The EDMO Task Force on 2024 European Parliament Elections publishes today a report on the disinformation narratives during the 2023 elections in Europe. Ahead of next year’s EU Parliamentary elections, useful clues on what will happen during the next electoral campaign can be taken from what happened during this year’s votes. This report is based on over 900 fact-checking articles published in the context of eleven elections in ten different European countries, up to October 2023.
The analysis reveals widespread disinformation during the election campaigns in all the considered countries, particularly about the electoral process, with false narratives often aimed at delegitimizing elections through unfounded claims of voter fraud, foreign influences and unfair practices. Each country also shows unique disinformation trends, influenced by national contexts and current global events. Key themes include the war in Ukraine, the economy, climate change, and social issues (for example, gender themes, religion and immigration). The pervasive nature of these narratives underscores their probable significant impact on democratic debates in Europe and highlights the critical need for robust fact-checking and awareness-raising initiatives to preserve electoral integrity and democratic values.