Saturday, October 1

The EU will pursue disinformation with sanctions

The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell, advanced this Tuesday that works within a framework to sanction actors involved in disinformation campaignsby assuring that it is a phenomenon that damages the quality of democracy in Europe.

“Democracy is a system whose fuel is information. If information is bad, democracy is badand if the information is systematically biased and contaminated by lies, citizens cannot have full knowledge of reality”, assured the head of community diplomacy in a debate in the European Parliament during the presentation of the report on disinformation and interference foreigners in democratic processes in the EU.

This report points to attempts at manipulation in the Brexit referendum or the French presidential elections of 2017. But it also asks to investigate the ties between the kremlin and European political formationsincluding the link between Russian officials and Catalan secessionist leaders, a point that Borrell mentioned in the plenary session of the European Parliament

In line with the report’s recommendations, the High Representative has advanced that will propose a new mechanism for the Twenty-seven to sanction actors responsible for disinformationn, as part of a broader plan that will increase Europe’s ability to act in these situations.

The intention is offer guarantees that the information circulating in the European media environment is not “an element that pollutes minds”has indicated Borrell, who has compared the measure with the application of sanitary standards to the food consumed in the Union.

After the EU has blocked the broadcasts of Sputnik and Russia Today in the community territory in response to the invasion of Ukraine, the High Representative has justified the measure by indicating that in the context of war these media are “weapons” and, at all times , has denied being a “minister of truth.”

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“We don’t decide what is true and false. But we have to focus on foreign actors who intentionally and in a coordinated manner manipulate the media environment to harm us,” he underlined.

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Specifically, Sputnik has said that, far from being an “innocent media” with a certain editorial line, it is an element capable of waging an informative war and facilitating cyber threats to Russian intelligence.

The unprecedented measure will affect the activities in Europe of Sputnik and RT, including its affiliates in English, German, French and Spanish, until Russian aggression against Ukraine ceases. They will have all means of transmission and distribution blocked, this is both cable television, satellite and Internet television as well as social networks, websites and applications.

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