Europe’s election campaigns are under the constant threat of foreign interference

François-Xavier Bellamy, the top candidate for the conservative Les Républicains party in the upcoming European elections, revealed Monday that he had been targeted by an attempted cyberattack launched by a group believed to be linked to the Chinese government. Coming soon after Socialist Party candidate Raphaël Glucksmann’s announcement that he was targeted by what seemed to be a mass disinformation campaign on social media, Bellamy’s declaration is a stark reminder of the threat of foreign interference that continues to plague parties competing in the June elections.

Bellamy announced on Monday that he had filed a complaint after he was targeted by a cyberattack attempt from a group of hackers called APT31, which several countries – including the US and the UK – believe to be linked to the Chinese government.

"At a time when Chinese President Xi Jinping is embarking on a state visit to Paris, there's a feeling that we haven't taken the measure of what's at stake today in terms of foreign interference,” Bellamy told AFP. The candidate asked French President Emmanuel Macron to stress the need to respect the integrity of the European Parliament during his talks with his Chinese counterpart.

Read more on FRANCE 24 English

Read also:
Cyberattacks, disinformation, election meddling in the EU: European democracies under pressure
France summons Russian ambassador over disinformation campaign
Germany's FM says Russia will face consequences for 'intolerable' cyberattack