President Dalia Grybauskaitė

Lithuania and the EU are building resilience against election interference

2018-11-22

Monday, November 22, Vilnius – President Dalia Grybauskaitė met with the European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Věra Jourová.

The meeting focused on free and fair elections to the European Parliament as well as on forthcoming elections in Lithuania and their protection against possible destructive intervention.

According to the President, next year's elections to the European Parliament and three elections in Lithuania will be held in a challenging geopolitical context and a different political and legal environment than previously.

The spread of disinformation, cyber-enabled threats, fake information, and the use of personal data for unauthorized purposes is growing. Member states need to act together in order to protect the democratic election process against malicious interference and illegal manipulation aimed at discrediting elections and their legitimacy.

The President underlined that it was very important to have effective measures in place so that European political parties running for election could not be financed by unfriendly third countries.

She further said that Lithuania supported the European Commission communique on securing free and fair European elections, which proposes to set up a European-level election cooperation network across member states, including Lithuania. It would enable authorities to quickly detect potential threats and ensure a swift and well-coordinated response.

Lithuania also stands in favor of the EU action plan for a coordinated response to disinformation and underscores the need to strengthen the East StratCom Task Force, focused on proactive communication of EU policies and activities.

The EU cyber rapid response force developed on Lithuania's initiative could be used in case of cyber attacks during elections.

According to the President, general public debates, open discussions and analyses play a very important role for ensuring transparent democratic elections.

Grassroot movements are emerging across Lithuania to bring society, the media and authorities together to fight fake news, disinformation and trolls online.

Elections to the European Parliament will be held next May. In Lithuania, presidential elections are also scheduled for May, preceded by municipal elections in March.

Press Service of the President

Last updated 2018.11.22 11:36

Back