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Debatter
Onsdagen den 27 november 2019 - Strasbourg Reviderad upplaga

15. Andra länders inblandning i våra demokratier och val (debatt om en aktuell fråga)
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  Die Präsidentin. – Als nächster Punkt der Tagesordnung folgt die Aussprache über ein aktuelles Thema (Artikel 162 der Geschäftsordnung) über die Einmischung anderer Länder in unsere Demokratien und unsere Wahlen (2019/2941(RSP)).

Ich möchte den Mitgliedern mitteilen, dass es bei dieser Aussprache keine spontanen Wortmeldungen gibt und keine blauen Karten akzeptiert werden.

 
  
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  Caroline Voaden, representative of Renew Group. – Madam President, in the last few years we have seen a sea change in the way politics and elections are conducted. We may still deliver leaflets, knock on doors and transmit party political broadcasts on TV, but increasingly our voters are getting their information online through social media platforms and cleverly targeted advertising that takes advantage of ever more effective algorithms to target them individually from thousands of miles away.

It’s fair to say that citizens all over Europe are at the mercy of anyone with a sinister agenda and a computer. We are undergoing a quantum leap in our electoral processes, one that eclipses the advent of the printing press, the newspaper, the radio and the television, but the gap between this evolving technology, on the one hand, and regulation and legislation on the other, has now become a great digital chasm. Both literally and metaphorically, the old rules cease to apply as our legislation falls woefully behind reality. The stubborn refusal of companies such as Facebook to take clear and decisive action to police their platforms opens a door into our elections that any foreign actor can waltz through unimpeded. The proper regulation of platforms such as Facebook is not an infringement on freedom of speech. It is our moral duty.

We must take stronger action against fake profiles and accounts. We must strengthen the EU Code of Conduct on disinformation, and we must reform electoral laws to cater for the modern era. We must investigate the financing of political parties by the Kremlin. For instance, in the UK, we know that Russian oligarchs have paid huge sums of money to play tennis with Boris Johnson.

Hostile governments are taking advantage of the digital space to interfere in our elections to further their own political goals. With over 50 national, regional and local elections due in Europe before the end of 2020, we must start taking this threat seriously. Those who detest the idea of democracy and view the messy process of elections as a charade to shore up their positions – Vladimir Putin chief amongst them – pour millions in economic and human resources into targeting European voters.

We have seen this in the UK, France and Spain, too. But it’s not just Putin who is playing this sinister game. We know that Dominic Cummings, who is advising our own government, spent time in Russia. This must be investigated, and there are many in this House who are here because of the darling of the US alt-right, Steve Bannon. There are those within our own Member States who are more than happy to accept the help of these external actors in their quest for power. I would look at Nigel Farage but he hasn’t turned up this week. I also look to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom who has refused to disclose a parliamentary report on Russian interference in the Brexit referendum of 2016. He knows what is in that report. We know what is in that report, but he refuses to release it because the truth stands in the way of his personal ambition. Boris Johnson – release the Russia report now!

Things have got so bad that in the UK electoral campaign the government is now impersonating fact-checking websites to spread misinformation. Vladimir would be proud. He doesn’t even need to interfere any more. That one of the oldest political parties in Europe is willing to do this, says much about how foreign electoral interference takes root, infects our society and becomes the norm.

There must be a parliamentary response to this unacceptable behaviour and there must be decisive action, both in Member States and in Europe, and yet politicians have so far come up short. Facebook still operates as the Trojan horse into our democracy. The time has come for this new Parliament, for this new Commission, for this new reality we live in, to get serious. If not, we will be forever at the mercy of any authoritarian at a keyboard. I welcome your opinion, colleagues, and I hope you sense the same danger that I do.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Tytti Tuppurainen, President-in-Office of the Council. – Madam President, John F. Kennedy once said: ‘The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all’. I believe that maliciously-influenced or misled voters could pose a similar risk to our societies. Evolving malicious interference and online manipulation shows that this risk to our democratic institutions is real and requires our constant attention. We are therefore grateful for this new opportunity to engage with you on this important topic.

Let me repeat that our Presidency’s priority is to make sustained efforts to raise awareness, increase preparedness and strengthen the resilience of our democracies to disinformation. Hybrid threats, including foreign interference in our democracies, remain, therefore, at the top of our political agenda. The Presidency has taken a number of steps, in particular a dedicated and permanent horizontal working party of the Council was created during the first month of our Presidency. It discusses how to strengthen the EU’s capabilities in countering hybrid threats and to build resilience in the EU and Member States. The mandate of the group includes election interference and disinformation campaigns.

We have proposed Council conclusions to be adopted in December on complementary efforts to enhance resilience and counter hybrid threats, building on the important work done at the EU level in recent years. The conclusions also pay attention to countering disinformation and securing free and fair elections.

The last debate held in this House in September sought broad agreement that foreign interference and disinformation pose a major threat to democracy and EU values. Without a doubt, the EU institutions and the Member States have an important role to play; this is in the remit of their competencies in the protection of democratic processes.

It is therefore appropriate that protecting European democracy is also a priority for President von der Leyen. We have in particular noted with great interest that Vice-President Jourová will be responsible for coordinating the work on a Europe and Democracy Action Plan that will include a set of initiatives. This will require a focus on building up resilience and countering disinformation while pursuing and protecting fundamental freedoms.

Countering hybrid threats requires a comprehensive approach and a horizontal working method. This is why the work needs to be done in close alignment with all relevant stakeholders in the EU institutions as well as in the Member States to enhance the EU’s ability to prevent, detect and respond to hybrid threats. Protection of our democracies and elections involves concerted efforts by the EU and the Member States, but also by civil society and industry. Our response has to be comprehensive, with a focus on both the internal and external dimensions of the threat.

Much has been done already, both by the EU institutions and individual Member States. Let me just briefly mention the main milestones, such as regular exchanges in the European election cooperation network, setting up the Rapid Alert System, enhancement of strategic communication, facilitating networks of independent fact checkers, promotion of media and digital literacy and awareness-raising activities, and monitoring of the implementation of the code of practice by social media platforms. But it is also important that we further develop institutional mechanisms and tools to fulfil the objectives set by the European Council.

It is also essential to continue developing partnerships, especially our cooperation with NATO. In this regard, the Helsinki European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats also contributes to fostering cooperation in this field. Likewise, disinformation strategies by foreign actors are deployed beyond our borders. So we need to work with partners in the eastern and southern neighbourhood and in the Western Balkans.

As stressed in the conclusions on democracy adopted by the Council last month, exposing disinformation, effective scrutiny over the financing of political messaging, strengthening media, information and digital literacy skills are key elements in this regard. We need to act together in a structured and coordinated way in order to tackle these challenges. Protecting elections is at the core of defending our European values.

 
  
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  Věra Jourová, Member of the Commission. – Madam President, thank you for giving me the opportunity to take the floor on the issue of interference from other countries in our democracies and elections. The Commission has been deeply engaged in broad efforts to address the manifold risks stemming from lack of transparency, disinformation and other manipulations of electoral and democratic processes, and is committed to strengthening this path in the upcoming term. Indeed, as we heard from the Presidency, it will be one of my biggest tasks in the new Commission. Thank you for the support.

The conduct of free and fair elections is primarily the responsibility of Member States. Nevertheless, a European approach is necessary given the cross-border dimension of efforts to manipulate democracy and the importance of joining efforts to address the threats. Just as with the rule of law, what affects one Member State can affect all and impact the Union itself. The threats at stake are complex and the targets are constantly evolving. For instance, external actors are more often using domestic proxies. We also see new technological developments allowing for new forms and strategies of interference.

In the context of the 2019 elections, the Commission has taken a number of concrete steps to address the challenges, including with the election package of measures to secure free and fair elections in Europe, with the Code of Practice on Disinformation, which has been signed by Facebook, Twitter, Google and Microsoft, and with the Action Plan on Disinformation, with which we have also made some progress. We will build on this work in the upcoming term. We have worked to put a holistic and permanent framework in place, with an aim to strengthen the resilience of our democracies and adapt to the evolving threats and coordinated and intentional manipulation.

To address the threats at stake, a coordinated and comprehensive approach is necessary, involving all actors across government, including regulatory and enforcement authorities, political parties, journalists, fact-checkers, researchers, educators and society and civil society at large, as well as industry and the online platforms. Some of them I mentioned, but of course we need to invite more to work with us. And of course we will need citizens to work on strengthening their own resilience against these new threats. I sometimes say that we have to work on increasing the demand for truth, and this will be a very big task ahead of us.

We need to get better when it comes to detecting, analysing and exposing disinformation and other manipulations of European democratic processes, whatever the tactics and actors employed. This needs to go hand in hand with wider efforts on monitoring cybersecurity and resilience against hybrid threats.

In terms of cooperation, we can be pleased with the European cooperation network on elections, which meets today for the fifth time to discuss its future work on safeguarding elections. This is a new club and a very important piece of our toolkit. We also need to further enhance cooperation between EU institutions and EU Member States via this network and the Rapid Alert System, which will help us build a genuine community of practitioners. It will also allow us to build meaningful cooperation with international partners, such as the G7 or NATO, because we are facing a real global problem. We can improve the effectiveness of communication through a coordinated response to disinformation incidents, as well as raising public awareness more generally.

To this end, it is important to pursue our efforts aimed at facilitating the establishment of an independent community of fact-checkers and academic researchers to detect and expose disinformation campaigns across social networks.

Following its initial 12-month period of implementation, the Code of Practice on Disinformation is now in the process of being evaluated. Should the results under the Code prove unsatisfactory, the Commission may propose further measures, including of a regulatory nature. We also need to invest in strengthening media literacy, which is key to resilient and democratic societies. Citizens must be empowered to have the adequate tools for a well-informed participation in democratic processes.

President-elect von der Leyen has proposed a new digital services act, which will upgrade our liability and safety rules for digital platforms, services and products. She has also pledged to put forward a coordinated European approach on artificial intelligence. These efforts will be vital if we are to ensure a prosperous, safe and democratic digital future for Europe.

Building on the political guidelines of President-elect von der Leyen, I will in the new Commission lead on the work towards a European democracy action plan addressing the threat of interference in our European elections, whilst being mindful of the need to protect the freedom of expression. I will look into possible legislative proposals to ensure clearer rules on the financing of European political parties and greater transparency on paid political advertising. In our actions we must never lose the balance. Our goal is to protect our European democracy. So it is clear that the respect for freedom of speech and our fundamental rights and values must be our cornerstones.

 
  
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  Paulo Rangel, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Madam President, first I would like to congratulate Commissioner Jourová for her nomination and to wish her well.

Commissioner, we know from experience that you are truly and deeply committed to the tasks that are involved in your portfolio. We know that your challenge is a difficult one, but I think there is also some enthusiasm, so I wish you all the best. You know that you will have the cooperation of our group and, I believe, of the House. The House has supported the whole Commission in a very strong and clear way, so I think we will have a very good relationship. I will now turn to my national language.

Senhora Presidente, a tentativa de ingerência, seja por potências estrangeiras, seja por vezes com alguma cumplicidade de forças internas, é, sem dúvida, um problema grave.

A desinformação não é um problema novo na História, mas hoje, mercê dos elementos tecnológicos, tem uma repercussão muito mais forte em toda a sociedade. Nós sabemos que, por exemplo recentemente, os serviços de informação checos chamaram a atenção para a interferência russa e chinesa no processo político e institucional. Sabemos que, no caso do Brexit, como aqui já foi dito, houve interferência. Sabemos que no caso da Catalunha uma parte importante dos IPs está sedeada na Grande Moscovo.

E portanto nós sabemos que há interferências estrangeiras, que aproveitam a dinâmica política interna, que é real e em que há tensões, para a explorarem, ampliarem e criarem instabilidade, e criarem também desinformação, no contexto das nossas sociedades. E portanto aqui eu considero que é fundamental, que é mesmo decisivo, que nós tenhamos, em primeiro lugar, uma grande preocupação com a educação dos cidadãos. Os cidadãos, e os jovens em particular, têm de estar habilitados a discernir, a diferenciar o que é verdadeiro do que é falso, têm que ter capacidade crítica.

Há aqui operadores sociais muito importantes: os políticos, com certeza, os líderes religiosos, os cientistas na academia e os jornalistas, em particular, são quatro grupos que nós devemos ter como grupos-alvo para, justamente, fazer formação e transmitir, digamos, isso à sociedade.

Por outro lado, eu acho que nós também poderíamos usar o Serviço de Ação Externa, porque ele deve ser eficaz junto das capitais onde nós suspeitamos que há estas interferências, para mostrar o desagrado da União Europeia.

E já agora devo dizer: há também algumas interferências ligadas a problemas, a ameaças à democracia interna, e eu aqui não posso deixar hoje de lembrar o caso de Malta, onde realmente o assassinato da jornalista Daphne Galizia foi algo de aterrador e que mostra que a livre informação está em perigo até com a ameaça física, e não apenas com a ameaça digital.

