The European Parliament is set to make use of popular social media app TikTok during imminent elections, despite a ban imposed last year.

The news was reported on Wednesday (today) by Euroactiv.

The ban was initially put into effect by the European Commission last year after the IT department asked staff to uninstall the app from their corporate devices. According to Euractiv, the reason behind the ban is that the Commission wanted to increase its cybersecurity, expressing concerns about the protection of its data.

The European Parliament implemented the ban soon after.

Now, the Parliament’s press service explained that even though the ban will remain in place, it has plans to establish a TikTok presence in the lead up to the elections, taking place in June.

“The Directorate General for Communication plans to set up an institutional presence on the platform without initially using European Parliament devices and networks. This would allow the European Parliament to fight disinformation and get the message across while keeping Parliament systems secure,” the press service explained to Euractive.

The issue is expected to be discussed in more detail on Thursday 8th February during the Conference of Presidents (CoP), the EU Parliament’s body responsible for setting the plenary session agendas.  

Political groups and members of the European Parliament have already started using TikTok on their personal devices as part of their campaign.

This move goes in line with the European Parliament’s election strategy and efforts to attract youngsters and first-time voters to participate in this electoral activity.

The Parliament will be investing a total of €37 million as part of its communication strategy. The aim is to hire celebrities that appeal to potential voters.

So far, European Commissioner Margaritis Schinas publicly asked popstar Taylor Swift to rally voter interest, during a press conference in January.

He explained that last September, the pop star made a social media call to young Americans to register to vote, and the day after her post, 35,000 young Americans registered.

“Now, Taylor Swift on 9th May – Europe Day – will be in Paris for a concert, so I would very much hope that she does the same for young Europeans,” he added.

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