EU, Western Balkans' Joint Fight Against Disinformation | Beta Briefing

EU, Western Balkans' Joint Fight Against Disinformation

Source: Beta
Archive / News | 14.12.22 | access_time 17:27

EU-Western Balkans Summit in Tirana . Dec.6 2022 (BETAPHOTO/SERBIAN PRESIDENCY/DIMITRIJE GOLL)

The European Union and the Western Balkans are committed to fight together against foreign manipulation with information and interference, including disinformation and other hybrid threats, the goal of which is to undermine stability, democratic processes and the EU membership perspective.

This was stated in the declaration adopted at the EU-Western Balkans summit in Tirana, which Serbia also signed, and this cooperation should be additionally strengthened by building resistance to disinformation and by stimulating professionalism in the media and media literacy, the research and publishing center Demostat stated on Dec. 14.

The goal is to increase the influence of strategic communication about relations between the EU and the Western Balkans, especially in the enlargement process, which, in Serbia's case, should mean – a change in the ruling structures' narrative about the European Union, which, in recent years, was not befitting of a country that truly strives to join the EU. According to Demostat, this was not the first time the EU was urging the Western Balkan countries to step up cooperation in the fight against disinformation and other hybrid threats, particularly those coming from elements in third countries, the goal of which is to undermine the region's European perspective.

The Western Balkans, and especially Serbia, were recognized long ago as a region that is targeted by manipulation of Russia and China. Even before the war in Ukraine, Russia's disinformation campaigns in the Western Balkans were directed at undermining the EU and U.S. values and at delaying these countries' joining the trans-Atlantic institutions. The war in Ukraine showed the EU institutions even more how damaging disinformation was and that the EU had to stand up to it, it was added.

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