Tag Archives: ALDE

ALDE Baalen condemns China disinformation

The president of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party Hans van Baalen issued a statement on China COVID-19 pandemic strategy used for political purposes. Van Baalen position received support of his party members.

“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, China has been using this public health emergency to deploy a global disinformation campaign. The campaign has targeted mainly Western countries and includes all sorts of disinformation intended to cover up the real number of people infected and build a new story deflecting the origins of the outbreak.

These disinformation hostilities are building distrust in the ability of democratic institutions to deliver effective responses to fight the pandemic.

Last week the European External Action Service (EEAS) published a report documenting narratives and disinformation about the coronavirus pandemic. They used notably soft language towards China following pressure from Chinese officials.

What’s more, China’s censorship machine has taken down any information that the government might consider fake, and many Internet activists and journalists have been detained.

“Renew Europe MEP Bart Groothuis initiated a cross party letter along with other MEPs from the Renew Europe Group to High Representative Josep Borrell, asking for clarification on allegations that the report by the EEAS was diluted at the request of the Chinese Government.

“Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, China and Russia are deploying a global disinformation campaign intended to position themselves as global leaders and undermine the trust on liberal democracies and their institutions.

“The EU needs to be vigilant and respond to these hostilities. The European External Action Service report on narratives and disinformation of COVID-19 is one step forward, however, the recent allegations regarding the softening of the content upon the request of the Chinese government are of deep concern. The EU cannot let an external country to influence in the information shared.

“The EU must find its position in this new global stage and it has all it takes to fight back and lead by example, but unity and cooperation of all member states and stronger liberal institutional powers are needed. The EU can be a leader on the global stage, but it needs to portrait itself as a true Union of liberal democratic states that tackle the crisis collectively, efficiently and transparently.

The fight against COVID-19 is a common fight. Authoritarian regimes that cover up and disguise information cannot be the leading example, but liberal democracies that safeguard civil liberties and share transparent and efficient information“.

Loiseau self-destructive sarcasm

President Emmanuel Macron’s  candidate to lead a new centrist alliance in the European Parliament Nathalie Loiseau said on she was pulling out of the race, in a defiance to French government influence in the parliamenEt.

Nathalie Loiseau was quoted by Belgian newspapers disparaging allies in Renew Europe, formed by Macron’s party and the liberal ALDE, and adding she intends a sweeping overhaul of the group, the third biggest in the European Parliament.

Loiseau was quoted in Le Soir calling ALDE’s longtime leader Guy Verhofstadtan old git with pent-up frustrations” and branding the conservative European People’s party candidate for Commission president an “ectoplasm”.

Loiseau described the comments, made during an off-record briefing to journalists in Brussels, as “pure fiction” but their leak damaged her credibility just as competition for the leadership intensified. And according to her own words she preferred to renounce her ambition to lead the group.

 

 

Black-white paper on terrorism victims

Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Maite Pagazaurtundua-Ruiz (Spain, ALDE) composed a list of people killed in terrorist attacks on the European Union (EU) soil between 2000 and 2018. MEP also has drawn the other list of the European citizens murdered outside the bloc external borders during of the same period. The conclusions of his “White and Black Book of Terrorism” will be presented on March 5, in partnership with the French Association of Victims of Terrorism (AFVT). A tribute to the missing, aged from 1 to 90 years old.

Anticipating the event in the European Parliament the Center for the Analysis of Terrorism (CAT) posted on Twitter micro blog the charter of Le Parisien on terrorism:

“White and black paper terrorism in Europe: census of 1.868 dead (90% victims of Islamist terrorism) from 2000 to 2018 including 753 in Europe. 379 French victims in Europe and worldwide since 2000”.

 

The CAT provides a unique ability of research and analysis on terrorism and response strategies, with a focus on the organizational, financial and spatial patterns of terrorist activities.

MEP Maite Pagazaurtundua-Ruiz, who launched the project, lost a brother murdered by the Basque separatist organization ETA.

The presentation of the report will take place in European Parliament, Brussels on March 5.

 

 

Rutte lures Macron to join European Liberals

The EU politicians discuss the decision of French President Emmanuel Macron to join Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) in upcoming European elections. (Image: illustration).

A game-changing alliance led by French President Macron and Dutch Prime Minister Rutte is aiming to redraw the European political map to unite the liberal camp for next year’s European Parliament elections” – says Alfons Lopez Tena in his micro blog.