 
  
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  Kati Piri, on behalf of the S&D Group. – Madam President, I would like to congratulate the Commissioner on behalf of the S&D Group. Free and fair elections are at the very heart of democracy, of our European project and our Union, but free and fair elections are not a given and should not be taken for granted. Election interference challenges the foundations of our democratic systems and risks are growing day after day and they are there to stay unless we take action. This is a major issue in many of our Member States and current policies are insufficient to counter this hybrid assault on our democracies. Millions of Europeans are being exposed to massive disinformation campaigns due to foreign interference. Cyberattacks have risen to an unprecedented level, with dangerous access to strategic infrastructure and data. Electoral rules on the financing of political parties by third countries are being breached. However, EU governments are still failing to act. Some governments are even hiding the truth from the public. This is the case of the UK Government of Boris Johnson, for instance. It recently refused to release the Intelligence and Security Committee report on the Russian threat to UK democracy. But this is far from being an isolated case. This comes after a plan by Russian actors to fund the Lega of Matteo Salvini, the Austrian FPO Ibiza scandal, the case of the French Front National, the Leave.EU campaign in the UK and suspicious online activities during the last European elections in Germany.

Last month, at the initiative of the S&D Group, the European Parliament adopted a resolution in which we called for bold action here in Parliament. We understood the importance of this issue and we called for the establishment of a special parliamentary committee on election interference to address the challenges effectively and holistically. But the proposal did not pass, due to the opposition of 52 Renew colleagues. I am puzzled why our colleagues from Renew, and more specifically the UK Lib Dems, insisted on having this topic on the agenda yet voted against the special committee addressing this issue here in the European Parliament. However, sometimes we find that it takes time to come to challenges. So let’s unite, let’s work together and let’s ensure that in the European Parliament too, we take this issue very seriously.

 
  
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  Pascal Durand, au nom du groupe Renew. – Madame la Présidente, Madame la Vice-présidente, évidemment, je vous félicite au nom du groupe Renew pour votre réélection ce matin. J’ajoute, à titre personnel, tout le plaisir que j’ai à vous retrouver sur les sujets qui nous avaient déjà associés dans la précédente législature, à savoir la démocratie et l’état de droit.

Notre histoire est faite de la recherche d’un équilibre un peu compliqué. Comme Mme von der Leyen l’a rappelé ce matin, la fragilité de nos démocraties et de l’Union européenne tient à cette recherche historique entre la défense de la liberté, la défense des libertés, du droit de penser et du droit de s’exprimer et, en même temps, le respect des règles de droit qui s’imposent à toutes et à tous pour que nous puissions vivre ensemble dans la société.

Au cours de notre histoire, nous avons inventé l’imprimerie, grâce à laquelle nous avons développé la connaissance et les idées et nous avons fait progresser l’humanisme. Nous avons inventé et défendu la liberté de la presse et la liberté de penser, mais nous avons su équilibrer – vous le savez Madame la Vice-présidente, d’autant plus que vous venez d’un pays qui n’a pas toujours connu la liberté d’expression et la liberté de penser librement –cette liberté de penser par le principe de responsabilité de ceux qui diffusent et, en même temps, par des règles qui s’imposent à la presse et à la diffusion. On ne peut pas tout diffuser dans nos démocraties.

Lorsque j’entends, à un moment où internet vient remplacer le schéma de l’imprimerie, la presse, etc. et va beaucoup plus vite, qu’il faut lui laisser une liberté totale, qu’il ne faut pas le réguler, qu’il faut lui laisser s’autogérer, je pense, Madame la Vice-présidente, que nous portons atteinte à l’essence même de la valeur de la démocratie européenne, celle de l’équilibre entre la liberté et la règle.

Je terminerai par ceci: ne faisons pas d’internet un espace de non-droit, ne faisons pas des réseaux sociaux un espace de liberté sans contrôle.

 
  
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  Sergey Lagodinsky, im Namen der Verts/ALE-Fraktion. – Frau Präsidentin! Herzlichen Glückwunsch auch von den Grünen, Frau Vizepräsidentin, zu Ihrer Wahl. Heute reden wir aber erst mal über ein anderes Thema. „Der Konflikt zwischen Russland und Ukraine ruiniert unsere Wirtschaft“ – das war die Betreffzeile der E-Mail, die den Bundestag wochenlang lahmgelegt hat. Das war ein Virus, der – wie sich später herausstellte – von einer Gruppe eingeschleust wurde, die dem russischen militärischen Geheimdienst GRU nahesteht. Das war nur das offensichtlichste Beispiel einer Intervention von außen in unsere demokratischen Institutionen.

Vieles läuft aber unter dem Radar, und das ist wirklich ein Grund zur Sorge. Alles, was an agitatorischer Einmischung in dieser Form stattfindet, ist Teil einer regelrechten ideologischen Konfrontation, eines Propagandakrieges im digitalen Bereich, muss man schon sagen, zwischen Russland und China auf der einen Seite und den liberalen Demokratien auf der anderen Seite. Das passiert nicht nur auf Deutsch oder Englisch, das passiert auch auf Russisch. Der Fall Lisa in meiner Stadt Berlin – Berlin-Marzahn –, wo viele Hunderte Russischsprachige durch Berichte im russischen TV, durch Fake-Berichte im russischen TV regelrecht mobilisiert wurden, ist allgemein bekannt.

Doch auch auf Deutsch passiert diese Propaganda, und zwar nicht nur in Form von Russia Today; Redfish auf Facebook ist eine linksradikale Gruppierung, die eigentlich zu interessanten und guten und wichtigen klimapolitischen Anliegen aufruft, aber gleichzeitig agitatorische Propaganda einbaut und den russischen Nachrichtenagenturen gehört. Also auch diese Wege, auch diese Nachrichtenagenturen müssen wir in den Blick nehmen.

Aber wir müssen auch unsere eigenen Kolleginnen und Kollegen unter die Lupe nehmen. Da gibt es Parteien, die eine tiefe Verachtung für unsere heutige Demokratie haben und auch Verachtung für dieses Europa, und die sitzen auch hier. Gerade heute gab es Berichte über die AfD – schade, dass die Kollegen nicht dasitzen: Jörg Meuthen 95 000 EUR, Guido Reil 45 000 EUR – das sind die Spenden, die – gerade wurde es klar – über Fake-Spender für diese Kollegen, die tagtäglich unter uns sitzen, eingeworben worden sind. Wir müssen sie fragen, woher diese Gelder kommen, wenn die AfD schon offen sagt, dass sie immer wieder zu Beratungen in die russische Botschaft geht. Woher kommen denn diese Gelder? Viele von diesen Geldern kamen über die Schweiz. Es wäre interessant, auf diese Fragen Antworten zu bekommen.

Aber es geht nicht nur um die Antieuropäer, es geht auch um uns. Wir müssen unsere eigenen demokratischen Institutionen stärken, wir dürfen selber nicht den antidemokratischen Mustern verfallen. Dazu gehören auch die digitale Kultur, die digitale Kompetenz und die Resilienz unserer Institutionen – auch hier und auch gegenüber unseren Kolleginnen und Kollegen, die uns Antworten schulden.

 
  
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  Jordan Bardella, au nom du groupe ID. – Madame la Présidente, pardon de troubler la paranoïa ambiante, mais ne tournons pas inutilement autour du pot. Si ce thème nous est imposé, c’est évidemment pour renforcer l’idée que la Russie de Vladimir Poutine se cacherait derrière les succès enregistrés par les forces souverainistes à l’échelle du continent européen.

Si le président Macron, la chancelière Merkel et leurs amis accumulent les revers électoraux, cela ne pourrait s’expliquer que par une manipulation de l’étranger. L’Agence nationale de la sécurité des systèmes d’information a affirmé l’an dernier que lors de la campagne présidentielle française, aucune cyberattaque russe n’était à déplorer, donnant tort au camp du président Macron. Mieux encore, le rapport publié le 14 juin par la Commission européenne a été bien incapable de relever la moindre campagne de désinformation organisée depuis l’étranger et axée sur les élections européennes. Il est donc assez amusant de voir que ce sont ceux qui prétendent découvrir des complots qui ont recours au complot en imaginant régulièrement une main russe invisible.

Des ingérences sont pourtant bien visibles et bien réelles, mais elles ne sont pas là où vous voudriez les voir. L’ancien président américain Barack Obama n’a-t-il pas interféré dans l’élection française en soutenant ouvertement Emmanuel Macron durant l’entre-deux tours? La chancelière Angela Merkel n’affirmait-elle pas en 2016 vouloir faire reculer le Front national? Enfin, que dire des affirmations menaçantes de dirigeants ou de fonctionnaires européens pour intimider les Britanniques lors du référendum sur le Brexit ou encore après l’élection de M. Salvini en Italie?

Mesdames, Messieurs, cessez donc de faire passer le réveil des peuples pour un phénomène dont les causes seraient irrationnelles ou obscures. Il s’explique par l’impasse dans laquelle vous les conduisez depuis si longtemps et dans votre incapacité à répondre aux aspirations réelles des peuples européens.

 
  
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  Peter Lundgren, för ECR-gruppen. – Fru talman! Utländsk valpåverkan är något som oroar många människor. De flesta tänker nog på det amerikanska valet och på länder som Kina, Iran och Ryssland som valpåverkare.

I Sverige går nog tankarna just nu extra mycket till Kina, som nyligen helt öppet försökte påverka en minister och den svenska regeringen att inte dela ut ett pris till en person som misshagade den kinesiska regimen. Det väcker givetvis tankar om hur mycket valpåverkan Kina försöker med under ytan när de är så fräcka i det offentliga rummet.

Det är inte bara antidemokratiska främmande makter som försöker påverka valen i demokratiska länder. Även EU använder propaganda för att påverka val genom att måla upp en bild av vilka som är onda och vilka som är goda. De målar även många gånger upp en rent apokalyptisk bild om vilka hot som finns mot EU och den gemenskap och det samarbete som finns. Detta är givetvis ren och skär skrämselpropaganda för att just påverka de nationella valen.

Och är det någon skillnad på vem som försöker påverka ett val? Nej, det är det inte. Att försöka påverka valet i ett demokratiskt land och inte respektera ett valresultat är aldrig accepterat. Vi ska aldrig tillåta det och måste alltid stå upp mot påverkan från såväl EU som främmande makter som Kina och Ryssland.

 
  
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  Martina Anderson, on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group. – Madam President, we cannot talk about foreign interference in elections without calling out the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which has never been held to account for taking half a million pounds of dark money during the Brexit campaign – dark, shadowy money that was given to the DUP through an alleged international criminal businessperson. They did not spend it in the North of Ireland; instead, the DUP spent it in a country where they do not field candidates – England – in order to circumvent English electoral law. There was no investigation into where it came from.

After the Brexit referendum, legislation was put in place that protected the DUP from having to disclose the source. This is the same DUP which is currently inciting loyalist mobs to campaign for DUP Brexiteers. Loyalists have put up intimidatory posters against Sinn Féin candidate and Mayor of Belfast, John Finucane, whose father, Pat, was murdered by Loyalists and British State Agents.

If this was happening anywhere else, the EU would be condemning it. However, the partition of Ireland with an in—built unionist majority was designed to facilitate gerrymandering and obstruct the democratic will of the people – by whatever means. This underpinned the foundation of a discriminatory Orange State with oppressive laws that were the envy of apartheid South Africa.

Thankfully, the Orange State and the inbuilt undemocratic Unionist majority are gone, and we are on a pathway towards an inclusive, democratic United Ireland.

 
  
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  Jeroen Lenaers (PPE). – Voorzitter, het is niet de eerste keer dat we het hier over nepnieuws en buitenlandse inmenging hebben. Een jaar geleden stonden we hier al. Twee maanden geleden hadden we dit debat. Vorige maand hebben we nog een resolutie aangenomen, en vandaag staan we hier weer. We staan hier weer omdat het belangrijk blijft en omdat het lijkt alsof echte actie uitblijft.

De Europese verkiezingen zijn voorbij. We hebben verschillende onderzoeken gezien waaruit blijkt dat bijna de helft – 250 miljoen – van de Europeanen tijdens de aanloop van die verkiezingen blootgesteld werd aan nepnieuws van Russische trollen. We hebben netwerken gezien die in verschillende landen opereren om desinformatie te verspreiden. Gebruikers en pagina’s zijn verwijderd van onder andere Facebook, maar pas nadat ze honderden miljoenen keren bekeken zijn. De factcheckers van onze eigen East StratCom Task Force registreerden meer dan 1 000 gevallen van Russische inmenging, meer dan een verdubbeling van het jaar daarvoor: een duidelijke bevestiging van de uitdaging waar we met z’n allen voor staan, en dat bevestigde ook de Commissie. De Task Force werd uitgebreid, maar is dat wel genoeg? Ik stelde die vraag aan de EU-buitenlanddienst en het antwoord was heel duidelijk: met dit budget kunnen wij het probleem niet adequaat aanpakken.

