EU–US Cooperation on Tackling Disinformation

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Publication Date September 2019
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Disinformation, as the latest iteration of propaganda suitable for a digitally interconnected world, shows no signs of abating. Instead, it mutates and expands, threatening states’ political security, civil rights, and even public health. The Delegation of the European Union to the United States commissioned this Chatham House paper with the aim of contributing to global efforts to tackle disinformation.

The paper provides a holistic overview of the current state of play and outlines how EU and US cooperation can mitigate disinformation in the future. After defining disinformation as a term, the paper maps legislative, institutional and technological actions to counter disinformation taken by governments, civil society and digital intermediaries (social media, search engines and app platforms) both in the US and the EU. The paper looks at previous and ongoing global interventions to tackle the problem and investigates how international efforts can inform and empower future EU–US cooperation. Echoing other researchers in the field it finds human rights rather than security to be the most appropriate basis for ongoing research and deliberations on disinformation.

The paper recommends that the EU should harness its normative power to provide direction and share best practices from different member states that have been tackling disinformation.

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