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EU Parliament: fake news, foreign interference in democratic processes and EU elections

(Brussels) “Attempts to influence political decision-making in the EU put European democratic societies at risk”. This is the main point made in the non-legislative resolution that the European Parliament has passed with 469 votes in favour, 143 against and 47 abstentions during its plenary session in Brussels today. Foreign electoral interference is a “threat” to the “benefit of anti-EU, right-wing extremist and populist forces”. Foreign interference in European and national elections is “systemic” and can take various forms: “campaigns on social media, cyber-attacks on infrastructure related to elections or financial support to political parties”. The majority of MEPs point the finger at Russia: “Despite member states fully or partially banning foreign donations to political parties or candidates, foreign actors find ways to circumvent those rules”. In the text, reference is also made to cases exposed by the media, like those reported by Der Spiegel and the Süddeutsche Zeitung on the Freedom Party in Austria, by Buzzfeed and L’Espresso on the “Lega per Salvini”, on 10 July 2019, and by the British press about the Leave.eu campaign.

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