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 Full text 
Tuesday, 17 September 2019 - Strasbourg Provisional edition

Foreign electoral interference and disinformation in national and European democratic processes (debate)

  Terry Reintke (Verts/ALE). – Mr President, we live in stable, resilient, liberal democracies. Ten years ago, I would probably have signed a statement like this for all members of the European Union and I would have believed that this is something that, in the course of my lifetime, was not going to change.

Today, I would honestly be more cautious about this statement. Yes, we still live in stable, resilient democracies, but honestly these democracies are under attack. Disinformation is being spread, scapegoating, for example, minorities and marginalised groups. There are smear campaigns against, for example, sexual and reproductive rights or the Istanbul Convention, partly funded through very blurry channels with money from abroad, not only Russia, but also, for example, the United States.

These tactics are already showing their consequences. They are destabilising our democratic decision-making processes. We have to stand up for our rights and our democracies through empowering civil society, but also through taking steps to defend our discussion space without at the same time undermining the very basis of our democracies, which is freedom of speech.


Last updated: 30 September 2019Legal notice