Photo: Geert Vanden Wijngaert / AP
The largest party in the European Parliament adopted a resolution on countering misinformation on the part of Russia. According to deputies, Russia seeks to harm Western democracies
The largest in the European Parliament European people’s party (EPP), on the basis of the two-day Congress, which was held in Malta on 29 and 30 March, adopted a resolution on Russia called “Russian disinformation undermines Western democracy”. The document published on the website of the party.
The resolution said that the democracy of the EU countries are facing an “unprecedented threat” posed by Russia because it deployed “campaigns of propaganda and disinformation.” This propaganda is becoming “more sophisticated” since the fall of the Soviet Union, the document says. Attention is also drawn to the fact that Russia supports the anti-European political forces.
“Constant rigorous effort by Russia to distort the facts, manipulation of reality, the formation of distrust of the democratic process and even interference in Western elections is absolutely unacceptable,” — the document says.
According to the parliamentarians from the EPP, the level of cyber threat that comes from Russia exceeds the level of cyber threats from China. The party also stresses the importance of involving NATO in strategic negotiations and urged the EU “proudly and unequivocally” to stand up for liberal values — to protect basic human rights and personal freedoms, rule of law, independent judiciary and a “democratic and transparent governance”.
The authors of the resolution believe that, given the seriousness of the threat from Russia, need to develop “an effective and detailed strategy” to counter the Russian information war.
The EPP is the largest political party in the European Parliament. It owns 273 of 762 seats.
Earlier, in November 2016, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on countering the propaganda of third countries, including Russia. This document, though not of a binding EU authorities of the nature, encourages the EU to more vigorously fight the signs of propaganda, not forgetting the principle of freedom of speech.
The resolution stated that Russia provides financial support to European opposition political parties and organizations, and also conducts in relation to the EU “hostile propaganda”. Information threat for the EU, according to the authors, represent the RT, a news Agency Sputnik, the Fund “Russian world” and the “Rossotrudnichestvo” (an Agency under the foreign Ministry).
The resolution also recommended strengthening of the task force on strategic communications in the East (East StratCom Task Force), turning it into a full-fledged Department in the European external action service (EEAS is, in fact, the Ministry of foreign Affairs of the European Union).
Russian President Vladimir Putin saw the resolution “obvious degradation in the political sense of the word the conception of democracy in Western society” and congratulated the journalists of the Agency’s Sputnik and RT with a “good job”, and the official representative of Russian foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova called the “information crime”.