Autor - European Values

Training Centre on countering hostile foreign influence

In 2017, we can see several trends within NATO &  wider Eastern neighbourhood:

  • The aggressiveness and intensity of Kremlin-linked disinformation and influence operations is increasing (still, it varies in regions and time)
  • The security and political importance of the issue of hostile foreign influence (mainly by ISIS & Russia) is growing in most allied countries, becoming mainstream in media environments of the key allied countries (Germany, USA, others)
  • A group of concerned European countries is stepping up their policy responses to this threat
  • Number of interested security & foreign policy professionals in national institutions is growing, while majority of them are not specialists with in-depth knowledge of this highly complex issue

Based on these trends, European Values Think-Tank is preparing the Training Centre.

Objectives of the Training Centre

Primary objective: Practically raise the awareness on the issue by gradually expanding the number of like-minded experts with shared level of knowledge in the allied institutions by providing training modules.

Secondary objective: Provide a specific and very practical meaning to the transatlantic security-related cooperation and knowledge/experience sharing.

In general terms, the Centre will focus on:

Targeted Groups

  1. General government security officers
  2. Advanced government specialists
  3. Think-tankers & activists
  4. Journalists

October 2016

“The 2016 StratCom Summit in Prague was organised at a crucial time when Russian disinformation is increasingly targeting Western audiences, trying to sow confusion, distrust and division. I came away from the Summit encouraged by the level of awareness and expertise across Europe, its governments and organisations, who are all actively engaged in countering Russia’s disinformation operations.”

General Petr Pavel, Chairman of the NATO Military Committee

The Czech Republic is taking a leading role in Europe’s response to disinformation, thanks to European Values Think-Tank- one of the top European think-tanks on this issue.” 

Giles Portman, Head of EEAS East STRATCOM Team

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STRATCOM SUMMIT – Unique conference focusing solely on Russian disinformation operations

The Stratcom Summit held in Prague gathered 230 experts on strategic communication for four days comparing know-how and strategies during more than thirty individual sessions.
 

 

“The Prague STRATCOM SUMMIT was an excellent forum for getting to grips with the problem and especially in bringing together so many national StratCom teams, because to succeed we must work together.”

Mark Laity, Head of STRATCOM at NATO SHAPE

 

60 state experts on disinformation from allied and partner nations talked at restricted sessions at STRATCOM SUMMIT. We had 15 nations represented, some at level of Director of Communications at PM Office or head of national stratcoms. EEAS and NATO SHAPE stratcom heads had their sessions also.

 

I returned from Prague STRATCOM SUMMIT with 5 pages full of different ideas which might improve our STRATCOM system.

Major Linas Idzelis, STRATCOM Team at Lithuanian Armed Forces

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“The 2016 Prague STRATCOM SUMMIT was a great possibility to get to know different people working in that specific field of interest as well as their respective experiences and opinions. The discussions both restricted to state experts and open to all participants have broadened my horizon and gave extremely valuable insights to the overall topic of StratCom.”

‎Lieutenant colonel Oliver Schiller, Centre of Operative Communication of Bundeswehr

 

In the media:

 

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Attending allied & partner state institutions

Ministry of Interior Czech Republic
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Czech Republic
National Security Office Czech Republic
Office of Government Czech Republic
Special Operations Forces of the Czech Army Czech Republic
Ministry of Defense Czech Republic
East STRATCOM Team EEAS
Ministry of Defence Estonia
Government Office Estonia
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Estonia
Ministry of Interior Estonia
Estonian Defence Forces Estonia
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Finland
Prime Minister´s Office Finland
Federal Ministry of Interior Germany
Centre for Public Affairs of the German Armed Forces Germany
Centre of Operative Communication of German Armed Forces Germany
Ministry of Interior Latvia
Ministry of Culture Latvia
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Latvia
Lithuanian Armed Forces Lithuania
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Lithuania
NATO Shape NATO
NATO Special Operations Headquarters NATO
STRATCOM COE NATO
Ministry of Defense Poland
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Poland
MSB Sweden
US Air Force Headquarters USA
State Department USA

 

May 2017

How to Defend Allied Democracies against Hostile Influence & Disinformation Operations

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15 – 19 May 2017

THE STRATCOM SUMMIT welcomed altogether 330 participants representing 29 countries over five days. Specifically, 140 government specialists representing 27 countries came to the restricted part of the SUMMIT.

