EP May Extend the Term of a Committee that Counters Disinformation

European Parliament

The Special Committee on Foreign Interference in all Democratic Processes in the European Union, including Disinformation, has asked to add six months to its initial term of one year, said Vice-Chair of the committee Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz, Polish MEP (Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats). Speaking at the online discussion Defending Democracy: Investigative Journalism vs Authoritarianism organised by The Friends of European Russia Forum – EU Neighbourhood East Forum, Cimoszewicz said that they need to prepare not just a description of the situation but also conclusions and proposals. He emphasised that the Kremlin does not only try to corrupt politicians and political systems but also, with the help of new technologies, it tries to spread false information, misinformation: “For example, if Russia goes to Syria, a part of public opinion in Germany believes that there are some justified interests in Syria, etc. To some extent, this is the result of the long-term projects of misinforming using false arguments, explanations and so on,” said Cimoszewicz.

The Polish MEP hopes that the situation will improve in the near future:

“My feeling is that Europe starts to understand much better the dangerous character of the present situation and the dangerous results of activities by some other countries – not only Russia but also China, Iran and some others. But Russia is most active, at least in Europe. And we treat that very, very seriously, and understanding of the significance of the importance of the situation is really growing, I see it. So, in probably 6 to 10 months from now, you can expect very concrete proposals by our committee. We have meetings with experts, analysts, investigative journalists. We had a very interesting conversation with the chair of Bellingcat; we met Khodorkovsky and his people who told us about his investigations concerning Russian activities abroad, etc. So, the situation is not the same as it was a year ago or more.”

Natalia Richardson

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