You are here

CFI project trains Western Balkans diplomats

07 June 2024
Group photos of participants to the training standing in front of building @EUISS

On 7 June 2024, the Countering Foreign Interference (CFI) project delivered a training within a Capacity Building Programme for Junior Diplomats of the Western Balkans.

This programme, funded by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and organised and hosted by the European University’s Institute’s Florence School of Transnational Governance (EUI-STG), aimed to build skills and knowledge of junior Western Balkan diplomats on various topics.

The CFI training introduced the diplomats to:

  • the concepts of Foreign Information Manipulation and Interference (FIMI),
  • the CFI project at large,
  • the methods and frameworks to investigate occurrences of foreign interference, including in the Western Balkans.

This interactive training allowed for a combination of knowledge building and awareness raising about initiatives of the European External Action Service (EEAS) aimed at countering foreign interference. Through presentations by trainers from the EU Institute for Security Studies, the EEAS, the EUI-STG and the University of Milano-Bicocca, engaging group exercises and discussions, the 18 diplomats further developed their understanding of the concept of FIMI as part of wider hybrid threats toolkit, and how it affects the countries’ stability and resilience.

The insightful exchanges exposed similar and different experiences from the various Western Balkans countries with foreign interference, diverse policy responses to face this issue, and potential solutions that can be developed to address this threat more effectively.