Over the last decade, the European Union has invested heavily in combating violent extremism and terrorism. In 2020, the European Commission presented a Counter Terrorism Agenda and a new EU Security Union Strategy. These documents outlined the complex and evolving security landscape facing our Union in these unprecedented times. The Commission also proposed approaches to manage risks ranging from climate change, to demographic trends, political instability, terrorism or the impact of the pandemic beyond Europe’s borders. Preventing violent extremism is an important part of EU action in this context.
Extremism can take many forms. And its challenges are faced both by us here in Europe and by people in countries around the world. This is why the EU is working together with partners internationally to tackle the root causes of violent extremism, by way of a range of funding programmes aimed at preventing and countering extremism. Over the past 10 years, the EU has supported through its Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace over 100 actions across the globe.
These covers educational programmes, capacity building for media, women empowerment or youth engagement actions all around the globe. The EU has been a leader in initiatives to tackle extremist content online, empower those on the front lines in addressing radicalisation, and trace and stem funding for terrorist organisations, to name a few.
Because there is no one-size-fits-all solution, the EU is committed to four general principles:
- evidence-based actions,
- projects tailored to the local context,
- ‘whole of society’ approach, and
- ‘do maximum good’ with every action undertaken, with the rule of law and human rights always taking utmost priority.
A series of concrete examples showcasing the EU’s approach in this area are part of the ‘
At its heart, the EU’s approach to preventing and countering violent extremism is about people. It is about building relationships with local communities and, among them, reaching out to those individuals who are vulnerable to radicalisation so that they build resilience and gain the tools they need.
The stories highlight the main results and impact achieved and allows to extract lessons learned, relevant for the design of future support programmes. In the coming years, the EU will continue to support partner countries in preventing violent extremism, placing a strong emphasis on the rule of law and good governance. Human rights and international humanitarian law will also continue to be a common thread of EU actions, with a particular focus on gender equality, youth and supporting local actors.
This collection of results and stories is part of the EU-funded project CT MORSE (II), which provides coordination, monitoring and knowledge, as well as technical and implementation support interventions in the areas of counter-terrorism and preventing and countering violent extremism. It is funded under the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace.
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