Bertelsmann Stiftung (ed.)

Hoxtell, Wade

Mitigating disinformation in Europe. Challenges and opportunities for civil society organisations and private actors

Research Series: Reinhard Mohn Prize

Format Type
Date of publication
1. edition
36 pages, PDF


Free of charge


The spread of disinformation in Europe poses a significant threat to democratic processes and trust in media and democratic institutions. To address this issue, effective regulation and support from the European Union and member state governments are essential. Various actors, including civil society organisations, research institutions, the private sector, and the media, employ various strategies such as fact-checking, research, media literacy, and more to counter disinformation. However, they face a series of challenges, including the volume and speed of disinformation, limited resources, and dilemmas between commercial interests and public responsibility. This report by authors from GPPi (Germany) emphasises the need to prioritise enforcement of existing (EU) regulations, sustainable funding mechanisms (for civil society efforts in particular), broader data access for research, strengthening media literacy, and adopting a long-term, comprehensive approach involving all stakeholders to effectively mitigate the threat of disinformation and foster a resilient information ecosystem.

This report is part of an international research series conducted under the theme “strengthening democracy, countering disinformation”, commissioned and supported by the Upgrade Democracy team between 2023-2024.

Related projects

Cover Upgrade Democracy

Democracy is changing, not least in digital spaces. We mustn’t passively standby but get active. It is time for an upgrade for public discourse (societal level), infrastructures (systemic level), and foresight capabilities (political level). In our project “Upgrade Democracy”, we build bridges between diverse, international actors and disseminate solutions that successfully counter disinformation in their respective contexts and/or innovatively use digital tools to strengthen democracy.

Cover Reinhard Mohn Prize

"To innovate, learn and make a difference works best by throwing a glance over our frontiers."

(Reinhard Mohn)