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EUISS launches EU-funded project on countering foreign interference

23 January 2023
Abstract photo of colourful circles - Photo by FLY:D on Unsplash

The Institute is launching the Countering Foreign Interference project, a 3-year, multi-million EU-funded project focused on enhancing knowledge and developing EU methodologies and tools to detect, analyse, assess, and based on that prevent, deter and counter threats emerging in the information space.

The project’s objective is to enable the EU to address foreign policy needs and forge new partnerships to counter foreign information manipulation and interference (FIMI). By doing so, it will contribute to strengthening the resilience and responses against FIMI, reinforcing the EU’s role as a global security provider and defender of democratic values.

Senior Analysts Nad’a Kovalčíková and Giovanni Faleg have been appointed as co-directors and will manage a project team (recruitement ongoing).

Implementing partners include:

  • the University of Antwerp
  • the University of Milano-Bicocca
  • the European University Institute – School of Transnational Governance.

The project will be carried out in close cooperation with the European External Action Service.

EUISS Director Gustav Lindström welcomed the grant contract as a sign of the EU’s commitment, together with its Member States and partners, to collectively tackle the growing challenge posed by foreign information manipulation and interference.

According to Senior Analyst Giovanni Faleg, 'this cutting-edge initiative can not only contribute to better protect the EU from hybrid threats resulting from geopolitical competition, but it also seeks to bring the Union and key partners closer together to promote stability in the information space'. With regards to the second point, Dr. Faleg stressed the centrality of the project for the EU’s engagement in the Southern neighbourhood, 'where rising hybrid threats overlap with situations of fragility, conflict and violent extremism, compromising both African and European security'.  

For Senior Analyst Nad’a Kovalčíková, 'strengthening the capacities to pre-empt, detect and analyse hybrid threats, with a particular focus on information manipulation, is critical to both protect EU credibility and ensure effective, targeted, well-coordinated, and tailored responses''. Dr. Kovalčíková further underlines 'the importance of whole-of-society approach and the necessity to develop operational tools to systematically counter interference from hostile actors which aim to undermine security and stability across communities, countries and regions and drive wedges between them'.