Iris Boyer, Advisory, Institute for Strategic Dialogue France
Julien Nocetti, Associate Fellow, French Institute of International Relations
Bret Schafer, Senior Fellow and Head of the Information Manipulation Team, Alliance for Securing Democracy
Kristine Berzina, Senior Fellow and Head of the Geopolitics Team, Alliance for Securing Democracy
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has considerably increased the risk of foreign interference in the upcoming French presidential election. An EU ban has made Russian state media French-language branches inaccessible to the vast majority of the French public, undoing years of Russian efforts to build an audience that rivaled some of France’s largest media outlets by exploiting controversial themes like police brutality and Covid-19. However, Moscow’s talking points are still making their way in the French public debate, and the Kremlin now has more reason than ever to sway voters away from ideas and candidates it sees as inimical to its interests. Moreover, several autocratic states other than Russia finance French language media outlets aimed at French voters. The Alliance for Securing Democracy (ASD) launched the French Election Dashboard to track these actors and their narratives across social media and online. With the election just a few weeks away, join ASD and GMF Paris to discuss how Russia and other states use media outlets to shift public debate in France in a way that supports their geopolitical objectives. We will share findings from our French Election Dashboard and discuss their wider implications.