Annabelle Chapman is a Warsaw-based journalist covering Poland for The Economist and Monocle magazine. Her articles on Central and Eastern Europe have been published widely in the international press, including in Politico Europe, Foreign Affairs and Foreign Policy. She holds a PhD on Poland and a Masters in Russian and Eastern European Studies, both from the University of Oxford. She is a winner of the Sylke Tempel Essay Prize and the Timothy Garton Ash Prize for European Writing.
While the worst of the global COVID-19 pandemic seems to be over, its long-term implications for our societies’ stability and safety will reverberate much longer. Regardless of the actual situation on the ground, effective communication of policy narratives to domestic and foreign audiences will be crucial in any future conflicts or crises. The ability to see patterns and connections between seemingly isolated incidents, that are actually elements of broader hybrid threats strategies, will be of equal importance. The COVID-19 crisis might be turned into an impetus for reforming EU and NATO’s strategic communication efforts and threat perception mechanisms, integrating them much more with their core activities. How should democratic societies react to a rapidly shifting threat horizon and the increasingly difficult task of assigning attribution to attackers? What should be done to boost EU and NATO capacities to detect and deter hybrid threats? How should strategic communication be mainstreamed into a wider range of modern foreign and security policy measures?