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Mittwoch, 14. November 2018 - Straßburg Überprüfte Ausgabe

21. Stärkung der Widerstandsfähigkeit der EU gegen den Einfluss ausländischer Akteure auf die anstehende Wahlkampagne des EP (Aussprache über ein aktuelles Thema)
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  El presidente. – El punto siguiente en el orden del día es el debate de actualidad (artículo 153 bis del Reglamento interno) sobre el refuerzo de la resiliencia de la Unión frente a la influencia de agentes externos en la próxima campaña electoral del Parlamento Europeo (2018/2919(RSP)).

 
  
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  Paulo Rangel, Autor. – Senhor Presidente, Senhor representante do Conselho, Senhora Comissária, parece-me que é importante, antes de mais, percebermos que no mundo digital, ou como se dizia antes disso no mundo virtual, as ameaças que ocorrem à transparência, aos princípios da isenção e da independência em processos eleitorais, se quiserem aos pilares da democracia, não são ameaças virtuais, não são ameaças digitais, são ameaças reais. E, por isso, é fundamental que, tendo em vista a experiência dos últimos anos e designadamente aquilo que se suspeita que poderá ter acontecido no caso do Brexit e do referendo do Brexit, que pode ter sucedido nas eleições americanas de 2016, que pode estar a suceder em alguns movimentos, como, por exemplo, os movimentos a respeito da questão da Catalunha e se deve haver mais autonomia, menos autonomia, independência ou não independência.

Aquilo que nós verificamos é que, por via digital, há constantemente interferência nestes processos e interferência cujo autor não somos capazes de identificar e muitas vezes cujo desígnio não somos capazes de identificar.

E, portanto, é com este desafio novo às questões de isenção, de imparcialidade e de transparência no processo eleitoral, mas também no debate que precede o processo eleitoral, que temos de rever aqueles que são os procedimentos das entidades públicas e, em particular, das entidades responsáveis pelo processo eleitoral, seja a nível nacional, seja a nível europeu.

É aqui fundamental, em primeiro lugar, a proteção de dados. Aí já demos um passo importante quando fizemos o enquadramento através deste regulamento para a proteção de dados em que a União Europeia é altamente inovadora. É verdade que a própria Comissão já avançou com um conjunto de ideias e de propostas para combater os ciberataques, mas temos, porventura, de ir mais longe. Temos de ir mais longe e de encarar estas ameaças como ameaças, eu diria, globais.

E aqui queria introduzir um outro fator ainda, antes de dizer quais são os dois campos em que julgo que devemos atuar. Estamos aqui a tratar de ameaças externas. É o tema deste debate de atualidade: as ameaças externas. Mas não tenhamos ilusões, também há ameaças internas. Quer dizer, neste mundo digital, seja do ciberataque, seja do abuso dos dados que são recolhidos, tanto pode haver agentes internos como agentes externos, porque os adversários da democracia, os adversários da transparência, os adversários da isenção não são apenas potências estrangeiras. Temos provas de que estão a atuar de acordo com o seu interesse geoestratégico, mas não haja dúvidas de que há também grupos e entidades dentro das nossas fronteiras, das fronteiras europeias, que têm os mesmos desígnios ou que têm desígnios do mesmo tipo.

E aqui diria que devemos atuar em duas áreas fundamentais: uma é a área da regulamentação do tratamento de dados e da proteção dos cidadãos em geral e dos seus dados e isto vai para os operadores em geral e vai também para as empresas, as fundações, os partidos políticos, as autoridades públicas.

E depois temos de ter uma outra preocupação, que é uma preocupação já de natureza penal. Já é uma segunda preocupação, porque por mais regras e garantias que tenhamos vai sempre haver ciberataques, vai sempre haver criminosos que têm algum sucesso. E temos de ter condições tecnológicas e condições de investigação das polícias que nos permitam também prevenir e repelir e punir esse tipo de ataques, sejam eles ataques estrangeiros, sejam eles ataques nacionais.

 
  
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  Karoline Edtstadler, President-in-Office of the Council. – Mr President, I would like to thank the House for the opportunity to exchange views on the very topical issue of increasing EU resilience against the influence of foreign actors on the upcoming European election campaign.

As you will be aware, the European Council attaches great importance to the matter. This year it addressed, both in June and October, questions of internal security, including cybersecurity and disinformation, also in the context of the upcoming European elections. Work is also under way in the Council in response to the Commission communication on ‘Tackling online disinformation: a European approach’, and the package on securing free and fair European elections.

On the latter, the Council is engaged in strengthening the EU Regulation on the Statute and Funding of European Political Parties and Foundations and is examining the non—legislative part of the package in order to adopt conclusions from the Council and Member States as soon as possible.

In addition, we are looking forward to the action plan for a coordinated EU response to disinformation, which is being jointly developed by the Commission and the EEAS. It should be relevant both for EU institutions and for Member States, as well as for international partners, and should propose concrete measures and resources to respond to hostile information operations in a coordinated and comprehensive way.

In 2018, the number of social media users world-wide reached almost 3.2 billion, marking an increase of 13% in just one year. With the number of users expanding at such a rate, it comes as no surprise why social media have become a highly attractive target to cyberattacks, capable of impacting electoral campaigns and thus destabilising the democratic basis of our societies.

Criminal misuse of the internet is a serious concern for the Council. It bears the risk of violating the privacy and fundamental rights of our citizens, attacking the integrity of information and seeking to disrupt the credibility of the internet. Therefore, it should be our common goal to ensure that technology used in electoral campaigns safeguards these basic principles and guarantees the legitimacy of electoral outcomes.

The improvement of our resilience and preparedness to counter cyberattacks, including targeting electoral campaigns, requires our full, immediate and constant effort. In the last two years, we have seen numerous initiatives, measures and instruments in the area of cybersecurity, seeking to enhance the resilience of our systems and networks.

The ambitious Cybersecurity Package, presented by the Commission in September 2017, was followed by a set of Council conclusions and an action plan for the continuous monitoring of their respective implementation. They emphasise the need to enhance the EU’s capacity to prevent, deter and respond to cyberattacks. In June 2017, the Council agreed on a framework for a joint EU diplomatic response to malicious cyber-activities. In October 2017, the Political and Security Committee (PSC) agreed on implementing guidelines outlining the measures as part of the framework and decision—making procedures.

Member States have seen repeated their wish to continuously improve the EU’s ability to respond to diplomatically to malicious cyber activities in order to influence the behaviour of potential aggressors in the short and the long term. Finally, the European Council, in its conclusion last month, calls for measures to ‘protect the Union’s democratic system and combat disinformation, including in the context of the upcoming European elections in full respect of fundamental rights’.

It is our firm commitment, in line with the call to ensure rapid examination and follow-up of the recent set of measures proposed by the Commission on election cooperation networks, online transparency, protection against cybersecurity incidents, unlawful data manipulation, fighting disinformation campaigns and tightening the rules on European political party funding. The protection of the European Parliament elections and of the democratic basis of our society, including cyberspace, is our paramount task and joint responsibility.

 
  
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  Věra Jourová, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, I would like to thank Parliament for this most urgent plenary debate. We will have elections to the European Parliament in May 2019 and 50 various elections will have taken place by 2020. We have to adjust the protection of the integrity of our elections to the digital age. And we have to protect our democratic processes from new ways of manipulation by third countries or private interests. The Facebook Cambridge Analytica scandal showed how personal data can be misused for the profiling and targeting of voters, and how valuable our new data protection rules are.

We have seen the spread of fake news or disinformation coordinated on an unprecedented scale, including from outside the EU. We have learnt of hacking of candidates and cyber attacks on elections around the world, including in Europe. Crucial electoral rules have been breached or circumvented, in particular existing rules on the transparency of campaign financing. Investigations are ongoing into allegations of dark financing from undisclosed third country sources. The most cited source of activities interfering with elections in Europe is Russia. But others are learning from Russia. We have observed other countries and private interests increase their capabilities for election interference. Given the very nature of our Union, electoral interference in one Member State affects the EU as a whole. National authorities cannot address these threats by working in isolation, nor can private sector self—regulation solve it all.

Soon we will publish the results of a special Eurobarometer on elections and democracy. Already now I can share with you that it shows that Europeans are worried: 73% are concerned about disinformation or misinformation online in the pre-election period; 81% are in favour of online social networks being fully transparent about political content online and about who is paying for them; 80% are in favour of online social networks making clear the amount of money they receive from political parties.

The Commission and the European External Action Service are working hand in hand to define and implement an appropriate EU—wide response. In the long term, our objective should be that our respective societies all become more resilient and capable of defending themselves against disinformation. This means, for example, improving media literacy, access to quality journalism, supporting independent fact checkers and working with online platforms on how to prevent disinformation campaigns online without – and this is important to mention – restricting freedom of expression and freedom of speech. In the short term, our priority should be a coordinated response to the threats against the upcoming European and national elections.

The recent election package adopted by the Commission includes several concrete measures. They are: the establishment of elections cooperation networks at national and at EU level; guidance on the application of data protection rules in the electoral context; recommendations on greater transparency in paid online political advertisements and communication; strengthened cybersecurity; diligent enforcement of existing electoral rules; awareness—raising and a legislative proposal allowing to sanction the misuse of personal data for electoral purposes.

I encourage the co—legislators to complete their work on it as soon as possible so that it is in force before the elections. We need to improve our analytical capabilities to detect, analyse and expose disinformation campaigns in cooperation with EU Member States and with the intelligence community working on hybrid threats.

Allow me to give you a quick overview of our follow—up actions. The Commission has written to the Member States urging them to set up their national election networks, and to identify appropriate single points of contact by the end of this month. We will convene the first meeting of the European election network in January. This network will facilitate the fast exchange of information and best practices, but also provide support to Member States in addressing the main areas of concern, which are: coordination of all relevant national authorities involved in the protection of elections; cybersecurity; strategy communication; data protection and hybrid threats.

In the area of cybersecurity, the Commission organised in October a high—level conference bringing together, for the first time, 70 representatives of Member States, national electoral and cybersecurity authorities. The results of this important conference, which was organised mainly by Julian King, who is here today with me, will feed into the 2018 colloquium on fundamental rights, which Commission First Vice—President Timmermans and I will organise together in November, and which will be dedicated this year to democracy in the European Union. The Commission welcomes that the leading online platforms and representatives of the online advertising sector have agreed on a self—regulatory code of practice to address online disinformation. The Commission is monitoring closely its implementation.

However, this is not enough. In June this year, the European Council tasked the Commission and the External Action Service to develop an action plan on tackling disinformation. This action plan, which we are currently working on, will outline specific proposals for a coordinated EU response to the challenge of disinformation. We will build on existing initiatives, such as the work of the East StratCom Task Force, which was created in 2015 to address Russia’s ongoing disinformation campaigns. It will also build on the work of the Hybrid Fusion Cell, as well as the European Centre of Excellence for countering hybrid threats. An important part of their work is showing who is behind the disinformation attacks that are aimed against EU interests.

Addressing disinformation also means that we need to improve our ability to make our voice heard, to pass our messages and to tell our story. We therefore need to strengthen our strategic communications capacities, both within the EU and abroad. Finally, close cooperation and coordination of our efforts with the European Parliament in the run—up to the 2019 elections is absolutely crucial, and I fully trust we can rely on your support.

 
  
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  David McAllister (PPE). – Mr President, the EU Member States, as we have just heard, are facing an unprecedented threat to their democratic societies. Disinformation campaigns and the continuous support for anti-European political forces are undermining the European project and Western democracies in general. The efforts of non-state actors and third countries – and let’s name it, especially Russia – to distort facts, to manipulate reality, to foster distrust in the democratic process and even to interfere in our democratic elections, are completely unacceptable.

We must act immediately and boldly to enhance the EU’s resilience against such threats, including the risks for our next European elections in May 2019. In the run—up to the European elections, the European Union should focus on cooperation and information. Member States and EU institutions need to cooperate more intensively and share information more effectively. In this context, Commissioner Jourová, I support the Commission’s proposal for a cybersecurity competence centre. The European Union needs an effective, well-targeted and tailor-made strategy to communicate and promote EU policies in the run-up to our next elections.

We have to stand united. The EU cannot, and must not, tolerate an undeclared war against our liberal values underpinning the peace and prosperity of our continent.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Claude Moraes, on behalf of the S&D Group. – Mr President, I would like to thank the EPP and thank the author very much for introducing this topical debate. It could not be more important and better timed. For my group, the S&D, this is a big priority and I think the previous speaker spoke very eloquently on why that is the case, and I should say that very directly to him.

But let’s be very clear, colleagues. For years we have been warning about the threat posed by the collection of citizens’ data online by a handful of social media companies and the power of those who hold this information. The revelations involving Cambridge Analytica and Facebook highlight the extent of this problem and show that the issue has now reached the point of threatening our core values. The author said that these were real threats to our democracy, and not virtual threats.

The issue today, as the Commissioners have begun to set out, is one of action, and my Group is interested now in action and not just talking about the issue. Seven months out from the European elections, after the presidential elections in the US and after the UK referendum and leaving the European Union, I think it is about time that we talked about what we do, and the Commission has begun this process. But so has Parliament. So let’s be clear in what we have to do and let’s not leave this debate without saying it.

Recent requirements in the last weeks introduced in the United States, but not here in the European Union – and also by the way, in the United Kingdom – to verify the identity, location and sponsor of political advertisements, have happened, but not here. This is important, and the same standards should be applied throughout the EU. But this does not just reveal the data involved in targeting users, which could help Facebook users contextualise political ads, understand how their data has been used, or potentially misused, and be able to respond to attempts to manipulate their opinion.

We should have full algorithmic accountability and transparency for citizens to be able to protect themselves against any manipulation and to protect our electoral processes from possible foreign interference. We have now proven that this is happening, and we should have GDPR, as the Commissioner said, but also the cybersecurity resilience which Commissioner King should redouble his efforts to provide. And we should if possible – and I say this to the Council – be imaginative about e-privacy regulation if that is also possible, because the Facebook model was not just dealt with by the question of GDPR. But we need further tools and further regulation, and not just GDPR to deal with those further issues.

We have to look at how political parties and campaigns are using social platforms for campaign purposes. We have called for a code of conduct to be developed with the participation of all actors concerned. And if not, then legislative action is needed. Regulation is needed. This is not about robust debate or just aggressive democracy. This is about manipulation and, as the Council said, sometimes about criminal activity and breaking the law. That is where the line has been crossed and that is where we need legislative action when necessary.

But we also believe that applying conventional offline electoral safeguards, such as rules on transparency and limits to spending, respect for silence periods and equal treatment of candidates is essential, making it easy to recognise online political paid advertisements and the organisations behind them. Banning profiling for electoral purposes, including the use of online behaviour that may reveal political preference.

Now is the time for action. We have spoken about the threats to our democracy, to our very core values. We at the European Parliament have had the hearings from journalists from The Guardian, we’ve examined Cambridge Analytica, we have interviewed Facebook. Now is the time for action. We have the commitment from the Commission. Let’s ask them to redouble their efforts, but here in Parliament our democracy is under threat. Let’s do something about it, and let’s have that action now.

