Disinfo: COVID-19 proves the EU is collapsing

Summary

The EU is collapsing. The European Union is disintegrating into small and large principalities with ever more strictly guarded borders. Everyone and everyone is sealing themselves off.

Forgotten are all the hymns of praise for the “common European values” that allegedly should have united this “elitist group of countries”. Is the EU really just an abbreviation for Selfish Union?

The whole EU construct, with its costly bureaucratic institutions and “common values”, has failed the coronavirus test – at any rate, there are more and more confirmations for this claim.

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 or any of its member states.

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 support scientific research into the COVID-19, the European Commission has earmarked €47.5 million for shortlisted research projects that can improve epidemiology and public health, including preparedness and response to outbreaks. The EU has also created its first-ever stockpile of medical equipment. 

The EU Member States are also helping each other in this crisis, for example, German hospitals are offering to treat critical coronavirus patients from France as well as taking in patients from Italy and the Czech Republic is sending masks to Italy.

Read more about the EU's response here and here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 190
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 16/03/2020
  • Language/target audience: German
  • Country: EU
  • Keywords: coronavirus, EU disintegration, European Union, European values

Disclaimer

Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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Italian media manipulate its readers about COVID-19, not Russian

Italian media manipulate Italian people when talking about COVID-19, but the West accuses Russian media of providing manipulative information.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative denying that Russian media is involved in spreading disinformation about the coronavirus.

As of 15 April, our database has collected and published over 300 corona-related disinformation cases in the public EUvsDisinfo database since 22 January 2020. These messages are characteristic of the Kremlin’s well-established strategy of using disinformation to amplify divisions, sow distrust and chaos, and exacerbate crisis situations and issues of public concern.

Each country in the EU cares only about its own interests

The [COVID-19] crisis has shown that there is no European solidarity. Each country in the EU cares only about its own interests.

Disproof

Attempt to discredit the EU. It is consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin narratives about the imminent collapse of the EU.

European Union health ministers agreed on 13 February to boost preparations and organise a coordinated response to prevent COVID-19 from further spreading across Europe. On 10 March, EU institutions and Member States also agreed to ease EU spending rules and mobilise at least €25 billion of EU funds to address the economic fallout from the coronavirus.

The coronavirus is surprisingly selective

The virus passes over states not involved in major issues of world politics, and is spreading on territories where the global stakeholders’ interests collide. Of course, other countries are affected, but the virus does not present any danger for them.

The virus has selected China, Iran, Italy and Spain as targets. Stuck between Spain and Italy is France. Their neighbours are affected less, if affected at all. In Mongolia on 23 March there was only one case, though the country is populated by as many Chinese as Mongolians and the borders between China and Mongolia have remained open.

Disproof

An baseless conspiracy theory with no evidence given. For accurate and up-to-date data on the spread of COVID-19, see the sites of the European Centre for Disease Control or the World Health Organisation.

See related disinformation cases downplaying the COVID-19 pandemic, like that the mainstream media and governments overestimate the coronavirus threat and that the coronavirus outbreak is a lie.