The EU might as well go down the drain if foreign meddling corrupts May’s elections

President Tusk meets Prime Minister of Armenia
Copyright: European Union
Date: 05/03/2019
Location:Bruxelles – BELGIQUE

The EU elections will take place in about two months’ time but anti-European together with foreign parties are most likely going to try to exert influence on the upcoming outcome. Anti-establishment parties are expected to change the current balance and status quo if the two mainstream parties, the conservative EPP (European People’s Party) and the socialist party S&D (Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats), lose their majority and they will have to seek agreements with the other parties to approve any legislation and form policies.

The president of the European Council, Mr. Donald Tusk, expressed his strong concerns last week regarding the intervention of foreign countries to the EU elections in their attempt to create disorder and affect the democratic choices of the EU citizens.

Is Russia targeting May elections?

According to the latest annual threat assessment produced by the Estonian Foreign Intelligence Service, Russia is expected to try to corrupt the elections of the European Parliament by endorsing anti-EU parties from large EU countries like Germany, Italy and France. More specifically, Mikk Marran, director general of the Estonian Foreign Intelligence Service and author of the report, mentioned: “Russia is very likely to try to intervene in the European Parliament elections to secure as many seats as possible for pro-Russian or eurosceptical political forces”.

But how could Russia accomplish that? Mikk Marran states that some of the means to be used involve Russian-controlled media, organization of high-level meetings, spreading of fake news in social media and financial assistance where necessary. Thus, it is not an over-exaggeration that the EU officials have been greatly worrying about the impact of such actions on the imminent EU elections.

Populist upturn creates turbulences

The populist parties in the bloc are projected to succeed historic wins at the expense of the mainstream ones. The stakes are extremely high considering that the anti-EU establishment parties could win more than a third of the seats at the next European Parliament. A possible effect could be that a combined alignment of ideas by these parties could lead to the annulment of the EU sanctions against Russia, the closure of national borders and increase of anti-migration sentiments and further impediments on the EU foreign trade agenda.

Therefore, it is not difficult to understand that the parties benefited by the rise of far-right politics are parties such as La League and Five Star Movement in Italy, National Front in France and Hungary’s Fidesz party of Victor Orban.

EU concerns and countermeasures

The European Union officials and leaders have been fearing for the result of the EU elections and attempt to create awareness and gather together the EU democratic forces. Particularly Donald Tusk said last week during a press conference in Brussels: “There are external anti-European forces, which are seeking – openly or secretly – to influence the democratic choices of Europeans, as was the case with Brexit and a number of election campaigns across Europe. And it may again be the case with the European elections in May. Do not allow political parties that are funded by external forces, hostile to Europe, to decide on key priorities for the EU, and the new leadership of European institutions. We cannot wait for the renaissance of Europe – the renaissance of Europe must start now.”

As far as the European Parliament is concerned, the MEPs assessed the current state of EU-Russia political relations yesterday and voted in favour of continuing to impose sanctions if Russia continues to violate international law, revise the partnership by limiting cooperation and increase the financial assistance and human resources for the EU‘s East Stratcom Task Force. Their aim is to challenge Russia’s ongoing disinformation campaigns which could mould the result of the elections in May.

What is more, the European Commission has created an action plan to tackle disinformation online and with the contribution of social media companies like Facebook, Google and Twitter attempts to protect EU citizens from misleading false information and prevent any external party from interfering with the elections’ outcome.

Is thus the bloc prepared to respond efficiently and ensure democratic and fair elections? Unfortunately, the latter is hard to accomplish because the results of this plan are still not satisfactory and have fallen short of expectations. Also, the cases of the Brexit referendum and 2016 US elections outcomes have clearly showcased that elections can been distorted to a decisive extent. Further, time is not with the EU side which is running out of options now. Instead, the EU should have built its bulletproof EU election armour months and years ago.

All in all, it seems that the European Union is positioned with its back against the wall as foreign meddling is expected to hit hard and shake the EU project foundations in May leaving the European citizens defenceless to external and populist influences.

