Fighting terrorism and violent extremism is not only a question of security measures. The best prevention is to stop people from getting involved in violent extremist or terrorist activities in the first place, or to convince them to turn away from such ideas and methods. This task cannot be left to a small number of authorities and actors to deal with. The nature of the phenomenon requires to work with a broad range of partners to gain a better understanding of the behaviours and tactics, and to mitigate or prevent that activity.
The people best placed to tackle the phenomenon of radicalisation are the so called first-liners – people in direct contact with targeted individuals or vulnerable groups of population. Across Europe, practitioners, researchers and NGOs have extensive knowledge on how to deal with this issue on the ground.
In order to help the first-line local practitioners and to facilitate the exchange of experiences and best practices between them, the European Commission set up the EU-wide Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN), officially launched on 9/9/2011 by Commissioner Malmström.