 
  
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  Anna Elżbieta Fotyga, on behalf of the ECR Group. – Mr President, I would like to thank Commissioner Jourová for naming a series of elections we face in the years to come, because not only European elections, but every election which happens in each and every EU Member State requires a very resilient environment – resilient to external hostile malicious interference as well as, of course, to private interests. There is a role naturally of governments, legislators, national legislators as well as social media companies and civil society to build this resilience, to raise this awareness. Of course, there is a huge role for the EU and, in particular in the case of cybersecurity, for cooperation between the EU and NATO to tackle these challenges and these threats.

I would like to mention also the importance of transatlantic cooperation. Lessons learned from interference elsewhere in both the United States and other parts of the world enable cooperation over political divisions in tackling these problems because, rightly, we say that hostile violation of universal suffrage is a violation of fundamental human rights, and the role of politicians, of public actors, is to raise awareness. Therefore, we stress the importance of quality journalism.

I would like to tackle one thing: the electoral process is still a dominant role and competence of EU Member States. Also, I would like to say that external actors like Russia have tailor—made these attacks, and therefore we have to be rather cautious in imposing common measures to tackle this, although I stress that we have to cooperate and cooperate closely.

 
  
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  Pavel Telička, on behalf of the ALDE Group. – Mr President, this is a very serious issue, and I am very happy to see that, judging so far by the speakers that have spoken, we have a very broad consensus here in Parliament. The fight against disinformation, from my point of view, involves two main aspects. One is enhancing our resilience against those that are spreading disinformation and the other is appropriate education awareness, in order to be able to differentiate between what is really disinformation and what is not.

If I look at these two main aspects, I need to say that on the first one, one should also emphasise the regulatory framework, and I did listen very carefully to you, Madam State Secretary and the Council’s attitude. To be honest, I use that as an opportunity to say I don’t see it, for example, in the trilogue on the Cyber Security Act. I am not talking about the presidency. I know it is a very tough task to achieve, but the mindset in some Member States that co-decide on the common position has not changed.

That brings me to the second aspect, and that is that education awareness is not just about citizens; it is about politicians. I very much appreciate what Commissioner Jourová has said and that is that the main threat is Russia. If we don’t use the proper words then we will be failing, and I must say that, once again, I don’t hear that clear language from the Council. There is clear evidence of that in terms of scale, coordination and also the stated willingness of the Russians to do so, and it is increasingly dominant.

The European elections are behind doors. They are absolutely key. They are also a test on what we have just spoken about and what we are tackling. A final remark, on the East StratCom. Once again, I do appreciate what the Commissioner said. It is understaffed, but it is doing excellent work. It needs a permanent budget and I would appreciate it if we could see more emphasis from the Commission – I must say I was never impressed by the attitude of High Representative Mogherini in this respect: she can provide better assistance – but also emphasis from the Council. That is key. They are excellent and we are failing to support them.

 
  
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  Rebecca Harms, im Namen der Verts/ALE-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident, sehr geehrte Kollegen! Für eine Weile sah es für mich so aus, als wenn die Kollegen sich in dem Trugschluss wiegen würden, dass im Zentrum der Cyber- und der Fake-News-Attacken des Informationskriegs nur die Ukraine stehen würde. Es hat einige Jahre gedauert – seit 2013 bis 2014, als es in der Ukraine sichtbar wurde –, dass die Europäer verstanden haben, dass sie selber das Ziel dieses Informationskriegs sind. Ich finde, dass diese Anerkenntnis der erste Schritt zur Verteidigung ist, und ich finde, dass viele der Maßnahmen, die inzwischen vorangetrieben werden oder beschlossen sind, auch richtig sind – ganz im Sinne von dem, was gesagt worden ist.

Aber ich bin mir immer noch nicht darüber im Klaren, ob die Dimension dieses Angriffs, den Russland auf die Stabilität der Europäischen Union beschlossen hat, verstanden ist, und ich finde eben, dass die Ausstattung der Programme, die wir bisher beschlossen haben, so schwach ist, dass ich nicht glauben kann, dass die Dimension verstanden worden ist.

Ich möchte außerdem in diesem Rahmen noch mal darauf hinweisen, dass es ein großes Problem ist, wenn prominente Politiker aus europäischen Mitgliedstaaten Teil der Informations- und Verunsicherungskampagnen Russlands werden. Als Deutsche kann ich da nur immer wieder auf den ehemaligen Bundeskanzler und heutigen Rosneft-Boss Gerhard Schröder hinweisen. Ich weiß aber auch, dass man in Österreich über Herrn Gusenbauer oder in Italien über Herrn Prodi reden muss. Die Manafort-Papers haben uns da einige Einsichten geliefert. Damit müssen Parteien umgehen, wenn sie die Herausforderung wirklich annehmen wollen.

Ansonsten möchte ich mich bei Anna Fotyga bedanken. Denn was wir wirklich besser machen müssen, das ist die Stärkung von Journalismus, die Stärkung von unabhängigen Medien. Denn gegen Propaganda gewinnt man nicht mit Propaganda, sondern mit Qualitätsjournalismus und Information.

 
  
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  Martina Anderson, on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group. – Mr President, the shady, secretive Constitutional Research Council (CRC), chaired by Richard Cook, donated half a million pounds to the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), then AggregateIQ – according to openDemocracy – received tens of thousands from the DUP in the last two days of the Brexit campaign to target voters and social media. Electoral law expert, Gavin Millar QC, has said that the Electoral Commission should demand answers from the DUP, Vote Leave and Mr Cook about possible links and allegations that dark money was used to influence Brexit.

Whilst we confront the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the British Government refused to extend electoral transparency legislation to the north of Ireland to expose this rotten saga. Coincidentally, the British Government is being propped up by whom? The DUP – the same DUP who refused to comment on the origins of this dark money, a party with no respect for rights, no respect for privacy and absolutely no concern for how the dark money was used for a Brexit outcome that damages Ireland, particularly the constituency that it represents.

 
  
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  Patrick O'Flynn, on behalf of the EFDD Group. – Mr President, all reasonable steps must be taken to protect the integrity of the forthcoming European parliamentary elections. There has been some evidence in recent years of outside actors – and in particular, the Russian state – seeking to interfere. There has also been, going back many years, slack control of the use of data harvested by social media giants and the use it’s put to, so vigilance is certainly in order. But I’m afraid to say that something else is going on here today: it’s the spectacle of the European political class clutching at straws.

So many votes have gone against its wishes – from Brexit to the defeat of Hillary Clinton, to the Italian election result, and more besides – that an elite which is unwilling to question its own complacent assumptions is looking for a scapegoat. And that scapegoat is the idea that so-called ‘fake news’ has led people into a false state of consciousness, causing them to turn unfairly against benevolent rulers and break out of parameters for political debate and action set in their own best interests from above.

Part of the thesis is the contention that almost any form of nation-state affiliation represents a giant step back towards the terrifying ethnic nationalism that left Europe drenched in blood in the 20th century. Mr Macron was at it again at the weekend when he claimed that nationalism was the opposite of patriotism. In fact, moderate, sensible nation—state preference is at the heart of sustaining the social solidarity we need to allow collective decision-making to run smoothly, and the revolt against the overreach of the globalist establishment is deep-rooted and based on considered thought. At its heart lies opposition to the ‘no borders’ ideology being pushed by the left and much of the centrist establishment too, which threatens to shatter social cohesion across Europe. Working—class voters in more prosperous European countries – people who depend on selling their labour for their income – are also in revolt against the creation of a single European labour market, which they quite correctly judge to be against their own best interests.

At a time like this, a wise European Union would be loosening the corset, allowing more room for national decision-making and respecting the mandates handed down to national governments by national electorates, but the EU we have is doing the opposite, picking fights with member nations on an almost weekly basis. My advice, therefore, is to prepare for an election result next year that most of you are not going to like, and don’t blame it on Russian bots or fake news because it will be a real message considered and profoundly meant from the people to the political class.

 
  
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  Jacques Colombier, au nom du groupe ENF. – Monsieur le Président, craignant une défaite annoncée lors des prochaines élections européennes, les cénacles européistes et mondialistes ont déjà trouvé l’explication: les peuples européens se feraient mystérieusement dépouillés de leur libre arbitre au moment de voter par, je cite, «une grande puissance étrangère».

À ce titre, s’il y a bien une manipulation des esprits que nous venons d’observer, c’est par le biais d’un clip du gouvernement français, payé par les contribuables français, qui s’en prend, comme par hasard, au Premier ministre hongrois et au ministre italien de l’intérieur. Qu’en pensent les experts européistes en interférences électorales? La Commission s’en est-elle offusquée? Point du tout.

À ce titre, avez-vous l’intention de bloquer les comptes et les flux financiers du milliardaire américain George Soros, qui finance nombre de structures influentes au sein de l’Union européenne? Ayez au moins le courage de désigner la Russie dans le dossier! Je pense que le président russe doit bien rire des pouvoirs paranormaux et supra médiatiques que vous lui accordez.

Alors, je vais, dans la même veine, vous donner un conseil. Il y a quelque temps, en ces lieux, votre inspirateur, l’inimitable Jean-Claude Juncker, déclarait, je cite, «qu’il discutait avec les dirigeants des autres planètes». Alors, pourquoi n’accuserait-on pas cette fois-ci les Martiens d’interférence dans les prochaines élections européennes?

 
  
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  Diane James (NI). – Mr President, with tongue firmly in cheek, we all know that the European Union doesn’t do electoral interference – ‘well, of course not!’ But this, of all days – boy, doesn’t Brussels do irony! – the EU’s cyber enemies would be proud of the choreographed showdown on the deal that our Prime Minister, Theresa May, is presenting to cabinet as we speak. I’d like to find one page out of the 500 that isn’t the product of massive, manipulative and misguided interference by the European Union in a democratic decision.

Tell me just where the European Union hasn’t interfered. What about the Scottish independence referendum? The EU first refused to comment, and then – just on the eve of purdah – José Manuel Barroso threatened voters in Scotland with European Union expulsion if they dared to assert themselves. A threat to the thousands of European Union Scots citizens, by the way.

For the European Union, those who assert the right to be different are labelled ‘populist’. Look, stop the interference in free speech, free thought and free media and free journalistic press.

 
  
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  Esther de Lange, namens de PPE-Fractie. – Mijnheer de voorzitter, mevrouw de commissaris, meneer de commissaris, de Nederlandse dichter Lucebert zei: "Alles van waarde is weerloos". Als wij niet optreden, dan lijkt Lucebert gelijk te krijgen en moeten we dus nu de weerbaarheid van onze democratie waarborgen door op te treden tegen buitenlandse beïnvloeding. Dat is een moeilijke balans. Ik heb namelijk net geluisterd naar de laatste drie sprekers die eigenlijk zeggen in het kader van de vrijheid van de media: laat de Russen hier maar aan de touwtjes trekken. De EU krijgt heel snel het verwijt van propaganda. Niets doen is echter geen optie!

Ik zal u de concrete voorbeelden geven, met name voor het vak achter mij. Laat ik beginnen in m'n eigen lidstaat, Nederland. De dag nadat het vliegtuig MH17 neer werd gehaald, gingen de trollenfabrieken van Poetin drie keer zo hard draaien om de schuld via de sociale media richting Oekraïne te schuiven. Dan de Brexit. Er zijn ook bevindingen dat Kremlintrollen het referendum wilden beïnvloeden. Erger nog, we hebben al een regeringspartij in onze eigen Europese Unie die gemanipuleerde videobeelden gebruikt op de sociale media.

Ik ben blij met de voorstellen van de Europese Commissie. De strijd hiertegen is immers hard nodig en moet gevoerd worden op verschillende fronten. Natuurlijk allereerst het bewustmaken van mensen van nepnieuws door middel van onderwijs en door politieke bewustwordingscampagnes, in nauw overleg met de lidstaten. Daar begint het immers.

We hebben behoefte aan meer transparantie. Dit kan gebeuren in overleg met techbedrijven, maar ook door middel van wetgeving als die bedrijven niet over de brug komen. Het gaat om transparantie over de financiering, over waar die vandaan komt, over wie er achter politieke advertenties zitten en over algoritmen op platforms in de sociale media.

Eigenlijk moeten we alweer een stap verder denken. Want wat te denken bijvoorbeeld van ontwikkelingen als Deepface, waar videobeelden zo gemanipuleerd worden dat politici woorden in de mond gelegd worden die ze niet zelf gezegd hebben. Eigenlijk heeft de waarheid of de ontwikkeling ons alweer ingehaald en zullen wij dus misschien nog wel meer moeten doen, beste commissarissen, dan al op tafel ligt. Onze steun daarbij heeft u.

 
  
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  Tanja Fajon (S&D). – Gospod predsednik! Da bi evropski državljani resnično lahko sodelovali na poštenih in varnih volitvah, potrebujemo pošteno in varno informiranje, poštene politike in pa izobražene državljane.

Za pošteno in varno informiranje potrebujemo svobodo, delovanje medijev, ti zagotavljajo za varno delo svojih novinarjev vse pogoje in niso v službi interesov in pritiskov, temveč objektivnega poročanja.

Drugič, pošteni politiki zagotavljajo transparentnost svojega in strankarskega delovanja, financiranja, oglaševanja in ne izrabljajo osebnih in drugih podatkov za svoje interese. In pa izobraženi državljani, to so volivci, ki se ne pustijo zlorabljati dezinformacijam in hujskaštvu po družbenih omrežjih.

Vsa omenjena področja so tudi v Evropi že močno okužena, bila sta omenjena Facebook in Cambridge Analytica, in apetiti po manipulaciji s strani tretjih držav, na čelu z Rusijo, pa tudi s strani zasebnih interesov nedvomno obstajajo. Sami jim pri tem pomagamo, saj narašča politična netransparentnost, politično oglaševanje je nekorektno in deležni smo anarhije volilnih pravil.

Spletni troli, a tudi resnični ljudje, ki po navodilih ali iz zaslepljenosti hranijo ljudstvo z razpihovanjem ideoloških prepirov, predvsem pa s širjenjem laži, jahajo na svojem valu. V nekatere, kolegi, slovenske medije v Sloveniji se je prilil zajeten denar madžarskih podjetij, povezanih z madžarskim premierjem Orbanom, in takšen način financiranja tudi predvolilne propagande preko medijev je izigravanje zakonodaje.

In zloraba spleta, komunikacijskih orodij, ustrahovanje in manipulacija državljanov s strani politike, medijev ali kogarkoli je nedopustna, neodgovorna in jo je treba preprečiti. Evropske volitve, demokracijo in Evropejce, ki morajo imeti vse pogoje za svobodno in pošteno odločanje o tem, v kakšni Evropi si želimo živeti, moramo zaščititi kot tudi integriteto te institucije.

In Evropski parlament in Evropska komisija sta v zadnjem letu naredila nekaj korakov v pravo smer, države pa morajo zagotoviti, da bodo ukrepe izvajale in kršitelje striktno kaznovale. Enako velja seveda tudi za nas, politike in politične stranke.

