EU Elections Are Being Targeted by ‘External Forces,’ Tusk Warns

(Bloomberg) -- European Union President Donald Tusk warned that “external forces” could be trying to influence the EU’s legislative elections in May, saying such interference happened “openly or secretly” in the Brexit referendum and other votes in Europe.

Tusk backed a call by French President Emmanuel Macron for an EU-wide agency to protect voting from “cyber-attacks and manipulations.” Macron made the call in an opinion piece published on Tuesday in newspapers in each of the EU’s 28 countries.

“There are external anti-European forces, which are seeking -- openly or secretly -- to influence the democratic choices of Europeans, as was the case with Brexit and a number of election campaigns across Europe,” Tusk told reporters in Brussels on Tuesday. “And it may again be the case with the European elections in May.”

Voting for the next European Parliament is scheduled for May 23-26. Britain is due to be excluded from the ballot because the country plans to leave the EU on March 29.

“I am calling on all those who care about the EU to cooperate closely during and after the European elections,” Tusk said. “Do not allow political parties that are funded by external forces, hostile to Europe, to decide on key priorities for the EU, and the new leadership of European institutions,” he said.

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