The RAN 2018 Plenary was organised back-to-back with the RAN High- Level Conference. The set-up of the Plenary remained similar to that of previous years: with an opening panel discussing the trends and challenges to be expected in 2019. This was followed by separate break-out sessions focussing on the annual plans of the nine working groups, as well as the future of RAN overall. In these sessions, Plenary participants not only contemplated new and persistent challenges, but also reflected on the overarching themes for the working groups. Also, practitioners had the opportunity to exchange ideas about the future of RAN, discussing the RAN working methods and RAN's prioritised points of attention.
We met Torben Adams, Head of Division - International Corrections Cooperation, PCVE Unit, Advanced Staff Training (Bremen, Germany) Annie Devos, General Director of the “Maison de Justice” (Belgium), Finn Grav, Senior Advisor at the Norwegian Prison and Probation Service (Norway) and Yola Wanders, Director of the Vught Prison (Netherlands) to discuss P/CVE oriented resocialisation after detention.
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RAN brought together more than 200 participants, including the European Commissioners, Ministers, senior officials of Member States and first-line practitioners to discuss ways forward to effectively tackle emerging and persisting challenges of radicalisation towards violent extremism and terrorism. The mentioned shifting threats for 2019 were child returnees and extremist offenders.
Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos, and Commissioner for the Security Union, Sir Julian King, hosted High-Level Conference (RAN HLC).
Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos, and Commissioner for the Security Union, Sir Julian King, hosted the High-Level Conference (RAN HLC) and spoke about shifting threats in 2019, focusing on child returnees and extremist offenders.
Eight practitioners, Diana Schubert, Managing Directory Criminal Prevention in the City of Augsburg (Germany), Michal Dzurko, NGO: Not in our town (Slovakia), Alexander Ritzmann, Brandenburg Institute for Society and Security (BIGS) (Germany), Florian Tomuta, Chief maximum security wing Arad prison (Romania), Werner Prinzjakowitsch, Vienna Association of Youth Centres (Austria), Fleur Nollet, Support Centre School and Safety (Netherlands), Maria Edel, Finnish National Agency for Education (Finland) and Adele Ellis, Luton Council, Safeguarding services in relation to radicalisation, Children and Families Social Work (UK) all shared their key messages on how to address these challenges.
During discussions on the year ahead, both practitioners and EU Member State representatives called for more early-stage prevention work, diversity of interventions to reflect the diversity in causes of radicalisation, as well as the inclusion of the policy-makers and the private sector in such efforts.
Plenary participants also highlighted sector-specific priorities, such as closer cooperation between the police, prison and probation sectors, and the involvement of mental health workers in prevention and deradicalisation initiatives.
Other priorities for 2018 included contact between first-line practitioners and the families of foreign terrorist fighters, working with the children of returnees, engagement with (religious) communities – by policy-makers as well as practitioners, polarisation, multi-agency approaches, and greater engagement with researchers.
Podcasts (English versions):
What are the challenges ahead for 2018 in the prevention of radicalisation? This podcast features views and plenary impressions from Lars Harmsen, from Germany’s Federal Ministry of the Interior; David McInerney, a Sergeant from the Community Relations Bureau of the Irish Garda; Elisabeth Modée from Sweden’s Ministry of Culture, Division for Democracy and Civil Society; and Salih Seferovic, founder of Austria’s NGO DERAD Euisa Network.
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EU citizens have been returning from territories controlled by Daesh and other terrorist organisations for some time now. Some are battled hardened combatants, while others are disillusioned teenagers. Among those returning are increasing numbers of children, some of them born abroad.
The RAN conference on responses to these returnees on 19 June in Brussels, brought together policy-makers, academics and practitioners – from prison wardens and teachers to police officers and social care workers – to discuss the problems posed. Participants also welcomed the manual prepared by the RAN Centre of Excellence on responses to returnees and their families. The manual offers guidance to practitioners and EU Member States on this issue, and shares practices and case studies from around Europe.
Podcasts (English and French versions):
How are different European countries dealing with returning foreign terrorist fighters? From a police perspective to prisons, local authorities and policy-makers, some of those grappling with the challenges give us an insight into what works for them…and where some of the problems lie.
Listen to our podcast in English (with Commissioner Julian King, Cuma Ülger, Jessika Soors, Kari-Anne Aasterud, Magnus Ranstorp and Thorleif Link)
(MP3 File (25MB))
Listen to our podcast in French (with Commissioner Julian King, Muriel Domenach, Annabelle Jaccard, Jessika Soors and Magnus Ranstorp)
(MP3 File (19MB))
On Friday 10 March, the European Commission organised a dedicated event in Brussels to mark the 13th European Day of Remembrance of the Victims of terrorism, which was attended by Commissioner Julian King. The event brought together victims of terrorism, victim associations and psychiatrists with European and Member State representatives, to share their stories and experiences.
The European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Terrorism was established after the Madrid Bombings in 2004. Each year since 2005, the European Commission remembers the victims of terrorist atrocities on this date. We express our sympathy and support to those who grieve and bear the physical and psychological scars of terrorist acts. We also recall our commitment to supporting the victims and their families, to strengthening their rights, to defending their interests and to ensuring their voices are heard.
On 9 November, the European Commission and the Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN) Centre of Excellence organised the 3rd RAN High-Level Conference on Radicalisation in Brussels. The event was hosted by Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos, and Commissioner for the Security Union, Sir Julian King, and brought together Ministers, policy makers and practitioners to discuss how to effectively prevent radicalisation leading to violent extremism and terrorism.
Discussions focused on the issues around growing polarisation in the society, returning foreign terrorist fighters, children raised in a radicalised environment, as well as RAN support in designing national prevention strategies, structures and interventions. The participants heard first-hand insights from RAN practitioners and exchange best practices and expertise in the field.
As concrete outcomes of EU-level work on anti-radicalisation, the RAN Centre of Excellence presented the Handbook "Developing a Local Prevent Framework & Guiding Principles" and launched "RAN Young", a platform empowering young people to play an active role in the prevention of radicalisation. The European Commission prepared overview of prevent strategies from across the EU in a form of a repository.
Some 100 RAN practitioners gathered with high level nationals and EU policy makers, to discuss ways to effectively tackle the challenge of radicalisation leading to terrorism and violent extremism on 17 June 2014.
The conference focused on the main challenges and opportunities ahead, counter terrorist propaganda, exit programmes and deradicalisation, as well as cooperation between governments and civil society.
The Cities Conference on Foreign Fighters leaving for Syria took place in The Hague on 30 January 2014.
The event was an opportunity for practitioners from various European cities to exchange knowledge and practices on how to deal with the foreign fighter phenomenon before, during and after travel, and to draft recommendations for local, national and EU-levels.
The 2013 High-Level Conference was intended to bolster the EU and Member States' efforts to broaden engagement to prevent violent extremism and support local actors to build more resilient societies. It took place in Brussels on 29 January.
The conference focused on the role of local actors in preventing violent extremism, the role of diasporas in the process of violent extremism and their engagement in its prevention, and on how to communicate on violent extremism, and counter-messaging via the Internet.
Policy recommendations for the High Level Conference: