European Green Deal in the Czech Online Information Space

Author: Kristína Šefčíková, Prague Security Studies Institute

July 2022

The European Green Deal, a political initiative of the European Commission aiming to reach climate neutrality by 2050, became a target of disinformation in the Czech information space already in early 2021. It became a polarizing issue especially prior to the Czech parliamentary election in October 2021. This year, the debate around the Green Deal acquired a new dimension due to the unprovoked Russian aggression against Ukraine and the associated issue of energy dependence and diversification. Moreover, with the Czech presidency of the EU Council in July, the Czech debate about the Green Deal is expected to intensify in the upcoming months.

The Prague Security Studies Institute (PSSI), in cooperation with partners from International Republican Institute’s Beacon Project, will be monitoring the public debate about the European Green Deal in the Czech online space in the upcoming months. The monitoring covers political messaging about the Green Deal and its penetration of outlets such as news websites and Facebook groups. It will be complemented by regular analysis of the strategic communication of state institutions and stakeholders with green agenda and their efforts to counter Green Deal related disinformation and manipulative narratives.

Our initial monitoring in May 2022 has revealed the prevailing negative attitudes to the Green Deal in the online space. The criticism of the policy can be divided into three categories. First, political – the political opposition using the Green Deal as a popular argument against the current government. Second, economic – mocking the official presentation of the Green Deal as an economic and innovative opportunity and perceiving it only as an ‘opportunity’ for poverty, thereby presenting it only as an economic burden. Third, scientific – presenting it as a purely ideologically motivated project contradicting “both physics and economics”. In sum, the Green Deal is mostly perceived as artificially propagated by both the EU and the Czech government despite clear evidence of its infeasibility.