Communication on the European democracy action plan

Author (Corporate)
Series Details COM (2020) 790
Publication Date 03/12/2020
Content Type


Communication published by the European Commission on 3 December 2020, setting out a European Democracy Action Plan (EDAP).

Further information:

The EDAP is aimed at EU institutions, national governments and parliaments, as well as other national authorities, political parties, media and civil society, and online platforms. It sets out a reinforced EU policy framework and specific measures to:

  • Promote free and fair elections and strong democratic participation;
  • Support free and independent media;
  • Counter disinformation.

The Commission's strategy includes plans to propose legal action on political advertising, recommend measures to tackle safety of journalists and present an initiative to protect them from strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPPs). The Commission is also to steer efforts to overhaul the existing Code of Practice of Disinformation. The plan includes throughout an emphasis on empowering citizens and civil society to counter the threats.

This action plan was first announced in the Political Guidelines put forward by the President of the European Commission and featured in the Commission's 2020 Work Programme. It was published on 3 December 2020 alongside the Media and Audiovisual Action Plan (MAAP).

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Commentary and Analysis
ETUC: Document, 03/07/2020: Discussion Paper on the European Commission’s Democracy Action Plan approved at the virtual EXCO 2-3 July 2020
GSMA Europe: GSMA’s Views on the European Commission’s Public Consultation on the European Democracy Action Plan (14 September 2020)
Culture Action Europe: Open Letter on the European Democracy Action Plan and Freedom of Artistic Expression (14 September 2020)
ENNHRI: News, 15/09/2020: ENNHRI inputs on new European Democracy Action Plan
Mozilla Firefox: Netpolicy, 17/09/2020: Mozilla files comments with the European Commission on safeguarding democracy in the digital age
Article 19: Joint statement: 5 demands for an ambitious European Democracy Action Plan (18 September 2020)
IDEA: News, 24/09/2020: International IDEA helps the European Commission on its European Democracy Action Plan
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 15/10/2020: How to Tackle Europe’s Digital Democracy Challenges
Robert Schuman Foundation: European Issues (No 578), 30/11/2020: European Democracy, a fundamental system to be protected
EBU: Blog, 01/12/2020: What the European Democracy Action must deliver
Open Society Foundations: Response to the European Commission Consultation on the European Democracy Action Plan (December 2020)
Carnegie Europe: Events, 04/12/2020: Can the European Democracy Action Plan Deliver? A Conversation with Věra Jourová [via Youtube]
EDDA: News, 05/12/2020: The EU published European Democracy Action Plan: what is the role of digital transformation in it?
Friedrich Naumann Foundation, 09/12/2020: European Democracy Action Plan: Mechanisms Over Content
EU Law Analysis, 15/12/2020: European Democracy Action Plan – an Overview
Heinrich Böll Foundation: Analysis, 17/12/2020: Reflections on the European Democracy Action Plan: An Easily-Overlooked Concern
OBC Transeuropa, 22/12/2020: EU takes its best action against foreign interference when tackling the big issues
Chatham House: Expert Comment, 15/02/2021: Persuasion or manipulation? Limiting campaigning online
International Press Institute: Newsroom, 17/02/2021: Věra Jourová: “EU underestimated the role of media in upholding democracy”

Reuters, 14/07/2020: EU Commission seeks input on tackling fake news, ensuring fair polls
EurActiv, 20/11/2020: EU ambassadors want disinformation crackdown in Democracy Action Plan
RFE/RL, 03/12/2020: Jourova: EU To Impose A 'Cost' For Spreaders Of Fake News, Such As Russia
EUCRIM: News, 19/01/2021: European Democracy Action Plan
EurActiv, 04/03/2021: European Commission pledges support for struggling media sector

European Commission: Priorities 2019-2024: European Democracy Action Plan
European Parliament: Legislative Train Schedule: European Democracy Action Plan
European Commission: Public Consultations: Protecting European democracy from interference and manipulation – European Democracy Action Plan
European Commission: Report on the Public Consultation for the European DemocracyAction Plan (EDAP)
European Commission: Press Release, 15/07/2020: Public consultation: Commission seeks citizens' views in preparation of new European Democracy Action Plan
EBU: News, 15/09/2020: EBU makes recommendations for European Democracy Action Plan
European Commission: Press Release, 03/12/2020: European Democracy Action Plan: making EU democracies stronger
European Commission: Questions and Answers: European Democracy Action Plan – making EU democracies stronger (3 December 2020)
European Commission: European Democracy Action Plan: Remarks by Vice-President Vera Jourová (3 December 2020)
EU EESC: News, 25/03/2021: European Democracy Action Plan: much needed, long overdue but not broad enough

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