In a letter to the President of the European Commission, the President of the European Council and the High Representative sent today, 39 Members of the European Parliament have called for decisive measures to counter disinformation from outside the European Union, especially from China and Russia.
The MEPs emphasize that the most effective measures against foreign powers’ instrumentalization of the COVID-19 crisis are increased European solidarity and visible European assistance to the critically affected citizens, but also improving communication strategies.
The author of the initiative, Sergey Lagodinsky, Green MEP and member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, explains:
“After initial stuttering, the EU solidarity engine gets going. Increasing number of initiatives from EU and member states are providing aid to the regions in crisis. It does not change the fact that we need to do a lot more!
“At the same time, we have to face geopolitical realities on the ground and see that Chinese and Russian state media are misusing the current crisis for propaganda purposes, trying to discredit the EU in the eyes of the suffering population. We need a strategy to counter those attempts.
“We call on the EU member states to expand their aid efforts. However, we also need increased transparency and active communication about the ongoing assistance. The information must be easily accessible and comprehensive for all citizens of the EU and its neighboring countries.
“Despite the difficulty of the current situation, the EU and the heads of governments should not ignore geopolitical ambitions of actors such as China or Russia. Europe’s difficult quest for humanity and solidarity should not become an open invitation for foreign propagandistic attacks.”
You can find the full letter here.