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EU bolsters efforts against radicalisation

14 June 2016, 15:53 CET
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EU bolsters efforts against radicalisation

Dimitris Avramopoulos - Photo EC

(BRUSSELS) - The European Commission presented a series of measures Tuesday to support EU Member States in their efforts to prevent and fight radicalisation leading to violent extremism and terrorism.

Initiatives presented in the Communication include boosting research to help better understand the radicalisation phenomenon, preventing its manifestations through education, tackling it on the Internet and in prisons, and looking at how the EU can strengthen cooperation with third countries facing similar challenges.

Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said the recent attacks in Orlando and in France remind Europeans that terrorism is global but also "extremely local". "The majority of the perpetrators are our own citizens, born and raised on our territory, educated in our schools, now radicalised and turning against their own fellow citizens, their neighbours, and in some cases their friends. Turning against our values, giving in to propaganda of hate inspired by an ideology of catastrophe," he said.

Some 4,000 EU nationals are estimated to have joined terrorist organisations in countries experiencing conflict such as Syria and Iraq.

Security has been reinforced in enhanced information sharing in security, border and migration databases and a strengthening of Europol and its European Counter-Terrorism centre.

The new measures outlined in the Communication cover seven areas where the Commission says cooperation at EU level can bring added value:

  • Countering terrorist propaganda and illegal hate speech online: Work with the IT industry to stop the spread of illegal content inciting to violence, support the development of positive alternative narratives by civil society, and develop media literacy so that young people assess information critically.
  • Addressing radicalisation in prisons: Exchange experience between Member States to develop guidelines on mechanisms and programmes to prevent and counter radicalisation in prison and help rehabilitation and reintegration.
  • Promoting inclusive education and EU common values: Use funding from the Erasmus+ programme to support projects promoting social inclusion, our shared values and intercultural understanding.
  • Promoting an inclusive, open and resilient society and reaching out to young people: For example, the Commission will develop a tool-kit to help those working most closely with young people to detect and tackle violent radicalisation.
  • Strengthening the international cooperation: The EU will assist third countries facing similar challenges in addressing radicalisation through law enforcement and human rights compliant responses.
  • Boosting research, evidence building, monitoring and networks: Produce concrete tools and policy analysis to better understand the process of radicalisation to be directly usable by Member States' security practitioners and policy-makers, building also on the framework of the RAN Centre of Excellence.
  • Focusing on the security dimension: prevention of radicalisation also requires a core security approach through measures to counter immediate and longer-term threats, such as travel prohibitions, and the criminalisation of travelling to third countries for terrorist purposes, as the Commission has already proposed. Member States should increase information sharing, make full use of security cooperation frameworks and information tools and reinforce the interconnection of information systems.

Communication on anti-radicalisation

Commission Memo: action at EU level to better tackle violent radicalisation

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