Forecast of the Development of the Politico-Security Environment from the Perspective of the Interests of the Czech Republic 2016 – 2019

The research project with the participation of twenty-four experts from the Czech security and intelligence community is answering the question regarding which factors will have the main impact on the European politico-security environment from the perspective of the public interests of the Czech Republic between 2016 and 2019. In the next three years, we expect the most complicated development of the political, social, and security environment in Europe since the past several decades. Číst dále

The Language of Fear: A Report on the Advocates, Critics and Victims of the Term “Islamophobia”

A number of critics have disputed the utility of using the term “Islamophobia” and offered a number of arguments for its abandonment. The debate over the existence of the phenomenon of Islamophobia has continued to the present moment and shows no signs of stopping, partly because of the fundamental implications involved in cases where the criminalisation of “Islamophobia” has been introduced into the legal system. As the term is now being used by public institutions even in the Visegrad area, it seems useful to review the way it has been proliferated since the 1990s and assert its utility in light of the arguments brought by its propagators and opponents alike. Číst dále

Russia’s information war in Central Europe: New trends and counter-measures

The main purpose of Russia’s information campaign, as part of hybrid warfare, is to undermine its opponents. Rather than promoting Russia itself, it seeks to achieve gradual decomposition of the institutional framework and security architecture of Europe. The key targets of the Kremlin’s divide et impera strategy in Central Europe have been the EU and NATO, as well as the United States. At the same time, the mass influx of disinformation often serves Russia directly, presenting it in a positive light at the local level, sometimes even depicting it in the role of the only rational actor, unrecognized or misunderstood peacemaker and saviour.

This data report is published within the framework of the GLOBSEC Policy Institute (GPI) Strategic Communication Initiative, which monitors, analyses and discloses Russian propaganda and its domestic actors in countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).  In partnership with the Political Capital Institute (Hungary) and European Values (Czech Republic).

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Disinformation operations in the Czech Republic

The European Values Think-Tank presents a representative survey among residents of the Czech Republic conducted by the STEM agency. The level of trust towards disinformation spread by alternative media was tested. Based on this data, Disinformation Index was created. The project was done together with Slovak Atlantic Commission within framework of “GLOBSEC Trends”.

Download the full report here. Číst dále

Mechanisms of Influence of the Russian Federation into Internal Affairs of the Czech Republic

In our latest paper Jakub Janda and Ondřej Kundra have written on the topic of the current state of influence of the Russian Federation in the Czech Republic. The authors identify primary interests of the Russian Federation in the Czech Republic, give examples of these related operations and provide an analytical structure to describe the influence of foreign powers. Číst dále

How to Distinguish Pro-Kremlin Disinformation

Nowadays, due to the endless possibilities of spreading unverified information, especially with the help of social networks, which are often used for political gains, hundreds of politicians, journalists and analysts use the term “disinformation”. As political and expert community struggles to use shared typology on this matter, analysts speak about this phenomenon in a similar way, but there are dozens of interpretations of what each term means and how it is perceived. That causes inaction and exhausting need for never-ending explanations of what means what. Therefore, we are summing up already existing definitions and frameworks.  Číst dále

Time for centre-right to strike back

Political parties which are building on identity populism have already been gaining ground across Europe for the past several years. They are now stronger than ever in the European Parliament with two political groups (Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy, Europe of Nations and Freedom) and many other MEPs among the non-attached and within other groups accounting for up to one fifth of the house. Furthermore, almost all new regional and national elections held in the EU member states show that anti-immigration, anti-minorities, anti-EU, and anti-establishment rhetoric is an increasingly attractive offer for the voters. Číst dále

The Weaponization of Culture: Kremlin’s traditional agenda and the export of values to Central Europe

The hybrid warfare that Russia has been waging against Europe and the West, especially since the beginning of the Ukrainian crisis is a fight for people’s minds and souls. Russia does not only try to undermine trust in Europe and its institutions among its citizens, but it also aims to offer an alternative. We present this joint analytical paper by Political Capital with contributions by Jakub Janda and Ondřej Kundra, investigative journalist and Head of Political Desk at Czech Weekly Respekt.


The Bear in Sheep’s Clothing: Russia’s Government-Funded Organisations in the EU

This paper sheds light on organisations operating in Europe that are funded by the Russian government, whether officially or unofficially. These include government-organised non-governmental organisations (GONGOs), non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and think tanks.

Their goal is to shift European public opinion towards a positive view of Russian politics and policies, and towards respect for its great power ambitions. In light of Russia’s annexation of Crimea and Russian aggression in Eastern Ukraine, the overt or covert support for these organisations must become a matter of concern to the EU.

The EU’s politicians and citizens should look at the activities of the Russian GONGOs and think tanks as challenges that can help improve national and EU-level decision-making mechanisms, increase transparency in policymaking and deepen the involvement of citizens and civil society organisations in the democratic process.

The paper recommends, among other measures, fostering the EU’s own narrative, which is based on human rights, freedom and equality; supporting pro-democratic civil society so that Europeans become more resistant to Russian propaganda; and increasing transparency requirements for NGOs and lobbyists by setting up a mandatory lobbying register at the EU level.

Co-authored for WMCES by Vlaďka Vojtíšková, our junior analyst.


EU Global Strategy: Empty Wishes, No Real Plan

The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, fulfilled its commitment at the June European Council meeting introducing a new European Union foreign policy strategy- an estimated thirteen years after the Solana´s European Security Strategy.

But the new EU strategy is too abstract and provides minimum specific guidelines. Challenges and threats are not classified and their definitions are often vague. The main downside of the document is its excessive idyllic nature and ambiguity. Document is missing further characterization and development of concepts such as strategic communication, durability, and integrated approaches to conflict or EU-NATO cooperation.

Among its positive aspects is the explicit naming of Russian aggression in the Crimea including strategic communication as a tool of war against disinformation and fulfilment of international commitments vis-a-vis Sustainable Development Goals and/or development aid. Despite all expectations, the Global strategy is a product whose added value can be effectively doubted. Please read below our complete evaluation.

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