We moeten dus meer doen. Minder praten, meer actie. Ik zou de oproep willen doen aan de Commissie om dat zeker in de komende periode echt aan te gaan pakken. Dit moet gebeuren op twee specifieke gebieden. Middelen, meer middelen beschikbaar stellen om het probleem echt aan te pakken. Meer geld voor analyse en onderzoek, meer geld voor antidesinformatiecampagnes, investeringen in technologie, meer inzet voor onze eigen weerbaarheid en onze bewustwording van ons allemaal. Ten tweede, de techreuzen: maak een einde aan de “vrijheid, blijheid”-aanpak ten opzichte van platforms als Facebook. Hoog tijd dat zij eindelijk hun verantwoordelijkheid gaan nemen. Geen vrijwillige gedragscodes, maar bindende maatregelen om transparantie en medewerking af te dwingen.

 
  
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  Claude Moraes (S&D). – Madam President, Mr Lenaers just said that we have just had a resolution, we’ve just had a debate and now, of course, we’re back debating the same thing, but there is a reason for this and the reason is that something is happening. This is not an exaggerated issue; this is an issue on which the Commission – Commissioner Jourová and Commissioner King – have been working now for months. This is an issue on which we have been working. We wanted a special committee for a reason and the reason is not that some Donald Trump says to Boris Johnson, I like you, I want your NHS, I’d like to buy it. That is not the interference we’re talking about. I don’t like it, but it is not what we’re talking about. It is talking about a growing body of evidence that there is illegal and covert interference, what John F Kennedy would not have liked. Because at least one voter is voting differently because they have been targeted. Cambridge Analytica, the theft of private information for covert and illegal use against a constitution and against a body of jurisprudence and law.

So let’s just be clear what we are talking about. It is illegal and it is covert. Today it will harm us; maybe tomorrow it will harm you. So, this is what we are talking about and I welcome what my UK colleagues have done in initiating this debate because what they are doing is uncovering the latest element of this in my own country, which is where our Conservative Government is covering up the truth from the public by refusing to release the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) report on the Russian threat to UK politics. One of our big Member States of the European Union. The report has been approved by the UK intelligence agencies, there is no impediment to publication, and yet, they’re not publishing.

How much more evidence do we need to understand that this evidence is real? Well, the Commission, of course, talked about continued and sustained misinformation during the last May elections, similar to those carried out in the US and France. The report, of course, talks about limited action and I encourage the Commissioner, of course, in her new role, with the new College, to do as much as possible. Because what we’re talking about is online and offline safeguards, the banning of profiling for electoral purposes, the content shared by bots, the removal of fake accounts. Neither the private sector nor indeed our governments are doing enough yet. There can be nothing more important than free and fair elections. This is against the law, it’s covert, it is illegal and we must do something about it to safeguard our democracies.

 
  
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  Martin Horwood (Renew). – Madam President, I would like to congratulate the Vice-President on her election. I apologise for not being here for your opening statement but I understand you promised a coordinated response to foreign interference. It must be coordinated with Member States, Brexit or no Brexit. We know Russian money is invested in the UK in particular and in London in particular and that should have given us leverage in resisting and sanctioning against interference in our democratic processes. But the still unpublished Intelligence and Security Committee report, which has already been referred to, may reveal just how inadequate our response has been. Will it detail Russian influence in the narrowly won Brexit referendum? We don’t know because our government, as has just been said by Mr Moraes quite rightly, has tried to silence our national parliament but still refuses to publish this report, although we know that no government agency or department stands in the way of publication, only the Prime Minister’s political will. Perhaps this is because the report may detail Russian donations to our ruling Conservative party and to the Brexit campaign. Our national parliament is currently dissolved and our government may have been at best asleep on the job, but I’m delighted that the European Parliament has provided a democratic forum in which we can ring the alarm bell and sound the wake-up call and I hope the Commission’s response will be much more determined.

 
  
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  Alice Kuhnke (Verts/ALE). – Fru talman! På många sätt är cyberangreppen en mardröm, en fiende som inte syns men som finns och är livsfarlig. Det kan låta stort, men det är, som vi alla vet, ingen överdrift. Angreppen pågår och de utgör ett tydligt och starkt hot mot de värden och demokratiska principer som vi har byggt den Europeiska unionen på. Den vetskapen kräver handling.

Förra året presenterade kommissionen en plan för hur vi ska bekämpa desinformation online. Vi har därmed tagit de första stegen i arbetet för att bekämpa cyberangrepp. Men det räcker inte. EU måste göra väldigt mycket mer.

Europols avdelning som arbetar just med cyberkriminalitet – där analyser och forskning kopplas till strategier och handlingsplaner – är bra, men det är inte tillräckligt. EU måste se till att varje medlemsland tar cyberhotet på allvar, eftersom förtroendet för EU och för oss folkvalda politiker står och faller med huruvida vi tar hotet mot våra demokratier på allvar. Regeringar, parlament, civilsamhället och skolor måste få uppdrag och resurser så att vi alla rustas för att kunna ta ansvar och utifrån våra olika plattformar agera mot de krafter som hotar vår demokrati.

 
  
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  Laura Huhtasaari (ID). – Arvoisa puhemies, yritykset vaikuttaa eurooppalaisiin vaaleihin ulkopuolelta tulee torjua. Meidän tulee pitää huolta eurooppalaisten korkeasta sivistyksestä, jotta pystymme erottamaan oikean tiedon propagandasta. On täysin sietämätöntä, jos Venäjä, Kiina tai joku kolmas valtio pyrkii vaikuttamaan vaalien toimittamiseen eurooppalaisessa demokratiassa.

Tätä todellista ilmiötä ei pidä väärinkäyttää johtamalla ihmisiä harhaan. Venäjän trollitehtaat sosiaalisessa mediassa eivät ole saaneet ihmisiä äänestämään kansallismielisiä puolueita. Te konsensuspuolueet saatte ihmiset äänestämään vaihtoehtoa, jota isänmaalliset puolueet tarjoavat. Avointen rajojen maahanmuuttopolitiikka, islamisaatio, ilmastohysteria, teollisuustyöpaikkojen kato ja hyvinvointipalvelujen rapistuminen ovat eräitä syitä sille, miksi valtavirtapuolueet häviävät vaaleja.

Ruotsissa pommi-iskut ja ammuskelut ovat nyt osa ruotsalaista arkea. Tähän valtavirtapuolueiden politiikka on johtanut. Tämän me kansallismieliset puolueet korjaamme. Make Europe safe again! Täällä joku peräänkuulutti, mistä olemme saaneet rahaa. Minä olen ainakin maksanut kampanjani itse, koska minä uskon parempaan ja turvalliseen Eurooppaan.

 
  
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  Ангел Джамбазки (ECR). – Уважаема г-жо Председател, уважаема г-жо Комисар, поздравления за Вашия избор. Чака Ви нелека работа. Уважаеми колеги, за пореден път виждаме един много ясно изразен двоен стандарт в тази зала. Повечето от вас, които се изказаха, бяха против намесата и финансирането отвън на политически партии. Но само когато става дума за партии, които не ви харесват – като Консервативната партия във Великобритания, например.

Когато става дума обаче за бездънните джобове на милиардера, скандалния милиардер и финансов спекулант Сорос, който финансира много здраво пропаганда в Централна и Източна Европа, вие не сте против. И това е двоен стандарт. Трябва да си изберете – или сте против външното вмешателство, или не може да правите министерство на истината.

Чух тука няколко колеги – титани на политическата мисъл, да заявяват, че ще спрат интернета, ще го цензурират. Успех ви желая! Джордж Оруел е писал за вас „Министерство на истината“. Когато говорим за външната намеса, трябва да има еднакъв стандарт. Трябва всички да бъдат поставени под общ знаменател, а да не се действа така лицемерно и избирателно.

 
  
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  Sandra Pereira (GUE/NGL). – Senhora Presidente, a defesa da democracia exige um setor de comunicação social pluralista, democrático e independente. Exige a defesa da independência dos órgãos de comunicação social face ao poder económico, impedindo a concentração monopolista das empresas de comunicação social e defendendo o reforço do serviço público, garantindo os direitos dos jornalistas e de outros profissionais da informação e o seu respeito pelos princípios éticos e deontológicos.

A crescente concentração promovida na União Europeia servindo os interesses das políticas dominantes e dos grandes grupos económicos segue no sentido contrário, limitando a liberdade e a independência da imprensa, facilitando a disseminação de mentiras ou o silenciamento das forças comunistas e progressistas, das suas propostas e das suas ações, enquanto se promove o imperialismo, o obscurantismo, o populismo e os seus objetivos antidemocráticos, abrindo as portas à extrema-direita.

As pretensas ameaças externas que a União Europeia e este Parlamento insistem em apontar são apenas um pretexto para mascararem esta realidade e para prosseguirem no perigoso caminho do pensamento único e reacionário.

 
  
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  Vladimír Bilčík (PPE). – Madam President, I would like to congratulate the Commission Vice—President on her election today. It was only timely that Ms Ursula von der Leyen in her speech today mentioned the many Czechs and Slovaks who, 30 years ago during the Velvet Revolution, fought for freedom. Thanks to that fight, freedom and free and fair elections are something that we have across Europe in a much larger number today. It also something that we must safeguard, and we must take action, because we have been under threat. This is not just a debate about the lies before Brexit; it’s something which concerns all of us and which we experienced in every election, including the European election – in every national contest. Indeed, this Parliament did adopt a resolution last month on how to best approach the fight against foreign interference and against the spread of disinformation. I think this is a very good start for political action.

Let me just underline three things which we would expect from the Commission. First, this fight against external interference, and also the fight against disinformation, must become our political priority. This is not just a technical issue; this has to be at the forefront of the Commission’s political fight in the next five years. We have to make it a political issue; we can’t just keep on talking about who is responsible, who is to blame. We must take action, and indeed, we must be bold in terms of proposing also regulation. We must safeguard the space on the internet. We must safeguard Europe’s values. We must safeguard our democracy. We must also invest more money, more resources, into education – indeed, into education in the area where our citizens are most vulnerable: in cyberspace; on the Internet; in the digital space. I hope we can all do this.

 
  
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  Simona Bonafè (S&D). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, il Parlamento europeo, è vero, ha già approvato una risoluzione nello scorso mese di ottobre, su iniziativa del gruppo dei Socialisti e Democratici, per condannare le interferenze nei nostri processi democratici di potenze straniere, ma nuovi casi stanno emergendo.

Intanto la magistratura italiana ha aperto recentemente un'inchiesta per corruzione internazionale sulla vicenda di presunti finanziamenti russi alla Lega di Matteo Salvini, ma al di là delle implicazioni penali restano in evidenza vicende torbide, mai chiarite fino in fondo.

Il caso italiano è stato preceduto da un caso austriaco, da un caso francese e, solo per stare alla cronaca più recente, sono emerse interferenze durante la campagna referendaria per l'uscita della Gran Bretagna dall'Europa.

Tutto questo non è complottismo, tutto questo è pericoloso per la tenuta dei nostri sistemi democratici, perché spesso, fomentando campagne di odio sul web, si condiziona l'opinione pubblica e dunque si influenzano i processi elettorali.

Ecco perché è importante che la discussione prosegua e che i riflettori non si spengano, nel caso anche proponendo di nuovo una commissione parlamentare. Abbiamo il dovere di fare chiarezza e di difendere le nostre istituzioni democratiche.

 
  
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  Nathalie Loiseau (Renew). – Madame la Présidente, Madame la Vice-présidente, ce qui fonde notre modèle européen, c’est d’abord la liberté de choisir ceux qui nous gouvernent. Or, de plus en plus souvent, nous voyons des puissances étrangères chercher à influencer le résultat de nos votes dans le but évident de nous affaiblir. Nous pouvons le constater, nous pouvons le déplorer, nous pouvons condamner ces ingérences, ou plutôt ce cancer qui s’acharne à abîmer notre monde libre. Mais nous devons surtout agir et agir sans tarder.

Pour ce faire, pourquoi ne pas créer une agence européenne de protection des démocraties qui apporterait à chaque État membre l’expertise nécessaire pour contrer les cyberattaques, les manipulations et la désinformation qui visent les processus électoraux? Nous avons bien une agence européenne de protection de notre sécurité alimentaire. Si nous sommes capables de protéger ce qui vient dans notre assiette, nous devrions pouvoir protéger ce qui passe par nos urnes et nos bulletins de vote. L’intoxication démocratique a des conséquences au moins aussi graves que l’intoxication alimentaire, elle est parfois beaucoup plus difficile à guérir.

