European elections 2024: France convenes the platforms to protect the vote from foreign interference

France is increasing its vigilance in the face of potential foreign interference aimed at disrupting the European electoral campaign, the Minister Delegate for Europe, Jean-Noël Barrot, announced on Wednesday April 24

European elections 2024: France convenes the platforms to protect the vote from foreign interference

France is increasing its vigilance in the face of potential foreign interference aimed at disrupting the European electoral campaign, the Minister Delegate for Europe, Jean-Noël Barrot, announced on Wednesday April 24. He announced the summons “in the coming days” of social media platforms on this subject.

The minister, who presented the communication campaign for the vote on June 9, estimated that “two elements could disrupt” the European elections: a strong abstention and foreign interference. To call French citizens to the polls, a vast communication campaign is starting on numerous media. Through radio, television and the written press, the government intends to remind people of the registration procedures and the issues at stake in the election.

Regarding the risks of disinformation, he has “put in place a reinforced vigilance system” thanks to the French organization fighting against foreign digital interference, Viginum, explained the minister.

Platform regulation

Jean-Noël Barrot specified that he had appealed to the European Commission and its “powers of control and regulation of large platforms” to demand from them “the greatest vigilance, during the campaign period, the period of silence and Election Day.” “I will summon them in the coming days so that they can present to us at the French level their action, with that of their regulator,” he added.

The head of Viginum, Marc-Antoine Brillant, stressed that, “since the mid-2010s, not a single major election in a liberal democracy has been spared” by manipulation attempts. “2024 is a very special year (…) with the persistence of two major conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza which, by nature, generate a lot of discussion and noise on social networks, and because France will have a very particular exposure this been with the hosting of the Olympic Games,” he stressed. In this context, the June 9 election is “particularly attractive for foreign information manipulation actors.”