This article was written by Kris.
What is “FBPE?”
FBPE, “Follow Back Pro Europe”, is a movement dedicated to European fundamental values, and combatting populism and anti-democratic populist movements across the EU which stand counter to those values. Not beholden to any single political party or entity, we strive to provide information, support, and networking to any and all who wish to stand with us in preservation of those values, who have grown concerned about the rise of propaganda, deliberate disinformation and the sowing of discord across European nations – our home countries.
What are “European Values”?
As laid out by EUParl and the Treaty of Lisbon(*links below), the EU’s fundamental values are respect for human dignity, human rights, freedom, democracy, equality and the rule of law as it applies to political, economic, social and universal citizens’ rights. EU member states are pluralistic; fairness and equality is promoted; responsibility is shared. Member states must abide by these values, preserve and protect fundamentals of democracy via their governmental institutions (such as an indepdent judiciary).
Much has changed in the world since the EU’s earliest days; the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights accordingly addresses the unique challenges of today; rights concerning data security, bioethics, net neutrality, employee/workers rights and good administration also fall under the spectrum of “EU Values”.
What is “populism”?
While definitions in the academic sense may vary somewhat over time, populism doesn’t belong to one piece of the political spectrum, and populists can align with any point on a political spectrum. That said, generally populism refers to a movement or appeal to “the people”. While that, in and of itself, may not be inherently anti-democratic, when “the people” being appealed to may represent only a segment of the society at large, division of “us vs them” or disinformation is used to further platforms which seek to undermine European values by way of degrading them, or by tearing down the democratic institutions required to sustain them, it takes on a rather more destructive purpose.
Populism typically uses an appearance of empathy or sympathy – an emotional appeal, charged with rhetoric or unrealistic promises/proposals to generate alliances with those segments of the population.
LINKS THAT MAY BE USEFUL/IN SUPPORT OF THE ABOVE:
European Values and History/EUParl/Treaty of Lisbon:
Populism (definitions, where it links to, and differs from facism):
Countering disinformation and myths:
The “Euromyths” index – http://blogs.ec.europa.eu/ECintheUK/euromyths-a-z-index/
The “EU disinfo” website – https://euvsdisinfo.eu/ (also has a Twitter)
EU Mythbusters/StratCom Taskforce website – https://t.co/RYlb0TluwF (also has a Twitter)