Assessment of Kremlin’s Soft Power Tools in Central Europe
Together with partners from the Czech Republic: Prague Security Studies Institute (PSSI), Hungary: Centre for Euro-Atlantic Integration and Democracy (CEID), and Slovakia: Slovak Foreign Policy Association (SFPA) we are conducting an in-depth country monitoring and examining the variety of influence measures being leveraged by Russia, focusing on three areas: economic and financial tools, including asset purchases and acquisitions by Kremlin affiliated businesses, that foster trade and energy dependencies; political and cultural tools, including the activities of Russian Centres of Science and Culture, as well as financial support for local NGOs, political parties, and other pro-Kremlin groups; and disinformation tools, including support for illiberal outlets and coordinated online trolling activities, but analysed within the broader context of other influence activities.
The aim of the project is to analyse and raise awareness of Russia’s influence activities to disrupt democratic transitions in Central Europe and undermine European unity.
This project, realised between September 2016 and September 2017, is supported by the National Endowment for Democracy.
The first brainstorming session related to research methodology and timetable of activities took place on 21st September at the PSSI premises in Prague.