Expert Discussion: Foreign Propaganda and National Security Implications in Central Europe

On 5 July 2023, IGA organized an expert discussion in partnership with the American Corner in Sofia on the topic of the impact of foreign authoritarian-state propaganda on national security. Nathalie Vogel, Research Fellow at the Center for Intermarium Studies at the Institute of World Politics in Washington D.C. and Senior Fellow at the European Values Center for Security Policy in Prague, delivered the keynote speech focused on Russian and Chinese disinformation in Central Europe and Africa. 

The subsequent discussion, which involved Bulgarian and international security experts, raised a wide range of issues. It was pointed out that there is a need to step up the fight against disinformation through the dedication of more resources and better efficiency.  It was also highlighted that understanding and addressing Russia’s advanced tactics of audience segmentation and exploitation of societal cleavages for fomenting ethnic conflict has to be urgently tackled. The boundaries of legal regulation of disinformation require serious attention in order to safeguard the freedom of speech, while countering malign content. Ultimately, the discussions singled out the importance of having a clear-cut national security strategy underpinned by a values-based consensus as the most vital prerequisite for responding to foreign propaganda.