Countering disinformation in North Macedonia: how can parliament rise to the occasion?

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Disinformation campaigns are increasingly threatening democracy worldwide. The covid-19 pandemic is further exacerbating this threat, as disinformation and manipulation of public opinion is entering the public health and safety realms. In North Macedonia, efforts to address disinformation are limited to a few policy initiatives by the centre of government and informal initiatives by local and international non-governmental actors, with little involvement of parliament or the broader society.

The Parliament of North Macedonia currently plays a very limited role in terms of countering disinformation, a topic that has never been debated on the parliamentary floor. It is parliament’s responsibility to hold relevant institutions accountable, by exercising its legislative powers and its oversight role, utilising its potential for international cooperation, and increasing awareness about the adverse effects of disinformation, elevating the issue to the national level. It is fundamental that parliament assumes a more proactive stance to curb the spread of disinformation.

This paper provides a brief overview of the disinformation context in North Macedonia. Second, it provides insights into the roles of parliament, government, and the media in the fight against disinformation. Finally, it proposes ways to advance parliament’s role and contribution to countering disinformation. The research is based on the collection and analysis of secondary data through reviews of literature, legislation, and international norms and practices, as well as primary data, such as interviews with relevant stakeholders from media, government, and state institutions. To empirically assess the relevance of the presented research questions, both secondary and primary research data were used.

Read the policy brief here:

Countering disinformation in North Macedonia: how can parliament rise to the occasion?

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