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Migration and Home Affairs

Civil Society Empowerment Programme (CSEP)


The Civil Society Empowerment Programme supports civil society, grass roots organisations and credible voices.

Using the positive power and tremendous reach of the internet, it empowers these different groups to provide effective alternatives to the messages coming from violent extremists and terrorists, as well as ideas that counter extremist and terrorist propaganda.

The Civil Society Empowerment Programme is an initiative under the umbrella of the EU Internet Forum, which was launched in 2015 by Dimitris Avramopoulos, Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, to tackle terrorist content online.


Terrorist and extremist groups are very successful in capitalising on technology and social media to spread their propaganda, and to radicalise and recruit supporters.

Many civil society organisations are already active in providing alternative narratives and sharing moderate voices. But they often lack the capacity and / or resources to produce and disseminate these messages effectively online.


Through the Civil Society Empowerment Programme, the EU is committed to capacity building, training, partnering civil society organisations with internet and social media companies, and supporting campaigns designed to reach vulnerable individuals and those at risk of radicalisation and recruitment by extremists.

A training programme was rolled out across Europe for civil society organisations in 2017, providing participants with the skills needed to design and implement an effective, convincing and credible online campaign, and to ensure it reaches the target audience. The training material is available online.

Get involved

If you are a civil society organisation of some kind that has the potential to provide a credible voice for counter or alternative narrative campaigns, the Civil Society Empowerment Programme is for you. You might be a teacher, a youth or community worker, or work for an inter-faith or neighbourhood project, or maybe you work for a charity of NGO. You need to have a track record in delivering counter or alternative narratives, but not necessarily online.

We would also like to hear from marketing and communications experts as well as creative companies.

See the information on training for details of how to register.

CSEP is coordinated by RAN, which is funded by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs. The programme also brings together the European Strategic Communications Network and internet industry partners.


An evaluation of impact and effectiveness of counter and alternative campaigns stemming from the Civil Society Empowerment Programme aiming at preventing radicalisation leading to violent extremism and terrorism was conducted. The final report of the evaluation is found here.


CSEP is moving full digital with a series of interactive digital sessions. Specific hurdles are challenging the CSEP projects in moving forward.

In 2017, RAN organised 27 training sessions around Europe for civil society organisations.

Browse in this section the latest CSEP news.