 
  
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  Ulrike Trebesius (ECR). – Herr Präsident, Frau Kommissarin! Die Meinungsfreiheit ist das höchste Gut einer Demokratie. In meinem Land muss ich erleben, dass der Meinungskorridor der akzeptierten Meinungen sehr eng geworden ist. Zwar erfolgt keine strafrechtliche Verfolgung, aber eine gesellschaftliche Ächtung missliebiger Meinungen ist überall zu beobachten. Das erinnert mich an meine Kindheit in der DDR, nur dass an die Stelle des Westfernsehens heute für viele Deutsche die Berichterstattung aus der Schweiz oder anderer ausländischer Medien getreten ist. Wollen Sie dieses Meinungsspektrum einschränken?

Gerade gestern, bei Frau Merkels Rede hier im Plenum, hat die Kamera des Parlaments keinen einzigen Schwenk zu unserer Seite des Plenums gemacht. Die Opposition soll nicht nur inhaltlich, sondern auch bildlich überhaupt nicht zu sehen sein. Wenn Sie doch von der Richtigkeit Ihrer Argumente so sehr überzeugt sind, dann ist Ihnen doch eine andere Meinung immer eine Debatte wert, oder?

Wo ich gerade bei Frau Merkel bin: Die Praxis, ausländische Wahlen zu beeinflussen, ist auch bei uns nicht unbekannt. Vor dem Auslaufen der Sperrfrist hat die Bundesregierung über ihre Ministerien Steuergelder an die Clinton-Foundation überwiesen. Mutmaßlich wurde dieses Geld auch im US-amerikanischen Wahlkampf eingesetzt. Wurde das in diesem Hause jemals thematisiert? Oder wird das akzeptabel, weil man sich hier moralisch auf der richtigen Seite sieht?

Die Einschränkung anderer Meinungen soll nun auch auf ausländische Akteure ausgedehnt werden. Das ist einer Demokratie unwürdig. Als vor 25 Jahren insbesondere US-amerikanische Wirtschaftswissenschaftler vor den katastrophalen Auswirkungen der Euro-Einführung gewarnt haben, hat man das als antieuropäisch bezeichnet. Hätte man doch damals diese Meinungen ernsthaft diskutiert und sich nicht in seiner eigenen Blase des moralisierenden Wunschdenkens eingeschlossen, dann würde es heute in Europa deutlich anders aussehen.

Wir müssen ausländische Meinungen unbeschränkt zulassen, auch wenn reale oder vermeintliche Falschmeldungen mit dabei sind. Wir haben in Deutschland seit den Ereignissen von Chemnitz unsere eigenen Erfahrungen mit Fake News gemacht. Die EU hat durchaus die Möglichkeit, eine Website aufzubauen, die Gegendarstellungen zu wichtigen Themen veröffentlichen kann. Das würde die Diskussion in der Europäischen Union anregen, und dazu besteht weiß Gott genügend Bedarf.

 
  
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  Marietje Schaake (ALDE). – Mr President, a person’s right to vote by secret ballot and universal suffrage for his or her own government representation is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and this very right is now being challenged by foreign actors – and Russia has been mentioned but it is not alone.

Many are using misinformation as a form of hybrid warfare or even more sophisticated techniques, such as deep fakes, through AI and machine learning, to deceive. They’re meant to erode the trust in the public debate and in liberal democracy itself. So there’s a lot at stake and we must do what we can.

What I missed in the introduction by the Commissioner, which I generally thought was very comprehensive, is a notion of an assessment of the very business models of Facebook, YouTube and others, that are designed to sell more advertisements. Whether or not that lists conspiracy theories on the top, it doesn’t really matter for them, they are not developed to advance democracy, but I do think they should respect the rule of law.

In that context self—regulation is not enough. I think every chance has been taken, and we’ve seen that it’s not enough, so responsibility has to be taken, algorithmic accountability is needed, a sector inquiry is needed and we need to look at bots. Bots don’t have freedom of expression the way individuals do. We need transparency of politically—funded advertisements and in the use of micro—targeting. We need stress tests of our election technology, because the weakest link can hurt all of us. And political parties and candidates needs to be prepared, and so should journalists, in how they may or may not deal with leaks.

In other words, we need accountability. The survival of liberal democracy is at stake.

 
  
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  Benedek Jávor (Verts/ALE). – Tisztelt Elnök Úr! A 2019-es EP választásokra nemcsak Európa készül. Külső szereplők is megpróbálják meghekkelni azokat, hogy Európát vakvágányra tolják. Nem konkrét csalással érik ezt el, hanem a politikai diskurzus eltorzításával, hamis hírek gyártásával, félelemkeltéssel. A fő forrás természetesen Oroszország és a vele szövetséges európai szélsőséges populista erők. Egyre több jel mutat azonban arra, hogy egyes EU-s kormányok, amilyen a magyar vagy a lengyel, szintén beszállhatnak a dezinformációba. Nem nézhetjük tétlenül, hogy a kudarcunkban érdekelt szereplők zavartalanul hekkeljék meg közbeszédünket, választásainkat. Ehhez támogatás kell a minőségi független médiának. Oknyomozó munka kell, hogy feltárja a hamis hírgyárak hátterét. Független média kell, hogy ne terjedhessenek állami segítséggel hamis hírek, ahogy Magyarországon. Közös európai nyilvánosságra, hírcsatornákra van szükségünk, hogy európai szintű közbeszédet teremtsünk közös ügyeinkről. Minőségi média nélkül nem lesznek demokratikus tagállamok, azok nélkül pedig nemcsak demokratikus, de semmilyen közös Európa nem lehetséges.

 
  
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  Luke Ming Flanagan (GUE/NGL). – Mr President, during the 1999 European elections, I was left devoid of any ability to get my positions across to the electorate due to unfair national influence – not foreign influence, national influence. With one day left to go for the big debate for the election, I was told by the national broadcaster that they would contact me later, after the election. I was gagged. Who knew? No—one.

In the 2014 elections, I met the same stonewalling. This time, our national broadcaster kept me off the main debate for my constituency. I was instead put in a debate which took place after midnight when everyone – bar those returning from the pub – was tucked up in bed. The major difference between 1999 and 2014 is that I now had the ability through social media to inform the public about what was going on. A hashtag on Twitter, #RTEbias, went viral. On the night of the debate, people knew.

There is no doubt that the power of Facebook & co. must be curtailed. Their collection of data is phenomenal and their motivation questionable. However, one must also question the motivation of those who wish to limit its power – the same people who stayed quiet when my voice was gagged and my words were twisted in the past by ‘old’ media.

 
  
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  Isabella Adinolfi (EFDD). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, signor Commissario, oggi noi tutti siamo chiamati non solo a parlare della sicurezza della prossima campagna elettorale per l'elezione del Parlamento europeo, ma anche del futuro stesso dell'Unione europea.

La possibile influenza di attori stranieri è molto seria ma non dobbiamo farci trascinare dall'emotività degli eventi come lo scandalo Facebook/Cambridge Analytica. Dobbiamo invece essere obiettivi e agire non solo negli interessi dei 500 milioni di cittadini che qui rappresentiamo e, a mio avviso, dobbiamo ragionare su questi tre punti: garantire la sicurezza, non cadere nella censura e puntare sull'istruzione.

È giusto garantire la sicurezza online, ma considerare le elezioni tradizionali in cabine elettorali completamente sicure è solo una favola. Esistono infatti distorsioni come il voto di scambio, i finanziamenti occulti e non dati ai politici. Puntare il dito e pretendere un grado assoluto di sicurezza per le attività svolte online è inverosimile, poiché questo grado non esiste nemmeno nel mondo analogico.

Questa ossessiva ricerca della sicurezza ad ogni costo ci porta al secondo punto, ovvero al rischio di censura e di limitazione della libertà di espressione. L'Unione europea ha tra i suoi valori fondanti lo Stato di diritto, la democrazia e i diritti fondamentali e un'eventuale limitazione della libertà di espressione è intollerabile. Serve pertanto molta cautela nelle risposte da fornire e non è imponendo nuove forme di controllo della rete, che peraltro verrebbero implementate da soggetti privati, che si garantisce la regolarità delle elezioni.

Passando al terzo ed ultimo punto, credo che l'unica risposta da dare sia quella di promuovere politiche educative in grado di fornire ai cittadini gli strumenti necessari per sviluppare consapevolezza, spirito critico e senso civico. Senza istruzione non ci può essere consapevolezza e senza quest'ultima non ci può essere una reale partecipazione democratica.

Da ultimo vorrei dare un consiglio non richiesto alla classe politica che oggi è al potere in Europa: non vi illudete che implementando misure di bavaglio del web riuscirete a non perdere le prossime elezioni europee. Il vento del cambiamento sta soffiando forte in Europa e spazzerà via anche voi.

 
  
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  Marco Zanni (ENF). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, io trovo questo dibattito abbastanza surreale perché mi pare che, ancora una volta, un'Unione europea incapace di analizzare i propri fallimenti e le proprie colpe trasli la critica verso un nemico esterno che non esiste. Si grida al nemico russo, all'hacker russo, quando, a mio avviso, i più grossi propagatori di fake news stanno all'interno delle istituzioni europee.

Ogni giorno siamo costretti a sentire dichiarazioni folli e non veritiere da parte di rappresentanti delle istituzioni europee e questo non è accettabile. Credo che sia più opportuno focalizzarsi su una critica interna e sul perché l'Europa stia fallendo che gridare a un nemico esterno. Il dubbio legittimo che viene a me e che viene a tanti cittadini europei è che la battaglia sulle fake news venga utilizzata per chiudere, vista l'incapacità dell'UE, anche quello spazio di dissenso che i social network riescono a dare a chi è in minoranza.

 
  
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  Elmar Brok (PPE). – Herr Präsident, Herr Kommissar, Frau Ratspräsidentin, meine Damen und Herren! Es ist, glaube ich, bewiesen – aus mancherlei Untersuchungen und Feststellungen von den USA bis in viele andere Länder hinein –, dass heute vom Ausland gesteuert – Cambridge Analytica ist nur ein Beispiel dafür – Fake News systematisch mithilfe von Algorithmen usw. umgesetzt werden. Jeder kann seine Meinung sagen; dafür sind auch die sozialen Medien zur Verfügung. Aber man darf nicht sagen, wie einer meiner Vorredner sagte: „Der Wind des Wandels weht. “ Ja, das mag ja sein, aber nicht der Wind des Wandels der Lüge. Wenn es einfach Lüge ist, systematisch in großen Möglichkeiten vom Ausland gesteuert durchzusetzen, und wenn ich sehe, dass hier offensichtlich all die Reden, die von rechts gekommen sind, eine vorsorgliche Verteidigung dieser Politik der Lüge im Wahlkampf gewesen sind – denn jede Rede hat doch diesen Ansatz hier gehabt –, dann müssen wir doch dagegenstehen! Die AfD in Deutschland, Herr Gauland hat Vorstandssitzungen mit der AfD in der russischen Botschaft gemacht, wo solche Dinge abgesprochen werden! Die Le Pen hat Geld aus Russland bekommen für ihren Wahlkampf! Sie treten alle für die Politik in der Ukraine ein, um sich dann auf diese Art und Weise dafür bezahlen zu lassen, indem sie gegen europäische Interessen und Interessen von unabhängigen europäischen Nationen vorgehen, um ihre Politik der Lüge durchzusetzen. Das muss gebrandmarkt werden, das muss deutlich gemacht werden. Es sind alle Möglichkeiten des Nutzens da, aber bitte nicht über das Ausland Einfluss zu nehmen auf unsere Politik in der Europäischen Union. Das muss innerhalb der Europäischen Union in einem politischen Wettbewerb ausgefochten werden, um das hier entsprechend voranzubringen.

Wir müssen deshalb sehen – Frau Schaake hat darauf hingewiesen –: Das ist nicht nur Russland, das kommt woanders her. Wenn ich sehe, dass einige dieser Parteien, die dort sitzen, mit Herrn Bannon zusammenarbeiten, von dem hier jeder weiß, mit welchen Methoden er den Wahlkampf in den USA organisiert hat – es wurde deutlich von ihm selbst gesagt, dass er bewusst mit Fälschungen Meinung organisiert –, dann ist das eine Situation, die in einer demokratischen Gemeinschaft nicht akzeptabel ist. Unsere Bürger sollen entscheiden können ohne die Hilfsmaßnahmen aus dem Ausland für die Rechten in diesem Hause, die Demokratie und Europa bekämpfen.

 
  
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  Mercedes Bresso (S&D). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, noi sappiamo che lo scandalo di Cambridge Analytica ha dimostrato la facilità con la quale è possibile manipolare le opinioni dei cittadini, tracciando il loro profilo politico dai dati personali degli utenti e quanto sia altrettanto facile farne un cattivo uso per influenzare poi le scelte politiche.

Abbiamo esempi anche in quest'Aula di persone che hanno utilizzato l'Unione europea e delle fake news sull'Unione europea a fini elettorali già nelle recenti campagne elettorali in diversi paesi. Quindi pensiamo certamente alle elezioni americane e anche alla campagna della Brexit, ma pensiamo anche a molte campagne avvenute all'interno del dell'Unione europea.

Noi sappiamo che oggi la politica si fa usando i social media, che la tecnologia e i sistemi informatici sono parte integrante delle nostre vite ed è per questo che abbiamo bisogno di assicurarci che chi li usa lo faccia nella legalità e sulla base di regole comuni e che sia possibile prevedere sanzioni anche pecuniarie nel caso di violazioni. Soprattutto dobbiamo stare in guardia e difendere con fermezza la protezione dei nostri dati.

Come sapete, il Parlamento europeo ha già legiferato in questo campo. Oggi sono sul campo delle proposte. Il collega Wieland e io stessa siamo relatori della proposta relativa alla sanzione nei confronti dei partiti politici europei in caso di abusi nell'uso dei dati elettorali. Tuttavia, non servono solo le linee guida, che sono la fase preliminare – noi legiferiamo sulla sanzione, ma la fase preliminare deve impedire che la violazione avvenga –, ma io credo che serva anche una task force messa in campo dall'Unione europea per contrastare l'uso di fake news che ci sarà sicuramente utilizzando dati manipolati dei nostri elettori.

Se noi quindi temiamo le influenze nelle prossime elezioni europee di queste pratiche dobbiamo riuscire a difendere il nostro spazio pubblico non solo con queste linee guida, con le norme e le sanzioni, ma dobbiamo anche usare una forte attività politica. Su questo, non solo la Commissione ma tutti i nostri gruppi, i nostri partiti e i nostri paesi devono lavorare perché non sia possibile che azioni di influenza ingannevole modifichino i risultati delle prossime leggi elettorali. Abbiamo visto qualche elemento qui che già ci dice che non sarà affatto qualcosa che non può avvenire, ma che le possibilità concrete ci sono e che tocca a noi evitare che diventino realtà.

