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International IDEA supports the historic signing of the Code of Conduct by political parties for transparent and fair campaigning ahead of the 2024 European elections

Against the backdrop of growing concerns about protecting the integrity of elections in Europe from internal and external threats, the 2024 European Parliament elections carry significant importance. On 9 April 2024, European political parties gathered in a pivotal commitment to uphold ethical and fair campaign practices leading up to the elections. 

All European political parties signed a Code of Conduct for the 2024 European Parliament elections, two months prior to the elections, during a signing ceremony at the European Commission’s Berlaymont building, hosted by European Commission Vice-President Věra Jourová. 

The Code of Conduct was jointly developed and negotiated by Vice-President Jourová and International IDEA in close consultation with the European political parties.  

"The Code of Conduct complements the existing election frameworks at the European and national levels," says Dr Kevin Casas-Zamora, Secretary-General of International IDEA. "It helps preserve core values in elections such as transparency, accountability, fair play, voter privacy, and freedom of expression." 

The Code of Conduct will serve as a comprehensive checklist for political parties, candidates, media, and citizens to monitor ethical campaigning for the upcoming European elections.    

Vice-President Věra Jourová said: “This collective commitment of the European political parties sends a powerful message to citizens: we need to uphold the integrity of our elections in Europe. This agreement will help to build trust with voters and increase their confidence in the electoral process. I call on the political parties to stick to their commitment to ethical and fair campaigning in the coming months.” 

International IDEA also published a Policy Brief on “Codes of conduct on the rise: Fair and ethical campaigning online”, emphasizing the value of co-created codes of conduct tailored to unique electoral contexts and the specific requirements of stakeholders such as political parties. The Policy Brief can be accessed here.

Key topics covered in the commitments:  

Under this Code of Conduct, signatories agree to fair and transparent campaigning, and to the ethical use of technology in their campaigns, including artificial intelligence. They commit to the principles of truth and accuracy and to countering mis- and disinformation. Political parties further promise to increase public access to relevant campaign information, improve cybersecurity and help to safeguard European elections against undue interference. They will also promote internal compliance with and independent monitoring of commitments. 

Many of the 14 commitments in the Code of Conduct are inspired by point 11 of the Commission Recommendation (EU) 2023/2829 on inclusive and resilient electoral processes in the Union adopted on 12 December 2023 in the framework of the Defence of Democracy Package. International IDEA drafted the Code of Conduct based on the Commission Recommendation, consultations with several civil society organisations, and its experience with facilitating the Dutch Code of Conduct on Transparency of Online Political Advertising in 2021. The commitments in the code of conduct were negotiated with European political parties in collaboration with the European Commission.  

On 9 April, the following European political parties signed the Code of Conduct: Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE Party), European Christian Political Movement (ECPM), European Conservatives and Reformists Party (ECR Party), European Democratic Party (EDP), European Free Alliance (EFA), European Green Party, European People’s Party (EPP), Identity and Democracy Party (ID Party), Party of European Socialists (PES), and Party of the European Left (EL Party). 

Read the Code of Conduct here. The Code of Conduct will be open for additional signatures from national political parties as members of the European political parties. 

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Alistair Scrutton
Head of Communications and Knowledge Management
Marilyn Neven
Head of EU Liaison
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