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The European Union (EU) wants to improve transparency regarding the way information is produced or sponsored, guarantee the diversity of information and its credibility and to promote inclusive solutions with broad stakeholder involvement.

1. Tackling Fake News in the EU[1]

The EU pathway against disinformation is
characterized by 5 main steps.

1) In March 2015, the EU started the East Strategic Communication Task
Force
(ESCTF) in order to develop communication products and campaigns
focused on better explaining EU policies in the Eastern Partnership countries. ESCTF
works closely with the EU institutions and with the EU Delegations in the
Eastern Partnership countries[2].

2) In April 2016 the Joint Framework
on countering hybrid threats
was
published[3]. It
was proposed to establish dedicated mechanisms to exchange information with
Member States and to coordinate the EU’s capacity to deliver strategic
communications. An EU Hybrid Fusion Cell within the EU Intelligence and
Situation Centre (EU INTCEN) of the European External Action Service (EEAS)
will offer a single focus for the analysis of external aspects of hybrid
threats[4].

3) In April 2018, the European Commission published
the “Communication
on tackling online disinformation: a European approach
” that outlined the key overarching principles and
objectives which should guide actions to raise public awareness about
disinformation and efficiently tackle the phenomenon, as well as the specific
measures which the Commission intends to take with this regard[5].
 

4) In August 2018, the Code of Practice on disinformation was
published, including an annex identifying best practices that
signatories will apply to implement the Code’s commitments. The Code and other initiatives set forth by the Commission are
essential steps in ensuring transparent, fair and trustworthy online campaign
activities ahead of the European elections in spring 2019[6].

5) In March 2019, the Rapid Alert System (RAS) is set up among the EU institutions and Member States to facilitate the sharing of insights related to disinformation campaigns and coordinate responses. The RAS is based on open-source information and will also draw upon insights from academia, fact-checkers, online platforms and international partners[7].

Maria Elena Argano

For further informations:


[1] European Commission Website:https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/fake-news-disinformation

[2] EEAS Website: https://eeas.europa.eu/regions/eastern-europe/2116/questions-and-answers-about-east-stratcom-task-force_en

[3] European Commission Website: https://www.hybridcoe.fi/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Joint-Framework-on-countering-hybrid-threats-1-2.pdf

[4] European Commission Website: https://www.hybridcoe.fi/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Joint-Framework-on-countering-hybrid-threats-1-2.pdf

[5] European Commission Website: https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/news/communication-tackling-online-disinformation-european-approach

[6] European Commission Website: https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/news/code-practice-disinformation

[7] European Commission Website: https://eeas.europa.eu/headquarters/headquarters-homepage_en/59644/Factsheet:%20Rapid%20Alert%20System

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