Balancing the democratic scrutiny of social media with fundamental rights 

On Wednesday, MEPs will discuss the link between new media, politics and freedom of speech, following recent developments on both sides of the Atlantic.

In a debate with Council and Commission, MEPs are due to consider how to avoid the pitfalls created by the digitalisation of politics, namely the need to defend democracy from disinformation and efforts to subvert it or incite violence, without compromising freedom of speech or technological innovation in political discourse. In the aftermath of incidents in the USA, including the Capitol Hill riot and the permanent suspension of President Trump’s social media accounts, MEPs are expected to comment on the deterioration of fundamental rights, the state of media freedom in the EU, and the online disinformation campaigns by foreign and domestic actors.


This debate will take place in the context of ongoing legislative and policy processes such as those included in the Democracy Action Plan, the Digital Services Act and the Digital Markets Act. The 2019 European Elections were protected from disinformation through an EU action plan and the European Commission’s code of practice for platforms.

Procedure: Council and Commission statements followed by debate


Debate: Wednesday, 10 February