On 27 November 2023, the European Partnership for Democracy, together with Civil Society Europe, Transparency International EU and The Good Lobby, organised a press briefing on “Defend Democracy: Mind the Impact of an EU Foreign Influence Law”. This event was part of the co-organisers’ broader advocacy efforts on the Defense of Democracy Package. The aim was to:
1. present the state of play regarding the EU’s foreign interference legislation,
2. consider the effects that such a law would have, and
3. propose concrete alternatives to the legislation.
The press briefing also featured a presentation of The Good Lobby’s study titled “How to Evaluate a Foreign Influence Legislation?”
In our response, we expressed various concerns related, among others, to the freedoms of civil society organisations, the geopolitical implications of this legislation, and a call for an ‘Interest Representatives Act’ to promote transparency and fairness.
A handout with the recommendations and the questions raised by the panel was distributed to the participants. The content of this document builds on EPD’s ongoing commitment to democracy and civic space, in coherence with our work on the proposed Defense of Democracy Package since late 2022.