“DEBATING THE FUTURE OF EUROPE AND CHALLENGING EUROSCEPTICISM: A JOURNEY INTO MEDIA LITERACY TO FIGHT EUROSCEPTIC NARRATIVES” – EU DEFENCE NETWORK
Europe for Citizens programme
Strand 2 – Measure 2.2 ” Networks of Towns” – Democratic engagement & civic participation — getting citizens involved
Project indentification number 612741-CITIZ-1-2019-1-BE-CITIZ-NT
Our EU open democratic societies depend on the ability of citizens to access a variety of verifiable information so that they can form a view on different political issues. In this way, citizens can participate in an informed way in public debates and express their will through free and fair political processes. These democratic processes are increasingly challenged by deliberate, large-scale, and systematic spreading of disinformation.
Euroscepticism has moved towards mainstream political and popular culture. Eurosceptic movement gain more traction on people with emotional and simplified rhetoric rather than the rational, complex and facts-based reasoning that we – civil society – tend to provide. Eurosceptic movement gain more public support, threatening the legitimacy and popularity of the European process of integration.
People with high levels of media literacy have a better understanding of the EU, adopt a position, make their own conclusions. They discerns truth from fake news, not follow trends, and can have a better opinion and judgments on achievements of the EU and benefits. On the other hand, people with low levels of media literacy are vulnerable and impressed by Eurosceptic narratives.
To fight against these issues, EU Defence Network aimed to find ways to promote good media literacy training practices. The main focus was the improvement of media literacy levels among young people through the development of a pool of media literacy experts working with youth in schools and in non-formal contexts.
Focusing on the detection and exposure of trending narratives, disinformation channels and disinformation techniques, the ambitious aim of this project was to channel criticism of the EU into positive driver for the European integration in the long run and to help the EU to come closer to its citizen and to increase their resilience.
The EU Defence Network involved the participation of 18 EU countries.
The project had five international events as follow :
- Bruxelles (Belgium): Kick-off meeting:
- Bucharest (Romania): International training course;
- Rijeka (Croatia): Strategies for Introducing Media literacy in the schools;
- Demir Kapija (Republic of North Macedonia): Open debates, conference, laboratories;
- Bruxelles (Belgium): Final Conference, presentation of results.