 
  
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  Anders Primdahl Vistisen (ECR). – Hr. formand! Det var en af de største amerikanske præsidenter, Abraham Lincoln, der sagde, at man kan narre en del af befolkningen hele tiden, hele befolkningen en del af tiden, men man kan ikke narre hele befolkningen hele tiden. Det kan vi her i Europa været glade for, fordi det lyder som om her i huset, at russisk indflydelse på nationale spørgsmål er noget nyt. I har helt glemt den kolde krig, hvor størstedelen af venstrefløjen, inklusive fredsbevægelsen, modtog i stakkevis af russiske kontanter, hjælp til russisk propaganda for at nedbryde Vestens forsvar. Så I taler om det her med valg – altså indflydelse på valg – som om det er en ny ting. Det er det ikke! Og heldigvis er der allerede en stor forståelse hos de europæiske vælgere for at skille skidt fra kanel. Men når I nu går så meget op i at forhindre indflydelse på nationale valg, skulle I så ikke se på det system, I selv har oprettet her i Den Europæiske Union. I bruger millioner og atter millioner af skatteborgernes penge på at propagandere for alt det gode, alt det rigtige, den fantastiske politiske union, uden i øvrigt at spørge europæerne, om det er den retning, de ønsker. I sidestiller fake news med EU-skepsis i jeres debatter, og I går så langt i de forslag til at bekæmpe fake news, at direktøren for det danske Institut for Menneskerettigheder, Jonas Christoffersen, offentligt på Folkemødet på Bornholm i år advarede imod, at de metoder, I bruger, vil legitimere diktaturstater som Kina, Rusland, Venezuela og alle andre, der ønsker at holde deres befolkningers ytringsfrihed nede. I risikerer at smide ytringsfriheden og demokratiet ud med badevandet, fordi I er så bange for at tabe til de europæiske befolkninger og for de europæiske vælgere, der er skeptiske over for jeres utopiske drøm om Europas Forenede Stater.

 
  
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  Hilde Vautmans (ALDE). – Mijnheer de voorzitter, mevrouw de commissaris, collega's, iedereen heeft het al gezegd: de komende Europese verkiezingen zullen uiterst belangrijk zijn voor onze toekomst. Kiezers zullen moeten kiezen tussen partijen die vóór Europa zijn, die vóór een Europese samenwerking zijn of partijen die de klok willen terugdraaien en zich eigenlijk achter de nationale grenzen willen verschuilen.

Ik denk dat we allemaal wel weten dat er krachten, machten zijn die er eigenlijk baat bij hebben dat Europa geen sterke speler wordt op de internationale markt. Deze krachten zullen dus niet aarzelen om de verkiezingen in hun voordeel te manipuleren. De Romeinen wisten het al: verdeel en heers.

Je kan dat op twee manieren doen, mevrouw de commissaris, door vervalsing van de stemuitslagen of beïnvloeding van de kiezers via valse informatie. Vandaar mijn oproep: we moeten op beide terreinen waakzaam zijn.

Ten eerste moeten we netwerken opzetten waarbinnen lidstaten beste praktijken uitwisselen om de stemprocedures te beschermen. Veel collega's hebben daar hier al voor gepleit. Het tweede is voor mij echter nog veel belangrijker. We moeten ervoor zorgen dat we burgers wapenen tegen nepnieuws, tegen desinformatiecampagnes.

Ik doe graag nog een heel concreet voorstel, mevrouw de commissaris. Ik zou hier vandaag een pleidooi willen houden voor de benoeming van een echte speciale vertegenwoordiger tegen desinformatie, tegen nepnieuws, tegen cybercriminaliteit. Ik denk dat we dat echt nodig hebben: een speciale vertegenwoordiger die dadelijk kan onderzoeken of we met nepnieuws te maken hebben, die dadelijk kan ingrijpen met campagnes om dat nepnieuws recht te zetten, zodat we Europa groots kunnen maken.

 
  
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  Molly Scott Cato (Verts/ALE). – Mr President, a hundred years after the First World War, many have reflected on the risk of war returning to our continent, but in reality the next war has already begun. It’s a culture war, an information war, and we’re all conscripted into it, many of us without our knowing. The foreign actors distorting our elections are coming from both Russia and the USA. Last week Shahmir Sanni, the Vote Leave whistle—blower, won his unfair dismissal case that exposed the activities of nine lobby groups seeking to undermine action on climate change and help the tax avoiders, all working out of 55 Tufton Street in London. We need this activity by what we have called the ‘Brexit Syndicate’ called out as propaganda and not given oxygen by the BBC.

A year ago, the Prime Minister drew attention to Russian involvement in British politics, but she is refusing to say whether she blocked an investigation into Arron Banks’ Russian connections, and we have learned that the Mueller investigation is making similar inquiries with regard to Nigel Farage. Welcome to the culture war. It’s a war between democracy and authoritarianism. Which side are you on?

 
  
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  Steeve Briois (ENF). – Monsieur le Président, cette Union européenne a décidément du mal avec la démocratie et la liberté d’expression. Les eurogagas ont tellement peur de la rencontre avec les peuples en mai prochain que tous les moyens sont bons pour stigmatiser et bâillonner ceux qui ne sont pas d’accord avec eux.

En évoquant les ingérences extérieures dans les futures élections européennes, vous avez le gouvernement russe dans votre ligne de mire. Ces accusations relèvent du fantasme, voire de la paranoïa, à moins qu’elles ne servent à justifier un durcissement des sanctions à l’égard de la Russie.

Vous êtes mal placés pour donner des leçons de morale à propos d’ingérence extérieure, quand on sait que des ONG financées par des puissances publiques étrangères, sous le couvert de la défense des droits de l’homme, servent en réalité des intérêts politiques contraires à ceux des nations.

L’ingérence ne vous dérange pas lorsqu’elle se nomme Open Society, de George Soros, qui faisait pourtant la promotion de l’accueil des migrants, et ce bien évidemment avec la bénédiction de la Commission européenne. L’ingérence lors des futures élections européennes ne vous dérange pas, lorsque le gouvernement de M. Macron finance et diffuse, avec l’argent du contribuable, un clip pour s’attaquer à des dirigeants européens, comme MM. Orbán et Salvini, qui, eux, ne sont pas à 21 % dans les sondages mais sont plébiscités par leur peuple, sans parler de l’ingérence et de la manipulation de nombreux médias qui, gavés d’argent public, ne jurent que par Bruxelles et se permettent de salir les peuples d’Europe en les cataloguant de xénophobes, racistes ou populistes.

 
  
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  Pavel Svoboda (PPE). – Pane předsedající, svobodné volby neznamenají jen možnost vybírat si z více než jedné kandidátky, ale také volby bez dezinformací a manipulací. A my jsme v dezinformační válce s Ruskem, ve válce, která ohrožuje naše demokracie. Teprve v tomto kontextu oceníme, jak vizionářská byla Schumanova deklarace, píše se v ní mimo jiné toto: ,,Světový mír by nemohl být zachován bez tvůrčího úsilí, jež je úměrné nebezpečím, která tento mír ohrožují.“ To v naší situaci znamená, že musíme vložit nejméně stejné úsilí a finanční prostředky do boje proti dezinformacím, jaké protivník investuje na druhé straně barikády. Takže mluvíme minimálně o stovkách milionů eur. Ale demokracie za to stojí. Lež je levná, ale pravda je drahá. Nyní tyto dezinformace ohrožují evropské volby.

Jde tedy o celoevropský úkol, kde je třeba celokontinentální spolupráce. Jsem rád, že návrhy Evropské komise směřují k tomu, co opravdu potřebujeme. Vedle ochrany osobních údajů a kontrol financování potřebujeme především toto – musí být k dispozici kvalitní technické monitorovací nástroje ve všech členských státech. Evropská unie musí umět koordinovat tyto nástroje. Národní týmy musejí mít dostatečné kapacity na celoevropské úrovni k šíření zpráv vyvracejících fake news. Může jít o placenou inzerci na internetu či o spolupráci s veřejnoprávními médii. Šíření těchto ověřovacích zpráv se musí dít v reálném čase v rozsahu hodin, to je klíčové. Potřebujeme speciální jednotky s dobrými algoritmy a s jediným úkolem – odhalit, oznámit a blokovat dezinformace. Asistence platforem jako Facebook nebo Twitter je podstatná.

Ale především potřebujeme vůli, společnou vůli proti dezinformacím bojovat. Já tuto vůli v Evropském parlamentu, až na určité výjimky, vidím a jsem za to rád.

 
  
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  Victor Boştinaru (S&D). – Mr President, I am convinced that we have seen many forms of state-sponsored cyberattacks and disinformation in the most recent major elections, from the Ukraine crisis to Brexit and Catalan votes, and from the US elections to the Italian and Swedish ones, to name only a few. Moreover, social media have accelerated the spread of fake news. We are facing a global phenomenon with a high political impact, but it is also important to say that we are dealing with the tools of warfare.

So we can only expect this to happen during the next European elections as well. I don’t see any reason why it should not. The role of online platforms in the proliferation of conspiracy theories, disinformation and fake news is part of the Kremlin’s ongoing influence campaign with the aim of undermining Western values and democracy. In other cases, it is unclear where the attacks are coming from, but the sources appear to be mixed: everything from other countries to lone hackers.

Mr Commissioner, the 2019 vote is consequential for our fate and future. These elections are so important that is not only a matter of actually preserving the vote from disruption, but also preserving it from any rumours, fraud and interference. All available digital radars should be focused on the European election infrastructure and systems that are part of the voting process, but also on foreign intelligence activities, notably the Russian state-sponsored media outlet which operates in various Member States. And, yes, do not forget the financing of the electoral campaign and the political parties and political leaders in some countries which are too close to Moscow.

Ahead of the European elections in 2019, the EU response should face these extremely topical challenges. This has to change and rapidly, before it is too late. As a result of the requested strategic communication plan to address Russia’s ongoing disinformation campaign, in 2015, East Stratcom started working. It has only 18 people and does not even have its own budget to face all those challenges. Let’s invest in Stratcom and let’s invite the Member States to work closely with Stratcom to prevent this.

Finally, let me say that I call on the Commission to analyse the current situation and to address the legal framework needed in order to prevent interference.

 
  
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  Zdzisław Krasnodębski (ECR). – Panie Przewodniczący! Pani komisarz! Ja się zgadzam z wieloma rzeczami, o których mówili koledzy. Chciałem jednak zwrócić uwagę, że wpływ wrogich Unii ośrodków zewnętrznych szerzących dezinformację przed wyborami w naszych krajach, przed wyborami europejskimi nie ogranicza się jedynie do działań anonimowych, takich jak prowadzenie blogów bądź kont na Twitterze przez fikcyjne postacie, które w rzeczywistości są częścią pewnego projektu politycznego. Naszym problemem nie są tylko trolle i boty. Aktorami zewnętrznych wpływów szerzącymi dezinformację są bardzo często znane postacie publiczne.

Szczególnie niebezpieczne wydaje mi się to w wykonaniu byłych polityków państw narodowych bądź wysoko postawionych urzędników unijnych. Zatrudniając się w charakterze doradców różnych firm, wykorzystują oni swoje koneksje, zależności, znajomości politycznej kuchni w celu obsługi interesów sił niesprzyjających Unii i niesprzyjających państwom europejskim. Gerhard Schroeder jest znacznie groźniejszy niż jakikolwiek troll. Jeżeli koledzy z partii socjalistycznych tak mocno potępiają tego rodzaju praktyki – zdaje się, że jest on ciągle jeszcze politykiem SPD – to wydaje mi się, że to powinno ulec zmianie. Dlatego wydaje mi się, że pilnym działaniem powinno być zaostrzenie polityki przeciwdziałającej revolving doors, a co więcej powinniśmy opublikować czarną listę tego rodzaju polityków działających z obcymi nam, wrogimi państwami, naszymi strategicznymi nieprzyjaciółmi, działającymi przeciwko Unii w ramach Unii, bo oni stanowią rzeczywiste i prawdziwe niebezpieczeństwo, o wiele większe niż to, o czym mówimy.

 
  
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  Alyn Smith (Verts/ALE). – Mr President, technology has always evolved – and will continue to evolve – and our laws need to evolve to keep pace with it. So we should avoid hysteria, but we do need to learn the lessons of where our laws are not fit for purpose. And we need to learn the lessons of our most recent experience, Brexit. I come from Scotland, where we comprehensively rejected Brexit, but it remains very much our problem. Because the fact is, colleagues, the UK’s a more developed democracy than most, but the UK’s laws on campaign finance, data protection, election transparency and the transparency of actors – foreign and domestic – have been proven to be not fit for purpose, and the use of technology – the abuse of data – was very much part of that campaign by a deeply dubious leave campaign which wholesale abused the law. So I support the measures which we’ve heard about and rise to bring some urgency to them. I commissioned James Patrick to analyse Scottish Twitter, and he produced this report. He analysed 27 000 Twitter accounts, 36 million tweets and found a staggering number that at least 4.25% and rising to at least 12.24% Scottish Twitter accounts are potentially malign. If it’s happening in Scottish Twitter, colleagues, it’s happening in your democracy as well, and I fear that our laws are not fit for purpose across our House and our all our democracies are under threat. Commissioners, I wish you well in your efforts.

 
  
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  Agustín Díaz de Mera García Consuegra (PPE). – Señor presidente, señora, la injerencia de actores externos en procesos electorales y el mal uso de los metadatos están provocando graves efectos sobre los procedimientos electorales, pues permiten tanto la recopilación masiva de información confidencial del electorado como la distribución de noticias falsas generadas para atraer y desinformar. Cambridge Analytica mató la intimidad de 50 millones de personas y, según el EC3 de Europol, tanto la campaña de Clinton como la de Macron sufrieron ataques.

Mezclar elementos auténticos manipulados es una estrategia para maximizar el impacto negativo de un ataque. Webs de noticias falsas, cuentas y redes sociales se utilizan para difundir noticias inexactas, diseñadas para parecer auténticas y dañar a un candidato o a un partido.

En mayo hay elecciones a esta Cámara. Es necesario que la Unión tome medidas para que ningún proceso electoral sufra injerencias delictivas. Es necesario que los actores públicos y privados coordinen sus acciones para evitar esos ataques y es necesaria también una mejora de la cooperación entre agencias.

La Unión tiene que frenar el mal uso de la minería de datos con el paquete europeo de ciberseguridad, que incluye impulsar la creación de una Agencia Europea de Seguridad, y debe dar recursos y credibilidad a aquellos entes que ya velan por ella, como el Centro Europeo de Ciberdelincuencia —EC3 de Europol—.

Hay que acabar con las amenazas que atacan la democracia, la soberanía de los Estados y los derechos fundamentales de los ciudadanos europeos.

 
  
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  Jeppe Kofod (S&D). – Mr President, this debate is very important because freedom of expression, freedom of opinion, the freedom of having free elections where citizens can cast their ballots freely is fundamental for our European democracy, for democracy as such. I’m honestly quite shocked when I listen to some of our colleagues from the far right saying that the threat of foreign actors is not a threat to the freedom of people and democracy in Europe itself. It’s astonishing that they can claim that there’s no threat. It’s been proven: take the US election as evidence that foreign actors like Russia have interfered with the purpose of destroying our freedoms, our democracy, the free will of people to cast their ballot at the polling station.

This is so important, and we have to ask this very uncomfortable question: if you do not react together and protect our freedoms, our democracy, then I would ask you – how many seats will Russia have in this Parliament at next year’s election? Because that’s what will happen if we allow ourselves to be fooled into believing that we’re not seeing interference by foreign actors. They are not trying to strengthen our democracy. On the contrary, they want to destroy our democracy, our freedoms. They have a totally different world-view. We should not take that threat lightly and, therefore, I’m very happy about the different kind of plans and actions that are being taken now. I’m also happy to see that the concerns – 73% of Europeans have this concern, as the Commissioner alluded to – this is a concern we need to respond to. We need to show people that we protect their right to live in democracy and freedom and, therefore, in my opinion, Russia should have no one elected next year for this Parliament. We should stand together on our core values no matter which political group we belong to.

 
  
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  Ruža Tomašić (ECR). – Gospodine predsjedavajući, razvoj informacijskih tehnologija omogućio je stranim faktorima da se lakše nego ikada miješaju u naš demokratski proces i oblikuju rezultate izbora prema vlastitim željama i interesima. To im naravno ne smijemo dozvoliti.

Iako iz predostrožnosti moramo poduzeti određene mjere kako bismo se zaštitili, ne mogu se oteti dojmu da se ovo pitanje preuveličava. Rusko uplitanje u američke izbore u nekoj većoj mjeri još uvijek nije dokazano, iako istraga traje skoro dvije godine. Rusija nije uspjela izmanipulirati ni javnu raspravu o ulasku u NATO u jednoj Crnoj Gori pa ne vidim kako bi mogla ostvariti odlučujući utjecaj na europske izbore. U redu je da budemo oprezni, ali ostavimo se lova na vještice.

Čini se da se ovu priču o stranom uplitanju ciljano gradi kao opravdanje za rast euroskeptika na sljedećim izborima, a zato su prvenstveno krivi oni koji Uniju vode u krivom smjeru, a ne Rusija.

 
  
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  Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D). – Señor presidente, comisario de Seguridad, comisaria de Justicia, el próximo 26 de mayo de 2019 se elige este Parlamento Europeo, que representa democráticamente, de manera directa, a 500 millones de ciudadanos europeos. Y desde 2014, última elección al Parlamento Europeo, hemos asistido a un conjunto de episodios de injerencia delictiva en procesos electorales y consultas y referendos en Estados miembros de la Unión Europea.

Este Parlamento Europeo, que envía misiones a supervisar la corrección y credibilidad de elecciones en el exterior, tiene toda la razón para preocuparse de que el derecho fundamental de participación política y de elección democrática no se vea interferido por una guerra híbrida de intoxicación, ciberterrorismo, manipulación ni chantaje de ninguna manera.

Por tanto, es urgente que aglutinemos todas nuestras fuerzas para conformar cuanto antes nuestra agenda contra la ciberdelincuencia y por la ciberseguridad con una agencia europea de ciberseguridad y con la unidad de inteligencia contra la cibercriminalidad de Europol, que asegure que estaremos absolutamente preparados para que las elecciones al Parlamento Europeo de 2019 no arrojen la más mínima duda sobre la credibilidad de ninguno de los Estados miembros de la Unión Europea y estemos absolutamente seguros de que el resultado refleja realmente la voluntad de los europeos y no la voluntad de quienes se han puesto de acuerdo desde algún oscuro y remoto taller de manipulación o intoxicación en el exterior para condicionar la composición de este Parlamento Europeo contra la Unión Europea y sus valores fundacionales.

 
  
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  Jussi Halla-aho (ECR). – Mr President, it is important to protect the integrity of our democracy against undue external influence. But there is a dangerous tendency in the mainstream politics and media to explain any unpleasant election result as an indication of such undue influence, a tendency to see Mr Putin and his agents behind every corner and under every stone.

This is a way of de-legitimising democratic elections and the choices people make. I can assure you there are a lot of people out there who genuinely do not want more third—world immigration, more globalisation or more European Union. This is the reason why they vote for Brexit, Trump or nationalist parties. Such developments may, of course, coincide with the interests of certain external actors, but they are caused by the failure and incompetence of the set mainstream.

 
  
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  Gunnar Hökmark (PPE). – Mr President, we need to ensure that those who are elected to the European Parliament and to all the national parliaments are elected in order to do their best for their nation and to do their best for Europe and not for those who want to divide and destabilise us.

We need to ensure that neither Russia nor anyone else can influence the elections but there let’s also be aware, this is not anything that is going on just during elections, it is going on now and there is a link between money-laundering by Estonia, Novichok in Salisbury, rumours in Germany, cyberattacks in France and cyberattacks in all of our countries. Let’s not be naive, this is not a threat, it is something that is going on right now and it is implemented in order to undermine democracy and the rule of law. And those foreign actors, they have the help and the support of those forces inside here, who would like to undermine the rule of law and democracy.

This is a fight for democracy and freedom. Let’s be clear that we shall disclose those who do it, we shall have transparency, we shall sanction, and we shall do with criminal actions what is required to do with the criminal actions. We shall ensure that they are punished and they are revealed and disclosed and that we can safeguard our European Union.

 
  
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  Carlos Zorrinho (S&D). – Senhor Presidente, a política sempre conviveu com estratégias de informação e contrainformação. Hoje, a associação tecnológica permite, contudo, ir muito mais longe e promover campanhas massivas de desinformação, trabalhadas de forma a atingir e manipular setores específicos dos eleitorados.

O vírus da desinformação está a contaminar todo o espetro da comunicação política, lançando a desconfiança mesmo sobre aquela informação que é correta, e essa desinformação pode tornar-se letal para a democracia.

Saúdo o apelo de Paris, assinado no dia 12 de novembro e subscrito por 51 países, entre os quais todos os países europeus, como o manifesto para ajudar a que os valores éticos e do Estado de Direito prevaleçam no novo quadro da sociedade digital.

A estratégia proposta pela Comissão Europeia para combater a desinformação em linha terá uma prova de fogo nas próximas eleições europeias. A verdade é que nós precisamos de uma enorme coligação de cidadania para fazer com que essa estratégia tenha sucesso.

 
  
  

PRZEWODNICTWO: ZDZISŁAW KRASNODĘBSKI
Wiceprzewodniczący

 
  
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  Mirosław Piotrowski (ECR). – Panie Przewodniczący! Nasza debata ma charakter szczególny: motywowana jest obawą wpływu podmiotów zagranicznych na nadchodzącą kampanię wyborczą do Parlamentu Europejskiego. W tym kontekście mówi się o finansowaniu europejskich partii i fundacji. Padają konkretne nazwiska. Rok temu tu, na tej sali, Nigel Farage wskazał jedno z nich: George’a Sorosa, amerykańskiego finansistę, który z zewnątrz oddziałuje na politykę Unii Europejskiej. Podawał konkretne dane dotyczące kilkudziesięciu spotkań miliardera z Komisją Europejską. Sam Franz Timmermans mówił na początku tego roku, że współpracuje z Sorosem od dwudziestu lat. Oskarżenia o mieszanie się tego amerykańskiego miliardera w wewnętrzne sprawy krajów członkowskich Unii głośno artykułowali przedstawiciele Słowacji, Rumunii, Włoch, Hiszpanii, Wielkiej Brytanii oraz Węgier. Jakie więc mamy gwarancje, że nie będzie on ingerował za pośrednictwem swoich licznych fundacji w zbliżające się wybory europejskie w wielu krajach, także w moim kraju – w Polsce? I co zamierzamy z tym zrobić?

 
  
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  Jeroen Lenaers (PPE). – Ik moest tijdens het debat denken aan de tekenfilmpjes van Popeye, de zeeman die alleen na een blik spinazie sterk genoeg was om zijn vriendinnetje te beschermen. Zoals Popeye Olijfje moest beschermen tegen de schurkachtige Pluto, zo moeten ook wij onze Europese democratie beschermen tegen schurkachtige buitenlandse actoren.

We hebben het gezien bij de verkiezingen in de Verenigde Staten. We hebben het gezien bij het Brexit referendum. We hebben het gezien in Nederland bij het onderzoek naar het neerhalen van MH17, waarbij bijna 300 mensen het leven hebben gelaten. Onze taak is het ervoor te zorgen dat dit lijstje voorbeelden hier stopt, dat er een einde komt aan deze ondermijning van onze democratie. Met het in aantocht zijn van de Europese verkiezingen is het absoluut een belangrijke stap om onze weerbaarheid op dat gebied veel verder te versterken.

De oprichting van de StratCom Task Force was en is in principe een goed idee, maar laten we het dan wel goed doen. Pas in januari van dit jaar is er geld voor dit team uitgetrokken: 1,1 miljoen euro. Ter vergelijking: de Russen hebben alleen voor een Brexit campagne al meer dan vier keer zoveel geld besteed! We kunnen het niet bij mooie woorden en het uitspreken van zorgen laten, zeker nu de Europese verkiezingen eraan komen.

Zoals Popeye spinazie nodig heeft om Pluto te verslaan, zo hebben wij ook in de Europese Unie krachtige wapens nodig om deze vorm van buitenlandse inmenging te stoppen. Laten wij er in ieder geval vanuit dit huis voor zorgen dat die wapens er komen.

 
  
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  Paul Tang (S&D). – Inmenging in verkiezingen. Ik kan het hebben over het trollenleger van Poetin of over de Italiaanse vicepremier die journalisten jakhalzen noemt. Maar ik wil het hebben over Amerikaanse inmenging.

Facebook heeft jarenlang volgehouden neutraal te zijn. Maar met al die neutraliteit heeft het toch toegelaten dat er nepnieuws wordt gefabriceerd in een stadje in Macedonië, dat er dark ads zijn die filterbubbels beïnvloeden en dat Cambridge Analytica er met 50 miljoen profielen vandoor is gegaan. Zo heeft Facebook bijgedragen aan Trump en Brexit.

In 2016 werd zo'n 1,4 miljard euro aan online campaining besteed, waar Facebook en Zuckerber geld aan verdienen. Zuckerberg belooft beterschap. Maar het moet sneller en het moet beter.

Ik zie graag een dwingende Europese aanpak, volledige openheid van uitgaven voor een politiek doeleinde door Facebook (wie, wat, waar, wanneer) en uiteindelijk ook een ex ante toets op de algoritmen, op de publieke opinievorming. Want laat Facebook niet onze democratie zijn wil opleggen, maar omgekeerd.

 
  
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  Νότης Μαριάς (ECR). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, ο αγώνας ενάντια στις κακόβουλες επιθέσεις από τρίτους εντός της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης πρέπει, βεβαίως, να είναι κοινός. Όμως, υπάρχουν διάφορες πλευρές και τρόποι για δόλιους χειρισμούς και, φυσικά, αλλοιώνεται ή καταβάλλονται προσπάθειες για να αλλοιωθεί το Σώμα που θα εκλεγεί στις επόμενες ευρωεκλογές. Αναφέρομαι στις εγγυήσεις πολυφωνίας που πρέπει να υπάρχουν. Σε αυτήν εδώ την αίθουσα, έχω καταγγείλει πάνω από δέκα φορές ότι στην Ελλάδα, τόσο η δημόσια τηλεόραση όσο και τα μεγάλα συστημικά ιδιωτικά κανάλια έχουν φιμώσει το κίνημά μας «Ελλάδα - Ο Άλλος Δρόμος». Δεν μας δίνουν την ευκαιρία να εκφράσουμε τις απόψεις μας και πρόκειται για μια στημένη κατάσταση μέσω της οποίας μας έχουν φιμώσει. Θέλουμε να υπάρξει παρέμβαση και στήριξη στο θέμα αυτό, για να έχουμε το δικαίωμα να συμμετάσχουμε επί ίσοις όροις στις ευρωεκλογές, διότι εφόσον μας φιμώνουν δεν υπάρχει δημοκρατική διαδικασία στην Ελλάδα και δεν δίνεται η δυνατότητα σε εμάς να εκφράσουμε τις απόψεις μας. Επειδή, κυρία Jourová, αναφερθήκατε σε μία παρέμβαση στην Ελλάδα, παρακαλώ να εξηγήσετε ποια είναι η εκλογική παρέμβαση που έχει γίνει στην Ελλάδα και στην οποία αναφερθήκατε στην ομιλία σας.

 
  
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  Dubravka Šuica (PPE). – Poštovani predsjedavajući, gospodo povjerenici, hvala vam što pratite ovu raspravu i što se borite protiv podrivanja europskog projekta. Ova rasprava je došla u pravo vrijeme, u osvit europskih izbora i smatram da trebamo skrenuti pozornost na nju.

Svakako, kao što vidimo, dva su načina podrivanja izbora. Jedan je način financiranje kampanje donacijama, netransparentnim donacijama i kupovanje interesa, bolje rečeno pritisak na građane i na birače. Drugi je način, kao što vidimo, dezinformiranje putem društvenih mreža. Posebno su jake društvene mreže Facebook i Twitter. Posebno su jaki lažni profili kojima se služe oni koji žele podrivati ovaj projekt i žele podrivati ove demokratske izbore. Moramo se svakako tome oduprijeti.

Isto tako, manipulacija je građanima evidentna. U 18 zemalja članica je očito da je bilo, da ne nabrajam sad zemlje o kojima je već bilo riječi, podrivanja. Znači ono što moramo napraviti je definitivno jačati neovisno novinarstvo. To je za nas vrlo važno.

Isto tako nikako ne smijemo kompromitirati ove demokratske, poštene izbore, ali na kraju ipak želim vjerovati da su naši građani dovoljno educirani i dovoljno svjesni da neće podleći niskim strastima i da će razabrati ono što je demokratski i što je transparentno od onoga što je fake, a fake news je danas zaista postao velika opasnost.

 
  
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  Alfred Sant (S&D). – Mr President, obviously all political and technological means should be employed to fully protect the European Parliament elections from any attempt to manipulate public opinion and results. However, beyond outrage, we should seek to have a coherent position with regard to outside foreign interference in our political affairs.

To achieve such coherence, we must also consider the inputs we make as Europeans to the political and national affairs of outsiders. Europe, as well as the US, has a wide—ranging reputation for having interfered in the internal political processes, democratic or not, of others. From Mossadegh’s Iran, to most African countries, to Latin America, the Middle East, Libya and Ukraine, we have interfered. When is our interference legitimate? When is it not? Retaliation for it can take forms unexpected by us, and unacceptable to us. What retaliation is legitimate when others interfere in our affairs? And when we interfere in theirs? Replies to such questions cannot be symmetric between countries and specific cases. After all, this Parliament regularly holds debates that seek to influence political events in, and outside, Europe. We need an overarching, coherent doctrine covering all these scenarios and aspects.

 
  
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  Michaela Šojdrová (PPE). – Pane předsedající, boj proti dezinformacím by měl být prioritou jak z politických, tak z bezpečnostních důvodů členských zemí a také celé Evropské unie. V oblasti bezpečnosti by výdaje na činnosti kontrarozvědky proto měly být také jednou z národních priorit, protože vliv na vnitřní záležitosti, včetně ovlivňování voleb, je současně i bezpečnostní hrozbou pro členské státy. Chci tady připomenout, že například Česká republika zřídila centrum proti terorismu a hybridním hrozbám za účelem mimo jiné také odhalovat dezinformační kampaně a já věřím, že se to České republice vyplatí.

