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CDWB | Combatting Disinformation in the Western Balkans

On going

Following the aftermath of COVID-19 and the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, disinformation, already considered endemic throughout the Western Balkans, experienced a sharp increase. While originating from various systemic issues within these countries, specific key common factors have been identified such as polarisation, skepticism towards EU integration, lack of pluralism, and state-owned media.

While foreign actors feature prominently, a significant share of disinformation in the Western Balkans is produced and disseminated by domestic and regional actors to undermine or delegitimise their political opponents. This fuels greater polarisation, hinders cross-communal cooperation, and undermines people’s confidence in democratic processes.

The ‘Combatting Disinformation in the Western Balkans (CDWB)’ is a project focusing, precisely, on tackling foreign information manipulation and interference (FIMI) in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Montenegro and Serbia. The project seeks to mitigate disinformation influence in the region by:  

  1. Actively involving citizens in raising awareness campaigns, media education, assemblies deliberation, consensus-making and decision-making.
  2. Analysing disinformation patterns, the media ecosystem in which mass media operate, as well as the respect of ethical professional standards by media to inform advocacy and dialogue sessions and subsequently implement activities tailored to disinformation tactics and strategies. 
  3. Contributing to the improvement of regulation both at national and regional level, without hampering freedom of expression.,
  4. Fostering capacity-building in fact-checking skills, increasing accountability and reliability of potential print media, broadcast media and internet media. 

*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.

Funded by the European Union