While the prevention of radicalisation has been one of the main pillars of the EU’s counter terrorism policy for over a decade, recent events have highlighted the importance and urgency of stepping up efforts to prevent and counter radicalisation more effectively.
The European Agenda on Security and, more specifically, the 2016 Communication supporting the prevention of radicalisation leading to violent extremism, identified priorities and set out how the EU can support national efforts. Measures to prevent and counter radicalisation are taken at local, regional and national level, and fall primarily within the competence of the Member States.
The EU does, however, have a supporting role: the challenges affecting EU countries are similar, and the scale of the problem means that it affects the EU as a whole. Action at EU level facilitates cooperation, networking, funding and the exchange of good practices.
RAN is an EU policy tool. The network and its Centre of Excellence are designed to support objectives such as implementing deradicalisation and rehabilitation programmes (including in prisons), developing approaches for handling returning foreign terrorist fighters, equipping teachers and youth workers in addressing the root causes of radicalisation, and strengthening resilience, in particular among young people.
Preventing and countering radicalisation and violent extremism in Member States
Strategies to prevent and counter radicalisation leading to violent extremism and terrorism (Prevent strategies) can strengthen cooperation and create synergies between different actions and policy areas (from police to healthcare, from education to prisons). They also provide a framework for sustained and coherent action at local, regional and national levels, and support the different actors involved (such as civil society organisations).
A number of Member States have adopted or reviewed such strategies. Each has a different scope, takes its own unique approach, and reflects the specific context and priorities of the originating country. For an overview of prevent strategies across the EU, visit the repository.
Tailored RAN support for Member States
At the request of and in close collaboration with an EU Member State, the RAN CoE can support a country’s efforts to tackle radicalisation leading to violent extremism. The support can take three forms:
Based on the lessons learned within the RAN working groups and tailored to the local circumstances, these courses equip participants to train other prevent practitioners in better understanding the process of radicalisation to more effectively prevent and counter it. Training courses may be general or focused on specific topics, such as family support, healthcare or deradicalisation.
Workshop on a specific topic for a group of Member States
With a view to providing practical guidance to national authorities and exchanging experiences and expertise on specific issues and challenges, workshops on specific topics bring together Member State representatives with RAN practitioners and experts. Workshops have in the past tackled issues such as the refugee and migration crisis and challenges for prevent policy or prevent communication.
Deployment of a RAN advisory team
Such deployments are intended to support national authorities revising a national prevent strategy, reviewing a relevant policy area, developing a key project plan or building a national network/coordination hub for practitioners.
Submitting a request for support:
All requests for Member State support should be submitted by a national authority in writing to the RAN CoE, who, together with the European Commission, will assess its relevance, as well as the availability of RAN experts.