On February 21-22nd, CEPS, Europe’s leading independent think tank on EU affairs, held an impressive and high-profile event – the 2019 CEPS Ideas Lab. Taking place in Brussels, it brought together Europe’s top decision makers and thinkers to discuss the most pressing issues confronting the EU.
ECAS was also represented by Executive Director, Assya Kavrakova, who was invited to give a presentation on ‘Disinformation Campaigns and the Political Participation of EU Citizens”. A current topic and one of the new challenges Europe is up against, disinformation, or fake news, can have dangerous consequences, especially at a time of elections (such as the upcoming 2019 European Parliament elections).
While the European Commission has focused initiatives on battling it and assuring citizens are well informed and active, much more needs to be done. It is this angle that Ms. Kavrakova focused on. The burden should not be put only on one player – the publishing platform. Stopping disinformation from spreading requires a collaborative approach by the IT sector, political parties, media, institutions, organisations and citizens. There is also an urgent need for an educational campaign, as well as restoring peoples’ trust in politics.