ESVEI tackles structural issues that in recent years are increasing the vulnerability to external interference of democratic processes, taking Italy as a case study.

It aims at increasing awareness, initiating policy debates, and providing sensible, forward-looking policy recommendations in three domains that are central to democratic processes in modern societies, but that, due to inadequate regulations and poor practices, needlessly expose such processes to meddling:

social media and disinformation; 


transparency of funding and lobbying;   



In depth

EUROPE EU takes its best action against foreign interference when tackling the big issues

Giorgio Comai | 22/12/2020

A swirl of new acts and strategies has been announced in the last couple of weeks by the European Commission, including the European Democracy Action Plan, the Digital Markets Act, and the EU’s Cybersecurity Strategy. If we ask the right questions about foreign interference, these are all part of the answer

ANALYSIS Cybersecurity, technology, and democracy: what should be done?

Giorgio Comai | 10/12/2020

In Italy, similarly to other European countries, there is basically no structured initiative aimed at increasing the cybersecurity of the key actors of our democratic system. New measures are needed that do not entail increasing dependence on a small number of tech companies: cybersecurity in politics cannot exist independently of politics

ESVEI Cybersecurity dictionary

Niccolò Caranti | 30/7/2020

A cybersecurity glossary made in the framework of project ESVEI

ESVEI Dealing with Russia's brazenness in cyber space

Giorgio Comai | 22/4/2020

Western governments recently attributed to Russia a massive cyber-attack against Georgia. In this and other situations, the brazenness of the attack was seemingly a goal in itself. But Russia is not the only cyber threat. Structural political incentives for better security practices and international solidarity and assistance are needed

ESVEI Quintarelli: politics cannot be done remotely

Niccolò Caranti | 28/4/2020

Some things can be done remotely, but parliamentary activity requires presence, and not only for IT security issues. Interview with computer scientist and former MP Stefano Quintarelli

ESVEI Did the State do it? The attribution of cyber attacks

Niccolò Caranti | 5/5/2020

Whenever a website has issues, we immediately think of hackers – maybe Russians. But how do you understand when a State really is responsible for an attack, and how do you hold it accountable?

ESVEI Electronic voting, cybersecurity, and Russian hackers

Niccolò Caranti | 10/3/2020

The Coronavirus emergency brings back talk about online voting, prohibited by our Constitution. According to Stefano Zanero, of the Polytechnic of Milan, it is necessary to ensure that all the IT infrastructures linked to the elections are secure, because in any country the first threat to consider is always that of those in power. We met him

Cybersecurity and politics

Niccolò Caranti | 13/2/2020

Political parties do not seem to take cybersecurity seriously. Yet, there are dangers for their members’ data, their executives’ communications, and even their countries’ infrastructure. A map made within the framework of the project ESVEI by OBC Transeuropa

Political parties, please meet cybersecurity

Giorgio Comai | 23/1/2020

They have large amounts of private data, their internal communications are highly sensitive, they have a lot of power, they don’t seem to take cybersecurity seriously. How do we move forward?

The project ESVEI is supported in part by a grant from the Foundation Open Society Institute in cooperation with the OSIFE of the Open Society Foundations. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso Transeuropa.