X

EU Parliamentary Committee Points To Lack of Awareness on Severity of Russian/Chinese Foreign Influence

March 15th, 2022 13:18

The Euro­pean Par­lia­ment is report­ing that its Spe­cial Com­mit­tee on For­eign Inter­fer­ence says there is a “gen­er­al lack of aware­ness of the sever­i­ty of for­eign inter­fer­ence and infor­ma­tion manip­u­la­tion, over­whelm­ing­ly car­ried out by Rus­sia and Chi­na,” which is “exac­er­bat­ed by loop­holes in leg­is­la­tion and insuf­fi­cient coor­di­na­tion between EU coun­tries.” Accord­ing to a Euro­pean Par­lia­ment: press release:

March 9, 2022 Parliament’s inquiry into map­ping how mali­cious for­eign pow­ers manip­u­late infor­ma­tion and inter­fere in the EU to under­mine demo­c­ra­t­ic process­es con­clud­ed that mali­cious actors can, with­out fear of con­se­quences, influ­ence elec­tions, car­ry out cyber-attacks, recruit for­mer senior politi­cians and advance polar­i­sa­tion in pub­lic debate.  The report by the Spe­cial Com­mit­tee on For­eign Inter­fer­ence in all Demo­c­ra­t­ic Process­es in the Euro­pean Union, includ­ing Dis­in­for­ma­tion (INGE) says that a gen­er­al lack of aware­ness of the sever­i­ty of for­eign inter­fer­ence and infor­ma­tion manip­u­la­tion, over­whelm­ing­ly car­ried out by Rus­sia and Chi­na, is exac­er­bat­ed by loop­holes in leg­is­la­tion and insuf­fi­cient coor­di­na­tion between EU coun­tries.  In the ongo­ing war of aggres­sion against Ukraine, the Russ­ian gov­ern­ment has demon­strat­ed that “even infor­ma­tion can be weaponised” as Rus­sia spreads “dis­in­for­ma­tion of an unpar­al­leled mal­ice and mag­ni­tude” to deceive its cit­i­zens and the inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty about the war.. Par­lia­ment wel­comes the recent­ly-intro­duced EU-wide ban on Russ­ian pro­pa­gan­da out­lets such as Sput­nik TV and RT.

Read the rest here.

The Spe­cial Com­mit­tee on For­eign Inter­fer­ence in all Demo­c­ra­t­ic Process­es in the Euro­pean Union, includ­ing Dis­in­for­ma­tion (INGE), was set up in June 2020. After rough­ly 50 hear­ings with around 130 experts, the committee’s one-and-a-half-year man­date laps­es at the end of March. In Jan­u­ary, the Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report (GIOR) report­ed that the  Com­mit­tee had con­clud­ed its 18-months inquiry and rec­om­mend­ed build­ing a sanc­tions regime against dis­in­for­ma­tion. An ear­li­er draft report by INGE from Novem­ber had accused Rus­sia and Chi­na of being “par­tic­u­lar­ly active in the field of elite cap­ture and co-opta­tion” and iden­ti­fied sev­er­al for­mer high-rank­ing Euro­pean politi­cians as Russ­ian and Chi­nese influ­ence agents.