Analysis of the News “A dark forecast for Brussels: the European Union will fall apart”

October 2022

As part of the Regional Initiative in Combating Disinformation “Western Balkans Anti-Disinformation Hub: Exposing Malign Influences through Watchdog Journalism”, we present you a new analysis of fake news and disinformation narratives.

A dark forecast for Brussels: the European Union will fall apart

Daily newspaper Večernje novosti, on its online portal, published an article about the end of the European Union as we know it today. This is just another one in a series of news by mainstream media in Serbia, such as Večernje novosti, which does not contain specific disinformation, but “pushes” a narrative against the EU.

In this case, Novosti refers to the statement of the former president of Moldova, Igor Dodon. He once said that Moldova should abandon its pro-European foreign policy, because it will never become part of the European Union, which will cease to exist.

“I don’t believe in European integration, and I don’t believe that Moldova will become part of the EU, because the European Union itself will not exist after a certain time, because the partners are trying to end it economically, it can no longer exist in this form, something needs to change,” said Dodon, as reported by Novosti. Adding that strategic partnership with Russia, China, Romania, Hungary and Turkey is more important for Moldova.

What Večernje Novosti do not mention is that Dodon is a pro-Russian politician in Moldova who won the presidential election in 2016 with the help of the Kremlin authorities. At the time, he promised that Moldova would restore its relations with Russia, which imposed an embargo on the import of Moldovan wine and fruit, after Moldova signed a Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) with the European Union.

He is so loyal to Putin that in Moldova Dodon was nicknamed “Putin’s mini” and “the emperor’s doormat”. Due to corruption scandals, the Court in Chisinau placed him under house arrest for 30 days for embezzlement and money laundering, as well as illegal financing of his Socialist Party. In June, he was accused for the electricity procurement contract from 2008, which is suspected of causing damage to the state of around 11.9 million euros.

Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, Dodon, who is close to the authorities in the Kremlin, has made a wide variety of statements justifying Russian aggression against Ukraine, which additionally strengthens the pro-Russian sentiment in that country with the separatist region of Transnistria, where the garrison of Russian troops is also located.

Apart from Večernje Novosti, since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, other Serbian mostly mainstream media have been reporting the statements of the former Moldovan president.

Based on the daily monitoring within the framework of this project, we notice that this pro-government mainstream media in Serbia do not miss the opportunity to convey the statements of various political actors from different countries that belong to the narrative that the European Union is on the verge of collapse due to the decision to impose sanctions on the regime in the Kremlin. Thus, Večernje novosti publishes an analysis that the EU is on the edge of the abyss because Germany is destroying unity and only looking after its own interests.

Author: Sofija Popović