COVID-19: MEPs concerned over disinformation attempts

MEPs and High Representative/Vice President Josep Borrell will discuss the latest report by the European External Action Service about disinformation on COVID-19, on Thursday.

The aim of the latest report, published by the European External Action Service (EEAS) on 24 April, is to provide a snapshot overview of the current trends and insights into disinformation activities related to the COVID-19 pandemic around the world. Mr Borrell will answer questions from members of the European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee (AFET) on the report and its publication.

“I welcome that HR/VP Josep Borrell agreed to personally discuss with the members of the Foreign Affairs Committee and look forward to an interesting exchange of views”, says AFET Chair David McAllister (EPP, DE).

COVID-19-related disinformation, propaganda and other activities

The report notes a proliferation of misinformation, disinformation incidents, and other forms of manipulation and distortions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite their potentially grave impact on public health, official and state-backed sources from various governments have continued to widely target conspiracy narratives and disinformation both at public audiences in the EU and the wider neighbourhood, according to the text.

Latest Parliament resolution

In a resolution adopted by the European Parliament on 17 April, MEPs also stressed that disinformation about COVID-19 is a major public health problem. The EU should therefore establish a European information source to ensure that all citizens have access to accurate and verified information. MEPs also called on social media companies to proactively take the necessary measures to stop disinformation and hate speech related to the coronavirus.

WHEN: Thursday 30 April, 16.00 – 17.30 CET.

WHERE: European Parliament ANTALL building, room 4Q1.

You can follow the meeting live here.

More information

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, journalists are strongly advised to follow the meeting online.