The European Parliament will debate next week's Wednesday afternoon about effects of Russian propaganda on European Union. The discussion will be held at request of European People's Party under title Russia, influence of propaganda in EU countries. Within chamber, presence of disparate positions on subject can polarize debate: While popular, socialist and liberal groups maintain a position contrary to Russian influence, or forces like European United Left of which it forms Part we can, or ultras of Europe of nations where French Marine Le Pen is sheltered, do not share that concern.More information
- British Parliament investigates Russian interference in Catalonia
- Russian propaganda creates webs for Spanish ultraright
MEPs will deal with issue in hemicycle of Strasbourg, and although this type of debate does not envisage any resolution being adopted, its mere call is indicative that fears of possible Russian interference to destabilize continent They're still dormant. On horizon are very sensitive dates for future of Europe, so precedents of intrusions into electoral processes from Russia make similar attempts fear. 2018 is year of elections in Hungary, stronghold of one of great community head headaches, Prime Minister Viktor Orban. And above all, it is year to vote in Italy, in short term weakest flank that can break eurozone, with North League and 5 Star Movement flirting with idea of returning to a currency if y get most necessary.
The mobilization of parliament members for EU to increase resources to curb Russian influence has been a constant in recent times. A month and a half ago, four Spanish MEPs requested a letter from European Union's High Representative for foreign policy, Federica Mogherini, to use all instruments at ir disposal to avoid any kind of foreign interference, Especially Russian, in Catalan elections. The High Representative acknowledged that problem exists and that it is taken "very seriously", and recalled that since 2015 a unit is in operation against disinformation that operates in Brussels. The EU will dedicate this year 1.1 million to planting battle against foreign propaganda. In addition, deputies and experts from over 20 countries, much of m from Eastern Europe, signed so-called Prague Declaration, which urges Mogherini to act more forcefully in face of external manipulations.
Among twenty-eight re have also been individual initiatives by States. The French president, Emmanuel Macron, has embarked on a war against false news after announcing last week a law against its propagation. And growing evidence that Russian intelligence agencies interfered in democratic processes in UK led a British parliament committee to open an investigation. The phenomenon has been reproduced over and over again with every electoral event of importance to continent's destiny. Similar fears arose in elections of Germany, France or Holland, where counting of votes was manual to avoid eventual action of Russian hackers.