Zovko: disinformation campaigns in the Western Balkans try to turn the public opinion away from the EU
Brussels, 18 June 2020
Next to the health crisis and the economic crisis that affected the European Union and its citizens, the members of the European Parliament also addressed in a debate in the plenary session the increase of disinformation in relation to the current pandemic. Željana Zovko, EPP vice-coordinator for foreign affairs said that the aim of these malicious media campaigns are to portray the EU as ineffective and divided in its corona response.
In her intervention, Zovko stated that the disinformation campaigns are particularly strong in the Western Balkans. “They try to destabilize the region and turn the public opinion away from the European Union.” She also said that although the European Union provided an unparalleled support of 3.3 billion euros to the Western Balkans during the crises, the polls still show that majority of citizens think that other regional powers provided more.
Acording to Zovko, the best way to fight disinformation is with transparency accountability and increased visibility. Therefore, she welcomes the efforts of the East StratCom Task Force and the EU Rapid Alert System that fact-check and share genuine information. Zovko also mentioned that she and her colleagues, as representatives of European citizens, should go the extra mile to inform the constituents and make them more vigilant for mis- and disinformation. “We have an ‘infodemic’ on our hands and we need decisive actions to fight it,” she concluded.