Following developments in Eastern Europe and Catalonia, EU foreign affairs ministers pledged more resources to fight against foreign interference in Europe, in particular coming from Russian actors.
“I asked the ministers to support my request to increase the human and financial resources” to fight against disinformation and propaganda coming from abroad, said Federica Mogherini, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
“I received the political support by the ministers on this. Now we will check if the finance ministers will follow the indications of the foreign affairs ministers in the coming weeks,” she told reporters after the Council meeting.
Propaganda and disinformation activities generated and multiplied by foreign actors based in Russia have become a concern, primarily in Ukraine and eastern EU member states.
Ministers agreed that more needs to be done to counter this new type of threat aimed at destabilising the bloc.
After referring to the Catalan example, Spanish Foreign Affairs Minister Alfonso Dastis called on his colleagues to “take strategic communications seriously”. It was the first time the Spanish government raised the Catalan crisis during an official meeting with its European partners.
Asked about Russian meddling in Catalonia, Mogherini declined to comment. She did not give details about how much resources will be allocated to the initiative and the calendar for implementation.