EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell has said in Skopje that the EU and the Western Balkans share responsibility for building a peaceful, prosperous and united Europe, and also responsibility for communicating about it.
Speaking at the second edition of the EU-Western Balkans Media Literacy conference in the evening on Sept. 27, Borrell said that the meeting “is a clear example” of the productive cooperation between the people of the Western Balkans and the EU to tackle common challenges.
Borrell also said that “disinformation threatens democracies around the world,” adding that “during the Covid-19 pandemic, it has become even clearer that it targets citizens, polarizes societies, challenges democratic values, and even threatens lives and public safety through misleading health advice.”
“Fact-checkers, independent and professional media, and citizens in the region work tirelessly on countering disinformation. Your work is crucial. Citizens of the Western Balkans are now more aware and more resilient to disinformation. Media literacy helps and we are determined to keep contributing to this work in the region,” Borrell noted.
He further said that the EU “finances studies that strengthen understanding, promotes awareness about the issue and invests in education and activities such as workshops for students and teachers across the whole Western Balkans.” However, Borrell added, the EU could not do this alone, stressing that “dealing with disinformation requires a whole-of-government approach that facilitates whole-of-society participation.”