Let’s all hope that the ballots on 23-26 May 2019 will show the true democratic will of the European Citizens and not a corrupted result moulded by demagogy and hackers.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Greenpeace’s saints and sinners in the tech world

Towards a European Republic

There is no recipe for a healthy mental state

EU guidance on the handling of visa applications from residents of Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk regions

EU Parliament shows its teeth in view of 2014 elections

There are now four competing visions of the internet. How should they be governed?

The brain amidst COVID-19 pandemic

The UN came of age with the nuclear bomb. Time for it to step up to the AI era

The Chinese spirit

These are the world’s healthiest nations

Youth for Climate Change

George Floyd: these are the injustices that led to the protests in the United States

Can the US-Iran rapprochement change the world?

Brussels to tear down the trade wall with Mexico as opposed to Trump’s “walls”

The ECB tells Berlin that a Germanic Eurozone is unacceptable and doesn’t work

This South Korean company has built a 5G search and rescue airship

Welcome to the age of the platform nation

Spain will soon overtake Japan in life expectancy rankings. Here’s why

Hatred ‘a threat to everyone’, urges Guterres calling for global effort to end xenophobia and ‘loathsome rhetoric’

Why Trump’s tariffs are good news for US garlic farmers

The Juncker Plan at work: bringing investment back on track in Europe

UN Climate Action Summit concludes with insufficient EU and global pledges

Three of the world’s hardest-hit nations are preparing to end their lockdowns

Indonesia: Psychological impact on earthquake survivors turns villages into ‘ghost towns’

‘A trusted voice’ for social justice: Guterres celebrates 100 years of the International Labour Organization

Restrictions, unmet promises, unbridled violence in Sudan, a ‘recipe for disaster’, says Bachelet

COVID-19 is a threat to waste pickers. Here’s how to help them

World’s 1.8 billion youth must ‘have a say in the future of the planet’

Human trafficking cases hit a 13-year record high, new UN report shows

5 facts about the world’s most valuable company, Saudi Aramco

Transport Committee approves major reform of road transport sector

How Costa Rica’s environment minister talks to his daughter about climate change

How to build a paradise for women. A lesson from Iceland

Commission publishes the first report on the issuance of a Eurobond

Antitrust: Commission opens investigation into possible anti-competitive conduct of Amazon

Innovations for Content Professionals at the DCX exhibition 2018 in Berlin, in association with The European Sting

WHO and IFMSA as transcendent pillars for world improvement

At last Germany to negotiate the costs for a really cohesive Eurozone

Building social good – lessons from an Asian giant

EU budget for 2019: do more for the young, SMEs and the climate, urge MEPs

GSMA Announces Latest Event Updates for 2018 “Mobile World Congress Americas, in Partnership with CTIA”

UN court increases sentence of former Bosnian-Serb leader to life imprisonment

Impact Investment needs global standards and better measurement

Britain’s May won the first round on the Brexit agreement with the EU

Is Universal Health Coverage really available for all in the European Union?

Does the West play the Syrian game in Egypt?

The blackened white coat of the doctors

The Sahel is engulfed by violence. Climate change, food insecurity and extremists are largely to blame

Efforts to save the planet must start with the Antarctic

Reading this alone? Recent surveys reveal the curious truth about loneliness

Far more needed to ‘confront the world’s climate emergency’, UN chief tells ASEAN Summit

ECB settles the bank resolution issue, makes banking union tangible

Our food system is pushing nature to the brink. Here’s what we need to do

Brexit deal approved by the European Parliament

Rule of Law: European Commission takes new step to protect judges in Poland against political control

These are the OECD’s most productive economies

West Africa ‘shaken by unprecedented violence’, UN envoy tells Security Council

Now doctors can manipulate genetics to modify babies, is it ethical?

UN receives ‘Humanium’ wristwatch gift, symbolizing peaceful transformation

How nudge theory can help empty our plastic-filled ‘drawers of shame’

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s