EU Parliament declares information war on “Russian-backed” opposition


November 23, 2016 – 

By Eduard Popov for Fort Russ – translated by J. Arnoldski – 

On November 23rd, deputies of the European Parliament voted to adopt a resolution on counteracting Russian media. Out of 691 deputies participating in the vote, 304 voted for, 179 voted against, and 208 abstained. This factually means that a minority of European deputies voted for the resolution, but the resolution will still enter legal force. 

The resolution is titled “EU strategic communications with a view to counteracting propaganda.” The motion was initiated by Polish deputy Anna Fotyga. The document asserts that Russia is financially supporting opposition political parties and organizations in EU member countries, thus splitting the European community. Sputnik, RT, the Russian World foundation, and the federal agency subordinated to the Russian foreign ministry, Rossotrudnichestvo, were deemed the main information threats to the EU and its partners in Eastern Europe. 

The document goes on to assert that Moscow is pushing “hostile propaganda” against the EU. Counteracting Russia is compared by the authors to the fight against the Islamic State. 

Fotyga actually wrote the text of the resolution of the Warsaw NATO Summit which put Russia in first place as a threat before ISIS. The document prepared by the Polish Eurodeputy is an open unleashing of propaganda war against Russia.

Polish MEP’s and their colleagues, by putting their signatures on the resolution, are probably well aware that they are following the path of the “totalitarian USSR” whose legacy they claim to be ceaselessly fighting. In the Soviet period, an active struggle was waged against Western radio stations, such as Radio Liberty, Radio America, and Deutsche Welle. These stations were jammed, but Soviet citizens still listened to “enemy voices” (including that of the author of these lines). The efforts of Soviet censorship yielded the opposite effect: Soviet citizens became convinced that all prohibited propaganda must be true. These beliefs undermined the official ideological authority and became one of the factors causing the collapse of the Soviet system and the disintegration of the USSR. 

Fotyga and her colleagues’ efforts will lead to the same result, the opposite of their initiative’s intent. EU citizens will, with great interest, start listening to or watching banned resources even more. The authority of official media, which is already collapsing, will enter into even harsher decline. Free competition is feared only by the weak, and European media and politicians are openly demonstrating their weakness.

The modern EU is repeating the errors of the “totalitarian USSR.” More precisely, it itself is a totalitarian entity in which dissent is crushed with all the force of the repressive apparatus. It is rather telling that “Soviet” methods of fighting against dissent are being implemented by Eastern European, primarily Polish politicians, better than their Western colleagues who know the inside and out of primitive prohibiting measures. In this light, the struggle against the “Soviet heritage” looks insincere insofar as it is waged with Soviet methods.

This initiative of European Parliament deputies, in my opinion, could have three unpleasant consequences: (1) it will undermine the unity of the “European community,” as Western Europe will be increasingly annoyed by the anti-Russian efforts of Eastern Europe; (2) these efforts will draw ire from Russia and strengthen the nationalist, anti-Western party; and (3) it will reinforce the new US administration’s skepticism towards the US’ “European allies.”

Donald Trump, not even being president for 5 minutes, and having once given a lengthy interview to RT, will most likely perceive this initiative has a relapse into Cold War, the bygone era of Obama, Merkel, and their Eastern European satellites.

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It is unlikely that the unity of European NATO members will be strengthened by such measures. Without a doubt, it will only intensify the split between them. 

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