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
  • Outlet language(s) Italian, Russian
  • Country: EU, Italy, Germany
  • Keywords: coronavirus, Euro-scepticism, European Union, Europe
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The EU has collapsed, countries are building borders

The European Union has collapsed. The countries are beginning to build borders: between Poland and Germany, between Germany and France, between the Czech Republic and Austria. [There are] borders, borders, borders…

Disproof

This claim exploits the coronavirus pandemic to push a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the EU's alleged imminent collapse. It 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 doomsday claim that the pandemic is resulting in the death or obsolescence of the EU. EU Member States are helping each other in this crisis; for example, German hospitals offering to treat critical coronavirus patients from France as well as taking in patients from Italy and the Czech Republic sending masks to Italy. Read more about the EU's response here and here.

EU's health and safety policies failed, EU feels the threat of losing its power

[…] The coronavirus epidemic marks the beginning of an era of crisis for pan-European identity and solidarity. National borders between the EU countries, closed by [state] governments, have become a clear illustration of [the EU’s] inefficiency and its failed health and safety policies. Therefore, all the bureaucratic structures of the EU, as well as political forces oriented towards the globalist agenda, feel a clear threat of losing their power.

Disproof

This claim exploits the coronavirus pandemic to push a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the EU's alleged imminent collapse. It 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 doomsday claim that the pandemic is resulting in the death or obsolescence of the EU. 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 €37 billion Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative to provide liquidity to small businesses and the health care sector. To provide all EU Member States with essential medical equipment, the EU has created the European stockpile of ventilators, masks and lab supplies. This medical and protective equipment is available to any EU country. The Commission will finance 90% of this stockpile through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism (RescEU). EU Member States are also helping each other in this crisis, for example German hospitals offering to treat critical coronavirus patients from France as well as taking in patients from Italy and the Czech Republic sending masks to Italy. Read more about the EU's response here and here.

Russian scientists created 3 drugs against coronavirus

Russian scientists created 3 drugs that could potentially be used against the coronavirus COVID-19 – Remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine/ chloroquine, and fortepren.

Disproof

None of the listed drugs was created in Russia. Remdevisir was developed by Gilead Sciences for Ebola virus. Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are oral prescription drugs that have been used for the treatment of malaria and were added as a recommended antiviral for the treatment of COVID-19 in China. Fortepren was created back in 2016 and has been recommended for patients with chronic recurrent herpes. CDC approved Remdevisir and Hydroxychloroquine/chloroquine as therapeutic options for COVID-19 patients. Read more disinformation cases about coronavirus here.