Estonia and Finland are eager to cooperate on fighting disinformation online

On August 23rd and 24th, BECID partners from Estonia and NORDIS partners from Finland had a long-awaited meeting in Tallinn. Two days of sharing ideas and experiences, as well as getting to know each other and our work, were aimed at detecting possible cooperation points between our two countries and the multinational hubs we represent. 

The agenda for the meeting was threefold: 1) introduce fact-checkers to each other for ease of access for cooperation with transnational disinformation narratives; 2) share and discuss recent work and best practices regarding our work in media, information and digital literacies; 3) visit the Government Office of the Republic of Estonia to discuss the Digital Services Act (DSA), the European Media Freedom Act (EMFA), and the Code of Practice on Disinformation (CoP). Central to the discussions throughout the two days was how to most effectively collaborate.

Both NORDIS and BECID members share concerns regarding the spread of disinformation on large online platforms and the effectiveness of countries in combating it. Faktabaari – the coordinating organisation for NORDIS digital information literacy activities – has taken proactive steps, i.e, initiating discussions with National DSA coordinators that start 17.2.2024 implementing long-awaited EU digital services act nationally.

BECID so far has no formal tasks planned for the monitoring of DSA, CoP, no the EMFA, which is why Andres Jõesaar (Media Advisor of the Estonian Ministry of Culture), Madis Vaikmaa (Advisor at the Strategic Communication Department at Government Office) and Helen Rohtla (DSA coordinator from the Estonian Consumer Protection and Technical Regulatory Authority) joined BECID and NORDIS partners to discuss further. The situation in the two countries with the adaptation of the abovementioned regulatory changes seems quite similar. The interests align regarding better cooperation with the platforms, too. To that end, an agreement was made to plan joint meetings with platform representatives in the near future. 

All 19 participants acknowledged the importance of the meeting and exchanged contact information to increase cooperation and shorten the information exchange cycle. Future collaboration will focus at least on joint media and information literacy initiatives.