The Institut für Europäische Politik based in Berlin (IEP), in partnership with the Institute for European Policies and Reforms (IPRE) and the Institute for Strategic Initiatives (IPIS) organized on May 12th a virtual kick-off workshop for a new project: inforMD – against disinformation in the Republic of Moldova.

Opening remarks were delivered by Dr. Funda Tekin, Director of IEP, who mentioned that the project aims at strengthening resilience against disinformation in the Republic of Moldova with capacity building measures for civil society. In addition, the project will focus on the mutual exchange of experience and expertise with Germany and other EU countries as well as the EaP countries. Funda Tekin stressed that disinformation is not a specific issue characteristic only for the Republic of Moldova, but represents a global trend, thus cooperation and sharing of effective policies will reduce this phenomenon and contribute to the development of a resilient informational space.

 “In its recent report, the European Parliament has called on the Moldovan authorities to make efforts to strengthen resilience against disinformation and manipulation of information both online and offline. This is exactly what we want to contribute to – to strengthen resilience in the Republic of Moldova by implementing capacity building measures and activities that encourage the creation of networks and facilitate the learning processes. We see young people and students as very important multipliers and we want to create a network of activists against disinformation. We want to involve all relevant actors in the Republic of Moldova”, said Funda Tekin.

Dominic Maugeais, IEP Project Manager, said the project aims to expand collaboration between civil society in Germany and the Republic of Moldova, by facilitating regional learning processes and supporting the establishment of sustainable cooperation structures between experts in the region. These activities will help strengthen the media pluralism and improve strategies to combat disinformation. Civil society plays an important role in increasing informational resilience.

„The Republic of Moldova is a special case, and we in the European Union countries intend to share experiences and exchange on good practices. This is one of the reasons why we started this project, and our task will be to include German experts, but also from other EU countries that are facing this phenomenon. We also want to include the experience of other Eastern Partnership countries, such as Georgia and Ukraine. Another priority is to establish  long-term collaboration structures between civil society representatives of the Republic of Moldova and Germany”, mentioned Dominic Maugeais.

The main activities of the project, which will be implemented between April and December 2021, include:

  • Development and dissemination of a joint mapping study on regulatory weaknesses related to disinformation in the Republic of Moldova (analysis and advocacy strategy to improve the regulatory framework against disinformation).
  • Organisation of a training series for young students (virtual workshop modules) and establishment of a network of young critical thinkers.
  • Fostering timely responses to disinformation in social media (fact check videos, podcasts) and classic media (TV debates) as reaction to selected, currently relevant disinformation campaigns.
  • Creation of a Networking Lab to exchange (prevention) strategies against disinformation campaigns with representatives from Germany, other EU member states, the Eastern Partnership, state agencies, activists.

The virtual kick-off workshop was attended by representatives of civil society, national and local media organizations and journalists who shared their experience in implementing and developing similar projects in the Republic of Moldova and Romania. The mutual exchange did not only provide a crucial overview on current and past initiatives but formed, furthermore, the basis for close cooperation and the identification of synergies between all partners.

The project “inforMD – against disinformation in the Republic of Moldova” will last 9 months and aims to strengthen resilience against disinformation in the Republic of Moldova. The project is implemented with the kind support of the German Federal Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt).