Parliament supports SP: Failing Brussels Fake News Bureau Must Close

6 March 2018

Parliament supports SP: Failing Brussels Fake News Bureau Must Close

A majority in Parliament's main legislative chamber today supported a proposal from SP Member Peter Kwint and MPs of the centre-right governing party the VVD. The government will now be obliged to put pressure on the EU authorities to close the controversial fake news bureau, 'EU vs Disinfo'. The bureau's ostensible function is to combat fake news, but it has itself issued false report after demonstrably false report. “The government didn't want this, but Parliament was insistent,” said Kwint. “We don't want Brussels bureaucrats distributing seals of approval for so-called 'good' journalism and scolding 'bad' journalists. No government should be starting down that road.”

The parliamentary resolution represents a political defeat for Deputy Prime Minister Kasja Ollongren who a few hours prior to the vote sent a briefing to Parliament in which she advised rejection of the SP-VVD proposal. The same minister must now persuade ministers from other member states that this bureau should be immediately disbanded. Straight after the vote the SP requested a further briefing from the government explaining how they planned to deal with the parliamentary resolution.

“Everything about this is wrong,” said Kwint. “The bureau itself is failing time after time, as well as which the prospect of a governmental institution which takes it upon itself to judge how journalists do their work is positively Orwellian. It would be much better if governments were to invest in critical journalistic and media education, while itself staying well away from judging people who themselves should be keeping a critical eye on the powers-that-be, rather than the other way round.”

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