The “Summer Programme for Undergraduate Students from Latvia, Estonia, Georgia, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Russia and Ukraine 2015” was organised by the Baltic–Black Sea Alliance, the Latvian Transatlantic Organisation (LATO), with the support of the NATO Public Diplomacy Division, and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation.

Among the speakers at the conference were the recently appointed Director of the NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence in Riga, Mr. Jānis Sārts, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia, Mr. Edgards Rinkēvičš.

The four day programme which started on 27th August, brought together 75 undergraduate students from Latvia, Estonia, Georgia, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Russia and Ukraine, to discuss current issues on strategic communication, cyber security, energy security, NATO and Transatlantic Relations, the Eastern Partnership, and Regionalisation in the European Union. Participants also produced recommendations for youth organisations, NGO’s and governments.

Mr. Jānis Sārts spoke about the Centre’s recent studies on different methods that can be used to determine and resist propaganda and the effects of internet trolling. He also stressed the need to facilitate the student’s critical thinking and the ability to recognise information attacks to resist the “weaponisation” of social media. He also added that the NATO StratCom COE in Riga is working with experts to detect, understand and prevent such actions and is helping NATO countries to strengthen their strategic communication in the context of emerging security challenges.

More information about the programme is available here.