A senior French cabinet minister said on Tuesday that he had agreed to a new EU deal to tackle fake news, with Britain and France among the first to sign the document.
The document, which is expected to be formally presented to EU leaders in Brussels next week, would allow governments to share information on the spread of fake news with the bloc’s 26 other states.
The aim is to give the EU more powers to tackle online misinformation and propaganda that could undermine the blocs efforts to stem the spread and spread of terrorist propaganda and other harmful content.
“France is not alone.
It is a great achievement to see countries like Britain, France and Germany agreeing on a new agreement with the European Union to tackle this problem,” Economy Minister Pierre Moscovici told reporters after meeting the French government in Paris.
The EU has a legal framework to address fake news but has struggled to crack down on the phenomenon.
The bloc has taken in more than 2 million migrants since 2015 and has had to put thousands of migrants under surveillance.
A draft law to tackle misinformation in the EU was last year defeated by the bloc.
The deal was signed by Moscoviati and EU leaders on Tuesday.
The deal would allow the EU to share data on fake news and propaganda online, and allow member states to share such data with each other, including for their own purposes.
Britain and France will be able to share fake news information with each of the EU’s 27 member states, Moscici said.
The UK, which was a vocal critic of the agreement during the Brexit negotiations, said it was a “historic” moment.
The agreement would also expand the powers of national parliaments and increase the amount of data the bloc can share with the EU.
It is unclear what new information the EU might share with Britain, but it could include data on the number of fake stories and stories on the EU and the UK’s vote to leave the bloc, which triggered Brexit talks.
It also could include information on political leaders who use fake news.
“I think it’s a big step forward.
I hope the Europeans are satisfied and that it will bring more transparency,” said Anna Sjoberg, a political science lecturer at the University of Bergen.
France is currently the EUs most vocal critic.
It has accused the bloc of acting too slowly to combat disinformation and fake news in the wake of the Paris attacks, and of failing to take more decisive action to stop it spreading in the months after the attack.