European Digital Diplomacy Exchange
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Governments have been uniquely challenged by the proliferation of digital communication channels. On one hand, they have never had as much access to domestic and foreign publics – access that they can use to understand and inform their audiences. On the other, proliferation and democratization of the digital media space has increased their narrative competition, and opened them up to a number of consequential challenges, including proactively destructive counter-narratives and disinformation.
Governments that are active on social networks require new knowledge and experience, different abilities and skills that are necessary for successful communication. Ultimately, without adapting, they risk losing the connection with their citizenry – thereby undermining their representational purpose.
EDDE believes that those most susceptible to disinformation campaigns could become the greatest champions of truth through systematic support. EDDE works with partners who are on the frontlines of the war against misinformation, and arms partnering countries with the core competencies necessary to not only counter disinformation, but advance policy-rich, engaging, and credible messaging in its place. Since its launch, EDDE has become the most significant Bureau project driving toward this goal.
Western Balkans road show
The Western Balkans road show was implemented as a series of interlinked events in March 2019. The individual trainings sought to invest in the digital capabilities of public officers, build resilience against disinformation, and most importantly to contribute to an exchange among the efforts of separate institutions, by doing so finding joint solutions for common challenges within the profession.
The first training was organised in Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina) from the 14 – 15 of March, followed by a two day training in Podgorica (Montenegro) from the 18 – 19 of March and a two day training in Tirana (Albania) from the 20 – 21 of March. The separate trainings included open discussions, lectures and individual consultations that contributed to the future building of the EDDE project.
Steering board meeting Brussels
The first meeting of the European Digital Diplomacy Exchange (EDDE) project Steering Board took place in Brussels from 15 – 17 April 2019 in order to set the operational ground for the Steering Board, coordinate the future activities of the EDDE project, as well as to build the linkages and plans necessary to increase EU and NATO involvement.
General training Bohinj
Bohinj and Bled were the settings of the European Digital Diplomacy training this week, bringing together government communicators from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Estonia, Georgia, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, North Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, and Ukraine.
Activities of the three-day training enforced the participants to join forces, ideas, and best practices to bridge challenges in the field and build a strong network for the future of the project. The training included a series of discussions, workshops, and lectures on the topic od strategical communication, building resilience against disinformation, practical hands on trainings and a practical simulation on the final day.
Training in Thessaloniki - Empowering journalists to address disinformation in Greece & North Macedonia
The Centre for European Perspective, together with the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Embassies in Greece and North Macedonia, co-hosted a workshop entitled “Empowering Journalists to Address Disinformation in Greece & North Macedonia” in Thessaloniki, from 24 – 26 June 2019.
The workshop gathered 40 journalists from Athens-Macedonian News Agency (AMNA), North Macedonia’s Media and Information Agency (MIA), private media outlets, as well as academics and representatives from civil society to discuss how to address the disinformation challenges faced by both countries and multisector approaches to combating it.
IN COOPERATION WITH
The project European digital diplomacy exchange has been developed on the success and experience of previous efforts that contributed to the exchange of best practices and knowledge in the field of digital diplomacy.
Public officers and state representatives working at similar capacities have cooperated in a range of activities in the period from 2017 to the year 2018 as part of the project Enhancing digital diplomacy activities in the Western Balkan and Eastern European countries. These events included practical trainings, consultations and other activities that boosted, inspired and equipped the digital diplomat’s toolbox. The project now includes sixteen countries and a network of more than 300 digital diplomats who cooperate professionally by addressing challenges within their profession with a joint and more impactful solution.
For more information about the activities that were implemented as part of this project, visit the page Enhancing digital diplomacy activities in the Western Balkan and Eastern European countries.