Madame la Présidente, je vous félicite pour votre élection et je vous remercie pour votre engagement à protéger nos démocraties.

 
  
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  Christian Allard (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, I would like to congratulate you as well on your election. We adopted the text of this resolution in October, and today I very much welcome this debate. Like many speakers before me, I think a lot more should be done because – as we have already heard – in the US it is now accepted that Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election took place.

In the UK we are not there yet, as our Prime Minister – Boris Johnson – claimed last week that he had never seen any evidence of Russian interference in UK democratic processes. However, in December 2017, the then UK Foreign Secretary – Boris Johnson – said that he had seen evidence of Russian interference in UK democratic processes. Which Boris Johnson is telling the truth? As our First Minister of Scotland said today, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is dangerous and unfit for office.

In this climate of xenophobia, racism and intolerance towards foreigners, I’m very pleased to hear the tone of the debate today. When I read the text first of all, earlier this year, on our right to engage and make sure that when we talk in this debate, we choose our words very carefully. It is the state organisations and their representatives that get involved in this interference, in which it is not the people who exercise their democratic right to vote and to stand for election in their adopted country. I would know, as a French citizen who represents Scotland in this Parliament. Let’s stop the interference of foreign states, but let’s open up our democracies to all the people who live among us – foreigners like me included.

In this coming election, I will not be voting at Westminster, but I wish all the candidates good luck – especially the MEPs here, and especially Alyn Smith, my cher collègue, to whom I wish all the best in the coming election.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Thierry Mariani (ID). – Madame la Présidente, en France, après 1870, une terreur s’empara des milieux parlementaire et journalistique qui virent la main de l’Allemagne dans tous les scrutins. Des phénomènes similaires ne cessèrent de parsemer l’histoire des États membres. Parfois, ces craintes sont légitimes; souvent, elles ne sont que fantasmes. Toujours elles furent dépassées par un élément: le sentiment de la nécessaire unité nationale pour maintenir les patries européennes.

L’Union européenne est aujourd’hui paradoxale dans son attitude face à ce danger. Elle décrit tout retour au sentiment national comme un danger et prétend à la fois nous protéger des interférences étrangères. Tout débat ou résolution concernant l’ingérence des pays étrangers dans les élections représente en réalité des attaques politiques très claires envers les mouvements patriotes européens et, souvent, envers la Russie, accusés d’être des acteurs majeurs de l’ingérence électorale étrangère et de la désinformation dans les processus démocratiques nationaux et européens.

Je peux citer aussi des cas avérés d’ingérence étrangère directe et manifeste de dirigeants ou de groupes de pression dans les récents scrutins qui se sont déroulés dans l’Union européenne: M. Soros et son Open Society, qui placardent sur les murs de Budapest des mots d’ordre hostiles au gouvernement hongrois; les dirigeants algériens, qui demandent régulièrement la dissolution du Rassemblement national; M. Erdoğan, fort des subsides abondants que nous lui versons, qui donne des instructions de vote à des ressortissants binationaux en Allemagne et en France; et M. Obama, qui apporte un large soutien médiatique à M. Macron à deux jours du scrutin de la présidentielle.

Enfin, Madame la Présidente, je sors d’une réunion où les députés européens demandent plus de soutien à l’opposition en Biélorussie. Avant de recevoir des leçons, veillons à ne pas être coupables nous-mêmes.

 
  
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  Hermann Tertsch (ECR). – Señora presidenta. Felicidades a la comisaria por la reelección. Yo quería hablar de las injerencias. Injerencias estamos viendo muchas. Se ha hablado de las injerencias en Cataluña por parte de agentes rusos. Los hay, sin duda. Pero injerencias hemos estado viendo en Europa muchísimas. Hemos visto las injerencias de la señora Merkel prácticamente en todas las elecciones europeas que se han celebrado desde Hungría a Austria masivamente, etcétera, etcétera. ¿Qué no injerencias ha habido por parte de los europeos hacia los Estados Unidos en 2016 cuando todos se dedicaron como un coro a insultar a Trump?

Pero voy a hablar de una injerencia mucho más grave que esa y es la que tenemos en este momento en España. En España el Partido Socialista está a punto de hacer una alianza electoral con apoyo de los separatistas catalanes, pero con una alianza con los comunistas de Podemos. Podemos es una franquicia venezolana formada en Venezuela por Chávez y por los cubanos, financiada por ellos y que va a tener puesto en el Consejo de Ministros, con lo cual prácticamente vamos a tener a Maduro dentro del Consejo de Ministros en España. El riesgo de la injerencia masiva del Foro de São Paulo en toda Latinoamérica se va a repetir en Europa con esa alianza de los socialistas y los comunistas en España.

 
  
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  Michaela Šojdrová (PPE). – Paní předsedající, já jsem chtěla položit otázku zvednutím modré karty svým dvěma předřečníkům, protože myslím, že tady dochází ke směšování dvou pojmů. Jednak je to pojem ovlivňování, to znamená, když někdo někoho o něčem informuje pravdivě, nezávisle, a pojem síření lživých zpráv, a to je ten problém, se kterým se setkáváme. Šíření dezinformací je šíření lží! Nikdo tady není proti tomu, aby svobodná média včetně sociálních sítí šířila pravdivé informace. Proti tomu nikdo tady neprotestuje. Ale my všichni jsme si vědomi, že na sociálních sítích se šíří lživé informace, a proti tomu se musí postavit jak Evropská unie, tak členské státy. V České republice před ruskými a čínskými vlivy varuje například civilní rozvědka. V její výroční zprávě se upozorňuje na Ruskem podporovanou kampaň na sociálních sítích a v médiích s cílem oslabit Evropskou unii i NATO, a to formou lživých informací.

Ovlivňování politických procesů se snaží postavit členské státy do konfliktu a samozřejmě právě ve Velké Británii se to podařilo. To znamená, že tady jde o to zabránit šíření lží, ne omezovat svobodu médií. Naopak, my chceme svobodná média, po tom všichni voláme. Proto si myslím, že jak Evropská unie, tak členské státy musí podporovat autory, musí podporovat svobodu médií, veřejná média.

Já myslím, že teď tady právě stojíme před situací, kdy musí členské státy implementovat směrnici o audiovizuálních službách, směrnici o autorském právu, která zajistí podporu kvalitních médií. A já myslím, že o to jde. Prosím také o větší podporu StratComu, aby Evropská unie čelila tomu, co je jinde masivně finančně podporováno. Mluvím konkrétně o Číně a Rusku. Prosím, udělejte to!

 
  
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  Domènec Ruiz Devesa (S&D). – Señora presidenta, felicidades también a la señora Jourová por ser de nuevo comisaria y volver a la Comisión; tenemos muchos asuntos en los que trabajar conjuntamente, además de este. Sobre este, a mí me gustaría decir que los europeos y los responsables políticos de la Unión Europea tenemos que dejar de tener cualquier esperanza de ingenuidad, porque hay claramente una coalición de enemigos, exteriores a la Unión Europea, que busca debilitarla —si es que no también destruirla— y que además está en alianza con personas en el interior de nuestros Estados miembros, bien en movimientos políticos o en otras estructuras.

Esta es una realidad, y tenemos que dotarnos de los medios necesarios para hacer frente a esta amenaza y desactivarla. Pensemos que, por supuesto, tenemos en el ámbito de la Unión Europea prohibiciones para que potencias extranjeras financien campañas electorales para las elecciones europeas, pero ¿estamos seguros de que tenemos el mismo grado de protección en los Estados miembros? Porque a través de ahí también se desactiva y se daña a la Unión Europea.

 
  
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  Lucy Nethsingha (Renew). – Madam President, this debate is particularly timely for the UK where the issue of electoral interference is really high on the agenda in our current election. The Conservative Party in the UK has transformed beyond recognition over the last three years, and there are many in the UK who have huge concerns about the influence from both Russia and the USA in that massive change.

At the most basic level, the scale of donations from Russian oligarchs or their wives is extraordinary: GBP 200 000 from one individual in the first week of this election campaign alone. Those with deep pockets have always tried to influence elections, but the scale and the technology is new.

The impact of misinformation has been recognised by serious research, which has shown that those who have been fed false information are significantly harder to persuade of the true facts than people with no prior knowledge.

Years of relative peace and security after the end of the Cold War have allowed us here in Europe to grow relaxed about the dangers of foreign propaganda. We need to wake up to the serious threats facing our democracies. That means publishing the Russia files in the UK and getting tough with all forms of media about their responsibilities to validate the truth of what they publish.

 
  
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  Catherine Rowett (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, once upon a time, we would surely have named the British Parliament alongside Athens as twin archetypes for democracy. But every democracy need safeguards; its sanctions need to match the power of its emerging oligarchs.

If the UK safeguards once sufficed when the right honourable members in parliament were honourable and not so far right, those times seem long gone, as Boris Johnson’s ignominious cronies obstruct publication of the UK Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) report on Russian interference, redact the names of those involved, bribe millionaire lobbyists with cash for access, and avert their eyes from incriminating evidence against their own team over the 2016 Brexit campaign.

All this should have been rectified before precipitating yet another election accompanied by profligate spending, misinformation and manipulation with the very same individuals in the driving seat.

In Ancient Athens a pile of broken pot-shards solved such problems. Empowered with these, the demos could ostracise anyone who threatened the rule of law, isolating him from political office for 10 years. Modern democracy, too, needs a decent tool for this job, and it should include exclusion, since to the super-rich any fine seems just fine.

 
  
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  Silvia Sardone (ID). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, ma davvero stiamo parlando per l'ennesima volta delle interferenze di altri paesi nella nostra democrazia e nelle nostre elezioni? Io trovo veramente che siamo al tragicomico.

Voi non capite il voto del popolo. Voi vedete il voto della Brexit, Trump, Bolsonaro, le vittorie dei sovranisti in Europa o il trionfo della Lega di Matteo Salvini alle europee e vi domandate come sia possibile, per voi è un mistero. Quindi cercate di giustificare il voto popolare, che non accettate, inventando complotti assurdi e andando a imbavagliare Internet, perché secondo voi noi siamo i produttori di fake news.

Peccato che le notizie senza senso siete voi a darle, con la vostra propaganda europeista pagata dai contribuenti. È colpa vostra, e solo vostra, se l'Europa piace sempre meno. Siete chiusi nei palazzi e incapaci di ascoltare e rispondere alle esigenze dei cittadini. Schifate i populisti, perché voi siete incapaci di ascoltare e dare risposte al popolo.

Però, devo dire, davvero continuate così! Non fate autocritica e inventatevi delle giustificazioni complottiste al voto popolare. Noi continueremo a stare tra la gente, a rispondere alle esigenze dei cittadini e a tutelare gli interessi del nostro paese, con orgoglio e a testa alta.

 
  
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  Zdzisław Krasnodębski (ECR). – Pani Przewodnicząca! To jest kolejna debata na ten sam temat. Temat, problem wydaje się bardzo ważny, natomiast debata niepotrzebna. Wydaje mi się, że Parlament Europejski zdaje się ulegać teoriom spiskowym, wietrząc zewnętrzne interwencje w przypadku każdych wyborów, które nie odpowiadają głównym partiom. Wydaje mi się natomiast, że powinno nas martwić coś innego, inne formy ingerencji w procesy demokratyczne w Europie: na przykład wpływy rosyjskie w niemieckiej SPD poprzez dawnego kanclerza Gerharda Schrödera czy wpływy Gazpromu w tym kraju, wpływy na austriacką SPÖ poprzez byłego kanclerza Gusenbauera, wpływy rosyjskie także w innych partiach czy na prezydenta Macrona, co można odczuć w jego ostatnich wypowiedziach, szczególnie w słynnym wywiadzie dla The Economist. Jest to poważny problem i o nim też powinniśmy dyskutować.

 
  
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  Javier Zarzalejos (PPE). – Señora presidenta. Muchas felicidades, señora comisaria, por su renovación. La injerencia es un hecho, pero al mismo tiempo hay que saber que la injerencia es una estrategia. Por tanto, es un plan y es un objetivo. Y ese objetivo es debilitar nuestros sistemas democráticos y a la propia Unión Europea. Y, puestos a debilitar los sistemas democráticos y a la Unión Europea, nada mejor que utilizar a aquellos que en el pasado han destruido los sistemas democráticos europeos y han destruido a Europa, es decir, los nacionalismos y los populismos.

Afortunadamente, vivimos en sistemas democráticos y en una Unión Europea democrática en la que, entre otras cosas, permiten que se escuchen afirmaciones tan bizarras como la de que la canciller federal, Angela Merkel es una interferencia externa en Europa. Dicho lo cual, hay que afirmar que el desafío que lanzan países como Rusia, China y otros son desafíos existenciales que no admiten compromisos.

