Fake News Used to Elect Candidates to European Parliament

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ZAGREB, January 22, 2018 – The European Union’s foreign ministers on Monday discussed an action plan to tackle fake news in the context of perceiving fake news as a challenge in the run-up to the forthcoming European Parliament elections, and Croatian Foreign and European Affairs Minister Marija Pejčinović Burić said that there were some in Croatia who resorted to fake news in a bid to win a seat in the European Parliament.

“In the context of preparations for countering fake news and in connection with the forthcoming EP elections, it is obvious that the election campaign has already been launched in Croatia and that there are some who use fake news in an attempt to win a seat in the European Parliament,” Pejčinović Burić said in Brussels, answering questions from the press.

She also believes that the recent developments and debates in the Croatian parliament should be perceived in that context.

The EU Foreign Affairs Council focused its debate on the prevention of fake news and the influence of third countries on east and southeast Europe and on the EU’s southern neighbours, as well as on the EU member-states.

The action plan outlined by the European Commission in December revolves around the exposure of citizens to large scale disinformation, including misleading or outright false information.

The Commission has engaged with all stakeholders to define a clear, comprehensive and broad-based action plan to tackle the spread and impact of online disinformation in Europe and ensure the protection of European values and democratic systems.

“The European Union has outlined an action plan to step up efforts to counter disinformation in Europe and beyond focusing on four key areas. This plan serves to build EU’s capabilities and strengthen cooperation between member states by improving detection, having a coordinated response to threats, collaboration with online platforms and industry as well as raising awareness and empowering citizens,” according to information on the EC’s website.

The Croatian minister said that by March, the EU member-states are supposed to set up national contact points for the exchange of important information.

In the medium- and long-run it is essential to raise awareness of the existence of fake news and to enhance media culture and ways to interpret information and verify it, she added, calling for a broad struggle against this phenomenon.

More news on the elections for the European Parliament in Croatia can be found in the Politics section.


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