Propagandists are spreading information that some EU member states are proposing to “abolish democracy” in order to “ignite conflict in Ukraine”. As evidence, they cite a joint statement by the foreign ministers of Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Romania, Slovenia and Spain, published in Politico. This is manipulation.
Specialists in the StopFake project drew attention to it. They stress that in fact, in a statement titled “It's time for more majority decision-making in EU foreign policy”, the ministers in question are calling on the EU to “make more use” of supermajority voting in EU foreign policy and security matters. In their opinion, the real challenges associated with Russian aggression against Ukraine and the high security risks for the EU member states require a prompt response and the functioning of all EU institutions. To date, the vast majority of decisions concerning EU foreign policy require unanimity, which in some cases, as noted in the publication, can slow down the reaction of the EU.
There is no mention of any “abolition of democracy” in the material. StopFake experts note that the Treaty on European Union provides that the Council of the EU, depending on the issue, can make its decisions by voting by a simple majority (14 votes in favor), a qualified majority or consensus (all votes in favor). Qualified majority voting assumes that a decision is considered to have been taken when two conditions are met simultaneously: 55% (15 out of 27 member countries) voted in favor, and the population of these countries is at least 65% of the total EU population. This mechanism is also referred to as the “double majority rule”. The Ministers in their publication note that they do not support amendments to the Agreement, but propose more efficient use of existing tools. They also support more often the use of the principle of constructive content, provided for in paragraph 1 of Article 31 of the same agreement. According to it, an EU country can abstain from voting on a specific initiative without blocking it.
Propagandists often take foreign publications out of context to reinforce Russian propaganda messages. In this case, they want to blame the Ukrainians for the erosion of European democracy. They say that because of the war in Ukraine, the European Union has become a puppet of the United States and ignores the opinion of countries that do not support its position on the war. Thus, they also want to show the inappropriateness of EU sanctions against Russia. However, the presence of different opinions about Russian aggression against Ukraine, even within the framework of the unanimous recognition of Russia as the aggressor, is an element of real democracy.