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Council of the European Union

Agenda Item 1: Transparency and Targeting of Political Advertising

Agenda Item 2: Substantiation of Green Claims

Under-Secretary-General: Bora Oğuz

Academic Assistants: Öykü Karakuş, Ata Yağız Topaloğlu

Introduction to the Council of the European Union 

The Council of the European Union is the institution responsible for representing the governments and ministries of the member states. It is referred to as “the Council” in the official documents of the EU. The Council makes decisions and legislative changes by working on and making amendments to regulations or proposals presented by the European Commission; those duties are fulfilled in conjunction with the European Parliament through the ordinary legislative procedure, also known as “co-decision”. The Council is tasked with negotiating and adopting Union-level legislation, coordinating the member states’ policies (often to reduce fragmentation), forging the EU foreign and security policy, and making bilateral or multilateral agreements between the EU and other states or institutions through the co-decision procedure. Therefore, the Council, together with the European Parliament and the European Commission, can be considered the brain of the EU decision-making process.

Introduction to the Agenda Items

1) Political advertising is everywhere, even more so in the era of digitalization. The EU is no exception to that. With the digitalized world came big data and the ability to target individuals or groups efficiently. Furthermore, the internet resulted in borders that are far more permeable than in 1993, when the European Single Market was established. This resulted in issues that affected not only the ordinary citizens of the EU but also the providers of political advertising. Coupled with the renewed and revitalized threats to European democracy, the situation forces the EU to act. Currently, member-state level legislation is not enough to increase the transparency of political advertising, protect the citizens of the EU from excessive targeting, prevent legal loopholes or clashes, and defend the European democracy from outsider threats. For this reason, the Parliament and the Council must come up with new legislation to tackle these remarkable problems.

2) Greenwashing is one of the problems that need to be addressed by the EU in order to find common ground between eco-friendly policies and economic interests. It refers to an act of deception in which businesses lie about being eco-friendly and gain the benefits of being seen as such, often to the detriment of the environment. The Substantiation of Green Claims proves important for tackling Greenwashing practices. Substantiation means the verification or backing of a claim with facts. Consequently, the substantiation of green claims refers to verifying or making sure that businesses are as green (i.e., eco-friendly) as they claim. To reach a situation where there is enough transparency between the producers and the customers, the Parliament and the Council must develop strategies together to verify businesses’ eco-friendliness claims.

Study Guide
Rules of Procedure
Transparency and Targeting of Political Advertising Proposal
Substantiating Green Claims Proposal
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