Cesarini brings a wealth of expertise to his new role garnered as a policymaker at the European Commission, where he played a pivotal role in shaping media policy and navigating the digital transition.
In his statement regarding the appointment, Paolo Cesarini emphasised the significance of the EDMO project as a flagship initiative for the School of Transnational Governance:
"I am honoured by the trust that the EUI has placed in me to lead the work of the Institute in the field of digital media and disinformation. The European Digital Media Observatory (EDMO) is a flagship initiative for the School of Transnational Governance and a key component of EU policy and regulatory framework tackling disinformation.” Said Cesarini on his new appointment at the School of Transnational Governance at the EUI.
Paolo Cesarini's distinguished career at the European Commission Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content, and Technology (DG CONNECT) underscores his profound understanding of the challenges posed by disinformation. During his tenure, he spearheaded numerous initiatives addressing the technological transformation of the European media landscape, the intricate relationship between societal concerns and digital media, online disinformation, and bridging the gap between research, technology, and culture. His prior work at the Directorate-General for Competition (DG COMP), encompassing antitrust and State aid policy, further underscores his versatile and comprehensive background.
In his new role as Programme Director, Paolo Cesarini will guide the efforts of two flagship projects at the School of Transnational Governance, focusing on the critical issue of disinformation: EDMO and EMIF. EDMO represents a collaborative network that brings together fact-checkers, scholars, media professionals, online platforms, and media literacy practitioners from across the European Union to combat disinformation. Parallelly, EMIF serves as a philanthropic grant-giving fund dedicated to supporting researchers, fact-checkers, not-for-profits, and other organisations dedicated to the public interest, all working in the field of disinformation research and the strengthening of media literacy and fact-checking throughout Europe.
Addressing the challenges of his new appointment, Cesarini said, “This is not a cakewalk. Hostile information manipulation has become one of the most prominent systemic risks in the contemporary online informational space at a global scale. With ever-changing, technology-driven tactics and techniques, disinformation operations will continue to threaten civic discourse, electoral processes and democratic values in Europe and beyond, for the years to come. I am humbled by the momentousness of the task. I will do my best to harness my previous experience as a policymaker at the European Commission, as well as my work at the European Media and Information Fund (EMIF), to help EDMO achieve its ambitious mission."