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European Parliament Presses For More Money To Fight Russian Disinformation

BRUSSELS -- A recommendation by the European Parliament calls Russia "the main source of disinformation in Europe" and appeals for increased funding for the European Union's antipropaganda East StratCom Task Force.

European lawmakers late last year granted the East StratCom Task Force 1.1 million euros ($1.3 million) annually from the EU budget and it is likely that the group will get a marginal increase this year.

The recommendation was passed with an overwhelming majority of votes.

It says that East StratCom Task Force as well as its two task-force siblings dealing with the southern neighborhood and Western Balkans, should be provided with "adequate financial and personnel resources which are still required, aimed at the significant increase of their potential, effectiveness, professionalism, institutional continuity and quality of work, as well as safeguarding them against political meddling by officials and countries that back Russian disinformation."

The recommendation also invites EU member states "to ensure that electoral laws take into account possible threats stemming from disinformation campaigns" and urges them to "adapt their electoral rules on online campaigning and to monitor and evaluate the transparency features in relation to political advertising introduced by the online platforms."

Further suggestions include support for "independent and diverse Russian-language media in the countries of the Eastern Partnership and beyond" and "to focus on the EU accession countries and partners in the EU neighborhood by assisting them in their efforts to counteract hostile propaganda and disinformation activities."

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    Rikard Jozwiak

    Rikard Jozwiak is the Europe editor for RFE/RL in Prague, focusing on coverage of the European Union and NATO. He previously worked as RFE/RL’s Brussels correspondent, covering numerous international summits, European elections, and international court rulings. He has reported from most European capitals, as well as Central Asia.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

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