Disinfo: EU is only an economic bloc that will soon be over

Summary

The coronavirus has demonstrated the failure of the European Union in its social policies, maybe because it was created as an economic bloc only. The European Union exists because NATO wants it but many economists expect that the crisis will lead to its end as an economic project.

Disproof

A recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the coronavirus that seeks to discredit the EU, claiming that it has abandoned European values and traditions and is built on the worship of money and of free-markets. This message is consistent with the common pro-Kremlin narrative about decadent values and moral decay in contemporary Western societies.

The EU began as the European Economic Community (EEC) in the aftermath of the Second World War in 1958, initially conceived to increase economic cooperation between member states. The EU has since evolved into a large scale multilateral organisation spanning many different policy areas, from climate, environment and health to external relations and security, justice and migration. 

During the coronavirus pandemic, the European Union is supporting Member States in addressing the crisis and mitigating the economic consequences of COVID-19. 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.

To support scientific research into the 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 has also created the first-ever stockpile of medical equipment.

Read similar cases attacking the EU by claiming that the EU is built on anti-European values while Russia upholds genuine European values, that Europe is losing its values and former power, and that liberalism leads to the loss of national sovereignty.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 194
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 08/04/2020
  • Language/target audience: Arabic
  • Country: EU
  • Keywords: coronavirus, Euro-scepticism, EU disintegration, NATO
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Southern European countries were afflicted by adopting the Euro

When Southern European countries adopted the Euro as unified currency instead of their own currency, they lost the most important banking tool that could help them achieve constant economic growth and help overcome economic crises they might face.

Disproof

A recurring pro-Kremlin narrative that seeks to discredit the EU, claiming that Euro is responsible for the economic downfall of "Southern" European countries.

The Eurozone shows a GDP growth of 2.4% as of 2017 according to the World Bank and real GDP growth of 1.3% in accordance with IMF data. In April 2019, the International Monetary Fund indicates the real GDP growth of the countries who have recently adopted the Euro the following way: 3.2 % for Estonia, 3.3% for Latvia, 2.9% for Lithuania and 4.1% for Slovakia. Eurostat data also reveals predominately stable GDP growth in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovakia since the last global crisis of 2008.

ECB has an unspoken policy to keep the Euro weak against other currencies

Since the European debt crisis in the second half of 2012, the European Central Bank has adopted an unspoken policy of weakening the value of the euro against other currencies.

Disproof

There has been always a clear policy concerning the rates of the Euro. The European Central Bank introduced negative rates in June 2014, lowering its deposit rate to -0.1% to stimulate the economy.

To battle the global financial crisis triggered by the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008, many central banks cut interest rates near zero. A decade later, interest rates remain low in most countries due to subdued economic growth. With little room to cut rates further, some major central banks have resorted to unconventional policy measures, including a negative rate policy. The euro area, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden and Japan have allowed rates to fall to slightly below zero.

COVID-19: Progressive Sweden sacrifices its old and improve its pension funds

The scientists are blowing the whistles, demanding any kind of actions to curb the epidemic, but the government is not reacting much. The experiment goes on, and people continue dying. Most of them already have health issues and some are old. It looks as if this most progressive state has decided to sacrifice its old, and at the same time improve its pension funds for the case of a “collective immunity”.

Disproof

An unfounded coronavirus conspiracy theory.

The Swedish Public Health Authority's highest priority is to protect the public. It has declared that an ‘extraordinary situation’ exists in Sweden.