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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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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.
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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.