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The European Union is a political, economic and social union between 27 member states, founded on the values of respect for human dignity and rights, freedom, democracy and the rule of law.
There are a variety of ways the EU can promote those values and objectives, and doing so has the potential to set global standards around the world.
ARTICLE 19 works directly with legislators, policy makers, regulators, relevant stakeholders and partners, including consumer and civil society organisations, to ensure that EU rules and frameworks uphold its stated commitments to human rights, particularly the right to free expression and the right to information. We do so mainly through advocacy, research, and the shaping of policy proposals.
Among others, our advocacy is focused on ensuring that the right to free expression is respected both online and offline; that digital and media markets operate in the interest of the citizens and are compatible with democratic resilience; that new technologies comply with international human rights standards; and that Europe is a place where free, independent and pluralist media can thrive and journalists can hold power to account without fear of harassment or intimidation.
Platform and digital markets regulation
Big tech companies exercise unprecedented power to decide what we see and access, how we interact with each other and what we can and cannot say online.
With no accountability and driven by an exploitative business model, the actions of those companies have led to human rights violations, including gross violations of privacy, freedom of expression and non-discrimination.
ARTICLE 19 has long argued that successful regulation of digital services must place protection of human rights and free speech online at its core. We also believe that taming corporate power in the digital markets with competition law and policy is crucial to ensuring people have genuine choice around their activities online.
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Digital Markets Act: Submission on gatekeeper compliance reports
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EU: Civil society must play a role in Digital Markets Act implementation
EU: Telecom interests must not trump human rights
EU: European Commission must guard against exploitative abuses
EU: network fees threaten consumer rights and choice
EU: Ensure robust civil society involvement to enforce Digital Services Act
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EU: Participation of civil society in competition law enforcement crucial
Digital markets: Why competition is good for freedom of expression
EU: Ensure effective enforcement of Digital Markets Act
EU: Protect privacy and free expression by withdrawing Internet law
EU: Dangers of the proposed regulation to fight child sexual abuse online
EU: Fix Digital Markets Act flaws to protect competition and users’ rights
EU: Digital Services Act crisis response mechanism must honour human rights
EU: ARTICLE 19’s recommendations for the Digital Services Act trilogue
EU: Users’ voices must be heard as Digital Markets Act comes into force
EU: Digital Markets Act must enhance free speech
Europe: ‘Right to be forgotten’ must not extend to media archives
EU: Another missed opportunity to ensure a pluralistic digital ecosystem
EU: A diverse, decentralised digital services environment will protect rights
EU: Civil society urges EU to fix algorithms
EU: Stop platforms from suppressing public interest research
Digital Services Act: IMCO draft report raises freedom of expression concerns
Digital Markets Act: Civil Society addresses the European Parliament (IMCO)
EU: Due diligence obligations in the proposed Digital Services Act
Technology and surveillance
The development of new technologies brings with itself a lot of promise but it can also have grave consequences for human rights and democracy.
The unchecked development and deployment of Artificial Intelligence, biometric and other surveillance technologies threaten our fundamental rights. Certain practices, such as indiscriminate or arbitrarily-targeted use of facial recognition in public spaces should never be allowed as they are simply incompatible with democratic values and human rights
ARTICLE 19 advocates for EU regulation which ensures transparency and oversight, and protects our rights to privacy and data protection; the right to freedom of expression; rights to free assembly and association; and the rights to equality and non-discrimination.
EU: Court denies full transparency about emotion recognition
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EU: Pegasus spyware Inquiry must hear the voices of human rights defenders
EU: Authoritarian technological surveillance versus fundamental rights
EU: AI development for military and national security must uphold rights
EU: Research into biometric technologies must be transparent
EU: Risky biometric technology projects must be transparent from the start
EU: NSO Group tech must be on global sanction list
EU: Put fundamental rights first in AI Act
Europe: Artificial Intelligence Act must protect free speech and privacy
EU: Action needed to tackle spyware abuses after Pegasus revelations
EU: New proposal on artificial intelligence must protect human rights
Open letter: European Commission must ban biometric mass surveillance
EU: Civil society challenges EU plans to expand biometric mass surveillance
Media and journalism
In recent years, the attacks on journalists in the EU have increased at a worrying rate and governments have made more attempts to curtail independence of media outlets.
Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPPs) continue to threaten public watchdogs, as powerful individuals use their money and influence to discourage journalists from reporting on public interest topics.
ARTICLE 19 works to ensure that the EU creates robust protections for journalists and media freedom. We support the development of anti-SLAPPs regulation and of regulatory frameworks that guarantee media plurality, freedom and independence.