Voting in the EP elections will bring no benefits to the Latvian people

Summary

Voting in the elections for the European Parliament means helping some politicians to settle down well in Brussels, but it does not bring any benefits to the Latvian people.

Disproof

Recurring Kremlin narrative about the European Parliament and uselessness of elections.

The European Parliament is one of the two EU law-making bodies. Parliament has constitutional-type and ratification powers. So Latvian MEPs will help pass EU laws, together with the Council of the EU, based on European Commission proposals. It has budgetary powers, scrutiny over the executive, it hears citizens’ petitions, and appoints the European Ombudsman. A detailed overview of the European Parliament’s role in the European decision-making process can be consulted here.

Since 1979, the European Parliament is directly elected by EU voters every 5 years. The last elections were in May 2014.

According to the Latvian media, this year’s elections may be the most important in Parliament’s history, given the political context, the departure of the United Kingdom and major political and cross-border challenges that need to be addressed. In Latvia, 16 parties will contest the elections and 246 individuals will have a theoretical chance of a seat in Brussels. Latvia has just eight mandates in the European parliament, so the number of candidates with a realistic prospect of being elected is fairly small, in most cases limited to the first few candidates on a party list. Seats will be distributed to parties on a proportional representation basis, so support of around 12.5% of votes case is enough to win a seat.

 

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 143
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 02/04/2019
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Latvia, EU
  • Keywords: EU elections 2019, election meddling, Manipulated elections/referendum, Elections
  • Outlet: Sputnik Latvia
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Russia is accused of election meddling in France without any evidence

In France, Russia was accused of meddling in the elections without any evidence. Despite this, the media continue to refer to it by quoting government spokesman Benjamin Grivaux or other officials from La Republique en Marche. But in France, no Mueller report was commissioned. The confusion still persists.

 

Disproof

France still has not publicly attributed the cyberattacks to any particular perpetrator. The report by French Foreign Ministry and Ministry for the Armed Forces think tanks makes a clear distinction between the cyberattack and spreading manipulated information. According to the report, "Russian media, with Sputnik and RT at the head, played a non-negligible role in the diffusion of this information. --- What can be safely assumed is that, whoever the perpetrator was, they were at least linked to Russian interests and received help from the American alt-right and French far-right".

Currently, the General Secretariat for Defense and National Security (SGDSN) is in charge of the investigation of the alleged meddling of Russian social media accounts in the yellow vests protests.

In 2015, cyber attacks against  French TV channel TV5Monde were attributed by law enforcers  to Russian hackers.

Read more about election meddling in France and elsewhere here.

The war between Russia and NATO will break out in the Baltic Sea

The US Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments stated in its recent report that the conflict between Russia and NATO is likely to lead to a military conflict in the Baltic Sea.

Disproof

An often repeated narrative about the approaching conflict between Russia and NATO.

In fact, the cited report resume explicitly says that “a major conflict between NATO and Russia remains unlikely”.

Eurozone enables larger states to exploit smaller ones

Older EU member states and eurozone members with large economies exploit smaller states and newer EU and eurozone members such as Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovakia.

Disproof

A recurrent pro-Kremlin narrative seeking to create or exacerbate divisions within Europe. Recent economic statistics on the GDP growth of the newer eurozone members Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovakia argue against any exploitation.

In April 2019, the International Monetary Fund indicates the real GDP growth of these countries as follows: 3.2 % for Estonia, 3.3% for Latvia, 2.9% for Lithuania and 4.1% for Slovakia. Their GDP growth is mostly larger than in the “older” member states, such as Germany with 1.6% and France with 1.9%. Eurostat data also reveals predominately stable GDP growth in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovakia since the last global crisis of 2009. These numbers are also confirmed by the World Bank.