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Thursday, 18 June 2020 - Brussels Revised edition

Tackling Covid-19 disinformation and the impact on freedom of expression (debate)

  Anna-Michelle Asimakopoulou (PPE), in writing. – Commission Vice-President Věra Jourová finally ‘named and shamed’ China, along with Russia, this week in the communication on ‘Tackling COVID-19 disinformation’ for engaging in ‘targeted influence operations and disinformation campaigns around COVID-19 in the EU, its neighbourhood and globally, seeking to undermine democratic debate and exacerbate social polarisation, and improve their own image in the COVID-19 context’. It is our duty to protect Europe and its citizens. It is our duty to tell the truth and to reveal the sources that intentionally cloud it or twist it to serve their own interests. It is our duty to ensure that the truth shines through on all occasions. I do hope the Commission continues in this direction and exhibits the same determination in other contexts such as Turkey’s shameless disinformation campaign about the situation at the Greek-Turkish border, where refugees and migrants are being used as pawns in Turkey’s geopolitical chess game at Europe’s external borders, as European leaders had the chance to see with their own eyes. After all, an affront to the truth is an affront to European values. It is an affront to democracy itself and it cannot be tolerated.

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