Academia and the Congress launched a four-month collaborative research project on how to fight fake news and hate speech affecting mayors and councillors in European municipalities and regions. At the launching event on 8 October in the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, Congress Secretary General Andreas Kiefer underlined that the results should contribute to discussions on how local and regional politicians could withstand new threats as they arise and evolve and also address the legal and technical aspects.
In recent years, local and regional elected representatives throughout Europe have been faced with the rise of fake news and hate speech, notably the internet and social media. To prevent an erosion of democracy from the inside, we need not only reliable “hardware”, rules and law, but also a compatible “software”, informed politicians who are able to address the challenges.
The project will explore the trends and harm of fake news and hate speech, the way they affect the local political discussions. It will explore the way they can be detected, the legal and technical remedies and their limits as well as the benefits of open government and open data.
The academic institutions participating to the project include the WU Vienna – Institute of Production Management (Austria), the University of Public Administration and Finance Ludwigsburg (Germany), the Budapest University of Technology and Economics (Hungary), the Faculty of Public Administration at National University of Political Studies and Public Administration Bucharest (Romania), and the Pavol Jozef Šafárik University Košice (Slovakia).
There will be a project handover to the Congress in February/March 2022.
Mr. Roman CHLAPAK
Secretary of the Governance Committee
Congress of Local and Regional Authorities
Tel: +33 (0)7 61 57 18 51 - [email protected]