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A package of laws, regulations and agreements between EU institutions and Big Tech represent an attempt by EU elites to determine what Europe’s 448 million people can or cannot say online. Further sweeping regulations on online speech are planned. The justification they give is the need to protect European democracy from hate speech and misinformation. But behind these invocations of democracy in fact lies a profoundly anti-Democratic attitude towards European citizens. 

Rather than Europe being under attack from “hate speech”, European citizens are under attack from the hateful attitude of EU elites. The powers-that-be look down on European citizens as infants easily susceptible to manipulation who need to be insulated from harmful speech and ideas. 

This report aims to challenge the Brussels ‘hate speech’ narrative. 

The EU’s fragile technocratic oligarchy fear open and unpredictable debate that may raise fundamental questions about their right to rule and the legitimacy of Brussels policies on key issues from the green deal to mass migration. This fear has become heightened in the run-up to the June elections to the European Parliament, which are predicted to see a surge in support for national parties opposed to centralised EU control.

This challenge to the ruling EU orthodoxy has led to demands for ever-more intervention in European debate. This is why the censorship operating system – the panoply of laws, unaccountable NGOs and Big Tech – outlined in this report is only set to expand.

The stakes are very high. The malicious and hateful prejudice of the EU elite that ordinary people are too ignorant, stupid and prone to easy manipulation by demagogues needs to be forcefully countered. 

The best defence for democracy is always free speech. Rather than those who wish for less speech or controlled speech, we advocate for more speech and freer speech. More speech conducted openly in the court of public opinion is the only long-term foundation for protecting democracy in Europe. 


Report available shortly


Author: Dr Norman Lewis

Dr Norman Lewis is a visiting research fellow for MCC Brussels. 

Norman is a writer, speaker and consultant on innovation and technology. He is recognised worldwide as an expert on future trends and user behaviours regarding technology innovation and adoption. He has over 20 years of experience driving commercial innovations and disruptive social technologies in global corporations and start-ups. His research on the EU’s digital sovereignty strategy, particularly the negative impact of its regulatory dynamic, focuses on the increasing censorious attacks on online content and speech, which threaten the future of democracy and innovation.