The European Parliament, the European Council, the European Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy issued joint communiqué taking the initiative "tackling Coronavirus Disinformation- Getting the Facts Rightto counter misinformation about the coronavirus. This is the Commission's reaction to the rise in the spread of fake news and conspiracy theories on the internet.

Conspiracy theories - which endanger public health, harm social cohesion and harmonious coexistence and can lead to acts of racist violence and riots - require action and the commitment of institutions and social actors to deal with them.

The new European initiative includes the creation of an Action Plan against Disinformation, the utilization and coordination of the co-competent European bodies, the strengthening of the provisions on the practices of reaction to disinformation and the development of the European Digital Media Observatory.

As the EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, said: "disinformation in the age of the coronavirus can kill. We have a duty to protect citizens by informing them about fake news, and publicizing the actors responsible for these practices."

*Data from the website of the European Commission, 10.6.2020