La injerencia no es solo cosa de redes sociales. Es manipulación de medios, es infiltración de agentes, es falsificación, es financiación de organizaciones pantalla y de partidos políticos. Resulta extremadamente grave, y además no es ningún secreto, que en Europa se haya detectado ya la presencia y la actividad de agentes del espionaje ruso en varios países de la Unión. El último, por cierto España, lo que ha determinado la apertura de una investigación judicial sobre la presencia y las actividades de estos agentes en Cataluña en torno a las fechas de la votación ilegal de 2017.

Pues bien, esta grave amenaza da un nuevo significado a la posición de la Comisión Europea como garante de los Tratados, en este caso como garante también de la arquitectura democrática de Europa. Tenemos que ser claros en la denuncia, tenemos que ser activos en la utilización de todos los medios y tenemos que ser claros también en exigir que todos, actores públicos y actores privados, asuman su responsabilidad a la hora de dar respuesta a esta amenaza.

 
  
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  Tonino Picula (S&D). – Poštovana predsjedavajuća, drago mi je što ova tema opet dolazi na našu agendu unatoč nedavnom tijesnom odbijanju inicijative socijalista i demokrata za osnivanjem posebnog odbora.

Sa svakim novim izborima u zemljama članicama uviđamo opseg ovog problema. Zadnji slučaj su skori izbori u Velikoj Britaniji. Nedopustivo je da strane digitalne platforme bez provjeravanja istinitosti sadržaja, samo na osnovu plaćenih oglasa, dijele neprovjerene informacije. Građani su jasno prepoznali ovaj problem. Čak dvije trećine izrazilo je zabrinutost.

No, treba naglasiti kako prevenciju stranog uplitanja u izborne procese ne treba ograničiti samo na sprečavanje širenja lažnih vijesti. Neophodno je raditi na otkrivanju stranih izvora financiranja političkih stranaka i njihov utjecaj na sadržaj političkih kampanja. Zato još jednom pozivam kolege da podrže osnivanje posebnog odbora za istraživanje stranih utjecaja na naše izborne procese.

Slobodni i transparentni izbori su temelj demokratskog procesa i obrana europske vrijednosti. Zbog toga institucije Europske unije moraju pružiti konkretan odgovor na ovaj rastući problem.

 
  
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  Barbara Ann Gibson (Renew). – Madam President, looking at this issue, I feel like I’ve discovered the arch-villain in a James Bond film. All the plot lines seem to lead to one man – Steve Bannon – who has openly declared his plans to fund and orchestrate a populist nationalist movement to take over the world. This incredible plot is credible, because he’s been the driver behind Cambridge Analytica and Breitbart News, a propaganda machine synonymous with fake news. We’ve seen allegations of dark money, dirty data and campaigns based on lies and hate, designed to discourage specific groups of people from voting. The evidence is strong that this interference influenced the outcome of the Brexit referendum. Steve Bannon is a puppet master and his puppets include Donald Trump, Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage. Investigations have uncovered foreign dark money pouring into their campaigns. This is not a fictional film plot: this is a strategic campaign of manipulation that threatens not only the outcome of single elections, but also our democracies, our cultures and our freedoms. It must be stopped.

 
  
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  Ellie Chowns (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, today we are debating interference from other countries in our democracies and elections, a topic which is sadly very topical in my own country of the UK. We’ve all had enough of lies and misinformation, so my speech is composed of three facts and one question.

Fact one: on 17 October, the UK Intelligence and Security Committee of our Parliament finalised its report on allegations of Russian interference in UK elections, particularly the June 2016 Brexit referendum. It passed that report to Downing Street. It should have been published within ten days, according to the Chairman of that Committee.

Fact two: a leaked early version of that report found that Russia could indeed have influenced the outcome of the referendum and also raises questions about links between Boris Johnson – our current Prime Minister, the Conservative Party, and Russian donors.

Fact three: that same Boris Johnson has sat on that report and refused to publish it according to the normal timetable. The Chairman of the Committee, Dominic Grieve, has called that action jaw—dropping and said that Boris Johnson’s excuses are bogus.

So my question is this: what is it that Boris Johnson is so desperate to hide? You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to deduce the answer.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Hélène Laporte (ID). – Madame la Présidente, chers collègues, lorsqu’on aborde la question des ingérences extérieures dans nos élections, il est bon ton de taper systématiquement sur la Russie. Ces accusations relèvent de l’obsession et n’ont vocation qu’à justifier des sanctions à l’égard des Russes ainsi qu’un rapprochement plus atlantiste, comme si la guerre froide était toujours d’actualité.

On en oublie les ingérences internes à nos démocraties. Car, qui a voté une résolution afin de sanctionner le gouvernement de Viktor Orbán, officiellement pour violation de l’état de droit, officieusement pour le refus du plan de relocalisation des migrants? C’est le Parlement européen. Qui regarde avec bienveillance les ONG, comme celle de George Soros, qui font la promotion de l’immigration de masse et servent les intérêts politiques contraires à ceux de nos nations? C’est l’Union européenne. Qui s’est montré intraitable avec le gouvernement britannique sur les négociations du Brexit afin de dissuader toute autre initiative de même nature? C’est également l’Union européenne. Pour finir, qui a créé en 2015 une task force chargée de contrôler les informations qualifiées de douteuses circulant sur la toile? Dans la langue française, cela s’appelle la censure. Là encore, c’est l’Union européenne.

La désinformation à laquelle vous ne cessez de faire référence ne serait-elle pas, finalement, une information qui ne rentre pas dans le cadre de votre politiquement correct? Nous pouvons en effet nous poser la question. Ces éléments démontrent une nouvelle fois qu’en matière d’ingérence, l’Union européenne et son Parlement ne sont pas en reste, raison pour laquelle cette institution perd en effet toute légitimité à débattre de ce sujet.

 
  
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  Ruža Tomašić (ECR). – Poštovana predsjedavajuća, uplitanje stranih država u izborne procese u Europi, bilo da se radi o nacionalnoj ili nadnacionalnoj razini, nije ništa novo. Strane sile oduvijek pokušavaju ostvariti politički utjecaj na europske države, između ostalih i na takav način. Zbog tehnološkog napretka danas smo možda izloženiji nego prije, ali je namjera vanjskih faktora ista.

Važno je zaštititi se od stranog utjecaja na naše izborne i općenito političke procese. To je u interesu naših građana koji su često meta propagandnih djelatnosti, posebno osmišljenih da ih dovedu u zabludu.

Ali jednako je tako važno da prestanemo sami sebe obmanjivati pripisujući drugima vlastite propuste. Rastuće nezadovoljstvo političkim elitama i demokratskim institucijama u Europi samo je dijelom plod strane propagande, a puno više lošeg rada europskih političara koji su se udaljili od naroda.

 
  
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  Frances Fitzgerald (PPE). – Madam President, we are living in an age of misinformation. We are facing a crisis in our ‘information ecosystem’, as Lydia Polgreen described it. The viral spread of misinformation has wreaked havoc in our political systems, namely through interference in our democracies and elections. To emphasise the threat we face: in the first quarter of 2019, 2.2 billion fake Facebook accounts were removed, and Twitter challenged almost 77 million spam or fake accounts. From the Brexit referendum, to the election of President Trump, to the recent European elections, all have been subjected in some way to disinformation campaigns.

While fake news proliferates, high-quality journalism suffers. Populations are best served by a political system held to account by a well briefed, expert media who are sceptical – not cynical, and inquisitive – not inquisitorial. Consensus is not truth. Rumour is not fact. Defamation is not heroism. Career destruction is not systemic reform. Europeans recognise the threat of misinformation, and they want action.

A recent Eurobarometer poll showed that 83% of Europeans think that fake news is a threat to our democracy. There is a serious urgency to this. Doing nothing risks the fundamental foundations of our democracy. We need a quick—access route to deal with online lies. For too long, social media has operated as a Wild West of human discourse. The snowflake never needs to feel responsible for the Avalanche. We must have well—funded cybersecurity systems in place to counter the threat of fake news and foreign interference, with all Member States working together. Without proper facts and information, our laws will have little value. Without proper facts, our citizens cannot be confident in our institutions, including this one. So for this mandate, let’s ensure that our political system places the highest value in truth and fact.

 
  
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  Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D). – Señora presidenta, comisaria Jourová, muchos esta mañana hemos votado con una amplia mayoría el apoyo a la Comisión de la que usted es vicepresidenta. Esperamos mucho de su equipo: un presupuesto al alza —por fin con recursos propios—, la restauración de la agenda social, pero sobre todo la defensa del estado de Derecho, la democracia y los valores europeos, de los que usted es responsable en su cartera de Valores y Transparencia.

En todas las lenguas de la Unión se han relatado en esta sesión, de nuevo, episodios de interferencia en procesos electorales. Imposible que yo no mencione la investigación activada en la Audiencia Nacional, en España, por la injerencia del siniestro grupo de espías rusos expertos en desestabilización de la Unidad 29155.

Pero no están solos, ni es la única amenaza. También el siniestro Steve Bannon habita entre nosotros, y siempre en favor del populismo, la ultraderecha y el nacionalismo reaccionario. Y, por tanto, no basta solo con poner en marcha un working group, ni tampoco con la comisión especial que requerimos en este Parlamento Europeo. Es imprescindible invertir en una arquitectura de inteligencia europea que defienda la democracia. Nada hay más importante que defender los valores europeos y defender la democracia en la Unión Europea.

 
  
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  Katalin Cseh (Renew). – Madam President, behind the Article 7 procedure there is George Soros, as his people cannot accept that Hungary will not welcome migrants. Cohesion funds will be taken away and given to Soros’ organisations. We won’t be a European colony. Just a few examples of good old school disinformation at its finest, straight from the heart of the European Union. Fake news, bots, troll farms, propaganda, disinformation. In case you haven’t noticed, we are at war, and the stakes could not be higher. We are fighting for truth. Not our truth, not their truth, not anyone’s truth: it is the fight for objective facts and reality and – eventually – our sanity, and we are losing.

We live in an era where facts and fiction are intertwined, and the border between arguments and propaganda is blurred. But I believe we have much to protect: the very foundation of our democracies depends on our ability to defend our values, our principles, and the right to objective truth. The EU as a community of shared values must be at the forefront of this fight. With Brexit, we have already witnessed how disinformation leads to disintegration, and for once, history should not repeat itself.

 
  
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  Maximilian Krah (ID). – Frau Präsidentin! Ich bin im kommunistischen Teil Deutschlands aufgewachsen, und ich erinnere mich noch an die Schulbücher, in denen erklärt wurde, dass der RIAS in Berlin oder Radio Free Europe versuchen würden, die demokratischen Prozesse des Sozialismus zu unterminieren. Insofern stelle ich fest: Ich komme offenbar aus der Zukunft, wenn ich die bemerkenswerten Verschwörungstheorien der Kollegin Gibson höre oder den spanischen Vorschlag, am besten gleich mit einem europäischen Geheimdienst der freien Meinungsäußerung und dem Wettbewerb der Nachrichten den Garaus zu machen.

Meine Damen und Herren, die Leute wählen deshalb Parteien, die Ihnen nicht gefallen, weil ihnen Ihre Politik nicht gefällt. Die Leute informieren sich deshalb aus objektiven – auch ausländischen – Nachrichtenquellen, weil sie merken, dass sie von den öffentlich-rechtlichen, aber auch den regierungsnahen privaten Fernseh- und Radiosendern nicht ausreichend informiert werden.

Wer konnte denn im öffentlich-rechtlichen Rundfunk erklären, warum Trump gewählt wurde oder wie es zum Krieg in der Ostukraine kommt? Nichts als Verschwörungstheorien findet man da, aber keine profunde Analyse.

Wer sich also um die Demokratie Gedanken macht, der muss den Wettstreit der Meinungen und die Konkurrenz der Anbieter herstellen, aber sicherlich nicht mit Geheimdiensten versuchen, andere Meinungen mundtot zu machen.

 
  
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  Ryszard Czarnecki (ECR). – Pani Przewodnicząca! Pani Komisarz! To Pani pierwszy dyżur, pierwsze wystąpienie po wyborze Komisji Europejskiej, więc gratulacje! Głosowałem na Panią po raz drugi w ciągu pięciu lat i życzę Pani i Komisji powodzenia. Ja powiem w ten sposób, że trzeba mówić bardzo otwarcie o tej ingerencji z zewnątrz. Nie wolno tego demonizować. Jest to duży problem, choć też nie byłoby dobrze, żeby ci, którzy przegrywają wybory, upatrywali źródeł porażki właśnie w ingerencji czynników zewnętrznych. To nie jest poważne.

Przestrzegałbym przed takim bardzo jednostronnym spoglądaniem na ten problem, to znaczy, że jeżeli ja słyszę w wystąpieniu, że nie ma w ogóle problemu Rosji i że jest tylko Steve, a nie ma Władimira Władimirowicza, to mam takie wrażenie, że ktoś tu jest w świecie wirtualnym, i zapraszam do realu. Oczywiście Rosja – ale nie tylko Rosja – ingeruje, powinniśmy to wiedzieć, powinniśmy to napiętnować, powinniśmy tu być solidarni.

