Tackling disinformation and strengthening election integrity to support democracy

Panel Debate – 16:00 – 17:30, Friday 3 May, Salone dei Cinquecento, Palazzo Vecchio

Abstract: Digital technologies are increasingly part of democratic processes. From online campaigning to informing public debate, technology is becoming an integral part of elections and political campaigns. At the same time, election environments are increasingly vulnerable to cyber-enabled interference and disinformation campaigns. With the European elections around the corner, it is urgent to step up efforts to secure free and fair democratic processes, as advocated in the report of the High-Level Expert Group on fake news, the European Commission Communication on online disinformation, the Commission Action Plan on disinformation and the Communication on Securing Free and Fair Elections. This panel takes stock of the measures that have been adopted at the European level, as well as of best practices that are being developed globally in cooperation with industry. The toolkit includes the Disinformation Code of Practice, the European network of independent fact-checkers, the European Election Cooperation Network, the Rapid Alert System, industry-led security and disinformation workshops, and other efforts towards increasing digital media literacy. Have we done enough? Is more, or other, action needed? Is cybersecurity being sufficiently embedded into election resilience? What role can independent regulatory authorities and technology actors play? Are there, apart from the positive, also negative effects to the actions that have been taken?

Moderator: Madeleine de Cock Buning, Professor, School of Transnational Governance, EUI, and Chair, European Commission High-Level Expert Group on Fake News and Disinformation


Hans Dahlgren, Minister for EU Affairs, Sweden

John Frank, Vice-President for EU Government Affairs, Microsoft

Roula Khalaf, Deputy Editor, Financial Times

Ľuboš Kukliš, Chair, European Regulators Group for Audiovisual Media Services