"EU ambassadors today backed a proposal to impose financial penalties on European political parties and foundations if they try to take advantage of breaches of data protection rules to influence the outcome of EP elections … The adoption of the Council’s position on the proposed new rules paves the way for the opening of negotiations with the Parliament at the beginning of next year," the Council of the European Union said in a statement.
A political party or foundation, caught misusing personal data, will be slapped with a fine amounting to 5 percent of its annual budget, according to the council.
"The sanctions are imposed by the Authority for European Political Parties and Foundations after receiving an opinion from the committee of independent eminent persons established under the 2014 regulation," the statement read.
The EU bodies plan to adopt the new rules in the spring of 2019. The proposals have been initially submitted by the European Commission in September 2018 as part of the "Securing free and fair European elections."