Learn from Failure – The EU’s Quest for Media and Communications Competence
17 February, 2017
Learn from Failure – The EU’s Quest for Media and Communications Competence
With PEOTUS running rampant on Twitter and the Kremlin using its honed skills at disinformation to sell their escapades in Ukraine and Syria as means to peace and security, the ineptitude of the European Union to string up a coherent, needs-based communication policy with its vulnerable neighborhood becomes more and more alarming. On online and social media alike, the EU’s voice is muffled and all too convoluted to be relatable, let alone charismatic and inspirational. Courtesy of Konrad Adenauer Stiftung’s
Excellency School, GEORGIA TODAY spoke with Lithuanian professor Nerijus Maliukevicius, who has been researching modern information warfare for some time now and authored several books on the subject.
geotv.ge
How does the European Union’s communication policy work and is it effective when confronting the tide of Russian propaganda?


While the Western Europe was certainly caught off-guard, for Baltic States by no means was. However tempting it might have been for our western neighbors to think that Putin’s Russia would somehow accommodate itself as a constructive player in international relations is naught but wishful thinking. And sadly, it’s not like it happened overnight – there was plenty of time to take notice as first Georgia, then Ukraine and now Syria have become testing ground for Russia’s hybrid warfare tactics. And it was done in Baltics, too – just look at the series of referendums for a second national language in Latvia, for example. And now we’re in a quite paradoxical situation; all of a sudden, we in the Baltics and Eastern Europe became more knowledgeable, the go-to-and-ask-them expert guys when it comes to Russian hybrid warfare. And in this regard, having effective communication with Western neighbors and partners is essential if we want to tackle this issue. It’s not like the West has no experience of its own – but they somehow seem to have managed to forget the Cold War.

Would you say the EU was ill-suited and unable to adapt to the new media, digital reality that Russia offered?


When it comes to the aggressive communication that Russia is so adept at, the European Union is miles ahead and, as I mentioned, was caught off guard when faced with it. We see that they are now slowly realizing this, building counter-strategies, trying different approaches. One of those counter-measures was the creation of East Stratcom, a task unit to counter Russia’s disinformation campaign and I think it is just a start, a small part of the grand puzzle. Another crucial nuance the EU seems to realize is that countering Russia just outside its borders is not enough –Russian propaganda is equally dangerous inside the member countries, too, well demonstrated by the recent wave of populism.

Is there enough unity in the EU to put up a robust, common narrative with the current dis-unification of Europe that we seem to be witnessing?


I don’t have such illusions, no. What I think the EU should use is a bottom-up approach, not top down. It means that each country, separately, in lieu to its national interests and security, should devise a set of regulations to handle this issue. Each country has to decide how to handle its own strategic communications, but in the wider framework of the EU policy. One thing we all could benefit from is teaching the population to be more critical to what they read, watch, or hear from media – in short, greater media literacy is needed. Quick response teams that can tackle the disinformation and expose propaganda are another key component. And this is happening in the Czech Republic for instance, in Germany, in other countries. It’s a welcome development and the quicker and more instant their response is, the better - leaving fake info unattended runs the risk of them eventually being turned into popular truths.

What about the leverages of social media that Russia (and overseas, the US) seem to be so adept at using? How effective is the EU’s social media in making its voice heard?

The EU was completely unprepared for the revolution brought about by social media. And the EU wasn’t alone in this as traditional media in the US wasn't ready for this revolution either…

Whoever was, seemed to reap great benefits. Obama’s mega-successful social media campaigns during his election periods and the tricks Trump is pulling on Twitter…then there’s RT, with its massive social media presence, that they so masterfully use to rile people up. We don’t see that happening in the EU, do we?

It won’t happen overnight. However, we do see how fake news is spun around in social media and what great effect it has. The EU, with its slow, bureaucratic mechanisms isn’t exactly what you’d call a social media animal. It’s a challenge they aren’t up to at the moment. Only when the EU, and Germany specifically, feel the pains of what this inactivity may bring (and they are already feeling this with Brexit), then there is hope for an overbearing strategy to delve into social networks with serious initiatives. Learn from failure – I don’t see any other solution.

