Fuelled by the COVID-19 pandemic and the corresponding measures taken by governments and authorities, there has been a surge in anti-government action throughout Europe. Several extremist groups, both from the violent left and right, have been feeding on and propagating misinformation, disinformation, conspiracy narratives and fake news. This reaches a broad audience of people who in turn become violent towards authorities.
As a result of recent events, we see a growing mix of anti vaxxers (the anti-COVID vaccination movement), conspiracists – including those spreading mis- and disinformation about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, who are often the same groups spreading mis- and disinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic – climate extremists, and many more. The accumulative result is an increase in public distrust, particularly among vulnerable individuals, towards authorities and governments.
- Publication date
- 10 October 2022
- Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs