Zovko: The EU must act assertively and must be a strong and credible player on the global scene
Brussels/Split 30 April 2020
The Committee on Foreign Affairs in the European Parliament (AFET) hosted today an exchange of views with Josep Borrell, Vice-President of the European Commission/ High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, on the EEAS special report on the narratives and disinformation around the COVID-19/Coronavirus pandemic worldwide. The report published by the European External Action Service (EEAS) on 24 April, is an updated version of an earlier report distributed on 21 April. According to several news outlets, this report has allegedly undergone changes due to external pressure. Immediately after the publication of these allegations, HRVP Borrell has been invited to the AFET committee for a fact-finding hearing.
As EPP Vice-coordinator of AFET, Željana Zovko welcomes the prompt initiative of AFET Chair David McAllister to organise the extraordinary meeting. “The European Union is the biggest contributor to global development and the UN institutions. It is important that we are assertive in this turbulent world and that we are a strong and credible player on the global scene,” Zovko said. “I highly welcome the extraordinary meeting and the execution of the parliamentary scrutiny over the other European institutions. This meeting will help us to clear out what happens by looking at the facts. The EU has quite volatile neighboughood that is constantly looking at what we do. Today we set a great example for the world,” Zovko concluded.
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.