MEPs condemn "hostile propaganda" against EU by Russia and Isis

Written by Martin Banks on 11 October 2016 in News
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MEPs have condemned "propaganda pressure" on the EU from Islamic terrorist groups such as Isis, as well as from Russia.

Anna Fotyga | Photo credit: European Parliament audiovisual


In a resolution adopted by Parliament's foreign affairs committee, they said this is a "growing problem."

The committee heard on Monday that such propaganda "seeks to distort the truth, incite fear, provoke doubt and divide the EU."

The resolution said, "This pressure should be countered, not with more propaganda, but with positive messaging, awareness raising and education to increase the information literacy among EU citizens."


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The text was drafted by Polish ECR group member Anna Fotyga, who said, "Hostile propaganda and disinformation directed against our societies by both Kremlin and non-state actors such as Isis is a fact."

She told the meeting, "In order to counter it effectively, we first need to be able to fully identify them."

Her report, said the deputy, is "a very important step" in raising awareness of the problem, both across the EU and within the member states. 

"The European Parliament cannot stay silent on such a vital issue for European security", she added.

The resolution claims that the EU is "under growing pressure to counter disinformation campaigns and propaganda" from Russia and others.

Such "hostile" propaganda "paralyses the decision-making process, discredits the EU institutions and incites fear and uncertainty among EU citizens," says the text.

The committee urged media representatives and experts from member states to "compile data and facts about the consumption of propaganda."

Russia was signalled out for its alleged attempt to creation "division" and MEPs said they are concerned about the "rapid expansion of Kremlin-inspired propaganda."

The Russian government was accused of "aggressively employing a wide range of tools and instruments, such as think tanks, multilingual TV stations, including Russia Today, pseudo-news agencies, social media and internet trolls."

One aim, said MEPs, was to "create the perception of failed states in the EU's eastern neighbourhood."

The resolution was approved by 31 votes to 8, with 14 abstentions. It will be put to a vote by the full plenary during the November session in Strasbourg.

 

About the author

Martin Banks is a senior reporter for the Parliament Magazine

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