Disinfo: As a result of the coronavirus pandemic the end of the EU is approaching

Summary

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic the end of the EU is approaching. All the pillars of European integration are beginning to fall, one after another, with remarkable speed. For example, one of these pillars, called Schengen, has crumbled. The vision of a “common European space” has been revealed to be an illusion. Every country now cares only for itself. With the arrival of the pandemic, for instance, Germany even banned the export of masks to EU member states. It is difficult to speak of European solidarity with what is happening now.

Disproof

This claim exploits the coronavirus pandemic to push a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the EU's alleged imminent collapse.

One of the main pro-Kremlin narratives relating to the pandemic is that the EU is failing to cope with the COVID-19 crisis and, as a result, is disintegrating, together with the border-free Schengen area. In particular, this narrative of failure and lack of EU solidarity is trending after the delivery of Russian aid to Italy.

This narrative also aims to pit EU member states against each other in an attempt to undermine European solidarity,  another recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation tactic.

There is no evidence to support the claim that the pandemic is resulting in the death or obsolescence of the EU. The European Commission is coordinating a common European response to the COVID-19 crisis and is supporting Member States in tackling the pandemic and in mitigating its economic consequences.

To cushion the blow to people’s livelihoods and the economy, the European Commission has adopted a comprehensive economic response to the outbreak, applied the full flexibility of the EU's fiscal rules, has revised its State Aid rules and proposed to set up a EUR 37 billion Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative to provide liquidity to small businesses and the health care sector.

The Commission is further increasing its response by proposing to set up a €100 billion solidarity instrument to help workers keep their incomes and businesses stay afloat, called SURE. It is also proposing to redirect all available structural funds to the response to the coronavirus. To support scientific research into COVID-19, the European Commission earmarked 47,5 million EUR for shortlisted research projects that can improve epidemiology and public health, including preparedness and response to outbreaks.

The EU also created the first ever stockpile of medical equipment. 

EU Member States are helping each other in this crisis; for example, German hospitals have offered to treat critical coronavirus patients from France as well as taking in patients from Italy and the Czech Republic has sent masks to Italy.

More on EU repsonse to the COVID-19 outbreak here and here

Read similar cases claiming that the EU has collapsed as a result of the pandemic that the coronavirus epidemic marks the beginning of an era of crisis for pan-European identity and solidarity and that the COVID-19 outbreak means the end of Europe.  

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 191
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 31/03/2020
  • Language/target audience: Italian
  • Country: EU, Italy, Germany
  • Keywords: coronavirus, Euro-scepticism, EU, Europe
  • Outlet: Sputnik Italia
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The Italian newspaper “La Stampa” spreads russophobic fake news on Russian coronavirus aid to Italy

The Italian newspaper “La Stampa” spreads russophobic fake news on Russian coronavirus aid to Italy

Disproof

Emerging pro-Kremlin narrative claiming that Russia has become a target of Russophopic campaigns related to the coronavirus pandemic. This narrative is consistent with the recurrent narrative aimed at discrediting mainstream Western media by claiming it is dominated by russophobia and spreads fake news.

On the 25th of March 2020, the Italian daily newspaper La Stampa published an article on the equipment and personnel (100 mostly military specialists in bacteriological warfare) sent recently by Russia to support Italy in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

White Helmets use COVID-19 crisis to further US coalition regime change agenda in Syria

White Helmets use COVID-19 crisis to further US coalition regime change agenda in Syria. The White Helmet ‘coronavirus campaign’ is a cynical exploitation of the pandemic to weaponize it against the Syrian government.

The Al-Qaeda-linked White Helmets group have sprung into action to defend the sanctions regime and to effectively condemn the huge majority of Syrian people to further misery should the pandemic take hold in Syria.

If the White Helmets were anything other than an extremist, propaganda construct implementing the US Coalition “regime change” policy against Syria, they would have demanded a ban on sanctions to enable the country to collectively deal with the coronavirus crisis.

Disproof

A recurring pro-Kremlin conspiracy theory about the White Helmets, opportunistically using the coronavirus crisis to spread the usual disinformation narratives about the humanitarian organisation. The pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign targeting the White Helmets aims to deflect blame for chemical attacks away from the Assad regime; to discredit the OPCW, and to label the White Helmets as terrorists or as accomplices of terrorist organizations by staging and/or perpetrating chemical attacks, sometimes with the help of Western intelligence agencies. None of these claims are supported by evidence.

The White Helmets movement originated in Syria in 2012. Volunteers save people from the rubble after bombings, despite the danger of dying themselves as a result of repeated airstrikes. Activists have documented the use of chemical weapons in Syria, later confirmed by OPCW. Because of this, they have become the target of an extensive pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign.

The US and EU put profit before health, unlike the socialist countries that are helping Italy

At certain critical moments, it turns out that countries which consider themselves to be advanced in fact are not. Second, there are fundamental differences between the United States and EU countries, which claim that ‘profit comes first’, and other countries that put human health first. What pushes China, Cuba, and Russia to help Italy while the G7 and EU countries don’t provide any support? A long analysis is not necessary – China and Cuba are socialist countries and Russia, though it is no longer socialist, has retained certain characteristics inherited from the USSR.

Disproof

A recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the coronavirus crisis, also building on the longstanding pro-Kremlin theme of the West's alleged moral decay, materialism, and hostility to traditional religion, which Western governments allegedly seek to undermine and to replace with pseudo-religions (such as LGBT ideology). See similar cases like that the EU is only interested in sucking money from national governments, that Russia provided Italy with concrete help unlike the EU, and that the COVID-19 outbreak means the end of Europe while Russia and China will rise.

The European Union is supporting the Member States in addressing the crisis, and mitigating the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. To cushion the blow to people’s livelihoods and the economy, the European Commission has adopted a comprehensive economic response to the outbreak, applied the full flexibility of the EU fiscal rules, has revised its State Aid rules and proposed to set up a EUR 37 billion Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative to provide liquidity to small businesses and the health care sector.