BETA


2019/2810(RSP) Resolution on foreign electoral interference and disinformation in national and European democratic processes

Progress: Procedure completed

Legal Basis:
RoP 132-p2

Events

2020/02/03
   EC - Commission response to text adopted in plenary
Documents
2019/10/10
   EP - Motion for a resolution
Documents
2019/10/10
   EP - Motion for a resolution
Documents
2019/10/10
   EP - Results of vote in Parliament
2019/10/10
   EP - Decision by Parliament
Details

The European Parliament adopted by 469 votes to 143, with 47 abstentions, a resolution on foreign electoral interference and disinformation in national and European democratic processes.

Parliament reiterated that foreign interference in elections, by compromising citizens' right to participate in their country's government, was part of a broader strategy of hybrid warfare, and that addressing it therefore remained a core security and foreign policy issue. It recalled that free and fair elections were at the heart of the democratic process and called on the EU institutions and Member States to take decisive action on this point.

Worrying trend

Highlighting the global trend of far-right groups using large-scale disinformation on social media platforms, Members expressed concern that evidence of interference, often with indications of foreign influence, is constantly being uncovered in the run-up to all major national and European elections, with much of this interference benefiting anti-EU, right-wing extremist and populist candidates and targeting specific minorities and vulnerable groups, including migrants, LGBTI people, religious groups, people with a Roma background and Muslims, or people perceived as Muslims, to serve the wider purpose of undermining the appeal of democratic and equal societies.

Although the vast majority of Member States have full or partial bans on foreign donations to political parties and candidates, foreign actors have found ways to circumvent them and have offered support to their allies through loans from foreign banks (Front National in 2016), purchase agreements (allegations reported by Der Spiegel and Süddeutsche Zeitung against the Freedom Party of Austria, and by Buzzfeed and L'Espresso against the Lega per Salvini Premier party), as well as by facilitating financial activities, as reported in the British press in the context of the Leave campaign.had.

Russian Propaganda

Parliament noted with concern that the number of cases of disinformation attributed to Russian sources and documented by the East Strategic Communication Task Force since January 2019 (998 cases) is more than double that for the same period in 2018 (434 cases). It asked the Commission and the Council to put in place an effective and detailed strategy to counteract Russian disinformation strategies. It also condemned the increasingly aggressive actions of third country state and non-state actors seeking to undermine the foundations of European democracies and the sovereignty of all EU accession countries in the Western Balkans and Eastern Partnership countries.

Need for a coordinated approach

Members stressed that threats of interference can neither be addressed solely by national authorities working in isolation nor by pure self-regulation of the private sector but require a coordinated multi-level, multi-stakeholder approach. They proposed that a legal framework for tackling hybrid threats, including cyber-attacks and disinformation, should be developed both at EU and international level, in order to enable a robust response by the EU.

In this context, Parliament stressed, in particular, the need to improve media and civic education through culture and school education from an early age and the need for the European Union to seek to increase its own technological capacities to limit the possibilities of malicious electoral interference by foreign actors.

Parliament stressed the importance of:

- supporting responsible journalism and editorial responsibility in the media in facing the challenge of non-verified or biased information;

- supporting public service media, which do not rely financially on private funding sources and can therefore provide high-quality and impartial information to the general public;

- strengthening the EU's East Stratcom task force into a permanent structure within the European External Action Service, with significantly higher funding and staff than hitherto.

The Commission was invited to:

- monitor the impact of foreign interference across Europe and fulfil the solemn commitment made by its President-elect Ursula von der Leyen to ‘address the threats of external intervention in our European elections’;

- assess legislative and non-legislative measures which can result in intervention by social media platforms with the aim of systematically labelling content shared by bots, reviewing algorithms in order to make them as unbiased as possible, and closing down accounts of persons engaging in illegal activities aimed at the disruption of democratic processes or at instigating hate speech, while not compromising on freedom of expression;

- provide funding and support for public awareness campaigns to increase the resilience of European citizens to disinformation.

Calling for a global reflection on foreign interference, Parliament called for a discussion with Member States to address the issue of foreign funding of European political parties and foundations.

