|Friday, April 12th|
1:45 PM - 2:00 PM
The proliferation of disinformation is not a new phenomenon. However, the increasingly interconnected nature of the global environment means that disinformation is more effective now than ever before. Western societies are simultaneously experiencing a growing political stratification and third-party intervention in their respective democratic processes and institutions. State actors have utilized social media, hybrid warfare tactics, and automated disinformation tools to exacerbate divisions in society. Therefore, it is crucial that such societies develop sufficient capabilities to proportionately counter third-party interventionism. This paper aims to examine the relative counterdisinformation measures taken by the European Union (EU) in order to draw comparisons to those measures taken by individual EU member states. Thus, we are applying the classic EU debate of supranationalism versus state sovereignty to the topic of disinformation. In doing so, we hope to assess whether a supranational, EU-based strategy is more effective than a compartmental, member state-based strategy to counter disinformation. We first examine the body of EU action, followed by an examination of Baltic, Swedish, and German actions with the hope of ascertaining which pathway facilitates a more effective response.
2:00 PM - 2:15 PM
Following a long and intense series of negotiations aspiring the normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia, recent developments have shown that representatives of both parties may now be looking forward to concluding the dialogue process though a bilateral agreement. With the European Union as the mediator and the dialogue as a path towards the parties’ integration thereto, many would expect for the final agreement to be funded in EU values and principles. Nevertheless, a potential deal recently set forth by the presidents of Kosovo and Serbia triggered a torrid debate in both the local and international community for its controversial provisions, as it entails ethnic-based land swap. Hence, this paper aims to address this issue by first providing an overview of the key events in the conflict between Kosovo and Serbia while focusing on the developments that lead to the sparking of the armed conflict and Kosovo’s declaration of independence. Subsequently, it will offer an overview of the dialogue process between the parties, to then tackle the detrimental impacts that an ethnic-based land swap would entail, not only for the concerned parties but for the region as a whole in respect to their ambitions towards EU integration. Conclusively, the paper will present an analysis of the reactions caused thereof and the need for both Kosovo and Serbia to focus on solutions which would not risk the overall integration process.
2:15 PM - 2:30 PM
This paper provides an overview of recent Russian intelligence operations in the European Union, the EU responses to these operations, and the steps that the EU should take in the future. By highlighting the past cases and responses one can begin to analyze the complexity and dynamism of the issue and the factors that make it so difficult to address at a supranational and national level. By examining the successes and failures of these responses one can begin to create a framework for how the EU can respond in the future to best assure the security and the integrity of its democracy. Recent foreign intelligence operations have demonstrated that international law and norms are far from being effective and upheld and that this challenge will be one that the EU will need to efficiently deal with. This paper argues that more forceful targeted sanctions, increased funding for organizations combating disinformation, and an EU policy to detain intelligence agents violating domestic law are all recommendations supported in addition to the realization that a more cohesive response at an EU level is needed.
2:30 PM - 2:45 PM
This paper will explore the challenges presented by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, (ISIL) and, in particular, the return of foreign fighters to their home countries within Europe. The main question is whether these returning fighters still present a threat to Europe and how member states can cope with this situation. The transition between their presence to the battle ground and an ordinary life is a parameter that needs to be studied, as well as the role of their families and their direct environment. At the end, I will propose some policy recommendations that the European Union could adopt to prevent Further radicalization and to achieve integration.
2:45 PM - 3:00 PM