Disinfo: EU Elections are a sham

Summary

The EU elections are a sham democratic “hullabaloo” for an undemocratic and exclusive EU.

Disproof

Recurrent pro-Kremlin narrative questioning the EU institutions' legitimacy and powers..

The European Parliament is a directly elected institution. Since 1979, it has been elected by EU voters every 5 years. The last elections were in May 2014 and May 2019.

The European Parliament is one of the EU's two law-making bodies. It has constitutional-type and ratification powers. It passes EU laws, together with the Council of the EU, based on European Commission proposals. It has budgetary powers, scrutiny over the executive, hears citizens’ petitions, and appoints the European Ombudsman. A detailed overview of the European Parliament’s role in the European decision-making process can be consulted here.

As EU co-operation evolved with time, the European Parliament progressed from a purely advisory role to one of co-decision on an equal footing with the Council. The Lisbon Treaty expanded the number of policies which are subject to ordinary legislative procedure to virtually all areas including the areas of freedom, security and justice, external trade, environmental policy and the common agricultural policy.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 152
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 23/05/2019
  • Outlet language(s) German
  • Keywords: Euro-scepticism, EU elections 2019, European Parliament, European Union, Europe

Belarus

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Disinfo: No proof of Russian meddling in Western elections

For weeks and months, the media and governments in the EU have been warning against Russian influence in the elections. Now the elections to the EU Parliament are just around the corner – only we are still waiting for indications of manipulation by the evil Russians. Despite the EU elections and the drama, there seems to be no trace of any Russian interference. This was also the case with other elections in Europe, the results of which ran counter to the wishes of the political and media establishment. Whenever things went wrong, it was simply the Russians.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative that allegations of Russian interference in electoral processes in the EU and in the West are spread by European elites in order to divert attention from the real problems of the EU countries. Attempts of election meddling by Russia are already well documented. Investigations were conducted by the authorities of various countries, Parliament's committee (UK) , as well as by journalists. Numerous investigations have provided convincing evidence of Russian interference in the Brexit referendum and in elections across Europe and in the US. Thus, in the US, 126 million people were reached on social media by Russia-linked users, 29 million of them have seen the content "directly". See more information here, here and here. Ahead of the European elections 2019, Microsoft registered cyberattacks targeting think tanks and non-profit organisations working on topics related to democracy, electoral integrity, and public policy, that are often in contact with government officials. Microsoft continues to investigate the source of these attacks, but is confident that many of them originated from a group called Strontium, also known as APT 28 or Fancy Bear – which is believed to be associated with Russia’s military intelligence agency, the GRU. Read more here. See here for the list of the reports on Russian efforts to influence elections in various European countries.

Disinfo: New OPCW-report questions official findings about chemical attack in syrian Douma

A new report written by an engineer from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) emerged. The report challenges the official OPCW report from March, which accused Damascus of being behind the Douma incident from last April. However, the new report now suggests that the gas canisters were placed by hand at the site of the attack, possibly by rebels active in the area. In the West, these revelations were virtually ignored. Several prominent activists criticised the mainstream media for their lack of coverage. In addition, the White Helmets operate exclusively in areas controlled by militants and are accused of cooperating with extremists and staging chemical attacks.

Disproof

Recurring disinformation narratives deflecting blame for chemical attacks from the Assad regime; painting the White Helmets as cooperating with extremists; and aiming to discredit the OPCW. The "never-before-seen-report" appears to be an engineering assessment carried out by one individual who, contrary to RT Deutsch's false claim, was never a member of the Fact-Finding Mission and is not currently employed by the organisation. The individual, however, was affiliated with the OPCW as an engineer and apparently had access to materials gathered in the course of the Douma FFM, and based his/her conclusions on the same evidence pool. An OPCW press statement confirms that "all information was taken into account, deliberated, and weighed when formulating the final report regarding the incident in Douma." The OPCW Technical Secretariat is conducting an internal investigation about the unauthorised release of the document in question. Regardless of the leaked document's authenticity, its conclusion that the cylinders could not have been dropped from helicopters: a) has been addressed in the actual OPCW report on Douma (Annex 6, pp. 55-56); b) does not support the outlandish claim that the incident was staged "and designed to frame the Syrian government." The White Helmets have not once been "busted" staging anything, see our debunking on the subject for more details.

Disinfo: The Ukrainian Navy deliberately violated Russian territorial waters during the Kerch strait incident

On 25 November 2018, three ships of the Ukrainian Navy deliberately violated Russian territorial waters during their passage from the Black Sea to the Sea of Azov. When the three warships reached Russian territorial waters, they received a warning from the security forces of the Russian Navy and were asked to change course. However, they ignored the calls, triggering a chase in the Kerch Strait, in which shots were fired and three Ukrainian marines were lightly wounded. As a result, the Ukrainian warships were detained and brought to Kerch.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation on Ukraine and the Azov Sea. In this incident, Russia deliberately blocked the Kerch Strait in order to prevent the passage of a naval group of the Ukrainian Navy. On 25 November 2018, three Ukrainian war ships were moving “in accordance with the provisions of all effective multilateral and bilateral international treaties and navigation rules”. The Ukrainian war ships were seized and their crews were detained, despite the fact that the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) states that “all ships, including foreign warships, enjoy the right of “innocent passage” within another state’s territorial sea under international law.” On 25 November, border patrol boats belonging to Russia’s FSB security service seized the two small Ukrainian armoured artillery vessels and their whole crews after shooting at them, wounding several Ukrainian servicemen. A bilateral treaty between Russia and Ukraine, signed in 2003 and ratified by Russia in 2004, governs the use of the Kerch strait and the Sea of Azov, which in the treaty is considered to be the “internal waters” of both Russia and Ukraine.

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