Disinfo: The EU has not provided any guidance to member states amid the COVID-19 crisis

Summary

Only a few days ago the European Union decided to close its external borders. At the same time, it has failed to draw up any general principles or recommendations for countries that are facing a deadly threat.

The EU is a house of cards. It has shown itself to be a useless institution.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the alleged disintegration of the EU as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

The European Union is supporting Member States in addressing the crisis and has adopted measure to mitigate the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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 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 first ever stockpile of medical equipment. 

Read more about the EU's response here and here. For similar cases, see here, here, and here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 190
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 22/03/2020
  • Language/target audience: Czech
  • Country: EU
  • Keywords: coronavirus, Euro-scepticism, EU, EU disintegration, European Union, Europe

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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Italy was essentially alone in front of the coronavirus. Russia was the first to help.

Italy was essentially alone in front of the coronavirus. Russia was the first, to give a helping hand. Russian specialists brought special equipment to disinfect boarding houses and hospitals. In total, the military processed eight medical institutions and disinfected over 20 thousand square meters.

Disproof

Speculative claim about "abandoned Italy." This claim exploits the coronavirus pandemic to push a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about West's crumbling solidarity. While Russia has sent a military team to Italy, there are numerous examples of solidarity in the Western world, including among the EU and individual 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'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.

Poland asks Italy to refuse Russian aid

Poland asks Italy to refuse Russian aid, claiming that it is inappropriate to accept help from the Kremlin’s hands.

 

 

Disproof

No evidence given.

This disinformation message is consistent with pro-Kremlin media's false claims that Poland was obstructing Russian aid flights to Italy. For a more detailed debunk see Polygraph.

Unlike Russia, US tramples constitutional rights amid coronavirus crackdown

Amid efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the US, the no. 1 thing that has been quarantined is the Constitution itself. Around 200 million Americans find themselves under the house arrest, their First Amendment rights to public protest or association suspended. They cannot even go to church for fear of being arrested.

In Russia, the right to assembly or movement may only be restricted based on individualized suspicion. On the other hand, the US authorities simply presume the guilt of more than 200 million of its own citizens.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative concerning the coronavirus pandemic.

Temporary limits on citizens' movement are a logical consequence of efforts to check the spread of the pandemic in a number of countries, including China, Italy, Norway, the United Kingdom, and Germany.