CIR Contribution in “The Prague Manual” Report
The report entitled The Prague Manual. How to Tailor National Strategy Using Lessons Learned from Countering Kremlin’s Hostile Subversive Operations in Central and Eastern Europe focuses on the analysis of Central European initiatives, aimed to the identification, analysis, disclosure and countering Russian subversive activity.
Some of them start to be aware of the seriousness of the threat, but the other governments doubt, if that threat exists, or they even cause its spreading.
When it comes to the strategic communication of governments, the establishment of permanent bodies with clearly defined competencies and objectives would be more effective than ad hoc actions, which are usually poor coordinated and chaotic. Stable and experienced teams founded for strategic communication could undertake systematic activities, such as training of public officials, monitoring or communicating state policy, while being ready to respond faster to crises.
Another recommendation of the authors is the inclusion of non-governmental organizations and experts engaged in analyzing Russian subversive activities. Cooperation between the state and non-governmental organizations can be very beneficial for both sides.
In the matter of knowledge about Russian subversive activities, in all the researched countries there are still great lacks in the studies of this problem. In some of them, the mapping of pro-Kremlin actors was reached, what is really needed to disclose the scale of the issue. The other difficulty is also the absence of systematic and regular pools, aimed for evaluation of the degree of the social sensibility for carried out disinformational campaigns.
The results of researches and projects dealing with the subject of pro-Kremlin disinformation should be used for increasing social awareness and education of society. It could be done for example by TV-programs or public events. Thanks to made conclusions from previous projects/initiatives, the report helps in using by the other countries the best solutions and also avoiding formerly committed mistakes.
In autumn 2017, Center for International Relations together with European Values Think Tank (Project Manager) and the other partners, identified and discussed 5 initiatives, dealing with analysis and counter Kremlin influence in Poland. These organizations were talked over at the meeting of the project team in Prague. After that two initiatives were chosen for analysis – Information warfare on the Internet. Exposing and countering pro-Kremlin disinformation in the Central and East European Countries project and Center for Analysis of Propaganda and Disinformation Foundation.
The report was created thanks to financial resources of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands and International Visegrad Fond.