Vera Jourova – Photo: wikimedia

Jourova: EU to protect media freedoms, fight disinformation

The European Union has launched its European Action Plan to protect the European elections, fight the spread of false information and to protect media freedoms, Vera Jourova, EU commissioner for values and transparency, told a debate in the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday.
19. October 2022 17:49

Europe’s democracy must be protected from powers aiming to destroy it, the commissioner said, adding that the European Commission would propose a package next year aimed against those outside the bloc who finance mechanisms seen as dangerously manipulating the public.

Referring to the Ukraine war, Jourova said the conflict had benefitted not only the extreme right but the far left, too, and warned that political extremism could lead to violence. The European Commission will cooperate with member states to tackle risks posed by the far right, she said.

Balazs Hidveghi, MEP of Hungary’s ruling Fidesz, said the debate reflected “the European Left’s ideological terror against all those that dare to disagree”. The debate shows “the hysterical and intolerant nature of the Socialist and Liberal Left trampling on democratic decisions … they openly disrespect the democratic decisions of the people and will launch attacks against the Italian and Swedish governments just as they are trying to hunt down Hungary,” he said.

Klara Dobrev, MEP of the opposition Democratic Coalition, said the Hungarian government was “illiberal and far right”, which could not protect voters or come up with achievements because “they only have one skill: how to incite hatred”. “The far right must be defeated so that people could be ensured decent and free lives,” Dobrev added.

Opposition Momentum MEP Katalin Cseh mentioned, for example, recent protests in Hungary concerning education, and quoted the government as blaming “Brussels for all the problems”. “Similar lies are echoed in Hungary concerning the war in Ukraine and concerning all policies of the EU,” she said, adding that “these lies are working” because the EU “fails to give an adequate response”. “Such disinformation will have the EU rotting from inside,” she said.

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