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EU funded research projects help combat disinformation ahead of elections

Europe is facing a growing number of disinformation campaigns from foreign states, aimed at exacerbating divisions in society, promoting extremist narratives, and attacking political figures who are critical towards them. With the upcoming European elections on 6 – 9 June 2024 and various national elections in 2024, these campaigns are expected to intensify. In response, the Commission is strengthening its strategic communication to protect EU citizens’ trust in democratic processes and institutions, as well as EU policies.

Two Horizon Europe projects VIGILANT  and FERMI funded under the scope of Cluster 3 (Civil Security for Society) with a budget of around EUR 7.3 million are supporting law enforcement agencies such as Police and Ministries of Interior in the fight against disinformation, developing tools to fight those who target free and fair elections.

The VIGILANT and the FERMI project have developed technical platforms that enable law enforcement agencies to:

  • detect manipulated images, videos, and false claims;
  • investigate disinformation activities;
  • monitor the influence of social media accounts on creating and spreading disinformation and fake news, and analyse narrative sentiment;
  • identify threats of violence and illegal activities;
  • assess the impact of disinformation on citizens, society and civil security, and propose counter measures.

FERMI is running since 1 October 2022 and VIGILANT since 1 November 2022. Initial results from the projects indicate that these platforms will significantly enhance law-enforcement agencies’ ability to combat disinformation. The VIGILANT project will equip them with advanced technologies emerging from academia, to detect and analyse disinformation linked to criminal activities. The FERMI project, which focuses more on the development of investigative tools, proposes specific recommendations for countering disinformation campaigns.

Many EU Member States are involved in both projects. VIGILANT is coordinated in Ireland and FERMI in Germany. Both projects collaborate closely, sharing updates, organising workshops, and working with policymakers to ensure lasting positive impact. FERMI will end by September 2025 and VIGILANT by October 2025.

For more information, visit the projects’ websites FERMI and VIGILANT.

For more information on research activities related to security, you can contact HOME-NOTIFICATIONS-F2atec [dot] europa [dot] eu (HOME-NOTIFICATIONS-F2[at]ec[dot]europa[dot]eu).



Link:, dated May 30, 2024 2:04 pm

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