The EU needs a single market for news

The biggest sources of EU news are based outside the bloc – and that distorts how the continent sees itself

The European Parliament in Strasbourg. John le Carré said the decision to learn a foreign language was an act of friendship, an awakening, a holding out a hand. Photograph: Frederick Florin/AFP/Getty Images

The European Parliament in Strasbourg. John le Carré said the decision to learn a foreign language was an act of friendship, an awakening, a holding out a hand. Photograph: Frederick Florin/AFP/Getty Images

If you were asked to list some common myths about the European Union, which would you choose? The ban on curved bananas? The plan to rename yogurt “fermented milk pudding”? You might think of the claim that EU regulations on cabbage run to 26,911 words. Or you might think of a more insidious fiction genre. The charge that EU policy is decided by unelected bureaucrats, for example, or that the bloc forces member states to admit refugees.

Between those points on the misinformation spectrum, between preposterous tabloid invention and slyly twisted debating point, is a third type of falsehood that arguably poses a bigger problem. This one masquerades as a point of view, a status that implies any evidence to the contrary is a matter of interpretation.

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