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EU's Counterpropaganda Effort To 'Get Budget Boost'

BRUSSELS -- The European Union's small antidisinformation team, Stratcom East, will get its own budget line, sources told RFE/RL on the sidelines of the Eastern Partnership summit in Brussels on November 24.

Stratcom East, comprising 14 people, was set up in 2015 by the EU, to fulfill three tasks: "Effective communication and promotion of EU policies toward the Eastern Neighborhood," "strengthening the overall media environment in the Eastern Neighborhood and in EU Member States," and, perhaps most significantly, "to address and respond to disinformation activities by external actors."

Responding to Russian propaganda and disinformation has been one of the main tasks.

The team has until now survived on around 200,000 euros taken from the EU's general strategic-communications budget.

Officials said now 1.1 million euros over the next three years will be directly dedicated to the unit to potentially hire more staff, to increase awareness in European Union member states, and to boost its media-monitoring work.

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