However not everyone understand the move. “I wouldn’t consider Mr. Macron a free market liberal when it comes to EU policy”, writes Pieter Cleppe from ALDE, who assesses the alliance as “wired‘, but nevertheless is “happy to meet” the French ruling party in the ranks of Liberals ahead of elections campaign.

 

AUŠTREVIČIUS: Skripal case is Putin’s demonstration of power

Petras AUŠTREVIČIUS, MEP (ALDE, Lithuania) comments on double agent Sergei Skripal poisoning, and subsequent eviction of 23 Russian diplomats from London, announced by Prime Minister Theresa May, who called it “a reckless and despicable act”.

Skripal betrayed dozens of Russian agents to Britain before being arrested in Moscow and later jailed in 2006. He was freed under a spy swap deal in 2010 and took refuge in Britain.

ALDE group of European Parliament has been following Sripals case, Guy Verhofstadt called for a “common EU response”.

Skripal betrayed dozens of Russian agents to Britain, tracked, arrested and jailed in 2006. However was pardoned and released under a spy swap deal in 2010 and took refuge in the UK.

ALDE for new start with Russia

The European Parliament ALDE group, led by Guy Verhofstadt, hosted an annual conference on future of the EU-Russia relations #EURussia, the event is organised the third  time on the day of the Kremlin opposition politician Boris Nemtsov assassination. In spite of the symbolism, the tone of the debate was definitely constructive, aimed at normalisation of the relation between the neighbours, especially in the field of trade, suffering from both side from boycott, which has not brought an expected result. The burden of the sanctions has caused problems for the European farmers, who paid the bill for the EU method of pressure implication. However the policy was inconsistent, and Russian opposition politician Alexey Navalny, who virtually participated in the conference, criticised the European companies for baning his documentaries upon the request of Russian officials, and the other cases of Europe compromising its values, namely the freedom of speech, when dealing with Moscow.

In spite of the criticism of Kremlin, the participants of the conference unlike many other events on the subject, have drawn a clear line between the authorities and regular citizens of Russia, suggesting that there should be two different policies aimed at this two groups. The Chairman of the Munich Security Conference Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger called for visa-free regime with Russia, enhancing people-to-people contacts – the best way to ensure and promote democratic change, while awaiting for a chance to step in. Ischinger reminded about the spontaneous reunification of Germany, and added that Europe should be ready to step in when there will be a window of opportunity in Russia. He also regretted the policy of sanctions that had altogether negative effect on economies, and degraded the relations to lowest since the times of Cold War.

Responding to criticism, Russian foreign affairs expert Andrey Kortunov said there is sufficient space in existing frames for exchanges between the EU and Russian, but the is a need to use them effectively before proposing new formats. He admitted the difficulty of transition from communism to democracy was underestimated.

The representative of the NGO Golos Stanislav Andreichuk shared his vision of ongoing change within Russian society, gradually rediscovering its own potential. He underlined there is less readiness for complicity with Kremlin to manipulate the elections, and even lesser to commit fraud with the ballots. Andreichuk supported the proposal of visa-free with Russia, however insisted on tough struggle against corrupt officials.

The two-track approach was a promoted by many participants of the event, suggesting there is right time to engage in dialogue with Russia for the sake of the economic interest, and a profound need of democratisation of Russian society.

The leader of ALDE, being a consequent supported of Magnitsky law, has criticised the EU hypocrisy for accepting corrupt officials in Europe. He underscored the necessity to work on democratic change to avoid losing a young generation of Russian.

 

 

Hilde Vautmans: EU needs new strategy towards Russia

The participant of the ALDE conference on EU-Russia relations – MEPs, members of civil society, and academia put forward new four step policy towards Russia: visa liberalisation to enhance people to people contacts, “mutually convenient” economic co-operation and free-trade areas from Lisbon to Vladivostok; reconfirm the commitment to OSCE principles; engage in political dialogue in the framework of the Council of Europe.

Hilde VAUTMANS, MEP, ALDE expressed her concern about the multiple negative impacts of the current “vicious circle” of sanctions against Russia: there are European farmer who pay the bill for boycotting Russia, but not only. The wide-spread antagonism towards the Europe among young generation of Russians, born after the Cold War, will produce a significant difficulties in relations between neighbours in the future.

The conference took place in the European Parliament, 28 of February 2018

 

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