About the SUMMIT:

In recent years, NATO and citizens of its member states are under fire of systematic disinformation campaigns led by aggressive regimes – mainly by the Russian Federation and ISIL. The main goal of this summit is to bring together relevant figures from state administrations and civil society and discuss effective practices and policies for defending democratic states and societies.

Western democratic countries as well as international organizations started to adopt number of measures directed against the hostile influence & disinformation efforts. In order to successfully counter these campaigns, coordination and best-practices sharing is a key component. STRATCOM SUMMIT aims to contribute to creating and improving existing policies to counter disinformation campaigns by bringing together experts from European countries and the USA and providing a platform for discussion and policy development.

 

Publications

Policy shift overview: How the Czech Republic became one of the European leaders in countering Russian disinformation

Over the last year, the Czech Republic has undergone a major policy shift on the topic of Russian disinformation. Many questions have been raised on how it has happened and what practically it means. This paper aims to bring a simplified overview of what has happened in this particular field in the Czech context since 2014. This Kremlin Watch Report is available in PDF.

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A framework guide to tools for countering hostile foreign electoral interference

This brief Report aims to enumerate the tools that are nowadays used for hostile electoral interference and how they can be countered. It consists of 35 measures in 15 steps for enhancing the resilience of the democratic electoral process. The report by our Kremlin Watch Programme is available in PDF.

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Overview of countermeasures by the EU28 to the Kremlin’s subversion operations 

How do the EU28 perceive and react to the threat of hostile influence and disinformation operations by the Russian Federation and its proxies? Kremlin Watch Report available in PDF.

Overview of countermeasures by the EU28 to the Kremlin’s subve

 

More about the Stratcom Summit HERE.

Making online platforms responsible for news content

This paper aims to contribute to the highly salient debate on fake news and hate speech by analysing possible ways of online platforms’ regulation. The paper firstly outlines the main challenges currently posed by the rapid spread of hate speech and fake news to democracy. Secondly, it describes the sheer influence of online platforms on contemporary media consumption, the duopolistic position of Facebook and Google in the global digital advertising market and the vast legal protections these online platforms currently enjoy in both the EU and the US. The paper then proceeds to a comprehensive overview of relevant proposals and initiatives, put forward by governments, but also the civil society, the private sector and the platforms themselves. Available in PDFČíst dále

Analyzing best practices from Visegrad &EaP countries responses to hostile disinformation operations

In March 2015, the European Council said that Russian Federation was organising disinformation campaigns against European states. Kremlin tried to manipulate US elections by hacking the DNC, there have been numerous attempts to sway European publics. The EEAS East STRATCOM team publishes a weekly Disinformation Review with dozens of examples of disinformation. European Parliament has passed a resolution on strategic communications and propaganda by third parties (Fotyga Report). The Dutch Foreign Minister Koenders said that „Russian government spreads disinformation (..) at home and abroad“.

This project will do what has so far never been done – in-depth analysis of what status are hostile disinformation operations in 9 (V4 + 5 EaP) countries, and in-depth comparative analysis of state and non-state response to it over past two years will be conducted. Research will be done by national data-gathering & consultations with state experts, but as a follow-up will be a tour de capitals (Haag, Berlin, Brussels) with final study on what measures would be recommended to be taken by EU governments. Top Dutch experts on the issue will also be asked to bring their inputs into the study. It will be the first in-depth comparative analysis assessing reaction of 9 countries have been targeted by disinformation. That is how governments can cherry-pick on what policy measures are effective.

Participating organizations:

CZ: European Values Think-Tank 

PL: CSM

CSM LOGO poziom PL

SVK: SSPI

Slovak Security Policy Institute

HUN: Political Capital Institute

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Armenia: Analytical Centre on Globalisation and Regional Cooperation

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Georgia: The Georgian Institute for Strategic Studies

The Georgian Institute for Strategic Studies

Ukraine: Detektor Media

Detektor Media

Moldova: Association of International Press (API)

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Azerbaijan: Center for Economic and Social Development (CESD)

CESD

Associated Dutch expert: Ruurd Oosterwoud (DROG think-tank, formerly researcher on Russian disinformation at the Dutch MFA)

 

This project is supported by the International Visegrad Fund.

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Policy shift overview: How the Czech Republic became one of the European leaders in countering Russian disinformation

Over the last year, the Czech Republic has undergone a major policy shift on the topic of Russian disinformation. Many questions have been raised on how it has happened and what practically it means. This paper aims to bring a simplified overview of what has happened in this particular field in the Czech context since 2014. This Kremlin Watch Report is available in PDFČíst dále