On 21 September 2019, President IVO Grigorij Mesežnikov, who in 2019 – 2020 is a fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences – Das Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen (IWM) within the program Europe’s Futures, attended a seminar organized in Trenčín by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS) for partner organizations from Slovakia and the Czech Republic. He spoke in a panel discussion “Disinformation and Influence – A Fire Test for Free Democracy” together with Martin Svárovský from the European Values think tank (Prague). The discussion was moderated by Jozef Majchrák from daily Postoj.
In his introductory presentation and in the following discussion, G. Meseznikov was dealing with the factors related to influence of authoritarian states (Russia, China) in Central European countries (historical experience, bilateral relations, internal socio-cultural environment, ideological constructs), to the narratives coming from outside and spreading inside, to propaganda stereotypes and to political and security implications. He also touched on the interactions between actors of external authoritarian influence (including the conspiracy-disinformation platforms) and the activities of extremist and populist forces, their impact on shaping the public views on developments in the country and in the world.