Latest documents

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Disinformation campaigns about LGBTI+ people in the EU and foreign influence

02-07-2021 PE 653.644 INGE
Summary : The purpose of this briefing is to give a concise overview of disinformation, misinformation and propaganda campaigns about LGBTI+ persons and rights, originating from or being supported and/or multiplied by actors outside the EU. Based on a review of existing literature, the briefing examines the main narratives used, supported and circulated, as well as which actors or group of actors are involved. Where available, information on methods, funding and impacts on European values is provided. The main narratives identified include negative othering, opposing a ‘gender ideology’, ‘heteroactivism’, restoring a ‘natural’ order, ‘colonialism’ and child safety. The briefing concludes that there is a need for more research, further harmonisation of legal frameworks, the scrutiny of financial flows and strengthened capacity to detect disinformation, misinformation, propaganda and hate speech.
Authors : Cecilia STRAND, Jakob SVENSSON, Roland BLOMEYER, Margarita SANZ

The impact of disinformation campaigns about migrants and minority groups in the EU

24-06-2021 PE 653.641 INGE
In-Depth Analysis
Summary : This analysis, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Special Committee on Foreign Interference in all Democratic Processes in the European Union, including Disinformation (INGE), aims to explore the impact of disinformation activity originated or amplified from abroad targeting minorities in the EU over the years 2018-2021. While disinformation has become all-pervasive, it can be considered as yet another tool being used to target vulnerable groups in society. Looking at recent disinformation campaigns that ethnic, religious and cultural minorities have been subjected to, this study finds both direct and indirect links between disinformation and fundamental rights, such as human dignity or physical and mental integrity, along with core European values, including equality, the rule of law and solidarity. The Roma are found to be victims of domestic disinformation, while migrants and the Jewish community are targeted by the Kremlin. The research found that disinformation by foreign and domestic actors as well as disinformation and organic content are increasingly merging, rendering measures to stop foreign disinformation more difficult.
Authors : Judit SZAKÁCS, Éva BOGNÁR

Policy Departments' Monthly Highlihts - May 2021

At a Glance
Summary : The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

Investing in destabilisation: How foreign money is used to undermine democracy in the EU

06-05-2021 PE 653.631 INGE
Summary : Foreign interference has become a major security threat for democracies. The European Union (EU) provides no exception and, in the last few years, has significantly stepped up its efforts to counter this threat. A specific type of foreign interference is the foreign funding of political parties. At the national level, regulations banning or limiting foreign funding are currently in place in most member states, but there is still significant variation across them. At the EU level, the recent reforms of the regulation on the funding of the Europarties and their associated foundations have banned contributions from abroad. Notwithstanding such welcome changes to party regulations, cases of foreign funding are still being reported in several member states, with foreign actors exploiting regulatory loopholes to channel funds or provide other types of support. To tackle this issue more effectively, regulatory convergence at the national level should be promoted, the transparency of party accounts should be enhanced, and the monitoring and sanctioning powers of the relevant control authorities strengthened.
Authors : Edoardo BRESSANELLI

Best Practices in the whole-of-society approach in countering hybrid threats

06-05-2021 PE 653.632 INGE
Summary : Over recent years, the European Union has increased efforts to strengthen its resilience to hybrid threats. A model of preparedness based on the notions of ‘whole-of-society’, ‘whole-of-government’ and ‘societal resilience’ has gained ground in the EU’s policy work. Although some progress has been made, many obstacles and challenges remain. The EU needs to address conceptual questions involved with the mapping of hybrid threats to facilitate targeted and effective countermeasures, as well as initiatives to improve societal resilience. Although the EU recognises the strategic value of resilience, the concept’s precise meaning and level of added value remain vague. Its exact relationship to national preparedness and hybrid threats, as well as the whole-of-society approach requires clarification. In addition to addressing these issues, this study analyses some best practices from the whole-of-society approach by examining action taken by Finland, Sweden and Australia in this regard. The study also provides recommendations for further actions.
Authors : Mikael WIGELL;Harri MIKKOLA;Tapio JUNTUNEN

Strategic or critical infrastructures, a way to interfere in Europe: state of play and recommendations

03-05-2021 PE 653.637 INGE
Summary : Critical Infrastructures (CIs) provide vital economic and social functions to European Union (EU) citizens. However, they are challenged by a diverse range of threats, not only natural and accidental but also intentional. CIs’ increasing reliance on technological advancements adds another element of complexity and vulnerability. Whilst their protection to date has been regulated by Directive 2008/114/EC, its scope of application has proved to be inadequate against an evolving landscape of security threats. Consequently, it is currently under revision. A careful analysis of CIs’ status in the EU, covering the challenges to their functioning and measures in place for their safeguard, is therefore necessary to provide recommendations for the adoption of further instruments so as to equip CIs with increased protection and resilience.
Authors : Paola TESSARI, Karolina MUTI

Disinformation and propaganda: impact on the functioning of the rule of law and democratic processes in the EU and its Member States - 2021 update

27-04-2021 PE 653.633 INGE
Summary : Between January 2019 and January 2021, the impact of disinformation actions and responses to them were considerably different than in previous years. Our research showed that disinformation actions increasingly merged with genuine content, and their sources became even more difficult to identify. Particularly strong impacts were seen in cases where disinformation and manipulative propaganda were spread by individuals with high levels of political authority, who enjoy the trust and attention of citizens. Diverse legislative and policy measurements were introduced by various Member States and third states, and civil society responses also flourished, particularly in relation to increasing resilience against disinformation. Ongoing research into the psychological mechanism of manipulation and resilience gives more detailed results. This study aims to provide recommendations on legislative and policy measures to protect democracy, the rule of law, and fundamental rights from the impact of disinformation, as well as to create a structured informational ecosystem which promotes and protects these values.