"Democracy and political life are facing new challenges in an increasingly digital world", said Liliane Maury Pasquier, PACE President, on the eve of the International Day of Democracy (15 September).
"Opinion-forming processes and, consequently, decision-making processes are subject to attempts at influence, with a high risk of destabilizing democratic institutions. And the Internet, as we well know, is not only a place of democracy and open debate, but also a place where criminal opinions are clearly expressed, where speech is deliberately manipulated by the hidden use of social robots, where false news is knowingly spread on a large scale, where major cyberattacks multiply and where individuals' personal data are exchanged before being used for manipulation," she added.
The PACE President recalled that the Assembly's Political Affairs and Democracy Committee is currently preparing a report on "Democracy hacked: how to respond? " to address the most pressing issues, such as election security and society's resistance to misinformation.
"Our societies must protect democratic processes of opinion-forming, especially during elections. In the face of new realities, it is up to us as elected representatives to formulate bold proposals with new ideas for the future. Our Assembly is ready to provide common responses to the challenges of democracy," she concluded.