Disinfo: The European Parliament has no effect on the EU Commission

Summary

The European Parliament is powerless, so few people want to take part in the election. Is it even important who you vote for?  Even a landslide win in the Parliament will have no effect on the Commission or the Council. And that is exactly where the real power lies. The European Parliament has no real influence on the actual important policy areas.

 

 

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on the undemocratic EU and on the failed European values.

After the EU Parliamentary elections, one of the first tasks of an incoming Parliament is to elect a new President of the European Commission. Member states (the Council) nominate a candidate for the post, but in doing so they must take account of the European election results. Moreover, Parliament needs to approve the new Commission President by an absolute majority (half of the existing MEPs plus one). The EP members can reject a candidate and had exercised this power in the past. The President and the other members of the Commission are subject to a vote of consent, as a body, by the Parliament and are then appointed by the European Council, acting by a qualified majority.

As for the powers of the European Parliament, it is one of the two co-legislators - which means that without it, legislation is not adopted. It also approves the EU budget, has control powers and the right to intervene before the European Court of Justice.

See here for other disinformation cases about the European Parliament.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue149
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 07/05/2019
  • Language/target audience: German
  • Keywords: Euro-scepticism, EU elections 2019, European Parliament, European Commission, EU, EU disintegration, 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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The European Commission is one of the most undemocratic institutions

The European Commission is one of the most undemocratic institutions. These people [the EU commissioners] were not elected by anyone and they are not accountable to EU citizens.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on the undemocratic EU and on the failed European values.

The European Commission is the EU's executive arm. Commissioners are first appointed by EU member states and then, as candidates, take part in hearings in the European Parliament. The EP members - which are elected by EU citizens directly - can reject a candidate and had exercised this power in the past. As for the President of the European Commission, his candidacy needs to be agreed by the European Council - that is, by democratically elected leaders of every member state. The European Commission as a whole is subject to a vote of consent by the Parliament and are then appointed by the European Council, acting by a qualified majority.

Lithuania does not want to take Kalinowski’s DNA test

Lithuania does not want to take a DNA test based on remains of Konstanty Kalinowski’s brother who is buried in Belarus. This test would help to identify the remains which supposedly belong to the executed 1863 uprising leader.

The absence of DNA test will allow Lithuania to avoid a blunder as it can turn out that the remains belong to a different person. Moreover, by not taking the test Lithuania expects to have grounds for information war against Belarus with the use of Belarusian opposition to please Lithuania’s nationalistic policies.

Disproof

This message is built around conspiracies consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about Western aggressive activities towards Belarus. It also aims at playing on nationalist sentiments and a complex Lithuanian-Belarusian-Polish history. There is no confirmation that Lithuania has changed its plans to test the DNA of the presumed remains of Konstanty Kalinowski's brother, who is buried in Belarus. See a recent case alleging that Lithuania promotes terrorism in Belarus by commemorating of Konstanty Kalinowski.

Background information:

Further evidence of discrimination against residents of Donbas in Ukraine

Kyiv may deprive citizens who receive Russian passports of their social payments and pensions. Such measures are further proof of discrimination against the residents of Donbas in Ukraine.

Disproof

The recurring narrative of Kremlin propaganda saying that Ukraine discriminates against residents of the Donbas. For example, cut off water supplies to Luhansk, or prevented Donbas residents from voting in presidential elections.

Since 2014, the Ukrainian government has required citizens in Donetsk and Luhansk, which are not controlled by Kyiv, to register as internally displaced persons in government-controlled areas of Ukraine in order to receive their pensions and other entitlements.