Sunday

4th Dec 2022

Mogherini urged to do more on Russian propaganda

  • Mogherini: EU sources said the Italian diplomat never took much interest in Stratcom (Photo: consilium.europa.eu)

Eight member states have urged the EU's foreign service to significantly expand its work on countering Russian propaganda.

They said in a letter to EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini that "in the face of unabated third party disinformation campaigns … we see an urgent need to further enhance the EU's StratCom capabilities".

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

  • Russian spends hundreds of millions of euros a year on anti-EU propaganda (Photo: de.sputniknews.com)

The EU foreign service created East Stratcom, dealing with the former Soviet region, in late 2015.

It also created the Western Balkans StratCom Task Force over the summer and the South StratCom Task Force, which focuses on Islamist radicalisation, some eight months ago.

The letter called for the "roll-out at full capacity" of the two new branches.

It said all the EU task forces should have "proper funding" and "a firm institutional basis."

It also said they should have "sufficient resources" to be able to buy "innovative technologies, such as media analysis, risk assessment, and big data instruments".

The 12 October letter, seen by EUobserver, was signed by the foreign ministers of six former communist and Soviet states - Croatia, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Romania.

These are on the front line of what the letter called a "sophisticated and intense" campaign, waged by "external actors", to "generate distrust and discontent with the democratic order, to discredit the EU, the transatlantic community and our partners, as well as to weaken our unity."

The letter was also signed by the British and Swedish foreign ministers.

East StratCom circulates online notes that debunk Russian disinformation and has attracted 30,000 followers to its Twitter account.

It also promotes positive coverage of the EU in former Soviet states.

It has just 14 staff, 10 of whom are seconded from EU states or other EU institutions, and four of whom are contracted agents or assistants.

The Western Balkans task force contains two more seconded diplomats.

South StratCom has six more.

The forces do not have their own budgets and do not work together.

The foreign ministers' letter noted that unless they were given a more permanent footing, then "the ability of the EEAS [EU foreign service] to preserve and rely on the knowledge and expertise accumulated over time by the task forces" could be lost.

Portugal was poised to scrap 'Golden Visas' - why didn't it?

Over the last 10 years, Portugal has given 1,470 golden visas to people originating from countries whose tax-transparency practices the EU finds problematic. But unlike common practice in other EU states with similar programmes, Portugal has not implemented "due diligence".

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersCOP27: Food systems transformation for climate action
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic Region and the African Union urge the COP27 to talk about gender equality
  3. International Sustainable Finance CentreJoin CEE Sustainable Finance Summit, 15 – 19 May 2023, high-level event for finance & business
  4. Friedrich Naumann Foundation European DialogueGender x Geopolitics: Shaping an Inclusive Foreign Security Policy for Europe
  5. Obama FoundationThe Obama Foundation Opens Applications for its Leaders Program in Europe
  6. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBA lot more needs to be done to better protect construction workers from asbestos

Latest News

  1. EU must break Orbán's veto on a tax rate for multinationals
  2. Belarus dictator's family loves EU luxuries, flight data shows
  3. How Berlin and Paris sold-out the EU corporate due diligence law
  4. Turkey's EU-funded detention centres ripe with abuse: NGO
  5. In green subsidy race, EU should not imitate US
  6. EU Commission proposes suspending billions to Hungary
  7. EU: Russian assets to be returned in case of peace treaty
  8. Frontex leadership candidates grilled by MEPs

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us