In light of inaccurate information published in some media about the “watering down” of an EU report on disinformation recently released after pressure from China, EU Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs Peter Stano wrote a letter to the editor of the New York Times:
Letter to the Editor
“I read with disappointment your article Pressured by China, E.U. Softens Report on Covid-19 Disinformation.
As outlined in the earlier reports, disinformation, myths and misinformation continue to proliferate around the world, with potentially harmful consequences for public security, health and effective crisis communications. In this context, it is important to distinguish the very different forms of mis- and disinformation, as well as other forms of information manipulation.
Disinformation and misinformation around COVID-19 continue to proliferate around the world, with potentially harmful consequences for public health and effective crisis communication. In the EU and elsewhere, coordinated disinformation messaging seeks to frame vulnerable minorities as the cause of the pandemic and to fuel distrust in the ability of democratic institutions to deliver effective responses. Some state and state-backed actors seek to exploit the public health crisis to advance geopolitical interests, often by directly challenging the credibility of the European Union and its partners.
Roughly two thousand global leaders, politicians, activists, experts and young people from all over the world gathered in Strasbourg this week for the 2019 edition of the World Forum for Democracy, where they discussed democracy in the information age. Hosted by the Council of Europe, the forum provides a unique platform for debating solutions to key questions for democracies worldwide.