- Title: EU parliament calls on counteracting anti-EU campaigns from Russia, IS
- Date: 23rd November 2016
- Summary: STRASBOURG, FRANCE (NOVEMBER 22, 2016) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT FLAGS OF EU AND EU MEMBER STATES
- Embargoed: 8th December 2016 14:04
- Keywords: EU Russia Islamic State ISIS ISIL IS Parliament Europe Propaganda Resolution
- Location: STRASBOURG, FRANCE
- City: STRASBOURG, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Topics: European Union,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA00159O1TMV
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The European Parliament voted on Wednesday (November 23) a resolution warning against "propaganda" pressure on the European Union carried out by Russia and Islamist militant groups, calling for further measures to counteract it.
The resolution was passed with 304 votes in favour and 179 votes against.
EU leaders, most especially in the Baltic states, have been alarmed at how Moscow has used its media to gain support for its views and policies.
Asked about the resolution, Russian President Vladimir Putin called it a sign of the "Degradation ... of how democracy is understood in Western society".
The European Parliament's move is the latest in a series of measures the 28-member bloc has been taking to reduce the influence of Russian government-funded media such as Russia Today, Ruptly and Sputnik across the EU.
The resolution voted on Wednesday stated that pressure was growing on member states to tackle misinformation from countries and other organisations, accusing them of trying to undermine objective information and ethical journalism.
The co-head of the Green group, German MEP Rebecca Harms, said the political context made the timing right for a response from the EU.
"I think it is high time that the European Parliament started to deal with the challenges of the information war and came up with some good and sensible solutions. I think it is perfectly suitable now, now that we've seen the U.S. the election campaign, and even before that the Brexit campaign where we were able to observe just how propaganda influences, and how propaganda is aiming to weaken ties within the EU," Harms told the parliament during a debate that took place one day before the vote.
Among the opponents to the resolution, Austrian MEP Eugen Freund, a member of the Party of European Socialists, said the resolution mistakenly put countries and the Islamic State militant group on the same level.
"This report focuses on one country, Russia, and what I believe is even more worrying is that, despite our resistance, I.S. is included in this. Without doubt it uses similar tactics but of course it is not a state and that is where the problem lies," Freund said.
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