On September 7th, and under the title “Attention Fake! Strategies against populisms in Europe ”, experts discussed online disinformation in an event organized by the Lower Saxony State Representation. Sitting on the panel were Prof. Dr. Monika Oberle, Professor of Political Science and Political Education at the University of Göttingen, Brikena Xhomaqi, Director of the Lifelong Learning Platform and Dr. Florian Hartleb (Tallinn), consultant on digitization in Germany, lecturer and book author. The discussion was moderated by Holger Beckmann, radio correspondent at the ARD studio in Brussels.
This experts’ round, the latest of a series initiated by the Lower Saxony representation, contextualises the current trends in Europe, including the strengthening of anti-European positions, the relapse into nationalist thinking and the growing demarcation or exclusion of those who think differently, foreigners and minorities.
In her opening statement, Lower Saxony’s European Representative Birgit Honé professed certainty that the current influx of populist tendencies in Europe is not a natural law. Together we can put a stop to these developments, and actively help shape democracy in Europe. In addition, it will be necessary to raise everyone’s awareness of the concept of fake news and to provide suitable tools for the critical handling of news and information in general. In the discussion, Prof. Oberle also pointed out the important role of education in the context of disinformation. Those who know more about politics also have more trust. Ms. Xhomaqi concluded that: “We must use the current crisis as an opportunity to build a new Europe. A European response is needed.”