Wed. May 18th, 2022
See question(s) : E-005290/2021
13 April 2022
E-005290/2021(ASW)
Answer given by High Representative/Vice-President Borrell i Fontelles
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-005290/2021
The EU takes foreign information manipulation and interference (FIMI) very seriously, and has been working since 2015 to support Member States in countering it. Several policy documents outline the EU’s approach. The systematic use of FIMI by the Kremlin in its aggression against Ukraine underlines the threat it poses.

Cooperation with Member States in the framework of the European External Action Service (EEAS) managed Rapid Alert System (RAS)(1) enables a common approach.

Work led by EEAS(2) is ongoing to further strengthen the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) toolbox to prevent, deter and respond across four cross-cutting dimensions: situational awareness, resilience, disruption and diplomatic responses or instruments in the CFSP area.

The European Democracy Action Plan(3), the proposed Digital Services Act(4) and the Reinforcing democracy and integrity of elections package(5) highlight specific elements pertaining to information manipulation. The Commission’s 2021 Guidance(6) on the Code of Practice(7) on disinformation calls for stronger actions to counter it.

The European Digital Media Observatory(8) supports the independent research community in Member States. The Commission works with Member States through the Cooperation Network on Elections’ and the joint election resilience mechanism(9).

The Commission issued a proposal for a regulation on transparency and targeting of political ads(10); the internal Network against Disinformation streamlines advice on communication responses to disinformation.

(1) https://eeas.europa.eu/sites/default/files/action_plan_against_disinformation.pdf
(2) https://eeas.europa.eu/topics/countering-disinformation/105460/tackling-disinformation-information-work-eeas-strategic-communication-division-and-its-task_en
(3) https://ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024/new-push-european-democracy/european-democracy-action-plan_en
(4) https://digital-strategy.ec.europa.eu/en/policies/digital-services-act-package
(5) https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_21_6118
(6) https://digital-strategy.ec.europa.eu/en/library/guidance-strengthening-code-practice-disinformation
(7) https://digital-strategy.ec.europa.eu/en/policies/code-practice-disinformation
(8) https://digital-strategy.ec.europa.eu/en/policies/european-digital-media-observatory
(9) https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_21_6118 . The joint mechanism for electoral resilience was announced in the European Democracy Action Plan and further strengthened in the Commission’s 2021 package on ‘Reinforcing democracy and integrity of elections’. The mechanism is a programmatic and financial tool offered to the Member States to support capacity building for election processes resilient to various types of threats, including cybersecurity and disinformation. Mechanism is organised and coordinated through the EU cooperation Network on Elections in close cooperation with the Network and Information Systems (NIS) Cooperation Group and the EU’s Rapid Alert System.
(10) https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:52021PC0731
Last updated: 13 April 2022

Source: Answer to a written question – Member States stepping up efforts to counter foreign interference and disinformation – E-005290/2021(ASW)