Documents
2019/10/10
   EP - End of procedure in Parliament
2019/09/17
   EP - Debate in Parliament

Documents

Activities

Votes

B9-0108/2019 - Am 2 #

2019/10/10 Outcome: +: 436, -: 126, 0: 92
DE ES GB NL PT PL RO FR SE BE IE FI DK EL CY SK MT LU CZ LT BG EE HR IT LV AT SI HU
Total
85
45
65
26
21
39
26
65
19
19
10
13
12
18
6
11
6
5
18
10
13
3
10
64
7
17
6
15
icon: S&D S&D
138

Greece S&D

2

Cyprus S&D

2

Lithuania S&D

2

Bulgaria S&D

For (1)

4

Estonia S&D

For (1)

1

Latvia S&D

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1

Slovenia S&D

For (1)

1

Hungary S&D

1
icon: Renew Renew
97

Ireland Renew

For (1)

1

Finland Renew

3

Denmark Renew

Against (1)

4

Slovakia Renew

2

Luxembourg Renew

2

Lithuania Renew

Abstain (1)

2

Bulgaria Renew

2

Estonia Renew

2

Croatia Renew

For (1)

1

Latvia Renew

For (1)

1

Austria Renew

For (1)

1

Slovenia Renew

2

Hungary Renew

2
icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE
68

Spain Verts/ALE

2

Netherlands Verts/ALE

3

Portugal Verts/ALE

1

Sweden Verts/ALE

2

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3

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1

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2

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3

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1

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2
icon: PPE PPE
155

Denmark PPE

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1
2

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3

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2

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2

Czechia PPE

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Abstain (1)

4

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3

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5

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1

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4
3

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B9-0108/2019 - Am 3 #

2019/10/10 Outcome: +: 347, -: 282, 0: 34
ES FR DE PT BE SE GB DK RO NL EE IE CY CZ FI MT LT LU SK LV EL HR AT SI BG HU IT PL
Total
45
65
86
21
19
19
64
12
26
26
3
10
6
19
13
6
10
5
12
8
19
10
17
7
13
17
65
40
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140

Estonia S&D

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1

Cyprus S&D

2

Lithuania S&D

2

Latvia S&D

2

Greece S&D

2

Slovenia S&D

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1

Hungary S&D

2
icon: Renew Renew
98

Estonia Renew

2

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1

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3

Lithuania Renew

Abstain (1)

2

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2

Slovakia Renew

2

Latvia Renew

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1

Croatia Renew

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1

Austria Renew

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1

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2

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2
icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE
68

Spain Verts/ALE

2

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2
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39

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2

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1

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1
icon: NI NI
47

Germany NI

1

Slovakia NI

2

Croatia NI

Abstain (1)

1

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1
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49

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2

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2

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4

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4

B9-0108/2019 - § 10 #

2019/10/10 Outcome: +: 566, -: 58, 0: 39
DE ES PL IT FR RO NL PT SE HU BE GB BG AT EL DK CZ LT HR FI SK IE SI LV CY MT LU EE
Total
86
45
40
65
65
26
25
21
19
17
19
65
13
17
19
12
19
10
10
13
12
10
7
8
6
6
5
3
icon: PPE PPE
160

Denmark PPE

For (1)

1

Latvia PPE

2
2

Malta PPE

2

Luxembourg PPE

2
icon: S&D S&D
141

Hungary S&D

2

Greece S&D

2

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2

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1

Latvia S&D

2

Cyprus S&D

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1
icon: Renew Renew
96

Hungary Renew

2

Bulgaria Renew

2

Austria Renew

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1

Lithuania Renew

Abstain (1)

2

Croatia Renew

For (1)

1

Finland Renew

3

Slovakia Renew

2

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1

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2

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1

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2

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icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE
67

Spain Verts/ALE

2

Netherlands Verts/ALE

2

Portugal Verts/ALE

1

Sweden Verts/ALE

2

Belgium Verts/ALE

3

Austria Verts/ALE

2

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2

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49

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1

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2
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63

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B9-0108/2019 - § 21 #

2019/10/10 Outcome: +: 472, -: 178, 0: 13
DE PL ES RO NL BE CZ PT FI AT SE BG LT HR GB SK DK SI LV MT LU CY IE FR EE EL HU IT
Total
86
40
46
26
26
19
19
21
13
17
19
13
10
10
62
12
12
7
8
6
5
6
10
66
3
19
17
65
icon: S&D S&D
141

