European Council President Donald Tusk has warned about hostile foreign meddling in European Parliament elections that are scheduled for May.
Tusk told a news conference in Brussels on March 5 that there is a threat of attacks similar to the public-opinion manipulation campaigns he says were conducted in a bid to influence Britain’s 2016 Brexit referendum and other recent votes in European Union countries.
“There are external anti-European forces which are seeking — openly or secretly — to influence the democratic choices of the Europeans, as was the case with Brexit and a number of election campaigns across Europe,” Tusk told reporters
Tusk did not specifically name Russia. But Britain’s government has alleged that Russia tried to manipulate the Brexit vote, and other EU countries — including France and Germany — have charged that Russia has tried to influence their elections in the same way that Russian trolls allegedly interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
“It may again be the case with the European Parliament election in May,” Tusk said on March 5. “Do not allow political parties that are funded by external forces hostile to Europe to decide on key priorities of the EU and the leadership of European institutions.”