Disinfo: The European Parliament does not have real powers, EU bureaucrats decide

Summary

The European Parliament does not have real powers and opportunities to influence the decisions taken by bureaucrats and pragmatic politicians.

Disproof

This claim misrepresents the competences of the European Parliament and is consistent with a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about a dysfunctional EU governed by the bureaucrats and elites who are out of touch with the needs of the people. See an earlier case about Brussels bureaucrats.

The European Commission cannot adopt new legislation or amend existing EU legislation without consent from the Council of the EU and the European Parliament. The European Parliament is directly elected by the EU’s population. It approves and removes the president of the European Commission. The European Parliament also has the power to censure the Commission with a vote of two-thirds of its members, thereby forcing the Commission to resign.

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 149
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 09/05/2019
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Keywords: European Parliament, European Union, Conspiracy theory

Belarus

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Disinfo: Ukrainian language law deprives people of their rights and freedoms

Ukrainian language law makes it almost impossible for the Russian-speaking population [in Ukraine] to use the Russian language. This applies not only to the Russian language, but also to Hungarian and others […] That is, the law deprives people of their fundamental rights and freedoms. Moreover, the Constitution and the procedure of consideration were violated.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Ukrainian language law and discrimination against Russian speakers. The Verkhovna Rada passed on April 25 the law "On ensuring the functioning of the Ukrainian language as a state language". The law establishes mandatory use of the Ukrainian language in most areas of public and communal life, including the mass media, education, science, etc. However, the law does not forbid the use of Russian and other languages in private communication and religious ceremonies. Moreover, Russian and other languages can be present in book publishing, the press, including radio and television, education and the service sector. The law allows the use of other languages in the healthcare system and in law enforcement. Ukrainian language, though, is preferred. In addition to this, the law stipulates that in accordance with the European Charter for Regional Languages and Languages of National Minorities, the government should develop a law safeguarding languages rights of minorities during the six months after the language law enters into force. For background on the Ukrainian language laws, see here.

Disinfo: There is no Russian aggression, there is a civil conflict in Eastern Ukraine

There are objective and subjective reasons why civil war in the East of Ukraine is not resolved. In part because the Ukrainian regime cannot confess to this crime. The regime that will take responsibility for the beginning, development, and continuation of the civil conflict in the East must be held responsible in the court. The Ukrainians invented a beautiful tale about intervention, about the aggressor, but in fact, they were telling us only a quarter of the truth.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukraine and the war in Ukraine. Russia provoked the war in Eastern Ukraine. The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court recognised that “the information available suggests that the situation within the territory of Crimea and Sevastopol amounts to an international armed conflict between Ukraine and the Russian Federation". The international armed conflict began at the latest on 26 February 2014 when the Russian Federation deployed members of its armed forces to gain control over parts of the Ukrainian territory without the consent of the Ukrainian Government. The European Union stated in July 2014 that "arms and fighters continue flowing into Ukraine from the Russian Federation". At the NATO Summit in Wales in September 2014, NATO leaders condemned in the strongest terms Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine and demanded Russia to stop and withdraw its forces from Ukraine and from the country’s border. NATO leaders also demanded Russia to comply with international law and its international obligations and responsibilities; refrain from aggressive actions against Ukraine; halt the flow of weapons, equipment, people and money across the border to the separatists; and stop fomenting tension along and across the Ukrainian border. According to the US Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), Russian special forces and troops operated to mobilise, lead, equip, and support separatist militias in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine from spring 2014 to the present, although their presence was denied by Moscow.

Disinfo: Ukraine wants to place nuclear mines on the border with Russia

Ukraine wants to install nuclear mines along the length of the entire border with Russia. The location of mines should be recognised as a state secret, because Ukraine can develop its own nuclear weapons without any obstacles.

Disproof

There is no Ukrainian state program that would involve the creation of nuclear weapons. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Ukraine gained the third largest nuclear arsenal in the world: 176 intercontinental ballistic missiles and strategic bombers capable of carrying nuclear weapons. However, in December 1994, Kyiv signed the Budapest Memorandum. This international document provided security guarantees in exchange for the renunciation of nuclear weapons. The guarantors of the memorandum are the United States, United Kingdom and Russia. In the same year, in 1994, the export of nuclear missiles from Ukraine to Russia began. The process lasted two years. The last Ukrainian nuclear warhead was exported to Russia in the summer of 1996. Ukraine completely lost its nuclear status in 2001, when it dismantled the latest mine-launch facility of intercontinental solid-fuel missiles. Since then, Ukraine does not possess any nuclear weapons. Consistent with recurring pro-Kremling disinfomation narrative on encircled Russia.

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