The War Within: The war in Ukraine and the assault on European democracy
On Thursday, 24 November 2022 from 18:00 to 19:00, the European Movement International held an event entitled “The War Within: The war in Ukraine and the assault on European democracy” at the Martin’s Hotel, (Boulevard Charlemagne 80, Brussels 1000) followed by a reception from 19:00-20:30.
The event gathered EU, EEAS and NATO representatives as well as a diverse audience from civil society, social partners, youth organisations, member state representatives and opinion-shapers.
We discussed how to strengthen citizens’ and society’s resilience to disinformation, propaganda and hostile information activities. How to defend our democracy from external interference. How to maintain and deepen support for Ukraine and EU sanctions, and to continue showing solidarity with Ukrainian refugees.
18:00 – 19:00
Welcome by Petros Fassoulas, EMI Secretary General
Jurgis Vilčinskas, EEAS Deputy Head of Division on Strategic Communication, Task Forces and Information Analysis, European External Action Service (EEAS)
Maria Giovanna Sessa, PhD Senior Researcher, EU DisinfoLab
Moderated by Méabh Mc Mahon, Journalist, Euronews
19:00 – 20:30 Reception
The event was recorded and it will soon be available on the European Movement website and social media.
The Kremlin is violating the sovereignty of an independent country with its war against Ukraine, while it has for years been assaulting European democracy through its interference in elections, referenda and constant disinformation campaigns. With the war on the ground, destroying lives in Ukraine, there is also a ‘war’ within, for democracy and the values of an open and free society.
While the European public opinion is largely in favour of EU measures against Russia and of the support to Ukraine, we see that in several countries that support is waning, not least because of the proliferation of pro-Russia narratives in the public sphere pushed by the Kremlin. Coupled with that is the danger that far-right political parties, often supported by Russia, could seize power and undermine support for Ukraine, as well as the very freedoms and rights that underpin our democracy.