Increasing awareness of the hybrid threats: Strengthening resilience in the Western Balkans
The team of Strategic Analysis supports The Euro-Atlantic Council of North Macedonia in cooperation with nine partners from the Balkan and Visegrad countries will implement the project “Increasing awareness of the hybrid threats: Strengthening resilience in the Western Balkans”, supported by the International Visegrad Fund and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Korea.
The aim of the project is to strengthen the resilience of the civil society members from the WB region. Society in the WB appears to be vulnerable to the influence of propaganda, disinformation, and hybrid threats that undermine the democratization process and stability in the region. Through the mobilization and activation of CSOs in the WB, the critical thinking of people will be strengthened, but more importantly, it will raise awareness about disinformation, especially in the online space.
The goal of the project is to create a network of active future leaders from CSOs who will act as multipliers in their communities, thus addressing hybrid threats and disinformation in the Western Balkans. The main objective is to activate and strengthen the capacities of young leaders from CSOs who aspire to become visible actors in the fight against disinformation and third-party propaganda.
The hybrid threat associated with the dissemination of disinformation and propaganda by third actors is a regional problem that can be more effectively addressed through international cooperation and the exchange of experiences and best practices with other actors. The V4 countries involved in the project share many similarities when it comes to the problem of spreading disinformation, especially in the online space. The root causes or root causes of the hybrid threats in question are very similar.
The project uniquely combines the extensive experience of the implementers and their Visegrad partners -in working with NGO/CSO communities, with extensive expertise in working with vulnerable communities threatened by disinformation, propaganda and hybrid threats, and (3) with the extensive experience of some of the Visegrad partners working to refute/debunk disinformation and malicious fake news on the internet using facts, common sense and a healthy dose of critical thinking.
For more information about the project, visit the project`s site: https://www.atamacedonia.org.mk/en/v4wb-2022
This project is implemented in partnership with:
Regional resilience-building Workshop: May 5 – May 8, 2023, Ohrid, North Macedonia
From the 5th of May until the 8th of May, 2023, the Strategic Analysis Think Tank team cooperates with The Euro-Atlantic Council of North Macedonia and nine partners from the Balkan and Visegrad countries, co-organized the Regional Resilience – Building Workshop in Ohrid, North Macedonia.
The first regional resilience-building workshop taught NGO/CSO Young leaders how to analyze the issues of particular WB6 countries and how to recognize available data which are valuable and reliable. This training also taught participants to prepare short, informative, and up-to-date analyses using reliable and verified data. The outcome will be participants with skills that allow them to distinguish between sources that bring unbiased and fact-based information from fake news and disinformation.
In the official opening participated Ms. Slavjanka PETROVSKA, Minister of Defence of the Republic of North Macedonia, Mr. Filip TOSEVSKI, State Secretary of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of North Macedonia and Mr. Ismet RAMADANI, President of ATA North Macedonia.
During the first day of the workshop, the following topics were covered by each of our partners from WB and also from the V4 region:
- Hybrid Threats in the Western Balkan Context, Jan Cingel, Strategic Analysis
- A Case Study of Hybrid Threats: Russia’s Incomparable Comparisons of Kosovo’s Independence with the Aggression in Ukraine, Lulzim Peci, Kosovar Institute for Policy
- Strategic communication and importance of societal resilience in countering disinformation – the experience of Czechia, Pavel Havlicek, Association for International Affairs
- Building resilience to disinformation practices in post-Covid environment, Konrad Pawlowski, Institute of Central Europe
- Building resilience to disinformation practices – the experience of Hungary, Dorka Takácsy, Center for Euro-Atlantic Integration and Democracy
- Building resilience in the era of hybrid threats and critical infrastructure protection, Prof. Vesna Popovska, Vision University
During the second day of the workshop, the following topics were covered by each of our partners from WB and also from the V4 region:
- Social media and disinformation: How to stay resilient, Milan Jovanovic, Atlantic Council Montenegro
- Political warfare: the patterns of the news containing disinformation, Dino Krcic, Atlantic Council Serbia
- The importance of media independence from the influence of political, religious, and other subjects of power, Juxhina Gjoni, YATA Albania
- Disinformation as a destabilizer of security in the Western Balkan region, Hamza Karcic, Forum for Cooperation and Research
- Public hate speech: State-sponsored propaganda and hate speech in Central Europe, Alexandra Tóthová, Strategic Analysis
- Propaganda and disinformation: Serbia between Russia and the West, Ivana Petronijević Terzić, Demostat Serbia
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a revolutionary tool for countering disinformation and shaping public opinion with a focus on Serbia, Tamara Bajcic, Atlantic Council Serbia
On the third and last day of the workshop, the participants were selected to the mixed working groups with their mentors and issued certificates.
The aim of the project is to strengthen the resilience of young people from the Western Balkans region, which appears to be vulnerable to the influence of propaganda, disinformation, and hybrid threats that undermine the democratization process in the region. Through the mobilization and activation of CSOs in the Western Balkans region, we would not only strengthen the critical thinking of young people, but more importantly, we would raise awareness about disinformation in the online space. The impact of the project will be to create a network of active future leaders who will act as multipliers in their communities, thus addressing hybrid threats and disinformation in the Western Balkans.
Kick-off Coordination Meeting, January 25, 2023
The official kick-off coordination meeting of participating organizations was organized on January 25, 2023, via video conference with the aim of fine-tuning and approving the project timeline and selection criteria for participants and team coordinators.