EU to take action against fake news and foreign electoral interference
Foreign electoral interference seriously threatens European democratic societies to the benefit of anti-EU, right-wing extremist and populist forces, warn MEPs.
Attempts to influence decision-making in the EU put at risk European democratic societies, warn MEPs in the resolution adopted on Thursday with 469 votes for, 143 against and 47 abstentions.
Obscure party funding
Parliament points out that foreign interference has a systematic pattern, be it through campaigns on social media, cyber-attacks on infrastructure related to elections or financial support to political parties in the run-up to all major national and European elections. Much of this interference benefits anti-EU, extremist and populist candidates.
Despite member states fully or partially banning foreign donations to political parties or candidates, foreign actors find ways to circumvent those rules, say MEPs, singling out cases of the Front National in France, and allegations reported by media on the Freedom Party in Austria, Lega in Italy and Leave.eu in the UK.
Steep increase in Russian propaganda
They are deeply concerned about the “highly dangerous nature of Russian propaganda”, which is the main source of disinformation in Europe and which has doubled since January 2019 (998 cases) as compared to 2018 (434 cases).
MEPs also strongly condemn “aggressive actions” from non-European countries seeking to undermine the sovereignty of EU accession countries in the Western Balkans and Eastern partnership countries.
How to respond
MEPs call for an upgrade of the EU East StratCom Task Force to a permanent structure with significantly higher financing. They call on internet and social media companies to cooperate in countering disinformation, without undermining freedom of speech and on the EU to create a legal framework to counter hybrid threats
The European Union has been actively tackling disinformation since 2015, when the East StratCom Task Force was set up in the European External Action Service (EEAS) to effectively communicate the EU´s policies towards its eastern neighbourhood. In October 2018, ahead of the European elections, the Code of Practice was signed by Facebook, Google, Twitter and Mozilla, and by Microsoft in 2019, in which they agreed on a voluntary basis to self-regulatory standards to fight disinformation. In December 2018, the European Commission published an Action Plan against Disinformation.
Before the end of 2020, more than 50 presidential, national, local or regional elections are due to be held in member states.
Latest News from
ESMA Withdraws Registration of NEX Abide Trade Repository AB03/08/2020 16:43:00
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU's Securities Markets Authority, recently (31 July 2020) withdrew the trade repository (TR) registration of NEX Abide Trade Repository AB (NATR).
Coronavirus: European Commission strengthens support for treatment through convalescent plasma03/08/2020 15:25:00
The European Commission recently (31 July 2020) invited more than 200 blood-collection services around the EU to apply for funding for the purchase of plasmapheresis equipment, i.e. equipment that takes plasma from donors.
Mergers: Commission clears Alstom's acquisition of Bombardier, subject to conditions03/08/2020 14:33:00
The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of Bombardier Transportation by Alstom.
Coronavirus: Commission concludes talks to secure future coronavirus vaccine for Europeans03/08/2020 13:25:00
The European Commission has concluded exploratory talks with a pharmaceutical company to purchase a potential vaccine against COVID-19.
EU-Vietnam trade agreement enters into force03/08/2020 12:48:00
EU exports to Vietnam are now bieng taxed less as of saturday, 1 August. This is the immediate effect of the entry into force of the EU-Vietnam trade agreement that will ultimately scrap duties on 99% of all goods traded between the two sides.
Skills: Five new cross-border collaboration projects selected for Erasmus+ funding to develop excellence in vocational training in Europe31/07/2020 09:25:00
The Commission yesterday proposed Erasmus+ funding for five new Platforms of Centres of Vocational Excellence, to meet the needs of an innovative, inclusive and sustainable economy.
Excise duties: Commission welcomes agreement on rules governing alcohol30/07/2020 15:25:00
The Commission welcomes today's agreement reached in the Council on the new rules governing excise duties on alcohol within the EU.
Readout of the meeting between European Commission President von der Leyen, European Parliament President Sassoli and German Chancellor Merkel (rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union)*30/07/2020 13:25:00
Yesterday, President Ursula von der Leyen and President of the European Parliament David Sassoli discussed over the phone with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, as chair of the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union, about the next steps in the adoption of the EU's recovery package NextGenerationEU and the next Multiannual Financial Framework.
European backing for Northvolt's battery gigafactory in Sweden30/07/2020 12:38:00
The European Investment Bank (EIB) yesterday signed a $350 million loan agreement to support the financing of Europe's first home-grown gigafactory for lithium-ion battery cells, Northvolt Ett, in Sweden.
EIB and Municipality of Madrid promote the city's first social impact bond, putting Madrid at the forefront of social policy30/07/2020 11:33:00
The European Investment Advisory Hub, funded by the European Commission and the European Investment Bank (EIB), will advise the Municipality of Madrid on the implementation of innovative financing and procurement methodologies aimed at improving the effectiveness of services for vulnerable people residing in temporary accommodation.