Libertatea de Exprimare. Responsabilitate

The project aimed at identifying and promoting strategic approaches for civil society to tackle threats and challenges of hate speech, fake news and intimidation, while maintaining a democratic environment and respecting the freedom of speech.

The project was carried out in three work packages:

(1) Understanding how European societies perceive current threats to the freedom of expression, clarifying how to use this freedom in a responsible way and identify limits, which can still be justified from a democratic point of view.

(2) Understanding how civil society is affected by the current challenges to freedom of expression and to identify effective counterstrategies.

(3) Disseminating the findings and a supporting tool-kit across Europe.

Activities: A broad mixture of methods from desk-research, group discussions, citizen’s interviews, problem analysis, strategy-development, workshops, public and panel discussion, virtual and face-to-face meetings.

Preparatory activities were organised in the partnering countries, reaching citizens of local communities, NGOs, and volunteers working with marginalised groups to share their experiences. The insights gained provide a profound knowledge base to discuss common grounds and national differences of the partner countries.

In Nov. 2018 a public debate with European and national experts took place in Bucharest, followed by national surveys dealing with the questions of democratic limits of the freedom of expression, experiences with hate speech, fake news and intimidation, counterstrategies and best practices.

In spring 2919 a series of public Webinars gathered experts and NGOs from the EU Member States, developing strategies, on how the responsible use of freedom of expression can be promoted as a cross-sectional task in social live.

In June 2019 in a dissemination-conference in Vienna project findings were summarised, presenting the idea of a tool-kit and a glossary of key terms, further linking it to successful counterstrategies towards communication threats.

Details about the implemented activities.

Photos from the organized activities.


The World of NGOs, Vienna, Austria – consortium coordinator

University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria

Association sustainability of progressive and open communication, Sofia, Bulgaria


Făgăraș Research Institute, Făgăraș, Romania

Project co-funded in the EUROPE FOR CITIZENS PROGRAMME, democratic engagement and civic participation.

ICF Research team:

Dr. Stefan Cibian, FRI Executive Director (project coordinator),

Laura Ranca, FRI Researcher,

Dr. Silvia Fierăscu, FRI Research Fellow,

Dr. Anca Molnoș, FRI Research Fellow.

Event photos: