flailing media landscape.
Sixteen former Presidents and Prime Ministers are calling for the EU to safeguard democracy with the Digital Services Act (DSA) and Digital Markets Act (DMA), in a joint letter to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
“With the DSA and the DMA, the EU has an opportunity to create the transparency and accountability frameworks needed to ensure internet platforms take appropriate measures to safeguard democratic processes and human rights, and address the challenging concentration of power,” the letter states.
As part of the World Forum for Democracy, a forum talk entitled “Counting on citizens’ voices, not just counting votes” will present several experiences with citizens’ assemblies at national level. The event on January 19 will also consider what their main advantages are in the decision-making process and why they can play a crucial role in facing both the climate crisis and the crises of trust in democratic institutions.
Club de Madrid together with the European Partnership for Democracy have been jointly advocating for EU tech policy to help mitigate the threats to democracy created and amplified by these platforms. These challenges to democracy range from political manipulation in elections and disinformation to polarisation and a flailing media landscape.
With this letter to President von der Leyen, former European leaders warn the European Commission not to simply take a market regulation perspective, but centre the regulatory pieces on safeguarding European democracy. Leaders insist that the Commission stand up to big tech’s major lobbying power, and put forward regulation that holds these major players accountable.