Disinformation Campaigns in the European Union: Lessons Learned from the 2019 European Elections and 2020 COVID-19 Infodemic in Romania
Romanian Journal of European Affairs, Vol 20, No 2, December 2020
13 Pages Posted: 31 Dec 2020
Date Written: December 28, 2020
Against the backdrop of the current COVID-19 challenges and their long-tailed effects, the article uses lessons learned from Russian disinformation in the period 2014-2020, including the European Parliament 2019 campaign in Romania and the CVOID-19 infodemic, to discuss possible future Russian disinformation approaches and narratives against the European Union (EU). The accent of the analysis and recommendations falls on the instrumentalization by Russian disinformation of the EU’s internal strivings for sovereignty against the backdrop of the economic fallout due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and how European leaders are pushed in directions contrary to continental strategic interests. Early opinion surveys seem to indicate an increased favourability of Europeans towards Russia as a result of soft power campaigns during the COVID-19 outbreak in Spring 2020 – in what we reveal was, in fact, a staged media show orchestrated by including lessons learned from the Chinese ways of strategic communication.
Keywords: Disinformation, Infodemic, Sovereignty, EU-Russia relations, political cohesion
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