Nacházející volby do Evropského parlamentu budou testem naší odolnosti a je nepochybné, že zde bude snaha ovlivnit jejich výsledky stejně, jako se to podařilo ve Spojených státech amerických nebo v případě brexitu. Rusko bude podporovat protievropské dezinformační kampaně. Tato hybridní válka je v dnešním digitálním věku účinnější než násilí a musíme zde čelit vzděláváním ke kritickému myšlení, mediální gramotnosti a podporovat veřejnoprávní média.

V této souvislosti chci apelovat na Evropskou službu pro vnější činnost, aby zvýšila finanční podporu pro její součást zvanou StratCom. Její účinnost začala v roce 2015, odhalila tři a půl tisíce případů proruské dezinformace. Tato činnost ovšem potřebuje větší finanční podporu. Bohužel výdaje na StratCom jsou v porovnání s ruskými mediálními výdaji nesrovnatelně menší.

 
  
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  Ivan Štefanec (PPE). – Pán predsedajúci, demokratické voľby musia byť nezávislé od akéhokoľvek zasahovania ďalších strán. Ako sme videli pri referende o brexite, pri amerických prezidentských voľbách alebo pri holandskom referende o asociačnej dohode s Ukrajinou, kybernetické útoky, dezinformácie a propaganda môžu úplne zvrátiť verejnú mienku. Som preto rád, že Európska únia začína voči takýmto útokom bojovať, a oceňujem vytváranie centier, ktoré monitorujú kybernetické útoky a odpovedajú na ne. V tejto oblasti by sme sa však mali inšpirovať od občianskych aktivistov, ktorí – hoci niekedy osamotene, ale veľmi účinne – bojujú v hybridnej vojne. Príkladom takéhoto odhodlania je aj Slovák Ján Benčík, minulý rok ocenený Cenou európskeho občana. Dezinformácie a ich následky môžu natrvalo poškodiť demokraciu a obrana voči nim je nielen legitímna, ale aj veľmi potrebná. Na budúci rok počas volieb do Európskeho parlamentu môžeme, tak ako v minulosti, očakávať ofenzívu útokov na európsky projekt a na podporu strán a hnutí, ktoré si želajú jeho zničenie. Odpoveďou na takúto činnosť môže byť len hovorenie pravdy a systematické odkrývanie lží. Musíme viac hovoriť o tom, čo Európska únia prináša ľuďom a krajinám a ako by náš kontinent vyzeral bez integrácie. Len pravda a blízky kontakt s ľuďmi je liekom na útoky a klamstvá, ktoré sú šírené v kybernetickom priestore. Nebojme sa preto jasne pomenovať klamstvo a odhaliť pôvodcov dezinformácií. Práve my v Európskom parlamente máme túto zodpovednosť. Čím bližšie k ľuďom budeme, tým menší dosah budú mať dezinformácie a hoaxy. 

 
  
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  Inese Vaidere (PPE). – Godātie kolēģi, komisāri! Kā vēsta sens sakāmvārds, ja gribi mieru, gatavojies karam. Tas nav jāuztver burtiski, tomēr propagandas karam ir jāgatavojas, lai aizstāvētu mūsu vērtības.

Krievija ir sapratusi, ka tieša intervence, kā Krimā un Dienvidaustrumu Ukrainā, sastop nopietnu Rietumu pretestību, tāpēc tagad ir uzsvars uz viltus ziņām, propagandu internetā, televīzijā, viltus profiliem sociālajos tīklos. Krievija veido ne tikai fake news, kā es saku, bet arī fake views. Tas ir neapstrīdams fakts, traktējot tieši pretējā nozīmē. Tā ir gan par Baltijas valstu okupāciju, tā bija arī Malaizijas lidmašīnas notriekšanas gadījumos.

Ko tad mums darīt? Vispirms jāsakārto partiju finansēšanas likums. Kad es šodien dzirdēju dažus kolēģus, kuri nepamana Krievijas veidotās viltus ziņas, tad es domāju, ka varbūt partiju finansēšanas likuma nesakārtotība ir tam pamats.

Otrkārt, mums ir nopietni jāstrādā ar žurnālistiem, jāvēdina, jāveido mediju pratība, sabiedrības informēšana. Ir vajadzīgs, lai nedominētu tikai sliktās ziņas masu informācijas līdzekļos, bet tās tiktu līdzsvarotas arī ar mūsu sasniegumiem.

Mums ir jāsadarbojas ar mūsu partneriem NATO, lai mūsu tehnoloģijas speciālisti, kiberspeciālisti būtu spēcīgāki par tiem, kas cenšas mūs traucēt, kas cenšas uzlauzt mūsu mājaslapas un tamlīdzīgi.

Paldies, kolēģi, ka jūs atbalstījāt manu pilotprojektu par StratCom finansējuma palielinājumu, bet es tiešām aicinu Komisiju atrast līdzekļus, lai StratCom finansējums kļūtu par pastāvīgu lietu. Paldies jums!

 
  
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  Markus Pieper (PPE). – Herr Präsident! Bannon, Russland, Fake News, technische Manipulation – die Waffen der EU-Gegner haben die Kollegen wirklich treffend beschrieben.

Wir müssen da auch in ganz anderen Dimensionen denken: Wir müssen digital aufrüsten, wir brauchen Frühwarnsysteme gegen Falschmeldungen und technische Eingriffe – nicht nur in Brüssel, nein, auch in allen Mitgliedstaaten, wie das die tschechische Kollegin eben beschrieben hat – wenn uns etwas an dieser europäischen Idee liegt.

Wir müssen aber auch mit Facebook und Google reden. Wir müssen sie in die Pflicht nehmen. Wenn sie in Europa Geschäfte machen wollen, geht das nur, wenn sie auch seriöse Inhalte verbreiten. Wer Multiplikator der Europazerstörer ist, soll nicht von den Freiheiten des europäischen Binnenmarkts profitieren dürfen. Deswegen müssen wir mit Facebook und Google in aller Deutlichkeit Gespräche führen.

Ich frage die Kommission aber auch, wie es sein kann, dass wir uns erst jetzt mit einer Änderung des Statuts für Stiftungen und Parteien befassen. Die neuen Vorschriften sollen doch helfen, faire und freie Wahlen zu garantieren, nicht zuletzt durch transparente Spenden. Leider sind diese neuen Vorschriften erst nach den Europawahlen wirksam.

Liebe Kollegen von der Kommission, so geht das nicht. Lasst uns das als Weckruf nehmen, damit wir das ganze Thema viel ernster nehmen.

 
  
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  Eduard Kukan (PPE). – Mr President, colleagues, in the recent years we have found ourselves responding to untruths, half truths, fake news and propaganda. Misinformation and disinformation dominate and penetrate our daily lives. In an environment more susceptible to foreign interference in our elections, we must find ways how to be proactive and not only retroactive. One of the most important issues in fighting foreign influence in European elections is to strengthen the media environment in our Member States, but also in candidate countries and in the neighbourhood. This goes hand-in-hand with the robust respect for freedom of media and for the work of our journalists. Looking back at the work of Jan Kuciak or Daphne Caruana Galizia, we owe it to all the journalists who put their lives on the frontline in order to report on issues of interest to the public. We owe it to the journalists in Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Serbia and in other countries; we owe it to our own societies. Political leaders in some Member States have dishonoured the journalistic profession by public statements against journalists. I strongly denounce these practices. All EU states must protect the personal safety and the livelihoods of investigative journalists and whistleblowers, and not only protect them but champion their causes as well, and in upcoming European elections I think that without dedicated journalists and a free media environment, it will be difficult to protect fully our own democracies.

 
  
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  Jaromír Štětina (PPE). – Pane předsedající, už v roce 2013 vytýčil zásady hybridní války náčelník generálního štábu ozbrojených sil Ruska generál Valerij Gerasimov. Gerasimovova doktrína zdůrazňuje, že nevojenské prostředky mohou být účinnější než tradiční zbraně. Správně volené a aplikované slovo může být destruktivnější než tanky či raketové systémy.

Jedna z divizí této Gerasimovovy hybridní armády ovlivňuje volební procesy. Tak například: nizozemské referendum o ratifikaci asociační dohody mezi Evropskou unií a Ukrajinou, referendum o vystoupení Velké Británie z Evropské unie, německé volby v roce 2017, francouzské prezidentské volby ve stejném roce. Dezinformacemi byly zaplaveny a ovlivněny i prezidentské volby v mé zemi, České republice. Výrazně napomohly vítězství proruského prezidenta Zemana.

Zastavení uměle vyvolávané eroze důvěry v demokratické instituce se musí konečně stát centrálním bodem agendy členských států, ale i Evropské unie samotné. Proto důrazně apeluji na hlavy států a vlád i na vysokou představitelku pro zahraniční věci a bezpečnostní politiku, aby na prosincovém summitu udělali zásadní posun ve vnímání tohoto strategického nebezpečí. Očekávám představení maximálně ambiciózního akčního plánu s konkrétními kroky.

Příštím důležitým cílem dezinformačních kampaní a možných kyberútoků budou volby do Evropského parlamentu v květnu 2019. Rád bych doufal, že už budeme připravenější než v minulosti.

 
  
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  Nuno Melo (PPE). – Senhor Presidente, as fake news são uma realidade dos nossos tempos. São mais um elemento a ter em conta nas diferentes variáveis das disputas eleitorais que temos obviamente de combater. Mas quem se convença que a reconfiguração partidária a que assistimos nos últimos anos, da Rússia aos Estados Unidos, passando pela União Europeia, só se deve às fake news não está a ver o que está a acontecer.

Algumas forças políticas, normalmente de esquerda, foram colonizando durante décadas os meios clássicos de comunicação. Desde lá, criaram todas as narrativas do politicamente correto: o que pode ser dito e o que não pode ser dito. E, depois, sentiram—se no direito de atacar políticos que não lhes seguissem a cartilha. Titulares de cargos políticos passaram a recear dizer o que genuinamente pensam, temerosos da reação mediática. Os eleitores, por seu lado, deixaram de ouvir respostas de bom senso para problemas concretos. E quem se aproveitou do vazio foram todos os extremismos, ajudados também pelas fake news.

Quem não compreender isto dificilmente poderá ajudar a combater aquele que é um dos piores fenómenos dos nossos tempos.

 
  
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  Bogdan Andrzej Zdrojewski (PPE). – Panie Przewodniczący! Chcę zwrócić uwagę na to, że wybory samorządowe są obszarem niezwykle wrażliwym. Są nie tylko testem dla demokracji, ale także dla prawidłowości funkcjonowania wielu instytucji w poszczególnych krajach, także instytucji europejskich. Do tej pory najczęściej zajmowaliśmy się tymi elementami (i niepokoiliśmy się o nie), które są związane z prawami demokratycznymi, z przejrzystością, a także czystością biznesową takich wyborów, czyli przede wszystkim przejrzystością finansową samych komitetów. Dziś otrzymujemy kolejny temat, niezwykle wrażliwy, na który wszyscy zwracamy uwagę już od kilku – podkreślam: od kilku – lat praktycznie bez skutku. Chcę zaznaczyć, że fake newsy to już przemysł. To jest poważna gałąź, z której czerpią korzyści prawdopodobnie państwa, a także duże organizacje biznesowe. Wybory to dla tego przemysłu – trzeba to podkreślić – także poważny interes biznesowy i finansowy o niewyobrażalnych skutkach. Zwracam na to uwagę dlatego, że musimy wiedzieć, iż fake newsy, ingerencje zewnętrzne, fałszywe komunikaty, fałszywa komunikacja, fałszywe portale społecznościowe są wielkim, bardzo często poważnym elementem bezpieczeństwa i zagrożenia bezpieczeństwa. Chcę zwrócić także uwagę na fakt, iż ta kadencja Parlamentu Europejskiego rozpoczynała się właśnie od pierwszego sprawozdania dotyczącego fałszywych informacji, fałszywych przekazów, ingerencji w życie polityczne Europy, a także życie gospodarcze. Jesteśmy jednak niestety w tym samym punkcie, w którym byliśmy cztery lata temu.

 
  
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  Carlos Coelho (PPE). – Senhor Presidente, Senhores Comissários Jourová e King, Senhora Presidente do Conselho, Caras e Caros Colegas, em abril deste ano questionei a Comissão Europeia sobre cibersegurança e a salvaguarda da integridade das eleições europeias. Nenhuma resposta foi dada durante largos meses, mas, finalmente, a 12 de setembro foi apresentado um pacote de medidas pelo qual felicito a Comissão Europeia.

Em 2019, como já foi dito, haverá novas eleições para o Parlamento Europeu. Todos queremos prevenir qualquer manipulação eleitoral. Não somos ingénuos e sabemos que são muitas as forças externas, políticas, estatais, económicas e militares, que querem condicionar o processo eleitoral, seja através de fake news, utilização de grandes quantidades de dados para manipulação eleitoral, ou através de financiamento a partidos extremistas que querem destruir o projeto europeu.

Todos recordamos, como já fez a Comissária europeia Jourová, a vergonha do caso «Facebook/Cambridge Analytica» e os fortes indícios de ingerência russa nas eleições em território europeu, todos eles utilizando o mundo digital e as novas tecnologias de informação e comunicação.

É, pois, primordial salvaguardar os direitos dos cidadãos europeus nestas eleições. A cibersegurança é, mais do que nunca, prioritária na defesa dos direitos fundamentais da União.

É fulcral que a Comissão e os Estados-Membros tomem as medidas técnicas e organizativas necessárias para gerir os riscos que recaem sobre a segurança das redes e dos sistemas de informação utilizados nas eleições para o Parlamento Europeu.

Numa Europa contaminada por egoísmos e populismos são muitos os que não vão olhar a meios para destruir o projeto europeu e combater a Europa dos valores e das liberdades.

Temos de agir rapidamente pela liberdade.

 
  
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  Lukas Mandl (PPE). – Sehr geehrter Herr Präsident, Frau Kommissarin, Herr Kommissar, liebe Frau Staatssekretärin Karoline Etdstadler! Wir diskutieren darüber, dass Mächte dieser Welt Wahlen in Europa und damit das öffentliche Meinungsklima beeinflussen wollen.

Wir müssen uns fragen: Warum wollen die Europa beeinflussen? Warum findet diese Beeinflussung statt? Und der Grund liegt auf der Hand: Europa ist stark. Europa ist stärker als je zuvor in der Geschichte, weil es geeint ist, weil es dadurch wirtschaftlich stark ist, ein Faktor ist, den manche Mächte auf dieser Welt nicht kooperativ sehen wollen, sondern im Konkurrenzkampf schwächen wollen.

