President of the Republic of Lithuania

Unified response from the EU to counter Russian disinformation

2015-03-19

Thursday, March 19, Brussels – For the first time, on Lithuania’s initiative the European Council has discussed counter-measures against Russia’s ongoing disinformation campaign. EU leaders have tasked High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini with preparing together with the member states and European institutions an action plan on strategic communication to counter information attacks. The action plan should be ready by June. 

President Dalia Grybauskaitė underlines that in a changed geopolitical situation Russia has launched a fierce information war to spread misinformation, to turn Europeans against each other and to undermine the unity of member states, therefore a unified response is needed from the European Union. 

“We must fight, together and consistently, against Russian disinformation. We cannot allow misleading people, diminishing European values and spreading lies in the EU public space,” the President said. 

According to the President, we need to explicitly identify propaganda and to know that it exists. We also need to expose lies and to invest into alternative information sources.

EU member states are also taking tough national measures to fight propaganda, instigation of hatred and terrorism. A few days ago, the French Ministry of the Interior adopted a decision to close as many as five websites suspected of incitement to terrorism.  

In Lithuania, the President has initiated amendments to the Law on the Provision of Information to the Public, providing for strict responsibility for the instigation of war and also for proportionate fines with respect to all broadcasters and re-broadcasters. More powers will be given to the Lithuanian Radio and Television Commission which performs regulatory and supervisory functions. 

Press Service of the President

Last updated 2015.03.19 22:00

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