By Vazha Tavberidze

Source: Georgia Today
Print
Other Stories
“Chakrulo” performed at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe opened with the Georgian polyphonic folk song Chakrulo,
Zurab Zhvania's star opened in front of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg
Zurab Zhvania's star has been opened in front of the Council of Europe Palace in Strasbourg.
Bidzina Ivanishvili addresses the people, experts, politicians answer
Bidzina Ivanishvili, the Chairman of the Georgian Dream party, gave an interview to Imedi TV, where he spoke about problems facing the country and his party.
Zurab Zhvania's star to be opened in front of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg
Zurab Zhvania's star will be opened in front of the Council of Europe Palace in Strasbourg.
Bidzina Ivanishvili releases open letter
Bidzina Ivanishvili, chairman of the Georgian Dream party, has released an open letter.
Brexit opens EU's door to Georgia, Salome Zourabichvili says
“There is a logic that the country that has been steadily moving toward
Direct flights may be launched between US and Georgia
We are working to ensure that flights between America and Georgia are timely launched,
Bidzina Ivanishvili will finance Zviad Gamsakhurdia’s Museum in Khibula
The Government of Georgia set up a special commission
Jens Stoltenberg speaks about perspectives of Georgia’s NATO membership, furthering relations
The Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg has recently visited Georgia
Georgia to allow sex education lessons at schools
Sex education lessons will be allowed only with the consent of parents
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg arrives in Tbilisi
The NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, has arrived in Tbilisi.
Mikheil Saakashvili is a man without principles, says Ukrainian MIA Arsen Avakov
"Mikheil Saakashvili is a man without principles” – said Avakov in the interview.
President should not visit TV studios - Georgian president Salome Zurabishvili is in hot water again
President of Georgia Salome Zurabishvili often finds herself in hot water.
“NATO-Georgia Exercise 2019” begins
“NATO-Georgia Exercise 2019” was officially opened at the Georgian Ministry of Defence "Army Hall" in Tbilisi.
Military Importance of Anaklia Port
Deep-sea ports allow large vessels and naval ships to anchor on shore…
There is peace in Khurvaleti and no armed persons have arrived from the occupied territory, say villagers
According to an InterPressNews correspondent, who managed to arrive in the village of Khurvaleti about an hour ago, locals have gathered in the center of the village.
Georgian State Security Service denies presence of Russian soldiers on Georgian controlled territory
State Security Service of Georgia denies reports about the presence of representatives of the occupation regime
US’ 2018 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices about Georgia
While the constitution and law prohibit torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment there were reports government officials employed them
Salome Zourabichvili meets with her Armenian counterpart
As part of her official visit to Armenia, President Salome Zourabichvili held a meeting with President Armen Sarkissian.
Georgia will use all mechanisms to establish objective circumstances of death of 29 year old Georgian in Abkhazia
29 year old Irakli Kvaratskhelia committed suicide on March 12th after he had been detained by de-facto Abkhazian authorities.
Embassies of Georgia will open in the United Arab Emirates and Vietnam
Embassies of Georgia will open in the United Arab Emirates and Vietnam,
Mamuka Khazaradze's exclusive interview: "I can't rule out the possibility of my detention"
Mamuka Khazaradze, one of the founders of TBC Bank has recently given an exclusive interview to the Kviris Palitra newspaper.
Giovanni Morra Passport Covers for Ukraine: “7% of my country is occupied by Russia”
Giovanni Morra, men’s handmade accessories and gifts brand has recently unveiled a new passport cover
Irakli Gharibashvili makes political comeback as the Political Secretary of the Ruling party
Irakli Gharibashvili, former Prime Minister of Georgia, is returning to politics.
Comments following Mamuka Khazaradze’s statement
“I received a threatening letter from a high-ranking person before the second round of the presidential elections,
PHOTO OF THE DAY
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
18.04.2019
19.04.2019
USD
1
USD
2.6931
2.6939
EUR
1
EUR
3.0456
3.0323
GBP
1
GBP
3.5137
3.5053
RUB
100
RUB
4.2150
4.2087
Other Stories
On 26 May, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, joined celebrations in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi
Violation of Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity by Assad regime has been strictly criticized
Exactly one year ago, Georgia was granted visa-free travel with the European Union.
Georgia’s ex-president president Mikheil Saakashvili's supporters managed to free detained Mikheil Saakashvili in the center of Kiev.
The US Ambassador to Georgia Ian Kelly congratulates Georgia on Independence Day.
The regulations on the introduction of visa-free travel for citizens of Georgia have been officially signed in Brussels.
The entire Georgia is involved in Secret Santa game, which means that people are sending gifts to each other secretly
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia is taking part in NATO Ministerial underway in Brussels, Belgium.
A special squad has been mobilized at the 48th polling station in Marneuli, Kvemo Kartli region.
Two politicians in Georgia have come to blows during a live TV debate ahead of the country’s parliamentary elections, Euronews reports.
GEL Exchange
USD
1
USD
2.6939
EUR
1
EUR
3.0323
GBP
1
GBP
3.5053
RUB
100
RUB
4.2087
April 2019
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30