Wer ist das Ziel dieser Schwächungen? Das Ziel dieser Schwächungen, das sind nicht staatliche Institutionen wie vielleicht in der Vergangenheit, sondern das ist jede Einzelne und jeder Einzelne. Das sind Frauen und Männer, die einfach kommunizieren, die Medien konsumieren. Ja, das sind auch unsere Kinder. Was brauchen wir daher? Wir brauchen Cyberabwehr.

Wir müssen in Europa auch diskutieren über security – über Sicherheit –, nicht nur über privacy. Wir müssen dort investieren, wo die Digitalisierung Kompetenzen verlangt, die die Abwehr gegen solche Gefahren möglich machen. Wir brauchen Bildung, Bildung, Bildung. Unsere Kinder – alle Menschen – müssen zwischen falschen Nachrichten und wahren Nachrichten, zwischen Verschwörungstheorien und einem echten Meinungsaustausch unterscheiden können. Und wir brauchen Pressefreiheit. Ich stimme da der Kollegin Harms sehr deutlich zu: Wir essen ja auch kein rohes Fleisch, aber wir konsumieren ständig Information, die nicht journalistisch recherchiert wurde, sondern völlig ungefiltert auf uns zukommt. Das müssen wir unterscheiden lernen.

 
  
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  Andreas Schwab (PPE). – Herr Präsident, Frau Kommissarin, Frau Staatssekretärin, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Gegen Ende dieser Debatte ist es schwierig, nochmals neue Argumente in den Zusammenhang zu stellen. Deswegen möchte ich das, was die Kollegen hier schon vorgetragen haben, ausdrücklich unterstützen. Ich glaube, dass wir nicht nur auf die Frage von Falschinformationen im Zusammenhang mit Resilienz eingehen dürfen, sondern dass wir zwingend auch den Aspekt sehen müssen, dass eben unsere Netze, die digitalen Datennetze, anfälliger sind für Angriffe, weil sich Angriffe, die früher vielleicht auf ein bestimmtes Land gerichtet und angelegt waren, heute sehr einfach innerhalb der Mitgliedstaaten der Europäischen Union, die stark vernetzt sind, verbreiten können.

Deswegen müssen wir auch die Interaktion zwischen beiden Gefahren sehen. Und wenn der Kollege Mandl unmittelbar vor mir darauf hinweist, dass die große Gefahr natürlich darin liegt, dass viele Einzelne kommunizieren, so ist es die Tatsache, dass die Verunsicherung, die durch Attacken entsteht, bei diesen Einzelnen am Ende am stärksten ankommt und gewissermaßen die Demokratie, die demokratische Verfahren in der Europäischen Union mit Angriffen, die vielleicht auf den ersten Blick gar nicht als so gefährlich gelten, verunsichert und in Frage gestellt werden.

Deswegen müssen wir tatsächlich vor der Europawahl – es ist in der Debatte darauf hingewiesen worden – sicherstellen, dass die Mitgliedstaaten ihre Resilienzanstrengungen verstärken und dass es uns gelingt, auch in Zusammenarbeit mit den großen Unternehmen dafür zu sorgen, dass Fake News und andere Falschinformationen tatsächlich auch dort bekämpft werden, wo sie am schnellsten bekämpft werden können.

 
  
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  Lambert van Nistelrooij (PPE). – Voorzitter, commissarissen, staatssecretaris, het is heel goed om dit debat hier te voeren. Democratie, hier in dit huis, maar zeker ook in alle lidstaten, staat voorop. Overal in de wereld zijn wij als waarnemers bij verkiezingen aanwezig. We tellen precies of de stemmen goed in het busje zijn gekomen, en controleren dan de hele procedure eromheen.

Nu zijn we echter zelf in het geding. Eigenlijk is dit een heel serieus moment. Ik heb meegewerkt aan verslagen over de kritische infrastructuur op het internet in Europa. Welnu, onze democratische verkiezingen, alles daaromheen, ons bestel, vormen zo'n kritisch deel van onze infrastructuur, waar we ons niet van buitenaf op moeten laten pakken.

Ik was begin deze maand in Israël. Als je ziet wat zo'n land investeert in hun cyber security, in hun weerbaarheid, en je dan daar tegenover zet wat wij in Europa doen, dan moeten we nog de zesde versnelling vinden. Het moet nadrukkelijk zo zijn dat wij bij de assistentie die we op alle niveau voor verkiezingen verlenen, de weerbaarheid vergroten.

Een heel concreet punt, wat ook is genoemd door de commissaris: de check die nu wordt toegepast op een aantal van onze grote platforms zou verplicht moeten zijn. Er zou op al die grote sites en platforms een knop moeten zitten waarop je kunt drukken om aan te geven: ik zie dit bericht, hoe is de financiering tot stand gekomen? Welke beïnvloeding zit erachter? Zijn die filmpjes echt? Het zal anders moeten, omdat de uitdaging ook anders is.

 
  
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  Jiří Pospíšil (PPE). – Pane předsedající, je těžké na konci této debaty přinést ještě nějaké nové myšlenky do takto zásadního tématu. Já chci pouze podtrhnout a zopakovat to, že jsem přesvědčený, že v nadcházejících evropských volbách bude ze strany Ruska velká snaha ovlivnit průběh volebních kampaní v jednotlivých členských státech, a to zvláště v zemích, které patří z pohledu ruské zahraniční doktríny do takzvaného blízkého sousedství. To znamená v zemích, které bohužel v době komunismu spadaly pod vliv Sovětského svazu. To jsou země, kde zkrátka Rusko chce uplatňovat svůj politický a ekonomický vliv a nepřeje si posilování té části společnosti, která je proevropská. Musíme s tím počítat, musíme proti tomu vytvářet osvětovou kampaň, jak na úrovni národních států, tak na úrovni Evropské unie.

Vystupuji zde v pozici europoslance za Českou republiku a my jsme byli svědky toho, kdy i při posledních volbách, prezidentských volbách, které proběhly před několika měsíci v České republice, zkrátka a dobře, proevropský kandidát na prezidenta čelil velkým mediálním útokům, čelil fake news, které proti němu byly šířeny ve statisících mailů, které byly rozesílány a kde byla právě zkreslována témata, která souvisí s evropskou agendou. Byla zkreslována témata, jako je třeba otázka migrace. Musíme počítat s tím, že téma migrace bude ze strany nepřátel Evropské unie výrazně zneužito.

 
  
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  Julian King, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, this is a vitally important subject that we’re debating this afternoon. Foreign, domestic, sometimes criminal, actors have, without doubt, sought to break the rules, sought to interfere in our democratic processes and raised questions about our democratic institutions. Make no mistake: that does represent a security challenge.

We, from the Commission side, agree with those of you who say that we need to take action on a number of fronts: we need to build our cybersecurity and our resilience against cyberattacks, we need to tackle cyber manipulation through dis— and misinformation, and we need to tackle the misuse of mined personal data.

We also agree that we need to call out examples of interference. I want to join those of you who have praised the excellent work carried out by the EU’s East Stratcom Task Force, which, over the last couple of years, has now gathered more than 4 000 cases of pro-Kremlin disinformation, contradicting publicly available facts, repeated in a number of languages and on a number of occasions. These activities basically reflect a public Russian military doctrine which openly advertises the use of false data and destabilising propaganda as legitimate tools.

As a number of you have also observed, unfortunately it is not only Russia. Others are going down this route as well, which is why we also need to tackle the underlying vulnerabilities. We need to build our resilience through longer term actions – as many of you have said – on education, independent media and building critical awareness, but also through some shorter-term, more immediate actions, not least with the upcoming European parliamentary elections in mind.

So we are pushing for early agreement on the Cybersecurity Act, the package of measures that we have proposed to try and build our cybersecurity and resilience. I note that in the US Congress they’ve just acted to create a US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. I think it is high time we followed that example.

We’re also acting to tackle cyber criminality. We will continue to support Europol, who have in EC3 an internationally recognised centre of excellence in tackling cyber criminality. But, more generally, we need to work for transparency, traceability and the accountability of cyber criminals, which is why it is so important that we make progress on e—evidence. Without fast and effective access to electronic evidence, it is very hard to hold cyber criminals to account.

As well as those steps, we need to tackle cyber manipulation and on that, building on the measures we presented last April in our communication on tackling online disinformation, we have – as has been mentioned – now agreed, in what is actually internationally a first, a Code of Practice on Disinformation with the big social media platforms, the big news platforms.

We’ve asked those platforms to restrict targeting options for political advertising, to ensure transparency around sponsored content, to step up their efforts to identify and delete fake accounts, and to establish clear rules around bots. There should also be greater clarity around algorithms – as has been mentioned in this debate – and information on how they prioritise the content that that we see. This needs to be combined with tools enabling users more easily to discover content and access new sources representing alternative points of view, as well as to report disinformation.

I think this code is a good starting point, but we need to go further. We need to press the platforms now to deliver granular, measurable objectives that we can hold them to account against. We will do that work, as a number of you have asked, as we prepare the action plan for early December.

We still hope that we can see sufficient progress by working quickly together on a voluntary basis, but we’ve been clear that we reserve the right to consider our options again if we don’t see the progress that we need.

As my colleague, Commissioner Jourová, mentioned earlier, in September President Juncker presented a set of measures specifically on election security, asking Member States to set up a national election cooperation network of all the relevant authorities. We have brought them together – representatives from each of the Member States, those responsible for running elections, those responsible for cybersecurity, and those responsible for data protection – and we will build an effective European—level network so that those experts can share best practice and support each other, and we can build our collective resilience.

From the Commission side, we very much welcome your strong engagement on these issues. As we’ve said before in these debates, raising awareness is the first line of defence, but, in itself, it is not enough. We need to go further. We need to maximise our preparedness ahead of the series of elections that are coming up. We are committed to working with you, with Member States and with the private sector better to secure the foundations of our democracy: free speech, freedom of expression, and indeed the right of all of those who have spoken today, including those who attacked the Commission.

 
  
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  Karoline Edtstadler, President-in-Office of the Council. – Mr President, it’s quite difficult at the end of the debate to say something new in this debate, because I would like to say that this very useful debate showed and demonstrated a high degree of convergence between the European Parliament’s and the Council’s and also the Commissioner’s view on the importance of EU resilience against any influence of foreign actors in the upcoming EP election campaign – and I would like to emphasise this – no matter from which country it is evolving.

I fully second what Commissioner King said: we have a lot to do in a lot of different areas and regarding different topics. It is clear that it is still work in progress, and I’m looking forward to further results in the short— and the medium—term.

Let me assure you of our firm commitment to continuing the work that I outlined already at the beginning of our debate and of our readiness to adopt and effectively implement concrete measures to protect the internet and the cyberspace from criminal misuse. It is clear that these objectives cannot be met without common efforts to ensure a free, open, safe and secure cyberspace and in close cooperation with other public and private stakeholders. This work is actively supported by the contractual public—private partnership on cybersecurity between the European Commission and the European Cyber Security Organisation. But I doubt that we will be able to complete this work at any time. Our work in the cyber domain is now far away from being completed, and against a background of the developing technology, we have to work a lot also in the future – I’m convinced of that.

We need to join forces – and also that was mentioned by the Commissioner – to raise the awareness of all stakeholders, to encourage action, and to improve the capacities and capabilities of the EU and its Member States to tackle the ever—growing sophistication of cyber—attacks and evolving cyber—threats around the world. We need to make good use of all the EU initiatives directed at increasing cyber resilience and invest in the implementation of all recently announced measures. We also need to strengthen the existing framework, based on current experience, to provide more comprehensive response to the constantly evolving challenges which rigorously protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of our citizens.

 
  
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  Przewodniczący. – Zamykam debatę.

Oświadczenia pisemne (art. 162)

 
  
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  Clara Eugenia Aguilera García (S&D), por escrito. – En los próximos meses comenzará la campaña electoral para las próximas elecciones al Parlamento Europeo y la UE debe redoblar esfuerzos para que el derecho fundamental de participación política y de elección democrática no se vea interferido por una guerra híbrida de intoxicación, ciberterrorismo, manipulación ni chantaje de ninguna manera. Desafortunadamente, en los últimos años hemos asistido a un conjunto de episodios de injerencia delictiva en procesos electorales y consultas y referendos en Estados miembros de la Unión. Por todo ello, es necesario que el alto grado de convergencia entre las tres instituciones en esta materia se refleje en la rápida adopción de las medidas propuestas por la Comisión, que incluye el establecimiento de redes de cooperación electoral a nivel nacional y de la UE; la puesta en marcha de orientaciones sobre la aplicación de las normas de protección de datos en el contexto electoral y de recomendaciones sobre una mayor transparencia en la publicidad y la comunicación política en línea remunerada; el refuerzo de la ciberseguridad; la aplicación diligente de las normas electorales existentes; y la entrada en vigor de una propuesta legislativa que permita sancionar el uso indebido de los datos personales con fines electorales.

 
  
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  Monika Beňová (S&D), písomne. – Opakované pokusy a skúsenosti so zasahovaním do volieb a predvolebnej kampane ukazujú, že demokratické procesy je nevyhnutné dôsledne chrániť. Týka sa to najmä cieleného obmedzovania masových diskreditačných kampaní založených na absolútnych nezmysloch a dezinformáciách v online prostredí, šírených často zo zahraničia. Zneužívanie lží a dezinformácií v politickom boji pritom nie je žiadnou novinkou. Predovšetkým v prostredí sociálnych sietí sa však šíria rýchlejšie a ich vplyv tak má omnoho väčší dosah. Falošné správy sa vďaka tomu stali istým druhom zbrane, ktorá je hrozbou pre našu spoločnosť. Na neustále sa vyvíjajúce kybernetické hrozby tak musíme reagovať posilňovaním bezpečnosti. Jediným účelom šírenia škodlivého obsahu na internete je vznik pochybností, nevraživosti a rozdelenia v spoločnosti.

 
  
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  José Blanco López (S&D), por escrito. – En los próximos meses comenzará la campaña electoral para las próximas elecciones al Parlamento Europeo y la UE debe redoblar esfuerzos para que el derecho fundamental de participación política y de elección democrática no se vea interferido por una guerra híbrida de intoxicación, ciberterrorismo, manipulación ni chantaje de ninguna manera. Desafortunadamente, en los últimos años hemos asistido a un conjunto de episodios de injerencia delictiva en procesos electorales y consultas y referendos en Estados miembros de la Unión. Por todo ello, es necesario que el alto grado de convergencia entre las tres instituciones en esta materia se refleje en la rápida adopción de las medidas propuestas por la Comisión, que incluye el establecimiento de redes de cooperación electoral a nivel nacional y de la UE; la puesta en marcha de orientaciones sobre la aplicación de las normas de protección de datos en el contexto electoral y de recomendaciones sobre una mayor transparencia en la publicidad y la comunicación política en línea remunerada; el refuerzo de la ciberseguridad; la aplicación diligente de las normas electorales existentes; y la entrada en vigor de una propuesta legislativa que permita sancionar el uso indebido de los datos personales con fines electorales.

