Foreign interference in democratic processes has become a growing concern in recent years. Malign foreign state and non-state actors employ intricate strategies to manipulate elections.
The study Foreign Electoral Interference Affecting EU Democratic Processes, commissioned by the Authority for European Political Parties and written by Dr. Ivana Karásková, Dr. Una Aleksandra Bērzina Čerenkova and Kara Němečková from the Association of International Affairs (AMO) sets out the toolbox of malign actors affecting the EU. It delves into financial incentives, information manipulation, and cyber interventions, all while spotlighting Russia and China’s roles.
While Russia has been historically active in election interventions in Europe, China is a relative newcomer. It has so far focused mostly on Asia-Pacific, interfering in elections in Taiwan, Australia, Canada or the US. Nevertheless, a convergence of factors, including Beijing’s interest in undermining the US-EU relationship and its track record of amplifying Russian disinformation, endows China with the capacity to evolve into a noteworthy concern for Europe over time. With numerous cases demonstrating these interference attempts, it is unrealistic to expect the upcoming 2024 European elections to be immune.