 
  
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  Bartosz Arłukowicz (PPE). – Pani Przewodnicząca! Żyjemy w ciekawych, ale bardzo trudnych czasach. Żyjemy w czasach, w których żeby zdestabilizować inne państwo, nie trzeba już dzisiaj wjeżdżać czołgami czy płynąć łodziami podwodnymi. Ale skoro żyjemy w ciekawych czasach, musimy uświadomić sobie, jak wielka odpowiedzialność spoczywa w rękach polityków. Jestem lekarzem i moje wykształcenie nauczyło mnie tego, że aby dobrze problem rozwiązać, trzeba go dobrze zdiagnozować, czyli mówić prawdę o tym, co się dzieje tu i teraz. Bezpieczeństwo naszych dzieci – nie nas, ale naszych dzieci – leży dzisiaj w naszych rękach i zależy od naszych decyzji.

Powinniśmy uświadomić sobie to, że wielkim wyzwaniem dla naszych przeciwników, dla wielkich mocarstw jest dokładnie destabilizacja i chaos w Unii Europejskiej. Nie trzeba wyważać otwartych drzwi, wystarczy zapoznać się ze strategią Gierasimowa (Gierasimow był szefem Sztabu Generalnego Sił Zbrojnych Federacji Rosyjskiej). Napisał on w siedmiu punktach, co trzeba zrobić, żeby zdestabilizować inne państwo, nie wjeżdżając tam ani jednym czołgiem. Odpowiedzmy sobie na pytanie, czy te procesy nie dzieją się w naszych państwach.

Punkt pierwszy strategii Gierasimowa to dezintegracja społeczna, przeciwstawienie sobie grup społecznych, budowanie lepszych i gorszych. Punkt drugi strategii Gierasimowa to dewaluacja elit i wymiana elit spośród ludzi, którzy dzisiaj elity stanowią, na ludzi, którymi będzie łatwiej sterować i manipulować. Punkt trzeci to dezorganizacja administracji państwowej – odpowiedzmy sobie na pytanie, czy to nie dzieje się dzisiaj w Unii Europejskiej i w państwach członkowskich. Kolejny punkt, czwarty, strategii Gierasimowa to centralizacja władzy – musimy sobie odpowiedzieć, czy dzisiaj władza nie ulega właśnie centralizacji, którą jest łatwiej potem sterować? W końcu następuje zmiana historii, zmiana bohaterów historycznych, zmiana prawdy historycznej. I ostatni punkt strategii to niszczenie prawa. Odpowiedzmy sobie na pytanie, czy Gierasimow nie przewidział skutecznej metody dezinformacji i chaosu.

 
  
  

VORSITZ: OTHMAR KARAS
Vizepräsident

 
  
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  Carlos Zorrinho (S&D). – Senhor Presidente, a democracia faz parte da nossa matriz genética. Por ela temos lutado arduamente e somos uma referência global do Estado de direito, liberdade de expressão e escolha política.

Mas hoje estamos colocados perante novos desafios, difusos, disseminados pela torrente cada vez mais forte de informação, verdadeira ou manipulada, indutora de emoções e contextos que influenciam os resultados e a escolha dos eleitores, a partir de territórios virtuais não delimitados pelas fronteiras físicas.

E por isso temos que travar um combate global. E que armas temos? A literacia digital generalizada e o acesso universal à Internet são uma base fundamental. A aplicação dos valores partilhados, como embrião de uma identidade digital europeia, é muito urgente.

O aprofundamento de um código ético interno e incluído nas nossas parcerias internacionais faz, Senhora Comissária, mais sentido do que nunca.

Temos que nos unir em torno da defesa da democracia europeia e fazer de cada cidadão um soldado neste combate, antes que outros os continuem a recrutar para, em última análise, nos enfraquecerem.

 
  
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  Dragoş Tudorache (Renew). – Domnule președinte, dragi colegi, aș vrea să vorbesc astăzi despre responsabilități. Prima este responsabilitatea celor care comandă, dirijează sau finanțează acțiuni de subminare a proceselor democratice în statele noastre membre. Să o spunem foarte clar, e vorba de o formă de agresiune asimetrică de care este responsabilă Rusia și răspunsul nostru politic trebuie să rămână cât se poate de ferm. În al doilea rând vorbim de o responsabilitate a celor care gestionează tehnologiile folosite pentru asemenea acțiuni subversive. Codul de conduită semnat cu marile platforme online e un pas bun. Dacă e și suficient, rămâne de văzut. Noi trebuie să ne păstrăm spațiul politic de analiză și apreciere și să cerem acestor platforme un grad cât mai ridicat de transparență și responsabilitate. A treia este răspunderea noastră, a instituțiilor europene. Dacă luăm în serios aceste amenințări la adresa democrației, trebuie să alocăm resursele necesare pentru a le combate. E o responsabilitate pe care vă propun să o discutăm serios în cadrul dezbaterilor bugetare viitoare. Mulțumesc.

 
  
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  Jaak Madison (ID). – Mr President, this is a very important topic, and foreign and local interference in European democracies and elections is a clear and direct violation of Member States sovereignty and should be treated as such. It is key for all Member States to ensure that, specifically in relation to cyber threats, security policies are developed and effectively implemented.

However, the current trend of blaming an unfavourable election result on foreign interference must end. The left has been notorious in blaming election results that do not suit them on interference from a foreign power. This not only undercuts European democracies but also underestimates the intelligence of European voters. Equally, the impact of the distribution of this information by foreign powers and local actors alike must not be underestimated.

It should also be pointed out that right-wing political parties have been disproportionately and unfairly accused of using and benefiting from such disinformation. In this regard. I will therefore emphasise that all forms of disinformation should be countered even when directed against right-wing political parties, in accordance with the European values of equality, rule of law and democracy.

 
  
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  Geoffroy Didier (PPE). – Monsieur le Président, dans ce débat, il ne s’agit pas d’empêcher les dirigeants d’un pays étranger d’afficher leurs préférences et, encore moins, leur vision du monde. On se souvient, par exemple, que François Hollande avait – à tort, certes – fait d’Hillary Clinton la future présidente des États-Unis en 2016. On se rappelle qu’un an plus tard, Emmanuel Macron avait suggéré aux Polonais – non sans une certaine arrogance, d’ailleurs – de se doter de meilleurs dirigeants.

L’objet de ce débat ne doit pas être de souhaiter que des responsables politiques ne puissent plus donner leur avis. La vraie question, c’est celle de la nature des moyens employés. Aujourd’hui, certaines puissances étrangères ont bien compris que plus de la moitié des Européens s’informaient uniquement sur les réseaux sociaux. Grâce à un usage détourné des algorithmes, des bots et de l’intelligence artificielle, beaucoup d’internautes européens finissent malheureusement par davantage croire des anonymes, qui postent des avis diffamatoires et haineux, que leurs dirigeants, qui ont pourtant été élus démocratiquement. Sur Twitter, plus de 150 000 comptes russophones ont été créés en anglais en 2016, quelques semaines avant le référendum sur le Brexit, et ce pour déstabiliser l’Europe.

Je vous annonce que je saisirai ces prochains jours la toute nouvelle Commission européenne – que je félicite – pour qu’elle mette en place un programme de détection des messages convergents venus des puissances étrangères, et ce pour alerter la population sur les réseaux sociaux en temps de campagne électorale. Les moyens technologiques de cette ambition existent parfaitement, et le rôle de l’Union européenne est d’être beaucoup plus offensif et d’aller concurrencer les manipulateurs sur leur propre terrain. Les internautes européens n’ont quand même pas vocation à devenir les valets numériques des intérêts russes ou américains.

Faisons nôtre cette belle conviction d’Hannah Arendt, qui disait: «Le totalitarisme, c’est quand la distinction entre le fait et la fiction n’existe plus». La naïveté de l’Europe n’étant malheureusement pas une fiction, faisons au moins de la réactivité de l’Union européenne une réalité.

 
  
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  Maria Grapini (S&D). – Domnule Președinte, felicitări, doamna comisar, pentru realegere. Sigur, nu e prima dată când dezbatem acest subiect. Uniunea Europeană declară încă din 2015 că se va ocupa în mod activ de dezinformare și știri false. Însă iată ce avem acum: jumătate din țările membre OECD unde au fost alegeri în 2018 au fost vizate de atacuri cibernetice, de trei ori mai mult decât în 2015. Evident, trăim în epoca rețelelor sociale și alegătorii sunt principala țintă, chiar mai mult decât candidații în alegeri. Știm toți în țara noastră că se întâmplă acest lucru. Ingerințele străine online au ca obiectiv imediat, evident, manipularea informațiilor și schimbarea opiniei alegătorului. Nu trebuie, doamna comisar, să fugim de reglementare. Democrația nu înseamnă numai drepturi, nu înseamnă haos. Fără a îngrădi libertatea presei, trebuie să luăm decizia și aveți rezoluția Parlamentului. Comisia nou aleasă trebuie să vină cu o propunere concretă. Nu putem lăsa fiecare stat să reglementeze. Informațiile trec peste graniță și de aceea cred că trebuie să avem măsuri concrete pentru eliminarea știrilor false și influența în alegeri în fiecare țară.

 
  
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  Irina Von Wiese (Renew). – Mr President, despite knowing that there was large-scale foreign interference in the 2016 Brexit referendum, the UK has failed to implement measures to protect voters from malicious influence online. Experts, including the Commons Digital Committee, have warned that the UK is vulnerable to foreign meddling – notably by Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump, who both have a keen interest in fostering Brexit and weakening the EU.

We urgently need to update our electoral laws and improve social media regulation. Previous UK governments have outlined plans to improve transparency and clamp down on digital election interference, but nothing has happened. Boris Johnson has neglected the integrity of our democracy and ignored his duty to protect citizens. Why? Because investigating this vital issue raises uncomfortable questions about the legality of the 2016 Brexit referendum. Is this the reason Johnson refuses to disclose the Russian interference report? It is time to get rid of Johnson, his Brexit and his lies, and to give the British people the brighter future they deserve.

 
  
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  Mathilde Androuët (ID). – Monsieur le Président, bien que ce débat ait été demandé pour dire du mal de la Russie, permettez-moi de déroger à votre règle afin de dénoncer une ingérence plus proche, celle de la Turquie. En effet, ce pays ne cache pas ses ambitions européennes, qui ne sont pas franchement amicales.

Les récents forages turcs au large de Chypre confirment la fâcheuse tendance qu’a la Turquie de faire fi de l’intégrité territoriale européenne. Le chantage permanent et l’envoi de colonnes de migrants en Europe est aussi une démonstration de force insupportable que nous ne devrions pas accepter. L’ingérence politique est criante lorsque M. Erdoğan, après que l’Allemagne et les Pays-Bas ont légitimement empêché des ministres turcs de faire campagne pour le renforcement de ses pouvoirs sur leur territoire, s’est vexé et a exhorté sa diaspora à faire beaucoup d’enfants pour jouer sur l’avenir de l’Europe. Cela s’appelle une menace de conquête démographique.

Lors des dernières élections législatives en France, nous avons vu fleurir 68 candidatures du parti Égalité et justice, parti islamiste qui souhaite développer le communautarisme turc en Europe. L’ingérence se retrouve également dans la liberté de la presse. Lorsque M. Erdoğan est critiqué en une des magazines, des hommes de main attaquent les kiosques de journaux. Quand la France débat de l’interdiction du port du voile des accompagnatrices scolaires – sujet purement intérieur – le ministre des affaires étrangères turc condamne le Sénat français par la voie officielle.

Toute cette liste, hélas non exhaustive, prouve qu’il serait bienvenu que la Turquie s’occupe de ses affaires et cesse de vouloir revivre les plus grandes heures de l’Empire ottoman, mort il y a de cela un siècle. Le sultan Erdoğan n’a pas vocation à devenir empereur d’Europe. Il serait bon que notre instance le lui rappelle.

 
  
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  Isabel Benjumea Benjumea (PPE). – Señor presidente, la diferencia entre una dictadura y una democracia está precisamente en el hecho de poder votar en libertad cada cierto tiempo para confirmar o cambiar a los gobernantes. Es uno de los derechos y obligaciones más importantes que tienen los ciudadanos.

Como española, les hablo con conocimiento de causa y no puedo pasar por alto, en este debate sobre el ejercicio libre del derecho a votar, el testimonio de heroísmo de aquellos que, en el País Vasco y en Navarra, durante décadas, defendieron la democracia y la libertad bajo la presión de la banda terrorista ETA, que mantenía un brazo político dependiente de ella, y se aprovechaba del terror que provocaba para obtener una representación política que no le correspondía. Por cierto, uno de sus líderes destacados, el señor Pernando Barrena, condenado por pertenecer a la banda terrorista ETA, es hoy eurodiputado.

