Disinfo: The European Union has not helped its partners fight the coronavirus

Summary

The European Union has not helped its partners fight the coronavirus, while China and Russia have come to help.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative aiming to discredit the EU response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The European Union is supporting the Member States in addressing the crisis and mitigating 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 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 more about the EU's response here and here.

Likewise, the "lack of solidarity" claim is scotched by the actual response of individual EU members to the crisis. As of 28 March, multiple member states had provided or pledged crucial assistance to Italy including face masks (Germany, Austria, France, Czechia), mobile medical units (Greece), hospital beds (Austria, Germany), ventilators (Germany), and repatriation assistance.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 193
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 03/04/2020
  • Language/target audience: Arabic
  • Country: China, EU, Russia
  • Keywords: coronavirus, EU disintegration
  • Outlet: RT Arabic, Shafaqna, Sahafaty 24, Khabar Masr, Kachaf, Sahafaty
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There is no European solidarity in addressing coronavirus crisis

The truth is that the European Union has proved completely ineffective in this [coronavirus] crisis. There is no coordinated response to this threat, nor European solidarity.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative aiming to discredit the EU response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The European Union is supporting the Member States in addressing the crisis and mitigating 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.

The EU is dead, it abandoned Italy, only Russia, China and Cuba gave a helping hand

There is no European answer to the Coronavirus in Italy. The only countries that helped Italy are Russia, China and Cuba, non-European countries.

When the Italians called for help, other European countries made fun of them and criticised the way they managed the crisis.

If ever the European Union lived before, now it is dead. When the crisis is over, the EU will be held accountable and the mistake of the European Union will be stopped because it has no reason to exist.

Disproof

This claim exploits the coronavirus pandemic to push a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the EU's alleged imminent collapse.

One of the main pro-Kremlin narratives relating to the pandemic is that the EU is failing to cope with the COVID-19 crisis and, as a result, is disintegrating, together with the border-free Schengen area. In particular, this narrative of failure and lack of EU solidarity is trending after the delivery of Russian aid to Italy.

Italian newspaper, NATO waging disinformation campaign against Russia’s COVID-19 aid to Italy

Activists linked to the Atlantic Council think tank, an adjunct of NATO, have launched a coordinated smear campaign targeting Russia’s dispatch of humanitarian relief to pandemic-stricken Italy.

The activists took to Twitter and falsely dismissed Russia’s aid as “80% useless,” citing a report in the La Stampa newspaper. The article relied on the testimony of an anonymous source, which means we will have to take the author’s word for it. Not surprisingly, the author himself is also linked to the Atlantic Council.

What’s most interesting here the fact that so many of the people pushing the disinformation are connected to the pro-NATO pressure group. Not to mention the fact that they used almost the same form of words. Was this coordination, or coincidence?

Disproof

Conspiracy theory.

The Atlantic Council is not a "NATO adjunct" or a "pressure group." It operates separately from NATO as a non-profit organisation and maintains both financial (pp. 83-87) and intellectual independence.