EESC: How media is used to influence social and political processes in the EU and Eastern neighbouring countries

It was a great honor and professional pleasure to spend half a year participating in the process of drafting Information report (REX/432) for the European Economic and Social Committee. Rapporteur Indrė Vareikyte invited me as an expert for the Study Group of the Section for External Relations.

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The final document (downloadable DOCX versions in 23 EU languages) was uninamously adopted in the EESC plenary session on April 28th and has become the first official EU position paper on Russian propaganda adopted by EU institutions.

Dovydas Pancerovas from 15min.lt prepared a lengthy piece „Europa ieško būdų, kaip įveikti Kremliaus propagandą (Europe looks at means to overcome Kremlin’s propaganda)“ covering major EESC recommendations: identify and highlight, inform, educate, provide the platform, encourage own story.

Morning show „Labas rytas, Lietuva“ on Lithuanian national TV provided an opportunity to present main findings for the Lithuanian audience:

A couple of weeks later (on June 13th) the European Parliament adopted a closely related report by Gabrielius Landsbergis „On the state of EU-Russia relations“ (reference number 2015/2001(INI)).

Both documents have already become an important background for further discussions on a pan-European level. As requested by the Council of the European Union meeting in March:

13. The European Council stressed the need to challenge Russia’s ongoing disinformation campaigns and invited the High Representative, in cooperation with Member States and EU institutions, to prepare by June an action  plan on strategic communication. The establishment of a communication team is a first step in this regard.

It is expected, that the upcoming meeting on June 25-26 will discuss and approve a detailed action plan prepared by the High Representative’s (Frederica Mogherini) office. The plan itself should also encompass ideas mentioned both in EESC and EU documents.

Weekly news analysis „Savaitė“ on Lithuanian national TV has presented these issues in the context of ongoing issues:

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Once again congratulations for the team and Indrė for the marvelous achievement as a EESC member!

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