The European Commission is preparing its Democracy Package (or ‘Defense of Democracy Package’), a set of instruments that purport “to reinforce democracy and [the] integrity of elections.”
This will consist of “a Regulation on transparency of political advertising,” an update to “the Regulation on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations” as well as “two proposals updating the Directives on the electoral rights of ‘mobile EU citizens’.”
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen mentioned the package in a recent speech. Given von der Leyen’s comments regarding the Commission’s ability to deal with unwanted electoral results in the context of the (then looming) victory in Italy of a coalition including Giorgia Meloni’s Fratelli d’Italia, we may question whether the Commission’s ‘defense of democracy’ will be strictly non-ideological.
Indeed, mainstream media outlets most often connect foreign intervention in elections to Russia, insisting on a link between politicians on what they call the ‘populist Right’ and the Kremlin (despite the explicit rift between the two, as in the case of Meloni herself defending Ukraine).
The new legislative package has the potential, therefore, to be wielded in such a way as to precisely circumvent democratic outcomes by pretending these are the result of shadowy interference.