EU escalates its campaign against Russian propaganda

Discussion in 'European Dream' started by Aptrgangr, Jan 24, 2017.

  1. Aptrgangr nulla crux, nulla corona

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    EU escalates its campaign against Russian propaganda

    The EU is to escalate its efforts to counter Russia’s hybrid-warfare campaign in the wake of Donald Trump’s election, as fears grow that Vladimir Putin will seek to influence elections across Europe.

    With national elections in Germany, France and the Netherlands in the coming months, extra funds have been made available to the EU’s East Stratcom Taskforce, which is seeking to collate and counter Russian attempts to influence votes through disinformation and propaganda.

    The cash is to be spent over the crucial next six months and is coming from the current budget of the EU’s external action service (EEAS) with senior MEPs admitting that they fear Russian success in apparently influencing the recent US election will only encourage campaigns on the continent.

    Petras Auštrevičius, an MEP for Lithuania, said it was clear that the EU needed to be “more agile” in responding to disinformation campaigns. “I think the Russian involvement in the US election was a test case. For Russia it was important for them to start big. I think for smaller countries, more exposed to Russia, the risk is now very big.”

    The EU set up a team in the autumn of 2015 to counter fake news and misinformation coming from the Kremlin. The unit, known as East StratCom, has 11 staff, dedicated to explaining the EU and countering anti-western myths circulating in Russia and other former Soviet states. It is understood a further eight permanent positions will be created by the new funds – around €800,000 (£688,000) – although it is hoped another major injection of extra money will be made later this year. (...)

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