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News / EU and Western Balkans partners join forces to tackle disinformation
On 27 April, the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR) organised a virtual event on the new geopolitical consequences of disinformation in the Western Balkans, with over 95 participants from all Western Balkans partners. This Technical Assistance and Information Exchange (TAIEX) event was a joint effort between DG NEAR, the European External Action Service and EU Member States.
In the context of the war in Ukraine, Neighbourhood East and Institution Building Director Lawrence Meredith highlighted the risks of disinformation in undermining democracy and security while acting Director for Western Balkans, Michela Matuella, stressed that freedom of expression and media are key elements of the enlargement process. Acting Director for Thematic Support, Coordination of Policy and Financial Instruments, Mathieu Bousquet, focused on practical solutions to respond to disinformation.
Altogether, 17 speakers from EU Member States and EU institutions shared information about the EU’s legislative toolbox and practical case studies as well as concrete tools for countering disinformation. Participants at the event concluded that more efforts are needed to raise awareness and understanding of foreign manipulation tactics, to invest in quality, independent journalism and media literacy, and to support further bilateral or multilateral cooperation to combat disinformation. The speed and flexibility of the TAIEX instrument was seen as well-suited to support these joint efforts.
Source: European Union
Photo credits: Shutterstock
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