Has the EU banned kebabs? Does the EU want to boycott national products? Is there really a European tax on air conditioning?

It seems clear the answer to all these questions is no. They are all parts of myths and fake news circulating on Twitter, Facebook and many other online newspapers across Europe. In recent years, we have been spending more and more time on the web. We use it to work, to communicate, to have fun but, above all, to inform ourselves. It is not always easy to identify the true news from the false ones.

This fact, together with the growing of anti-European movements are more and more frequent to read fake news about Europe and its institutions.

As European Union constantly faces different manifestations of Europhobia, unmasking EU myths becomes more and more important to keep the EU united. Facts checking help not only to unmask the EU myths but as well to better understand the EU processes.

Based on these points, the MEGA project aims at enhancing critical thinking and media literacy of young people by analysing and unmasking Europhobic myths.

In order to achieve this goal, six organisations from Germany, Italy, France, Austria, Cyprus, and Lithuania working with young people from all over Europe, have been cooperating, developing these tools:

  • EU myths and success stories
    A report on widespread Europhobic myths and success stories of the EU.
  • EU learning games
    Online gamification environment presenting the beliefs and myths on the EU
  • Guide
    promoting and explaining methods and tools aimed to implement educational activities for young people.

EU myths and success stories

EU myth or Euromyth usually refers to invented stories or distorted facts about the European Union (EU) and the activities of its institutions. The EU is accused of nonsensical EU legislation, bureaucracy and all difficulties and challenges arising from global trends.

A research conducted in each partner country through social media produced a compilation of 145 EY myths along with the explanations with facts and useful links where correct information can be found and 60 success stories along with shortcomings of the EU. Myths are grouped into topics such as legislation, policy, religion, culture, migration, finances, functioning of the EU, health care, democracy, Brexit, and then into countries. Success stories of the EU are grouped into general achievements and country-specific stories.

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Has the EU banned kebabs? Does the EU want to boycott national products? Is there really a European tax on air conditioning?