EU presents its first report on foreign information manipulation and interference threats
February 7, 2023

EU presents its first report on foreign information manipulation and interference threats

The European External Action Service (EEAS) has published its first ever report on foreign information manipulation and interference threats. The report was presented by EU High Representative Josep Borrell at a high-profile EU conference on foreign information manipulation and interference (FIMI), taking place in Brussels.

The report aims to create a common understanding and formulate a collective, systematic response to FIMI.  

The analysis is based on 100 FIMI cases (incidents) continuously detected and analysed between 1 October and 5 December 2022. The Russian propaganda’s ecosystem was involved in 88 cases, while Chinese official channels were reported active in 17 cases, operating jointly in five incidents, mainly related to anti-Western content. 

Among the report’s key findings, Josep Borrell cited clear evidence that Russia has mobilised all of its tools for disinformation campaigns (its state-controlled news agencies, diplomatic networks and through its proxies) to systematically distort reality and divert public attention away from its military invasion of Ukraine. Especially, Russia’s diplomatic channels regularly serve as enablers of FIMI operations.
The  report also confirms that there is a new wave of disinformation techniques that Russia uses, with cheap technologies to fabricate false images and videos. “They do not shy away from creating false websites to impersonate trusted media. The content is amplified at the speed of light and posted across social networks, messaging services and propaganda outlets,” said Borrell.

“Russia has built networks and an infrastructure to mislead, to lie and destabilise … To erode trust in institutions,” concluded Borrell.  “…Information is the oil of the engine of democracy. We have to take care of the quality of information because it is the sap, the blood, the oil, the thing that makes democracy work.”  

This is why this report could be useful for the media, governments and EU institutions, Borrell said.

Find out more

Press release

Josep Borrell speech


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