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The DIACOMET Project has Begun: Dialogue Expands Horizons

Publish Date: 10.08.2023

Category: Our contribution to sustainable development goals

Sustainable development goals: 4 Quality education, 16 Peace, justice and strong institutions, 17 Partnerships for the goals (Indicators)

A new EU-funded project DIACOMET, involving ten European universities, media companies, non-governmental and research organizations, started with a kick-off meeting at Vytautas Magnus University (VMU) in Lithuania.

Citizens’ freedom of speech and democratic rights are being undermined by the spread of massive disinformation campaigns and dysfunctional communication, including hate speech and online harassment, and a new type of code of accountable communication ethics is needed. The DIACOMET partners will develop an inclusive Civic Code of Good Communication Conduct that will help both citizens as well as media, social media, advertisers, politicians and educators to create a more dialogical and inclusive communication and societies.

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 “All those participating in the digital environment should understand and demonstrate not only freedom of speech but also responsibility and accountability. We hope the DIACOMET project will promote ethical and responsible communication, aiming to strengthen citizens’ resilience to disinformation and civic accountability,” prof. Kristina Juraitė, project coordinator and head of Department of Public Communications at VMU, stated.

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The project's coordinator at UL, Prof. Dr. Marko Milosavljević, said at the launch of the project: 'At the moment, the European Commission clearly recognises a set of problems in European societies, which in many places have led to divisions and polarisation of society. Communication plays a big role in this, in the media, on social networks, in politics, in advertising and in interpersonal relations. We will try to harmonise all these dimensions and translate them into a new european communication code that can help all these actors and which will try to bridge the gaps or divides between the different parts of European societies through a dialogical approach. "

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Project advisory board members include president of the Ethical Journalism Network and former general secretary of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) Aidan White, who says he is delighted to join the board of this “marvellous project” put together by partners “committed to improving civic communications”.

The project will run for three years. VMU is joined by nine other project partners: University of Tartu (Estonia), University of Tampere (Finland), Austrian Academy of Sciences (Austria), University of Ljubljana (Slovenia), Utrecht University of Applied Sciences (Netherlands), UAB Delfi (Lithuania), Hungarian European Society (Hungary), Center for Policy Studies “Praxis” (Estonia) and associated partner University of Italian Switzerland (Switzerland).

The DIACOMET project is part of the Horizon Europe research and innovation program under Culture, Creativity, and Inclusive Society. The project consortium received a budget of 2.998.012,50 euros to promote citizens’ resilience and accountability and support ethical communication until the end of May 2026.

The consortium will also create an interactive “dilemma game”, a forum for learning and discussion and propose to establish a European network of civic accountability bodies for supporting individuals, groups and organizations and providing recommendations for decision-makers.

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