Questions and Answers about the East StratCom Task Force

Questions and Answers about the East StratCom Task ForceQuestions and Answers about the East StratCom Task Force

Why was the East StratCom Task Force created?

The task force has been set up following the European Council in March 2015, which tasked the High Representative to submit, in cooperation with EU institutions and Member States, an action plan on strategic communication in order to address Russia's ongoing disinformation campaigns.

Questions and Answers about the East StratCom Task Force

Why was the East StratCom Task Force created?

The task force has been set up following the European Council in March 2015, which tasked the High Representative to submit, in cooperation with EU institutions and Member States, an action plan on strategic communication in order to address Russia's ongoing disinformation campaigns.

European Council conclusions, 19 and 20 March 2015

What are the EU's objectives concerning strategic communications?

The Action Plan on Strategic Communication, presented in June 2015, has three main objectives:

  • Effective communication and promotion of EU policies towards the Eastern Neighbourhood 
  • Strengthening the overall media environment in the Eastern Neighbourhood and in EU Member States, including support for media freedom and strengthening independent media
  • Improved EU capacity to forecast, address and respond to disinformation activities by external actors

What does the East StratCom Task Force do?

The team is engaged in developing communication products and campaigns focused on explaining EU policies in the Eastern Partnership region:

  • proactive strategic communications campaigns, based on focused analysis that explains key policy areas and creates a positive EU narrative;
  • ad-hoc communication on topical and relevant EU policy issues;
  • myth-busting by analysing trends, explaining narratives and addressing disinformation;
  • supporting projects by highlighting EU activity in key policy areas in the region.

At the same time, the task force supports wider EU efforts aimed at strengthening the media environment in the Eastern Partnership region, in close collaboration with other EU actors and the European Endowment for Democracy.

How is the team composed?

The team, operational since September 2015, brings together nine full-time communication experts from the EU institutions or seconded by EU Member States. Team members have a variety of backgrounds and speak several languages, including Russian.

Does the team have a budget?

The East StratCom Task Force draws on existing resources within the EU institutions and the Member States, including staff from institutions and seconded national experts from Member States. The Task Force works within the existing budget for EU Strategic Communication – both at headquarters and delegation level. It also collaborates closely with the Commission services to ensure a coordinated approach in support of the EU's overall objectives in the neighbourhood. 

Does the team cooperate with other international organisations?

The Task Force works closely with the EU institutions, EU Delegations, Member States, and a wide range of other partners, both governmental and non-governmental, within the EU and in the Eastern Neighbourhood. The aim of this wide international cooperation is to share best practices in strategic communications and access to objective information in the Eastern Partnership region, and to ensure support for independent media in the region. 

Does the team engage in counter-propaganda?

No - the team's main task is to proactively promote the European Union's policy towards the Eastern Neighbourhood. When appropriate, it also identifies and seeks to correct disinformation.  

Are you planning to set up a Russian-language TV station?

No - the East StratCom Task Force aims at improving EU strategic communication with regard to the Eastern Neighbourhood and providing products in the Russian language which can be used by Russian speaking media.

Why did you create a Russian-language website? Where can I find it?

The East Stratcom Task Force mandate underlines the importance of ensuring high-quality EU communication in the Russian language. Russian is spoken and understood by millions of people all over the world, including in EU Member States. The EEAS Russian-language website is complementary to the existing website of the EU Delegation in Moscow

What is the disinformation/myth-busting network? How can I join?

The network is comprised of more than 400 experts, journalists, officials, NGOs and Think Tanks in over 30 countries reporting disinformation articles to the task force. To join the network, please contact the team mail box of the task force.

What is the Disinformation Review?  Does it represent official EU positions?

The Disinformation Review is intended to raise awareness of disinformation. It is a compilation of reports received from members of the myth-busting network. It can provide valuable data for analysts, journalists and officials dealing with this issue.  However, since the data mentioned in the Disinformation Review comes from the myth-busting network, it cannot be considered an official EU position.

What is the Disinformation Digest? Is it an official EU statement?

The Disinformation Digest analyses how Russian media perceive the world, how pro-Kremlin narratives spread and it observes latest trends on Russian social media. It is based on the analysis of the East StratCom Task Force and does not constitute an official EU position.

How can I receive the Disinformation Review and the Disinformation Digest?

Follow us on Twitter @EUvsDisinfo to stay in touch with the latest on pro-Kremlin disinformation. To receive our newsletters in English by email, please sign up here. Please subscribe here to receive the Russian versions of the Disinformation Review and the Disinformation Digest by email.

Media enquiries:

For all media enquiries, please contact the EEAS press team.

Contact details for the EEAS press team


Topics