So, on 10 June the European Commission and the European External Action Service issued a Communication on Disinformation to show clearly what the problems are, what’s being done by the EU, and what the way forward is.
The Communication underlines that we need to understand the different types of misleading and false information about the coronavirus as well as come up with ways to stop it. The Communication also highlights the communication efforts by the EU to inform citizens and counter disinformation, for example with the EUvsDisinfo website. Cooperation with this work is also important, both within and outside the EU, and the Communication points out how this is being done. Greater transparency and accountability is also called for, including from online platforms. Ensuring the freedom of expression and democratic debate as well as protecting and empowering citizens are also highlighted as priorities for the EU.
As for the future, the analysis of this joint Communication and the actions proposed will feed into the work on European Democracy Action Plan, as well as the Digital Services Act.
The upshot of this work for the EU will be the improved protection of our democratic systems, more resilient societies, ones more prepared for the challenges of the future, and democracies resistant to hostile actors spreading disinformation.