Accessibility links

Breaking News

EU Draft Report Pushes For Increased Means To Fight Propaganda

BRUSSELS -- A report drafted by a European lawmaker has called for the creation of a new portfolio in the European Commission dedicated to the fight against propaganda and for more resources to be dedicated to the EU unit set up to address Russia's disinformation campaigns.

The draft report seen by RFE/RL on November 12 says the bloc should provide its antipropaganda taskforce with “adequate financial and personnel resources” in order to “significantly increase its potential, effectiveness, and quality of work.”

The report, authored by Polish lawmaker Anna Fotyga, is set to be discussed in the European Parliament’s foreign affairs committee later this month.

Earlier this year, the parliament granted the East StratCom taskforce with 1.1 million euros ($1.3 million) a year from the EU budget, stepping up the bloc’s campaign to counter disinformation and fake news from Russia.

The reports calls on EU foreign-policy chief Federica Mogherini and the European Commission to “become more closely involved in this area.”

It also urges EU member states that “continue to deny the existence of strategic propaganda to recognize it and take proactive measures in order to counteract and debunk it.”

A larger part of the document is dedicated to social media, which it describes as “the most common tool for spreading disinformation and hostile propaganda.”

The text proposes to “regulate,” together with EU member states, “the actions of social media companies and ensure their full transparency and accountability.”

But it also insists that such actions should be carried out “transparently, in cooperation with the competent authorities and civil society,” saying that “the banning of suspicious accounts or deletion of inappropriate content may be seen as censorship.”

The issue of disinformation from Russia is due to be on the agenda of the EU summit in Brussels on December 13-14.