The European Green Deal and the Energy Crisis in the Czech Information Space: Stakeholders' perspective

Kristína Šefčíková / 9 Feb 2023

PSSI monitored the Czech online debate about the European Green Deal, climate change, and energy-related issues from June to December 2022. Besides mapping the general online debate and related disinformation, part of our goal was also to explore how relevant stakeholders engage in strategic communication on the topic and possibly counter any circulating manipulative discourse. The monitoring was part of a larger initiative of the International Republican Institute’s (IRI) Beacon Project, European Green Deal: Mapping perceptions in Central and Eastern Europe, which took place in five EU countries simultaneously.
Our research of stakeholders’ online communication contained a sample of government institutions, civil society organizations, and media outlets with EU green policies and energy transition on their agenda who are engaging, or would be expected to engage, in strategic communication and counter-messaging on these topics. The monitoring revealed a considerable lack of proactive communication about the Green Deal, energy issues, and the climate crisis in general, especially when it comes to selected government institutions. As our research indicated, this inactivity helped to leave an open space for manipulative narratives and disinformation to dominate the online debate about green- and energy-related issues. As a consequence, the debate about the Green Deal strayed away from its sustainability goals and opportunities. Moreover, messaging about the energy crisis manipulates the discussion about the causes of this distress, blaming the Green Deal and the West while underplaying or ignoring the role of the Russian war against Ukraine. All in all, relevant stakeholders, at the moment, are not fostering any constructive debate on the Green Deal and energy.
Consequently, this report provides recommendations for how the discourse can become better balanced – in the form of concrete proposals for strategic communication on the topics in question. To provide more comprehensive background information in this area, the report is also supplemented by a list of useful links in relation to the Green Deal and sustainable energy: general resources, teaching material, government subsidies, media specializing in the topic, practical resources on sustainable living, and similar documentation.