The European Union will launch a new platform to counter disinformation campaigns by Russia and China amid growing worries, EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell said today.
A so-called Information Sharing and Analysis Center within the EU’s foreign services —the European External Action Service (EEAS) — will seek to track information manipulation by foreign actors and coordinate with the 27 EU countries and the wider community of NGOs.
“We need to understand how these disinformation campaigns are organized … to identify the actors of the manipulation,” said Borrell.
One EEAS official said it would be a decentralized platform to exchange information in real-time with NGOs, countries and cybersecurity agencies, enabling better understanding of emerging disinformation threats and narratives and quicker action to tackle such problems.
Almost a year after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the EU continues to fend off Russian attempts to manipulate and distort information about the war. Kremlin-led propaganda seeking to blame the EU for a global food crisis due to its sanctions has also spread to countries in Africa and the Middle East.
Borrell also warned of a “new wave” of disinformation of fabricated images, videos and websites posing as media outlets spreading “five times the speed of light across social networks and messaging services.”
The EU’s existing disinformation unit, the Stratcom division, in a first-ever report, noted that most of the foreign information manipulation in 2022 had centered on narratives supporting the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Russian and Chinese diplomatic channels were particularly involved.