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Cronicile

Project to fight Russian propaganda in media and social networks proposed by Siegfried Muresan in EU 2018 budget

de Vladimir Ionescu 7.5.2017

The European Deputy Siegfried Muresan, Chief Negotiator of the European Parliament for the EU 2018 Budget, proposed for the European budget for the next year to finance a pilot project aimed at fighting the Russian Federation’s propaganda and disinformation actions in the media and social networks.

The project would be addressed to the member states and the Eastern neighbouring countries, particularly the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia.

The pilot project would be aimed at training the staff of the European Commission Representations in the member states and the Delegations of the European Union in the Eastern neighbouring countries to monitor the Russian propaganda and fake news as part of the propaganda, as well as training the specialized personnel to combat these phenomena of disinformation.

The MEP Siegfried Muresan has requested funding of EUR 3 million for the pilot project within the EU 2018 Budget.

The aim of the pilot project is to improve the way both the European Commission and the delegations of the European External Action Service (EEAS) in the countries from the Eastern Partnership, through the Operational Group for Strategic Communication in the East (East StratCom), use their communication resources to react to the Russian propaganda efforts. (…)

East StratCom has been established within the European External Action Service and focuses on three working areas: improving the communication of the EU policy to the Eastern neighbouring countries, strengthening the media landscape and improving the EU’s capacity to combat disinformation.

East StraCom has a low staff (10 employees) and a limited budget (200,000 euros). It is not equipped to deal with a substantially funded, widespread disinformation campaign adapted to the public.

Therefore, to increase the impact of the EU’s actions to combat disinformation, strategic communication efforts should be adapted to the national circumstances.

The purpose of the pilot project is to bring the representations of the Commission and the EEAS delegations to the level of expertise needed to make full use of the opportunities offered by the social media platforms to stimulate the development of a strategic communication campaign.

The pilot project would, therefore, finance a complex and coherent media monitoring activity across the entire region, including of a large data flow. Besides the Eastern Partnership countries, strategically vulnerable EU member states and the states most susceptible to propaganda, especially during certain periods (e.g. national elections), should initially be targeted by this project,” points out the pilot project of MEP Siegfried Muresan.

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