Señorías, hoy afrontamos una nueva amenaza exterior, provocada por quienes desean el fracaso de nuestro ambicioso proyecto político. Las injerencias en los procesos electorales son el instrumento de los enemigos de las sociedades abiertas, los regímenes autoritarios y las fuerzas populistas. Se trata de una amenaza global que hemos visto con las fake news en el Brexit, o en la injerencia en procesos electorales en la Unión Europea, como en Francia, y que también sufrimos en España durante la crisis del desafío secesionista en Cataluña en 2017.

Conscientes de ello, debemos asumir que vamos a recibir ataques permanentemente contra nuestra estabilidad, es decir, contra nuestra libertad. Algunos de esos ataques y amenazas resultan evidentes, otros aparentemente invisibles, pero igualmente perturbadores. Como sabemos, todos estos ataques pretenden lo mismo: desestabilizarnos, dividirnos, confundirnos y, por último, debilitarnos.

Por tanto, debemos reaccionar ya y defendernos de ellos, y para ello necesitamos más medios para detectar cómo lo hacen, más inteligencia compartida para prevenir sus efectos indeseables, más unidad para enfrentarnos juntos a nuestros adversarios y sus ataques. Necesitamos unas instituciones que garanticen la limpieza de los procesos electorales, y necesitamos incidir en la educación, en las humanidades, formando ciudadanos responsables. Si no protegemos que el proceso de votar se realice correctamente y en total libertad, estaremos aceptando la devaluación de la calidad democrática en nuestros países. Nos jugamos nuestra propia credibilidad.

 
  
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  Raphaël Glucksmann (S&D). – Monsieur le Président, chers collègues, nous voici encore une fois réunis pour débattre de l’ingérence de forces extérieures dans nos élections. Cette fois, c’est à la demande de nos amis anglais; avant, c’était à la demande de nos amis italiens, et cela continuera ainsi.

Qu’allons-nous faire face à cela? Allons-nous passer cinq ans à nous lamenter que Vladimir Poutine manipule notre système électoral? Allons-nous passer cinq ans à multiplier des résolutions creuses et non suivies d’effet? Nous, nous avons proposé une commission spéciale chargée d’enquêter sur ces ingérences et d’établir les moyens qui permettent de lutter contre. Mais pour de vils calculs politiciens, vous n’avez pas voté pour cette commission, ce qui a retardé notre effort.

Alors, si nous sommes sérieux, nous devons arrêter de commenter les ingérences extérieures et nous devons agir. Mettons en place cette commission spéciale, faisons les recommandations qui protégeront nos démocraties et agissons, parce que nos adversaires, eux, n’attendent pas qu’on se réveille pour agir.

 
  
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  Naomi Long (Renew). – Mr President, in the middle of a UK general election campaign, it is right to be vigilant to the threats posed to our democracy by foreign powers, not least as the lessons of the Brexit referendum have not been learned. Investigative journalism first uncovered the dark money that flowed through Northern Ireland into Great Britain in the crucial last week of that campaign, but some of the murkier details have yet to be fully exposed. And across the UK, we still don’t know the extent of the Russian interference in our politics, as Boris Johnson refuses to release the intelligence report into Russian covert actions in the UK. The way we consume information and conduct our politics in the digital age leaves us vulnerable to targeted propaganda and disinformation campaigns, including those orchestrated from overseas. Social media platforms have largely failed us. Just this week, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, who invented the World Wide Web, has called for action to tackle disinformation. But we should not ignore the old ways of distorting and disrupting democracy. In Northern Ireland candidates and parties have faced intimidation and threats by paramilitaries in this election, we must fight to continue to uphold the integrity of our democracy.

 
  
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  Stanislav Polčák (PPE). – Pane předsedající, zasahování do našich demokracií a voleb je skutečně mimořádně závažné téma. I já se připojuji ke svým kolegům. Samozřejmě k tomuto jednání docházelo i v minulosti, ale je otázka, jaké nástroje jsme schopni používat a jestli už jsme některé bitvy skutečně neprohráli, viz otázka například brexitu. Já sám si říkám, že pokud taková demokracie, náš vzor demokratických pravidel – Velká Británie –, tento souboj prohrála, jestli není opravdu vhodné využít nějakou celoevropskou akci. Já mám velkou důvěru v paní komisařku a velká očekávání máme, myslím, všichni. Do jejího portfolia patří právě hodnoty demokracie, svobodných voleb, které ona opakovaně vyzdvihuje. A my samozřejmě vnímáme, že tato hodnota je skutečně klíčová. Ty příklady, které byly uvedeny, jsou jenom špičkou ledovce. Vměšování do našich členských států probíhá frontálním útokem ze strany Ruska, Číny, ale i dalších aktérů. Byli zde již také zmíněni.

Ruské nástroje v zahraniční politice: ten první je vždycky jasný, lež. Dále fake news, šíření dezinformací a samozřejmě také dezintegrace těchto společností. Já bych si dovolil vyzdvihnout ze všech těch států, o kterých zde bylo hovořeno, například i Českou republiku a zprávu, kterou vydala Bezpečnostní informační služba České republiky. Cituji: „Rusko se podle Bezpečnostní informační služby pokouší manipulovat rozhodovacími procesy na všech úrovních státní správy. Využívá přitom ekonomické, politické, vojenské i informační tlaky a zdánlivé nedokonalosti státních institucí a demokratických procesů, například dlouhý legislativní proces, parlamentní diskuse nebo správní procedury.“

Já myslím, že tomuto nebezpečí nemůžeme čelit nějakou izolovanou akcí nebo kooperací pouze se soukromým sektorem. Toto vyžaduje skutečně celoevropskou akci a pevně věřím, že se jí dočkáme.

 
  
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  Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz (S&D). – Mr President, what is the difference between the recent acts of interference in democratic procedures and meddling in domestic politics of other countries so well known from history? Due to the new communication techniques, it is possible to reach millions of people by sending them fake news and suggestive comments without disclosing the authors, thus depriving the receivers of any possibility to verify and interpret the news independently. Unfortunately, the worst is yet to come, and it will happen soon. The artificial intelligence revolution offers unlimited opportunities to create so-called deep fake. Voters in democratic countries will be totally disoriented. Democracy is at risk and should defend itself. This Parliament has a special mandate and responsibility in that regard. It should empower itself with new instruments to be able to execute its role.

 
  
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  Petras Auštrevičius (Renew). – Mr President, at the House of European history the exposition starts with introducing visitors to the myth about the abduction and seduction of Europe by a white bull. I am afraid that today’s Europe, and to be more precise, the European Union, is facing a very similar attempt, only this time, instead of the charming god, we are under siege of internet trolls which, thanks to modern technology, do not even need to cross physical borders. These intruders are undermining our democratic processes and compromising our values.

The response to that must be seen as our joint fight for our common future. In my country, Lithuania, journalists and civil society were the first ones, and the most efficient ones, to expose Russian disinformation and to increase our societies’ resilience. Last month we passed a resolution on foreign electoral interference and disinformation in our democracies. Colleagues, it’s time to act and implement approaches listed in this resolution.

 
  
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  Milan Zver (PPE). – Gospod predsednik! Bolj kot smo spletno povezani, večja je verjetnost, da postanemo žrtev tistih, ki v kibernetskem prostoru kradejo podatke, delajo propagando, nadzirajo ljudi in sisteme, uničujejo infrastrukturo ali celo prirejajo volilne izide.

Število kibernetskih kriminalnih dejanj potencialno narašča, tarče bojevnikov 21. stoletja niso le vlade, multinacionalne organizacije, kot je NATO, gospodarstva in infrastruktura, ampak tudi nebogljeni posamezniki.

Napadalci pa običajno niso volkovi samotarji. V kibernetski vojni, ki je postala globalni fenomen, tanke in vojake zamenjujejo strežniki in računalniški eksperti. V digitalnem okolju lahko en računalniški virus prinese večje opustošenje kot konvencionalni vojaški napad.

Dejstvo je, da ruski režim vodi kibernetsko vojno proti Evropski uniji, ki jo razpoznava kot naravnega sovražnika ravno zaradi naših vrednot in domnevno našega dekadentnega načina življenja.

Rusi so se dokazano vmešavali v kampanjo za brexit in posegali v evropske volitve. Do potankosti so dokumentirani tudi Putinovi napori za vpliv na izid volitev v ZDA, kar je dokazala tudi preiskava FBI. A za ZDA me ne skrbi, saj so te grožnje pravočasno zaznali in vzpostavili imunost.

Bolj me skrbi za Evropo. Mislim, da zamujamo pri varnosti in zaščiti naših demokratičnih procesov in inštitucij. Grožnje protiobveščevalnih služb naraščajo tako v obsegu kot v kompleksnosti.

Sem pa vesel, da se predsednica Evropske komisije Ursula von der Leyen zaveda problema. Danes je omenila, da bo z novo agencijo za kibernetsko varnost zagotovila usklajen evropski odgovor. Bolj bi mi bila sicer všeč beseda enoten odgovor, a tudi to je korak naprej.

 
  
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  Klára Dobrev (S&D). – Tisztelt Elnök Úr! Európában a huszadik században számos alkalommal láttuk, amikor a demokrácia, az alkotmányosság eszközeit felhasználva végül diktatúrák kerültek hatalomra, és mindegyiknek szörnyű és gyászos vége lett. És amikor azt hittük, hogy már magunk mögött tudjuk ezt az időszakot, azt látjuk, most itt a huszonegyedik században, hogy a szólásszabadság, – úgy is mondanám, hogy a szent szólásszabadság – mögé bújva törnek újra gonosz erők az európai demokráciára és szabadságra.

És persze pontosan látjuk, hogy Oroszország mindenáron veszekedést akar szítani Európában. Pontosan látjuk, hogy a célja az, hogy ne tudjunk erős Európát építeni. Csak teszi ezt úgy, hogy felhasználja közben szélsőséges pártok segítségét. Látjuk ezt Olaszországban, Franciaországban, Ausztriában, Nagy-Britanniában, és ami nekem a legfájdalmasabb, hogy Magyarországon, a saját kormányom működik közre az orosz dezinformációban.

Európának határozott eszközökre van szüksége, és cselekednie kell ez ellen.

 
  
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  Ivars Ijabs (Renew). – Dārgais prezidenta kungs, dārgā Jurovas kundze! Ja mēs gribam cīnīties pret maldinošas informācijas plūdiem un šo manipulāciju, mums šeit nepietiek pieņemt likumus. Mums ir vajadzīgas tādas digitālās tehnoloģijas, kas apsteigtu un neitralizētu demokrātijai naidīgos spēkus Krievijā, Ķīnā un visur citur, lai viņiem vienkārši neļautu graut mūsu vērtības.

Viens piemērs šeit ir tā sauktie dziļie viltojumi jeb deepfakes, kad ar mākslīgā intelekta palīdzību par kādu cilvēku tiek izplatīti maldinoši video un audio. Ļaunprātīgās rokās tie var ļoti nopietni apdraudēt vēlētāju iespējas izdarīt jebkādu informētu un patstāvīgu izvēli. To mēs varam apkarot tikai ar gudrākām tehnoloģijām, kas ļautu identificēt un izķert, un brīdināt pilsoņus par šādiem masveida meliem, taču tam ir nepieciešamas savlaicīgas investīcijas mākslīgā saprāta tehnoloģijās un par to ir jādomā tādās programmās kā Apvārsnis Eiropa, Digitālā Eiropa un Eiropas Aizsardzības fonds. Visbeidzot, cīņa ar meliem mūs neatbrīvo no pienākuma palīdzēt patiesībai, proti, godīgiem un godprātīgiem medijiem.

 
  
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  Brando Benifei (S&D). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, continuano a ripetersi con preoccupante frequenza gravissimi episodi di ingerenza negli affari domestici nei nostri paesi.

La lista è lunga: da Cambridge Analytica a Leave.EU, i prestiti presso banche estere del 2016 al Front National, le accuse di finanziamento illecito verso il Partito della libertà austriaco, le indagini giornalistiche e giudiziarie nei confronti della Lega, in occasione della campagna per le elezioni europee. La notizia più recente riguarda la decisione del premier Boris Johnson di bloccare la pubblicazione di un report contenente i risultati di 18 mesi di indagine su possibili interferenze russe nel Regno Unito.

Abbiamo il dovere di difendere l'Unione europea e i nostri cittadini da questi attacchi, che rappresentano una forma di guerra ibrida volta a destabilizzare la nostra democrazia. Serve una commissione speciale del Parlamento europeo per far luce su questi fatti, una volta per tutte.

