05 Jun, 2023

EU must act on foreign interference and disinformation

The Renew Europe Group welcomed the adoption of another set of recommendations from the Special Committee on foreign interference in all democratic processes in the European Union, including disinformation, and the strengthening of integrity, transparency and accountability in the European Parliament (ING2).

The Group reiterates their call on the European Commission to adopt a single, overarching policy strategy to effectively tackle foreign interference and sanction agents attempting to manipulate or damage European democracy. This strategy must build on a paradigm shift towards a risk-based approach. The EU needs to call out the persistent violators - Russia, China, Iran. Renew Europe also proposes to strengthen the EU’s strategic communication capabilities and encourage threat intelligence sharing among Member States.

Renew Europe believes that combating disinformation in traditional media and providing sufficient financial support for fact-based journalism is one of the solutions to counter foreign interference and disinformation. Twitter's recent choice to leave the EU Voluntary Code of Practice against Disinformation proves this case. The EU must take measures to ensure disinformation is countered, including holding Elon Musk accountable.

Bart Groothuis MEP (VVD, NL) Renew Europe Shadow Rapporteur on the report, says:

"Europe is the only continent with the political will and power to tackle foreign interference and disinformation. The gradual breakdown of our democracies needs to be countered by continuous and vigilant efforts from all stakeholders. The threat often emanates from a specific group of high-risk states that persistently interfere. This requires a risk-based and country-specific approach."

Watch the full intervention from Groothuis in last week’s plenary session below or on Twitter.

Nathalie Loiseau MEP (Liste Renaissance, FR), Renew Europe coordinator on ING2, says:

"While Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine continues, another hybrid war is being waged by authoritarian regimes against our democracies. Attempts at foreign interference are increasing and use increasingly diverse methods. They seek to discredit our democratic and pluralist model, to fracture our societies and to divide us in order to weaken us. Our best response must be citizen-based, local, national and European. It is a matter of exposing the attacks on our democracies and limiting our vulnerabilities while preserving our freedoms."

Photo credit: © European Union 2023 - Source : EP

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