Politics & Economics

What is EU doing to cope with influencers’ power

May 2024
By Editorial Staff

The Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council gathered on May the 13th and 14th and discussed about important topic that are crucial to nowadays youth: influencers.

The influencers’ deal

“This is the most important Council meeting for media and it’s also an important step to recognize what we have achieved, as Flemish and Belgian presidency of the Union for media”. With these words, Benjamin Dalle, Flemish Minister of Media, Brussels, Youth and Poverty Reduction of Belgium, opens the press conference after the two-days Council held in Brussels.

During the meeting, Ministers wondered how to deal with the rise of influencers. The conclusions emphasize the influence, both beneficial and potentially harmful, that influencers have on the online content and information consumed by Europeans. They propose several recommendations focused on promoting media and digital literacy, as well as responsible conduct among influencers, including minors often referred to as ‘kidfluencers’.

“Content with conscience” is the key. A conference that will gather influencers from all over Europe to discuss about how to manage the power of influences in the social media. Influencers have indeed a strong power to persuade young generations and that is the reason why “their impact is huge. We want to make sure that they are aware of their role in the media ecosystem”, says Dalle during the press conference, calling the Member states to action.

“Europeans are spending more time online, meaning that influencers who create content for social media have a greater impact than ever before on the way we perceive and understand the world. In order to ensure that this impact is positive, the EU must provide support to influencers, enabling them to build their media literacy and increase their awareness and appreciation of the rules that govern their actions online”, claims Jan Jambon, Minister-President of the Flemish Government, supporting the following activities for influencers’ work.

More than just influencers

Not only influencers, but also AI Act and Media Freedom Act were discussed during the Council. The Belgian presidency has coped with digital since the beginning of the mandate, and aims to continue with this path. The Media Freedom Act is “a quite impressive legislation, initiated by the Commission and agreed some months ago, which protects the media freedom and media diversity and the indipendence of journalists”. The Media Freedom Act is directly linked to the freedom of expression, which nowadays’ current events “sometimes make political events interfere with this freedom”.

Ministers also engaged in a policy discussion regarding AI’s prospective impact on cultural and creative realms. They exchanged strategies employed by their governments to bolster these sectors in adopting AI technologies, reflecting on key insights gained. While highlighting AI’s potential to widen cultural access, attract new audiences, and safeguard heritage, they cautioned against risks, notably regarding intellectual property rights, ethics, and distinguishing human-made content from AI-generated output. They explored avenues for EU policies and programs to harness AI’s potential while upholding the human element in culture and creativity.

“We need to develop both appropriate legislation and the digital capacities of our cultural and creative sectors if we are to respond swiftly and effectively to the challenges and opportunities that AI presents”, reminds Jan Jambon at the end of the press conference.