The European Union will launch a new platform to counter disinformation campaigns by Russia and China amid growing concerns, 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 try 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,” Borrell said.
An EEAS official said it will be a decentralized platform to share real-time information with NGOs, countries and cyber security agencies, better understand emerging disinformation threats and narratives, and be able to take swift action to address such issues.
Nearly a year after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the EU continues to resist Russian efforts to manipulate and distort information about the war. A Kremlin-led campaign to blame the European Union for global food shortages caused by sanctions has also spread to countries in Africa and the Middle East.
Borrell warned of a “new wave” of disinformation from images, videos and websites created by media outlets posing as “five times the speed of light on social networks and messaging services”.
The EU’s existing disinformation unit, the Stratcom department, noted in a report for the first time that most foreign information manipulation in 2022 centered on narratives supporting the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Russian and Chinese diplomatic channels were particularly involved.