Paris (dpa) – Germany, France and Poland want to step up the fight against Russian attempts at disinformation in the run-up to the European elections in June.

Russia’s disinformation campaign is intended to undermine democracy and cast the European Union in a bad light, the three countries say.

At a meeting near Paris on Monday, German European Affairs Minister Anna Lührmann, France’s Deputy Minister for European Affairs Jean-Noël Barrot and Poland’s Foreign Minister Adam Szlapka declared that they would not tolerate any attempts to interfere in democratic processes.

The three countries are campaigning at the EU level for large online platforms and search engines to take faster and more efficient action against new disinformation campaigns that are uncovered by national authorities.

“I believe it is crucial that we take more decisive action against disinformation,” said Lührmann at the meeting of the representatives of the so-called Weimar Triangle countries. “It is important that our democracy is resilient and that we do not act naively when confronting an actor who already has many means at his disposal.”

She said that if the EU wants to protect democracy, it must take action against concrete disinformation and exchange information on protective measures, but also invest in prevention. “We need to strengthen media literacy and the critical handling of information in our societies and make it easier for citizens to access credible information that they can trust.”

The three countries also raised the idea of a European media platform comparable to the French-German TV channel ARTE, which could contribute to the fight against disinformation and provide high-quality information for all EU citizens. “We believe it is important to discuss a European media platform that would enable citizens to access media content more jointly in a pan-European context,” Lührmann said. (April 29)

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