Quest'Aula ha già approvato lo scorso 10 ottobre, a larghissima maggioranza, una risoluzione molto netta, che dice chiaramente che abbiamo bisogno di nuovi strumenti. Chi ha votato contro? La Lega di Salvini, il Brexit Party di Farage, il Rassemblement National di Marine le Pen. Che strano, proprio loro!

 
  
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  Maite Pagazaurtundúa (Renew). – Señor presidente, comisaria Jourová, necesitamos una comisión especial sobre las injerencias y la desinformación para acumular todos los datos —los que están hoy aquí y muchos otros— para defender la democracia en toda Europa.

Algunos hechos. Nuestro país es víctima de la injerencia rusa en Cataluña para debilitar a España a través de la desinformación —investigaciones judiciales lo acreditan—. Fondos privados rusos patrocinan portales web en español donde se difunden tesis ultraderechistas.

Más hechos. Esta semana hemos sabido que un espía de una unidad de élite rusa visitó España en 2016, cuando los medios del Kremlin publicaron las primeras noticias falsas sobre el independentismo catalán, y que un círculo de asesores del expresidente catalán Puigdemont —fugado de la justicia— ofreció cooperación diplomática a Rusia a cambio de que este país diera por válida la declaración ilegal de independencia en Cataluña en 2017.

Colaboran con nacionalpopulistas de uno y otro signo, porque, al debilitar a España, debilitan a toda la Unión Europea, debilitan nuestras democracias. Debemos, por tanto, comisaria, hacer todo el esfuerzo y tener una comisión especial de investigación: la necesitamos. Necesitamos defender nuestras democracias.

 
  
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  Tanja Fajon (S&D). – Gospod predsednik! Naša nedavna resolucija pravi, da je Evropska unija uspešno izvajala vrsto ukrepov za zmanjšanje tujega vpliva na evropske parlamentarne volitve leta 2019.

Predlagam, da nova Evropska komisija nemudoma natančno preuči te dobre prakse in uspešne tehnologije in preveri možnosti njihovega prenosa na nacionalne ravni, saj nas samo v prihodnjem letu čaka več deset volitev v članicah Unije.

Pazljivi moramo biti, da zaradi velikega osredotočanja na Rusijo ne spregledamo dejanj iz drugih delov tujine.

Skrbi me večkrat poudarjena odvisnost Unije od tuje programske opreme, infrastrukture in tehnologij. Mislim, da lahko in moramo več sredstev in energije vložiti v razvoj lastnih virov zaščite, če želimo ostati vodilna celina demokracije.

In v luči dezinformacij in lažnih novic ponovno pozivam k sistematični vzgoji in izobraževanju o pomenu javnih medijev in odgovornega novinarstva v evropskih šolah in širši javnosti.

 
  
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  Michal Šimečka (Renew). – Pán predsedajúci, asi netreba hovoriť, že slobodné a spravodlivé voľby sú základom demokratického procesu. A problém, keď sú manipulované zo zahraničia, je potom v tom, že to vrhá tieň pochybnosti na nielen legitimitu parlamentu a vlád, ale vlastne aj na všetky rozhodnutia, ktoré sú potom urobené.

A nehovoríme iba o manipuláciách v online priestore, o fake news, o dezinformáciách, ale aj napríklad aj o financovaní politických strán, alebo politických kampaní zo zahraničia. A tie prípady poznáme aj z Európy, či už išlo o britské referendum, alebo aj o niektoré národné voľby.

A to čo treba urobiť, aj sa o tom veľa hovorilo, je samozrejme posilniť tie existujúce nástroje, StratCom East alebo early warning mechanism, a investovať do kybernetickej bezpečnosti, samozrejme tak, aby sme neohrozili tie hodnoty, ktoré chceme chrániť.

V každom prípade, čokoľvek urobíme, musíme to urobiť spoločne, lebo útok na demokratické voľby v jednej krajine je útok na demokraciu v celej Európskej únii.

 
  
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  Pierfrancesco Majorino (S&D). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, viviamo oggi, è bene ricordarlo, in democrazie solide, mature, che sono evidentemente la base essenziale per costruire pace e rispetto dei diritti e della dignità dei cittadini.

Democrazie solide e mature che potrebbero però riscoprirsi improvvisamente fragili, sotto attacchi spregiudicati di varia natura. Dalle campagne di disinformazione sui social media fino a presunti finanziamenti, diretti e non, abbiamo infatti assistito a ingerenze esterne preoccupanti e pericolose, che potrebbero anche moltiplicarsi e intensificarsi. Ingerenze che sono evidentemente a tutto vantaggio di forze che perseguono un obiettivo semplice: far saltare l'Europa, far saltare la nostra casa comune.

L'Europa deve reagire e ci sono molte zone d'ombra da guardare con sospetto. Pensiamo, ad esempio, al vergognoso comportamento dell'ex ministro dell'Interno italiano, Matteo Salvini, il quale non ha ancora avuto il coraggio politico di intervenire pubblicamente su quell'intreccio estremamente opaco che lo ha legato alla Russia attraverso incontri tutti da chiarire.

 
  
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  Ondřej Kovařík (Renew). – Mr President, first let me congratulate Madam Vice-President, and wish her every success in her new assignment. Democracies are fragile things and some of us know that better than others. The recent 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution reminded us of that fact once again. We must remain vigilant with regard to foreign interference, which could undermine the very basis of our societies: free and democratic elections. We must be also vigilant with regard to foreign actors using domestic proxies, which the Commission has identified as a growing threat. We need to reinforce our resilience.

The European democracy action plan should be a positive step towards combating electoral interference, but in developing it we must ensure that we strike the right balance between targeted action and protecting our democracy. Yet the authorities cannot work alone. The online environment is ripe for foreign interference. Therefore, we must have the right tools at our disposal to take action against disinformation. We need to take action to increase trust in our democracies, our governments, media and online platforms themselves.

 
  
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  Věra Jourová, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, the congratulations from the honourable Members just show me how responsible and strong I have to be, especially on this topic, because all the debates showed that this is really a very strong – and I would even say existentially important – political topic for the EU, because we are surrounded by actors whose doctrine for Europe is: ‘the worse, the better’. And another doctrine: ‘a lie repeated one hundred times becomes the truth’. We know this from the past, especially the former communist countries, and I lived half of my life in such a country. We were brainwashed by everyday propaganda, which was created in the Kremlin. That’s why I am quite happy that I can work on this agenda, because it has something to do with Russian propaganda, which is spread in the EU.

We cannot only blame the external actors. We have also our own very hard-working and capable producers inside the EU, so we have to be very clear about who we have against us. We are taking lessons from some past events – you mentioned some elections in recent years, so this is exactly what we are doing, and we are clearly saying we will not be passive. We will continue what we have already started. We will upgrade the action plan against disinformation. We will upgrade all the efforts and plans around the elections. We will continue working with the electoral network, and we will continue working and cooperating with the platforms which have subscribed to the code of practice against disinformation.

There is plenty of work ahead of us, and I think the debate also showed where we still have the gaps. We work and will continue to work against illegal content. There is some illegal content which we recognise as illegal by our criminal laws. What I mean is child pornography, terrorist content and illegal hate speech, which is spread through online networks. My doctrine is: what’s illegal, what’s prohibited offline must also be prohibited online. There must be crime and punishment also in the online world. It cannot be a space without the law. I have had many debates with police and prosecutors, telling them that they have to go after the cases of detected and clearly illegal content online.

This disinformation is a little bit more problematic because we cannot clearly say that this is illegal content. Lying has always been here, and it was always recognised as not prohibited by the criminal law, and this is the legal issue. But we have to recognise the fact that this kind of lying, this kind of disinformation can be pretty dangerous. That’s why we are working against disinformation in the framework of working and fighting against hybrid threats, because this is also connected with our security. We work with the definition of disinformation which is needed to be focused and where we are concentrating our attention. We work with the definition that disinformation is verifiably false or misleading information which is created, presented and disseminated for economic gain or to intentionally deceive the public and which may cause public harm. For us, what’s important is its verifiably false factor – we are not fighting against opinions, we are fighting against lies which are proven lies which we can counter through information. We will focus on intensity of disinformation attacks, on the level of threat – that’s why I mentioned before that we will work with NATO also on this issue. We will look at the intensity of manipulation and we will look at intentions. So our response will also have to be coordinated and well targeted.

I think that we all are aware of the fact that the digital transformation and the revolution, having internet and social media, it is on one side a fantastic thing for a better life for the people. But also we have to see the risks. When I see what can happen from the sitting room – you can either initiate humanitarian help, save lives and the health of people or you can organise humanitarian crises or even genocide. Look at what happened to Rohingya. We also can see the cases when it is the starting point for revolutions. Look, for instance, at Maidan in Ukraine. It started on social media. So this is not a black and white picture. We have to support the good things, but also to address the risks.

I just want to briefly react on some of your comments on the budget – that it’s underestimated. We have already increased the budget of StratCom and of the professional units which deal with the fight against disinformation. We have to be better in analytical work; we have to support research; we have to be better in detection and education. We will not pay for all that with big money, because we have something very valuable, we have started cooperation between the EU institutions, the Member States, with the platforms, with civil society and with research, because as you rightly said, we need to develop better technologies for detection and analysing disinformation which might cause harm to our society.

We have to protect better the elections and to be very serious about the strong demand for GDPR to be used, is applied to protect the private data of voters so that we don’t have any further Cambridge Analytica cases. We have to do much better and more on transparency, including the transparency of the financing of political campaigning. We have the obligation to guarantee that in our Member States and in the EU there will not be the cases that the last elections will be the last free ones. You never know, but we have the obligation to guarantee that we will have free and fair elections. We must not have winners of the elections who will win because they can lie better. We must not have winners who will be better at using dirty money and dirty methods. I think that this is what we have to work together on.

I have many more comments, but I am quite far beyond the time. Thank you very much for your attention. I am looking forward to your cooperation and again, thank you for your support for the new Commission.

 
  
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  Tytti Tuppurainen, President-in-Office of the Council. – Mr President, thank you again for the opportunity to participate in this debate which is a really topical issue, and also a priority area for our presidency. It is indeed our obligation to spare no efforts to protect our elections and our democracies from foreign interference, in full respect of fundamental rights, such as freedom of speech, media and association.

Dear Members, many of you have referred in particular to Russian influence and we take note of this concern. Efforts to target malign actors, notably Russian sources, have been highlighted in the General Affairs Council Conclusions of February this year, and we will continue working horizontally across sectors and across borders, learning from each other through the exchange of information and best practices. Although progress has been made, we must remain vigilant.

We very much look forward to the European democracy action plan to be presented by the new Commission, and to working with you, and with you, Vice-President Jourová, to take forward the initiatives which will be proposed.

 
  
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  Der Präsident. – Die Aussprache ist geschlossen.

Schriftliche Erklärungen (Artikel 171)

 
  
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  Dominique Bilde (ID), par écrit. – Qu’une puissance étrangère, de la Russie à la Chine, tente de promouvoir son image et ses intérêts, voire d’influer sur l’orientation politique d’États étrangers n’a en soi rien de surprenant. Les États-Unis et l’Union européenne ne s’y sont-ils pas eux-mêmes employés, par exemple par l’intermédiaire d’organisations comme celle de M. Soros, active notamment en Hongrie? Que dire également des allégations relatives à une possible ingérence chinoise au sein de certains pays comme l’Australie, à en croire des révélations récentes? On pourrait enfin parler de la Turquie de M. Erdogan, qui renforce chaque jour son emprise sur les Balkans. Ce haro sur la Russie est donc contestable sur le fond. Il est aussi, et ce n’est guère étonnant puisque l’inspiration de cette politique nous vient des États-Unis, en totale contradiction avec les intérêts vitaux, économiques et géostratégiques, des grandes nations européennes de la France à l’Italie, en passant par l’Allemagne. Enfin, il prend racine dans une insulte à la mémoire, je l’avais déjà exprimé entre ces murs, en rayant d’un trait de plume la contribution fondamentale de la Russie à la libération de l’Europe.

 
  
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  Romana Tomc (PPE), pisno. – Vedno več zunanjih sil se vmešava v našo notranjo politiko, s čimer vplivajo na realno politično dogajanje z namenom ustvarjanja nestabilnosti in širitve lažnih informacij.

Takšno vmešavanje ogroža našo notranjo demokracijo. Zato je ključnega pomena, da se posvetimo ozaveščanju državljanov, ki morajo biti zmožni razlikovati med lažnimi in resničnimi informacijami.

Del svoje odgovornosti morajo sprejeti tudi tehnološki velikani. Raziskave so namreč pokazale, da je bilo med volitvami v EP okrog 50 milijonov Evropejcev izpostavljenih lažnim novicam preko družabnih medijev.

Države članice morajo s skupno politiko zaščititi temelje demokracije in se odločno upreti zunanjim poskusom spodkopavanja ugleda EU.

 
Senaste uppdatering: 7 februari 2020Rättsligt meddelande