Participation in training on strengthening societal resilience disinformation in Western Balkans
Forty representatives of Western Balkans governments, media and civil societies continued their work on countering disinformation on 6-8 June in Portorož, Slovenia, at a regional capacity building event organized by the Slovenian think-tank Centre for European Perspective (CEP).
The event gathered representatives of Western Balkan governments, media and civil society to foster joint work on countering this threat, based on the premise that global experts and practitioners increasingly warn that the phenomenon of disinformation should be viewed through a security lens. Malignant actors recognize and abuse the capacity of disinformation to undermine democratic processes and practices, erode the trust of the population in public institutions, and create tears in the social fabric of societies. While every country in the world faces the challenge of disinformation, Western Balkans is among those regions that have proven particularly vulnerable and often a target for foreign actors. CEP representatives noted that 74% of Western Balkan citizens consider disinformation a security threat.
About forty participants took part in the two-and-a-half day long training dedicated to exploring the building blocks of comprehensive and holistic national defense mechanisms in countering disinformation. Renowned experts from across Europe and the US taught the participants how to verify information, detect and react to disinformation, and establish a whole-of-society response model. Progressing from theory to practice, participants used their new knowledge and tools during practical exercises and tailor-made simulations of disinformation event scenarios.
As Metamorphosis Foundation representative, director for partnership and resource development Filip Stojanovski served as panelist at the panel discussion “From Local to National to Multilateral.” He shared the insights on countering disinformation and building societal resilience through advocacy based on inclusive all-of-society approach, as well as results of the media monitoring of disinformation narratives conducted through the Western Balkans Anti-Disinformation Hub project, which covers all six countries in the region (report 1, report 2).
The objective of CEP’s Strengthening Societal Resilience and Countering Foreign Perpetrated Disinformation Project is to assist the Western Balkan partners to create national response mechanisms to counter foreign-perpetrated disinformation. The training provided space for national and regional cross-sectoral working group discussions that will feed into national recommendations and other activities developed within the Project.
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