New rules of Facebook do not comply with "European rules"

Mark Zuckerberg is being urged to address privacy issues by the European Greens.

They have sent a letter to the Facebook boss about the new rules for political advertisement in all EU.

The letter, seen by this website, reads:

Dear Mr Zuckerberg,

Since 15 April 2019, Facebook has put in place new rules for political advertisement in all EU
Member States. Effectively, paid political content will only be allowed in the country where the ad buyer is based in.

These rules create an unprecedented barrier for European political organisations and political parties.

Under the new rules, European political parties, established under EU law, and based on Article 10 of the Treaty on the European Union (TEU), cannot advertise in all EU Member States anymore, but basically only in Belgium.

This is extremely worrying just five weeks before the elections to the European Parliament.

European political parties, by definition, have members and constituencies all across the EU. There are also many citizens of EU Member States who live in another Member State, but still can and want to vote at home. Political groups in the European Parliament – which are by definition not based in one Member State – also cannot advertise their content outside of Belgium anymore. Article 10(4) of the TEU clearly states that “Political parties at European
level contribute to forming European political awareness and to expressing the will of citizens of the Union.” – not national awareness on the national level of national citizens.

The new rules also do not make the European Parliament elections more secure. While preventing European political parties from advertising their ideas across the EU, big influencers from in- and outside the European Union, who want to have an impact on the European elections, can still pay agencies at the national level and continue their aggressive advertisement everywhere in the Union.

The new rules of Facebook also do not comply with the European rules on the cross-border provision of services. Our rules clearly state that a provider contracted by an EU political actor cannot be restrained to provide its services in only one Member State. This is in line with stable case law on single market freedoms the European Court of Justice has built over the last 60 years.

With these rules, Facebook is de facto putting barriers in place that will harm the European
discourse around a European democracy. It brings us back to the times of nation-states vs
nation-states, which the EU was founded to overcome."

It adds, "We expect Facebook to change its rules within a matter of days to be in compliance with EU rules, in order to allow EU-level political parties and other entities to participate in the

European political discourse in the run-up to the European Parliament elections between May 23 to May 26, 2019. All European political parties that are registered with the Authority for European Political Parties and European Political Foundations should immedately be allowed to run Europe-wide advertisementson Facebook.

We will not accept being limited to national public spheres in a common Europe and we do hope that you will work with us to effect the necessary changes."

It is signed by:

Dara Murphy, Vice-President and Campaign Director of the European People’s Party
Sergei Stanishev, President of the Party of European Socialists
Jan Zahradil, President of the Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe
Hans van Baalen, President of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe 
Reinhard Bütikofer, Co-chair of the European Green Party
Monica Frassoni, Co-chair of the European Green Party
Gregor Gysi, President of the Party of European Left
Lorena Lopez de La Calle, President of the European Free Alliance

Meanwhile, in Denmark’s general elections this week the Danish Greens Socialistisk Folkeparti (SF) doubled their seats from 7 to 14.

Just last week, SF also doubled its number of seats in the European Parliament following European elections.

Reacting to the results, the SF chairperson Pia Olsen Dyhr told this site, “The outcome of the election is very positive and the doubling in our of seats from 7 to 14 shows that people have put their trust in us and voted for hope, climate and a better and greener future for our children.

“Our focus will now be on ensuring an ambitious climate law and continuing the work as the leading green party in Denmark. It’s time to roll our sleeves up and translate the fine result into concrete green action.

The co-chairs of the European Green Party Monica Frassoni and Reinhard Bütikofer added, “We congratulate the Danish Greens SF on this twin success, first in European elections and now at a national level. We hope they can use this momentum to strengthen their role as a key player in Danish politics.

“Denmark is the latest in a series of Green successes that have been sweeping across Europe showing people are supporting in ever greater numbers a more socially just agenda that puts climate protection at the heart of policy making.”

Follow EU Today on Social media:

Martin Banks

Martin Banks

Martin Banks is a highly qualified journalist with many years experience of working within the EU institutions. He is an occasional, and highly valued, contributor to EU today, writing on a wide variety of issues.

Related posts