Lithuania S&D

2

Slovenia S&D

For (1)

1

Latvia S&D

2

Cyprus S&D

2

Estonia S&D

For (1)

1

Greece S&D

2

Hungary S&D

2
icon: PPE PPE
160

Denmark PPE

For (1)

1

Latvia PPE

2

Malta PPE

2

Luxembourg PPE

2
2
icon: Renew Renew
97

Finland Renew

3

Austria Renew

For (1)

1

Bulgaria Renew

2

Lithuania Renew

Abstain (1)

2

Croatia Renew

For (1)

1

Slovakia Renew

2

Slovenia Renew

2

Latvia Renew

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1

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2

Ireland Renew

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1

Estonia Renew

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2

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2
icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE
68

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2

Netherlands Verts/ALE

3

Belgium Verts/ALE

3

Czechia Verts/ALE

3

Portugal Verts/ALE

1

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2

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2

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2

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1

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icon: ECR ECR
49

Spain ECR

2

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4

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2
3

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2

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1

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3
icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL
39

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1

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1

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4

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1

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4
icon: NI NI
46

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1

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1

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2

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1
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63

Belgium ID

2

Czechia ID

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2

Finland ID

2

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2

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1

B9-0108/2019 - § 35 #

2019/10/10 Outcome: +: 573, -: 72, 0: 16
DE IT ES PL GB RO NL SE HU PT BE AT CZ FI DK EL BG HR FR IE SK LT SI MT LU LV CY EE
Total
86
65
46
40
63
24
26
19
17
21
19
17
19
13
12
19
13
10
66
10
11
10
7
6
5
8
6
3
icon: PPE PPE
160

Denmark PPE

For (1)

1

Malta PPE

2

Luxembourg PPE

2

Latvia PPE

2
2
icon: S&D S&D
139

Hungary S&D

2

Greece S&D

2

Bulgaria S&D

For (1)

4

Slovakia S&D

2

Lithuania S&D

2

Slovenia S&D

For (1)

1
4

Latvia S&D

2

Cyprus S&D

2

Estonia S&D

For (1)

1
icon: Renew Renew
97

Hungary Renew

2

Austria Renew

For (1)

1

Finland Renew

3

Bulgaria Renew

2

Croatia Renew

For (1)

1

Ireland Renew

For (1)

1

Slovakia Renew

2

Lithuania Renew

Abstain (1)

2

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2

Luxembourg Renew

2

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1

Estonia Renew

2
icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE
68

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2

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3

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2

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1

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3

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3

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1
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49

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2

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2

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1

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2

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1

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1

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2
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39

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1

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1

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1

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4

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1

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1

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1

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4

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2
icon: ID ID
63

Belgium ID

2

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2

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2

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2

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1
icon: NI NI
46

Germany NI

1

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1

Croatia NI

Abstain (1)

1

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2

B9-0108/2019 - Am 11S #

2019/10/10 Outcome: +: 320, -: 306, 0: 35
IT GB FR CZ HU DE FI NL IE DK EE LU SE LT SI PL BE BG SK LV CY HR MT EL PT AT ES RO
Total
65
65
63
19
16
85
13
26
10
12
3
5
19
10
7
40
19
13
12
8
6
10
6
19
21
17
46
26
icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE
68

Czechia Verts/ALE

3

Finland Verts/ALE

2

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3

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1

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2

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1

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2

Lithuania Verts/ALE

2

Belgium Verts/ALE

3

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1

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1

Austria Verts/ALE

2

Spain Verts/ALE

2
icon: ID ID
62

Czechia ID

2

Finland ID

2

Denmark ID

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1

Belgium ID

2

Austria ID

2
icon: ECR ECR
49

Lithuania ECR

1

Belgium ECR

2

Bulgaria ECR

2

Latvia ECR

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2

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For (1)

1

Greece ECR

1

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2
icon: NI NI
48

Hungary NI

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1

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1

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2

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Abstain (1)

1
icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL
37

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1

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3

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1

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4

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2

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2

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2

Bulgaria Renew

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2

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2

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1

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1

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1
icon: PPE PPE
159

Denmark PPE

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1

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4

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3

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2

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2
icon: S&D S&D
141

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2

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2

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1

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2

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1

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3

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2

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2
3

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