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Disinformation as a threat on EU democracy - Lunch Briefing  

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Access to information is infinitely easier and faster today than it ever was, as well as its dissemination. Anyone with a smartphone can find information on practically everything in a matter of minutes; through many different social media, then, everyone may publish almost any content in few clicks.

At the same time, the crisis caused by the pandemic has exacerbated a number of trends that existed long before its beginning. Widespread misinformation and disinformation, conspiracy theories, and the lack of trust towards authorities by many citizens are among these trends. . Interference in political election at European, national and local level have a negative impact on our democracies.

Democratically-elected local and regional politicians must engage in permanent and transparent communication with their citizens to regain trust and confidence. They must fight disinformation, propaganda, manipulation and attempts to change people's attitudes, as it is also highlighted in the European democracy action plan (EDAP) published by the European Commission in December 2020, in its follow-ups and in the related CoR opinion adopted in July 2021.

The lunch briefing organised by the CIVEX commission of the CoR in the framework of its activities on the European democracy action plan and as a contribute to the debate in the Conference on the Future of Europe will look at the threat caused by disinformation on EU democracy and its different dimensions, such as:

  • political elections;
  • foreign interference; and
  • media freedom and pluralism

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Introductory remarksMr Mark Speich (DE/EPP), Secretary of State for Federal, European and International Affairs in North Rhine-Westphalia (DE), CIVEX Chair (5')

High-level panel discussion

Moderator: Mark Speich, Secretary of State for Federal, European and International Affairs in North Rhine-Westphalia (DE), CIVEX Chair

  • Ms Sasha Havlicek, CEO Institute for Strategic Dialogue
  • Ms Aleksandra Dulkiewicz (PL/EPP), Mayor of Gdansk, European Committee of the Regions Rapporteur on the European Democracy Action Plan
  • Ms Renate Nikolay, Head of Cabinet of EC Vice-President for Values and Transparency Vĕra Jourová
  • Mr Oliver Rentschler, Director AFFGEN – Inter-institutional relations, policy coordination and public diplomacy, European External Action Service

Debate with participants via Q&A or chat

The event will take place in English as a Microsoft Teams Webinar and it will be available to the public.

Materials from the webinar "Disinformation as a threat to European democracy"

- Recordings of the webinar (14.07.2021) - see the right-hand column

- European Democracy Action Plan website

CoR opinion on the European Democracy Action Plan

- Publications of the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD)


Contact:
Contact Person: CIVEX secretariat
Organizer: European Committee of the Regions, CIVEX Commission
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