 
  
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  Soledad Cabezón Ruiz (S&D), por escrito. – En los próximos meses comenzará la campaña electoral para las próximas elecciones al Parlamento Europeo y la UE debe redoblar esfuerzos para que el derecho fundamental de participación política y de elección democrática no se vea interferido por una guerra híbrida de intoxicación, ciberterrorismo, manipulación ni chantaje de ninguna manera. Desafortunadamente, en los últimos años hemos asistido a un conjunto de episodios de injerencia delictiva en procesos electorales y consultas y referendos en Estados miembros de la Unión. Por todo ello, es necesario que el alto grado de convergencia entre las tres instituciones en esta materia se refleje en la rápida adopción de las medidas propuestas por la Comisión, que incluye el establecimiento de redes de cooperación electoral a nivel nacional y de la UE; la puesta en marcha de orientaciones sobre la aplicación de las normas de protección de datos en el contexto electoral y de recomendaciones sobre una mayor transparencia en la publicidad y la comunicación política en línea remunerada; el refuerzo de la ciberseguridad; la aplicación diligente de las normas electorales existentes; y la entrada en vigor de una propuesta legislativa que permita sancionar el uso indebido de los datos personales con fines electorales.

 
  
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  Iratxe García Pérez (S&D), por escrito. – En los próximos meses comenzará la campaña electoral para las próximas elecciones al Parlamento Europeo y la UE debe redoblar esfuerzos para que el derecho fundamental de participación política y de elección democrática no se vea interferido por una guerra híbrida de intoxicación, ciberterrorismo, manipulación ni chantaje de ninguna manera. Desafortunadamente, en los últimos años hemos asistido a un conjunto de episodios de injerencia delictiva en procesos electorales y consultas y referendos en Estados miembros de la Unión. Por todo ello, es necesario que el alto grado de convergencia entre las tres instituciones en esta materia se refleje en la rápida adopción de las medidas propuestas por la Comisión, que incluyen el establecimiento de redes de cooperación electoral a nivel nacional y de la UE; la puesta en marcha de orientaciones sobre la aplicación de las normas de protección de datos en el contexto electoral y de recomendaciones sobre una mayor transparencia en la publicidad y la comunicación política en línea remunerada; el refuerzo de la ciberseguridad; la aplicación diligente de las normas electorales existentes; y la entrada en vigor de una propuesta legislativa que permita sancionar el uso indebido de los datos personales con fines electorales.

 
  
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  Eider Gardiazabal Rubial (S&D), por escrito. – En los próximos meses comenzará la campaña electoral para las próximas elecciones al Parlamento Europeo y la UE debe redoblar esfuerzos para que el derecho fundamental de participación política y de elección democrática no se vea interferido por una guerra híbrida de intoxicación, ciberterrorismo, manipulación ni chantaje de ninguna manera. Desafortunadamente, en los últimos años hemos asistido a un conjunto de episodios de injerencia delictiva en procesos electorales y consultas y referendos en Estados miembros de la Unión. Por todo ello, es necesario que el alto grado de convergencia entre las tres instituciones en esta materia se refleje en la rápida adopción de las medidas propuestas por la Comisión, que incluye el establecimiento de redes de cooperación electoral a nivel nacional y de la UE; la puesta en marcha de orientaciones sobre la aplicación de las normas de protección de datos en el contexto electoral y de recomendaciones sobre una mayor transparencia en la publicidad y la comunicación política en línea remunerada; el refuerzo de la ciberseguridad; la aplicación diligente de las normas electorales existentes; y la entrada en vigor de una propuesta legislativa que permita sancionar el uso indebido de los datos personales con fines electorales.

 
  
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  Enrique Guerrero Salom (S&D), por escrito. – En los próximos meses comenzará la campaña electoral para las próximas elecciones al Parlamento Europeo y la UE debe redoblar esfuerzos para que el derecho fundamental de participación política y de elección democrática no se vea interferido por una guerra híbrida de intoxicación, ciberterrorismo, manipulación ni chantaje de ninguna manera. Desafortunadamente, en los últimos años hemos asistido a un conjunto de episodios de injerencia delictiva en procesos electorales y consultas y referendos en Estados miembros de la Unión. Por todo ello, es necesario que el alto grado de convergencia entre las tres instituciones en esta materia se refleje en la rápida adopción de las medidas propuestas por la Comisión, que incluye el establecimiento de redes de cooperación electoral a nivel nacional y de la UE; la puesta en marcha de orientaciones sobre la aplicación de las normas de protección de datos en el contexto electoral y de recomendaciones sobre una mayor transparencia en la publicidad y la comunicación política en línea remunerada; el refuerzo de la ciberseguridad; la aplicación diligente de las normas electorales existentes; y la entrada en vigor de una propuesta legislativa que permita sancionar el uso indebido de los datos personales con fines electorales.

 
  
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  Sergio Gutiérrez Prieto (S&D), por escrito. – En los próximos meses comenzará la campaña electoral para las próximas elecciones al Parlamento Europeo y la UE debe redoblar esfuerzos para que el derecho fundamental de participación política y de elección democrática no se vea interferido por una guerra híbrida de intoxicación, ciberterrorismo, manipulación ni chantaje de ninguna manera. Desafortunadamente, en los últimos años hemos asistido a un conjunto de episodios de injerencia delictiva en procesos electorales y consultas y referendos en Estados miembros de la Unión. Por todo ello, es necesario que el alto grado de convergencia entre las tres instituciones en esta materia se refleje en la rápida adopción de las medidas propuestas por la Comisión, que incluye el establecimiento de redes de cooperación electoral a nivel nacional y de la UE; la puesta en marcha de orientaciones sobre la aplicación de las normas de protección de datos en el contexto electoral y de recomendaciones sobre una mayor transparencia en la publicidad y la comunicación política en línea remunerada; el refuerzo de la ciberseguridad; la aplicación diligente de las normas electorales existentes; y la entrada en vigor de una propuesta legislativa que permita sancionar el uso indebido de los datos personales con fines electorales.

 
  
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  Μανώλης Κεφαλογιάννης (PPE), γραπτώς. – Σε έξι μήνες από τώρα, οι ευρωπαίοι πολίτες θα προσέλθουν στις κάλπες για να εκλέξουν ένα νέο Ευρωπαϊκό Κοινοβούλιο, μία νέα Επιτροπή. Θα κληθούν να οδηγήσουν την Ευρώπη σε μια νέα εποχή γεμάτη προκλήσεις, ευκαιρίες και απειλές. Το διακύβευμα είναι κρίσιμο και κάποιοι θα επιχειρήσουν να αποδυναμώσουν την εκλογική διαδικασία, διασπείροντας ψευδείς ειδήσεις, ενισχύοντας λαϊκίστικες και αντιευρωπαϊκές φωνές και υποδαυλίζοντας εθνικισμούς. Επιτυχία τους δεν θα είναι μόνον η ανάδειξη λαϊκίστικων και αντιευρωπαϊκών δυνάμεων, αλλά και το χαμηλό ποσοστό συμμετοχής των ευρωπαίων πολιτών. Η απάντηση σε όσους θέλουν να δουν μία αποδυναμωμένη Ευρώπη είναι η μεγαλύτερη συμμετοχή των πολιτών. Η ενίσχυση της δημοκρατίας. Δημοκρατία και συμμετοχή πάνε μαζί και για να αυξήσουμε τη συμμετοχή πρέπει να δώσουμε δύναμη στην προσωπική επιλογή του κάθε ευρωπαίου πολίτη. Η εκλογή των επόμενων ευρωβουλευτών στα κράτη μέλη πρέπει να στηρίζεται στην άμεση επιλογή των ευρωβουλευτών και όχι σε εκλογή με λίστα. Εμείς πιστεύουμε στην ευρωπαϊκή ενοποίηση. Οφείλουμε να αποκτήσουμε έναν κοινό τρόπο εκλογής.

 
  
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  Javi López (S&D), por escrito. – En los próximos meses comenzará la campaña electoral para las próximas elecciones al Parlamento Europeo y la UE debe redoblar esfuerzos para que el derecho fundamental de participación política y de elección democrática no se vea interferido por una guerra híbrida de intoxicación, ciberterrorismo, manipulación ni chantaje de ninguna manera. Desafortunadamente, en los últimos años hemos asistido a un conjunto de episodios de injerencia delictiva en procesos electorales y consultas y referendos en Estados miembros de la Unión. Por todo ello, es necesario que el alto grado de convergencia entre las tres instituciones en esta materia se refleje en la rápida adopción de las medidas propuestas por la Comisión, que incluye el establecimiento de redes de cooperación electoral a nivel nacional y de la UE; la puesta en marcha de orientaciones sobre la aplicación de las normas de protección de datos en el contexto electoral y de recomendaciones sobre una mayor transparencia en la publicidad y la comunicación política en línea remunerada; el refuerzo de la ciberseguridad; la aplicación diligente de las normas electorales existentes; y la entrada en vigor de una propuesta legislativa que permita sancionar el uso indebido de los datos personales con fines electorales.

 
  
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  Csaba Molnár (S&D), írásban. – Az Oxfordi Egyetem friss tanulmánya szerint a közéletet és a választásokat befolyásoló hamis propaganda világszerte fokozódik. Magyarországon ilyen tevékenységet a kutatók 2010-től, az Orbán-kormány hivatalba lépésétől kezdve tapasztaltak. Különösen szégyenteljes, hogy a hamis propagandát Magyarországon kizárólag a kormányzat végzi - méghozzá egyértelműen Vlagyimir Putyin EU-ellenes politikáját támogatva. A kormány dezinformációs tevékenysége része mindannak, amit az EP a Sargentini-jelentés kapcsán elítélt. Orbán trollhadserege azért dolgozik, hogy az írott és elektronikus sajtó monopolizálása után az internetet is megszállja, és elhallgattassa a politikai ellenzék és a civil szféra kritikus hangjait. Egyúttal az interneten is folyamatosan, agresszíven, szemen szedett hazugságok tömegével támadják az Európai Uniót. Félelmet, megosztottságot keltenek a szavazópolgárokban – amit aztán nacionalista, rasszista politikájuk érdekében használnak ki. Az EP választások tisztaságát tehát az Unión belülről, Magyarország kormánya részéről is veszély fenyegeti. Fel kívánom hívni a figyelmet arra, hogy a hazugságkampányokon túlmenően a magyar választójogi törvény újabb manipulációjára készül. A küszöbön álló módosítás lehetővé tenné, hogy a magyar állampolgársággal rendelkező, más tagállamban élő polgárok jogellenesen és ellenőrizetlenül egyszerre két országban is szavazhassanak. Ez érdemben befolyásolná a választások kimenetelét. Elengedhetetlen, hogy az Unió mindkét üggyel sürgősen foglalkozzon, még jóval a választások előtt, hogy a szavazás tisztasága garantálható legyen.

 
  
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  Eva Maydell (PPE), in writing. – Two main elements of our democracy and electoral process that are under attack: the first – you can call it fake news, disinformation etc. We have lost the sense of what is true and false. The problem is ‘more information, but less informed’. We have already started working with the big online platforms to make the internet a better and more reliable place for information and facts. Yet, we are competing for the attention of our citizens with Russian trolls, terrorist organisations and populists. The only way to win is to offer our citizens a logical narrative, based on principles and facts, filled with brave but conceivable ideas for the future.

The second element is our election infrastructure. It is obvious that we should re-conceptualise the use of technology in the process, so the voting rolls, the act of voting, tabulation and results are secure to external influence. We should also reform our election administration, with a focus on resilience to cyber-attacks.

Today, foreign interference aims not only to support one candidate in a race, but also to ruin the basic mechanism that our societies use to make decisions. With no credible elections our societies will end up divided, perplexed and in deep confrontation.

 
  
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  Pirkko Ruohonen-Lerner (ECR), kirjallinen. – Kansalaisten luottamus poliittiseen järjestelmään on horjunut. Tästä kertoo se, että monissa maissa äänestysaktiivisuus jää alhaiselle tasolle. Tämä koskettaa erityisesti Euroopan parlamentin vaaleja, joissa äänestysaktiivisuus jää usein alle 40 prosentin. Tähän ongelmaan meidän on keksittävä ratkaisuja.

Vaaleissa pääomapiirit ja erilaiset edunvalvontajärjestöt pyrkivät saamaan omia ehdokkaitaan valituiksi keskeisiin luottamustehtäviin eduskuntaan, hallitukseen ja Euroopan parlamenttiin. Tavoitteena tietysti on, että vaalirahalla sponsoroidut edustajat edistävät tehtävissään erityisesti rahoittajiensa asioita. Vaalikampanjat ylipäätänsä ovat usein liian pelkistettyjä ja yliampuvia, jopa harhaanjohtavia ja poliittisia vastustajia mustamaalaavia, mikä entisestään hämmentää epävarmoja äänestäjiä.

Verkossa ja perinteisessäkin mediassa jatkuvasti yleistyvä disinformaatio on yksi suurimmista haasteista eurooppalaisen demokratian toteutumiselle. Mitä laajemmin disinformaatiota levitetään sosiaalisessa mediassa, valeuutisissa, valetietokirjoissa ja valevideoissa, sitä vähemmän ihmiset uskovat minkään vastaanottamansa informaation luotettavuuteen. Jokaisen vastaavan päätoimittajan ja julkaisujohtajan tulisi tämä ymmärtää ja kantaa vastuunsa siitä, että julkaistaan vain tosiasioita. Lukijan, kuulijan ja katsojan pitää voida helposti erottaa faktat ja fiktiot toisistaan. Pelkkä liikevaihtoon tuijottaminen ei saisi olla missään julkaisutoiminnassa pääasia. On tärkeää korostaa korkealaatuisen toimituksellisen työn merkitystä sekä toimittajien aseman ja riippumattoman median vahvistamista. Kansalaisten on saatava luotettavaa ja laadukasta tietoa, jotta kansanvalta voi toteutua. Pidän hyvänä komission esittämiä toimia vapaiden ja oikeudenmukaisten vaalien turvaamiseksi, esimerkiksi poliittisen verkkomainonnan ja sen kohdentamisen läpinäkyvyyden lisäämistä, samoin eurooppalaisten puolueiden vaalirahoitussääntöjen tiukennuksia.

 
  
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  Indrek Tarand (Verts/ALE), in writing. – Elections are the foundation that gives legitimacy to the democratic system as a whole, to the legislature and the executive branch. This is why the exercise of undue influence by foreign malicious actors is such a serious problem: this behaviour seeks to undermine the legitimacy of the entire democratic system by eroding its foundations.

In the age of social media and targeted advertising, it becomes more difficult to enforce existing rules, for example the ones forbidding the use of foreign money. The internet does not know national borders; therefore, the sponsor of a politically targeted advertisement (which could even contain blatant lies masquerading as facts or news) could be located anywhere. This is why, as a bare minimum, we need more transparency regarding political targeted advertising: who purchased it and where the target audience is located.

It might be healthier to ban political targeted advertising on social media altogether; one thing is to use it to sell commercial goods, but using it to influence or even manipulate the democratic choice of citizens is something entirely different. A comprehensive approach is required, since ‘hacking’ of elections is not limited to actual ballot fraud, but also includes undue manipulation of voters themselves.

 
Letzte Aktualisierung: 8. April 2019Rechtlicher Hinweis