November 2023

Strengthening Democracy

In 2024, over half of the world’s population will head to the polls and cast their vote on new governments, including the European Parliament. Yet now more than ever, elections need to be protected against internal and external threats such as disinformation, foreign interference and cyber-attacks. 

The European Union is deploying a wide range of new tools to address this challenge, in the context of the European democracy action plan. Among them is the Digital Service Act, which came into force on 25 August 2023 requiring stronger fact-checking capabilities, shorter response time and clearer escalation processes.

At the High-Level Roundtable on Protecting the Integrity of EU Elections: Lessons Learned from the Polish and Slovak Elections convened by the Lisbon Council and Meta, leading experts working on elections integrity in Poland and Slovakia (the first countries holding elections since the DSA came into force) came to discuss the experience of recent elections and derive learnings from them for 2024.

Among key participants were Mateusz Mrozek, director of cyberspace at the Polish national research institute NASK; Kinga Klich, fact-checking coordinator at the Polish fact-checking organisation Demagog; Marek Mračka, founder of the Slovak NGO MEMO98; Marie-Hélène Boulanger, head of unit, democracy, union citizenship and free movement, directorate-general justice and consumers at the European Commission; and Marisa Jiménez Martín, director of public policy and deputy head of European Union affairs at Meta.