Disinfo: European Union is merely a market, aimed to destroy nation-states and abandon European values

Summary

Ever since the 1990s Europeans see the EU merely as a great market. The EU is based on neo-liberal theories that posit the primacy of economics over politics, and the domination of financial capital. As a result, we have built an EU which is only a market and that aims to destroy nation-states. The EU has thus abandoned genuine European values and has elevated the Euro to be its only value.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative that seeks to discredit the EU, claiming that the EU has abandoned genuine European values and traditions and is built on the worship of money and of free-markets. This narrative is consistent with the pro-Kremlin propaganda theme about decadent values and moral decay in contemporary Western societies.

The article also repeats the recurring pro-Kremlin narrative that claims the EU seeks to rob European nations of their sovereignty and identity.

It is not true that the EU is merely a “market”, nor that it has abandoned European values and aims to destroy national sovereignty. The European Union is a unique economic and political union between 27 EU countries that together cover much of the continent.

The predecessor of the EU was created in the aftermath of the Second World War. The first steps were to foster economic cooperation: the idea being that countries that trade with one another become economically interdependent and therefore are more likely to avoid conflict. The result was the European Economic Community (EEC), created in 1958, and initially increasing economic cooperation between six countries: Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Since then, 22 other members joined and a huge single market (also known as the 'internal' market) has been created and continues to develop towards its full potential.

What began as a purely economic union has evolved into an organization spanning different policy areas, from climate, environment and health to external relations and security, justice and migration. EU values are common to  EU countries in a society in which inclusion, tolerance, justice, solidarity and non-discrimination prevail. These values (Human dignity, Freedom, Democracy, Equality, Rule of law, Human rights) are an integral part of the European way of life.

The European Parliament’s Spring 2019 Eurobarometer, measuring public attitudes to the EU three months ahead of the European elections, reveals that despite the various internal and external challenges to the EU of the past years, the European sense of togetherness does not seem to have weakened. Continued support for EU membership goes with a strong belief (68%) that EU countries overall have benefited from being part of the EU - equalling the highest level recorded since 1983. In addition, 61% of respondents say their country’s EU membership is a good thing.

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 that liberalism leads to the loss of national sovereignty.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue183
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 06/02/2020
  • Language/target audience: Italian
  • Country: Luxembourg, Italy, Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, France
  • Keywords: euro, Euro-scepticism, EU, European values, Economic difficulties

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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In May 2019, OPCW documents were leaked, confirming the validity of Russian conclusions and putting the report’s findings into question. The organization has launched an investigation into the information leak and has accused two of its employees, whose names have not been released, of leaking sensitive information.

Disproof

Recurring disinformation narratives deflecting blame for chemical attacks from the Assad regime; painting the White Helmets as terrorists, and aiming to discredit the OPCW.

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Polish president and his political party are against anyone telling truth about Poles’ positions towards Holocaust

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Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Poland’s anti-Semitism.

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Crimean referendum was the will of the Crimeans, while Kosovo was an outside intervention

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Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on Russia's annexation of Crimea, claiming that people chose to rejoin Russia through a legal and democratic referendum. For similar cases, see here and here. No international body recognises the so-called referendum and held on 16th of March 2014. On the 27th of February 2014, when it was announced, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution which stated that the referendum in Crimea was not valid and could not serve as a basis for any change in the status of the peninsula. A year after the illegal annexation, even the Kremlin admitted that the plan to annex Crimea was ordered weeks before the so-called referendum.

It is also pro-Kremlin disinformation about countries controlled by the West and their statehood. See similar cases here and here. There was a civil war in Kosovo, with thousands of casualties and hundreds of thousands of refugees, and which Western countries stopped. In 2008 the EU Council stressed that in view of the conflict of the 1990s and the extended period of international administration under Security Council Resolution 1244, Kosovo constituted a sui generis case. On February 17, 2008, ​the Kosovo Assembly unanimously (109 members present) voted to declare independence from Serbia. Serbia declared that the independence of Kosovo was illegal and Russia supported Serbia in that decision. The basis for Kosovo’s independence was the prevailing view in international law that minorities who suffer systematic discrimination have the right to secede. This provided the basis for Kosovo’s recognition by a majority of UN member states. There is no evidence given for the claim that the Kosovo case (independence) is “an outside intervention”.