The EP Fotyga Report on Russian & ISIS disinformation is a proper step. It is a shame that Federica Mogherini is doing so little with the EEAS East STRATCOM Team.
The team has only a dozen experts – and only a few of them work on countering the Kremlin’s disinformation. These experts are paid by the Member States, not by the EEAS. This team has no budget at all – despite being tasked by the European Council to counter Kremlin disinformation machine boosted by over 1 billion euro annually. Thanks to Federica Mogherini the EU spends literally nothing on countering one of the biggest challenges of our world today – a hostile disinformation campaign which is successfully undermining our democratic societies.
Federica Mogherini has spent last two years trying to avoid naming Russia as a creator of hostile disinformation. Her EP Plenary speech on the Fotyga Report was not different. Despite talking about the Kremlin’s disinformation campaign, you did not hear the word Russia, you did not hear the word Kremlin, you did not hear who is the author of this hostile activity trying to destroy the EU. It raises the question why the EU High Representative constantly ignores and appeases the evident aggressor.
Hopefully, at least member states and the EP will increase the EEAS East STRATCOM Team capacities and budget to counter this threat.
Jakub Janda, Head of Kremlin Watch Program and Deputy Director of European Values Think-Tank