Disinformation Poses Serious Security Challenge - Foreign Minister Zaharieva

January 21 (BTA) - During a discussion at this year's
first EU External Affairs Council meeting, Bulgarian Deputy
Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva said
Sofia concurs with the countries which consider disinformation
one of the biggest challenges to EU security, the Foreign
Ministry reported.

It emerged that the East StratCom Task Force, which develops
communication products and campaigns focused on better
explaining EU policies in the Eastern Partnership countries, has
 detected nearly 4,700 cases of disinformation.

The EU has increased the budget for combating hybrid threats and
 attacks using disinformation from 1.9 million euro in 2018 to 5
 million euro in 2019.

The foreign ministers agreed on the need for public exposure of
disinformation, not just for its timely detection, stressing
that no country can tackle this on its own. The EU will interact
 with NATO and the G7 on this issue.

It was suggested that the new European Commission could have a
commissioner for tackling disinformation.

The foreign ministers backed a proposal for the promotion of
independent, quality journalism, emphasizing the importance of
principles such as checking the sources of information.

Besides the action plan against disinformation, the agenda of
the Foreign Affairs Council included a preparatory discussion
for the EU - League of Arab States ministerial meeting in
February and the 22nd EU-ASEAN ministerial meeting also taking
place in Brussels on Monday. The situation in Ukraine and
Venezuela and the latest developments in the Democratic Republic
 of Congo were discussed briefly among other topical matters.

Source: Brussels