European Union External Action

Questions and Answers about the East StratCom Task Force

Оперативная рабочая группа по стратегическим коммуникациям (East StratCom Task Force): вопросы и ответы


Why was the East StratCom Task Force created?

The Task Force was set up to address Russia's ongoing disinformation campaigns. In March 2015, the European Council tasked the High Representative in cooperation with EU institutions and Member States to submit an action plan on strategic communication.  

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;
  • analysing disinformation trends, explaining disinformation narratives and myth-busting.

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.

How is the team composed?

The team, operational since September 2015, brings together ten 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 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?

Russian is spoken and understood by millions of people all over the world, including in EU Member States. The EEAS Russian-language website communicates primarily about the EU's foreign policy by publishing information about EU activities, EU statements and press releases with relevance to the Eastern Neighbourhood in particular. In addition, the mandate of the East Stratcom Task Force underlines the importance of ensuring high-quality EU communication in the Russian language.

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 Disinformation Review team.

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

The Disinformation Review is intended to raise awareness of disinformation. It contains 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. At the same time, the Disinformation Review brings you the latest news and analysis on pro-Kremlin disinformation. The content of the Disinformation Review cannot be considered an official EU position as it is based on the contributions of the myth-busting network and the analysis of the East StratCom Task Force.

How can I receive the Disinformation Review?

To receive our newsletters in English by email, please sign up here. Please subscribe here to receive the Russian version of the Disinformation Review.

Follow us on Twitter @EUvsDisinfo and like our Facebook page "EU vs Disinformation" to stay in touch with the latest on pro-Kremlin disinformation.

Does the Task Force compile lists of "propagandists"?

No, the Task Force does not compile any lists of persons involved in disinformation activities. But the Disinformation Review, published weekly by the East StratCom Task Force, is a collection of disinformation stories that have been reported to the Task Force by its network.

Do you target anti-EU opinions?

The East StratCom Task Force does not target opinions at all. It is solely concerned with checking facts and information.

Media enquiries:

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

Contact details for the EEAS press team