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Future Shocks 2022: Building a healthier online environment for healthy democracies

The last two decades have been marked by the unprecedented development of the online world. This has provided new opportunities for citizens to access political information, discuss issues, and engage in politics, as well as new possibilities for political actors to influence public opinion, mobilise people and organise electoral campaigns. To ensure that democratic debate and future elections take place under the highest democratic standards, the EU needs to build a healthier online environment. This would require measures to fill in existing policy gaps, including: safeguarding the integrity of elections in the EU; establishing an 161 adequate regulation and institutional oversight of how algorithms are used for political purposes; equipping citizens with skills and tools to fend off online disinformation and manipulation; increasing cyber resilience of electoral processes and infrastructures; and promoting healthy online environment standards worldwide.