Multiannual research project: Disinformation about migration in the EU

Disinformation shapes perceptions, misleads public opinion, and distorts political discourse. So, how can we counteract it effectively?

How to counteract disinformation effectively?

Disinformation shapes perceptions, misleads public opinion, and distorts political discourse. Fake news and manipulative content about migrants and refugees are particularly widespread. To further divide society, such fake news often targets people's concerns and emotions, their values and beliefs. As a result, fears are amplified and perceptions distorted. Moreover, fake news usually spread faster than facts, so that after salient events, it is not facts but often disinformation and divisive narratives that dominate the discourse. This can become a danger to the cohesion of society and democracy itself. But how to counteract disinformation effectively?

To this end, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, the Foundation of European Progressive Studies (FEPS) and the Brussels-based think tank European Policy Centre (EPC) engaged in a multiannual research project. The aim was to assess current countermeasures against disinformation and to develop and provide guidance regarding progressive strategies and further steps on how to improve EU, national and civil society action against disinformation.

Discover the results by watching our short explanatory video, our event videos or reading our publications below. The project pages of FEPS can be found here and the one of EPC here

For more information on the project, please reach out to Tobias Schmitt, our Policy Officer for Migration, Integration and EU-Fundamental Rights: Tobias.Schmitt(at)fes.de 

Explanatory video: How to fight disinformation on migration in the EU?


Find all project-related publications here:

"Disinformation on refugees from Ukraine: Boosting Europe’s resilience after Russia’s invasion" by Alberto-Horst Neidhardt, 14 November 2022.

"From Debunking to Prebunking: How to get ahead of disinformation on migration in the EU" by Alberto-Horst Neidhardt and Paul Butcher, 29 November 2021.

"Fear and lying in the EU: Fighting disinformation on migration with alternative narratives" by Alberto-Horst Neidhardt and Paul Butcher, 26 November 2020. You can access the Spanish version here.

Event recordings

Hybrid panel discussion in Brussels: "Disinformation on migration after the invasion of Ukraine: Boosting resilience against fake news"

At this hybrid event, which we organised together with EPC and FEPS, our expert panel discussed the actions needed to build up societal resilience against disinformation and promote a more balanced and informed public discourse on migration. The discussion also offered an opportunity to reflect on existing and future challenges, particularly in relation to the displacement of millions of Ukrainians in Europe.

After an introduction of László Andor (Secretary General, Foundation for European Progressive Studies), Alberto-Horst Neidhardt (Policy Analyst at EPC) presented the findings and recommendations of his current research within this joint multiannual research project. The recommendations and findings were subsequently discussed by our panelists: Tina Zournatzi (Head of Communications, DG HOME, European Commission), Brando Benifei (Member of the European Parliament, S&D), Hrishabh Sandilya (Senior Programme Manager, European Programme for Integration and Migration) and Myria Georgiou (Professor of Media and Communication, London School of Economics). The discussion was moderated by Hedwig Giusto (Senior Research Fellow at the FEPS and Editor-in-Chief of the Progressive Post).

Hybrid panel discussion in Rome: "Migration and disinformation after the invasion of Ukraine"

Together with FEPS, we organised this panel discussion to exchange and discuss the recommendations of EPC’s Alberto-Horst Neidhardt on how to fight disinformation, with a focus on rising disinformation about refugees from Ukraine after the unprovoked Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Alberto-Horst Neidhardt gave a keynote speech on the most recent findings and recommendations which were discussed by the panelists Tana Anglana (Expert on Migration and Development, National Council for Cooperation and Development), Valerio Cataldi (President of Carta di Roma), Marco Mazzoni (Professor of Cultural and Communicative Processes, University of Perugia), Paolo Morozzo della Rocca (Community of Sant'Egidio) and moderated by Sara Mariani (Journalist at RAI).


Find all the articles written in the context of this project here: