Plenary – 21-22 October 2020, Online meeting
After 9 years of RAN, and with a network of over 6 000 first-line practitioners and 9 Working Groups, this year’s first ever online RAN Plenary was highly influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic caused the RAN constituency to meet in a digital way and it also affected the topics that were discussed. Due to the pandemic, the root causes for radicalisation are growing and the landscape of extremism is rapidly changing. This also resonates in the topics and issues for 2021 mentioned during the Plenary.
The 16th European Remembrance Day for Victims of Terrorism was held in Paris on 11 March 2020. This year’s commemoration, under the title ‘Growing Stronger Together’, brought together more than 100 victims from all over Europe, as well as their families, associations of victims of terrorism, pupils, emergency services and high-level European representatives, to stand united against terrorism and pay tribute to all EU citizens becoming victims of terrorism worldwide.
In Greece, the Ministry of Citizen Protection presented a logo created specifically for the European Remembrance Day of Victims of Terrorism.
The “Athanatos” (immortality in Greek) plant is together with the flame to symbolise the memory of the victims.
Read about the role of victims in the prevention of radicalisation and violent extremism:
High-Level conference ‒ 04 November 2019, Brussels
The High-Level conference was held in Brussels on 4 November. It centred on the screening of Le Jeune Ahmed (Young Ahmed), a film by Belgian directors Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne. The film, which premiered in Cannes in May 2019, is about the radicalisation of a 13-year-old boy.
At the High-Level Conference, European first-line practitioners and high-ranking policymakers used the story in this film as the basis for their discussions.
In break-out sessions, practitioners were asked to answer the following question: Could things have gone differently, and if so, what would it require in terms of policy and practice?
Practitioners identified different themes in relation with the radicalisation’s process of the Young Ahmed:
- Family & community
- Disengagement and deradicalisation
- RAN High-Level Conference, Brussels 04 November 2019 (also available in French and German)
Plenary – 30 October 2019, Brussels
The Plenary was an opportunity for RAN Working Groups to discuss current developments in the field of prevention of radicalisation and to look ahead towards 2020.
Participants highlighted the following cross-cutting themes:
- All forms of extremism (Islamist extremism, far-right extremism, far-left extremism, environmental extremism)
- Rehabilitation efforts in and after prison
- Lone actors and extremist online communities
- Extremist Infiltration
- Help the helper
- Other topics (Transgenerational trauma, sports as a liaising mechanism, constant intertwining of the online and offline, collaborating with families).
Ahead of RAN’s 2019 Plenary, a questionnaire was sent to all participants who attended a RAN meeting in the last two years to ask what themes and topics should be tackled in the new year. Far-right extremism topped the list of themes mentioned more than five times.
The podcast features four RAN practitioners discussing this phenomenon. They are:
- Pavel Klymenko, Eastern Europe Development Officer of the FARE network in Austria
- Bjorn Ihler, co-Founder of the Khalifa Ihler Institute in Norway
- Staszek Czerczak, Founder of the Codex foundation in Poland
- Lisbeth Kristine Røyneland, Leader of the Norwegian National Support Group after 22. July in Norway
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.
RAN High Level Conference – 11 October 2018, Luxembourg
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).
- Opening remarks Commissioner Julian King at the 4th High-Level Conference of the Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN)
- Keynote speech by Commissioner Avramopoulos at the 4th High-Level Conference of the Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN)
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.
RAN Plenary meeting – 15 November 2017, Brussels (Belgium)
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.
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.
Responses to returning terrorist fighters and their families – 19 June, Brussels, Belgium
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.
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.
- RAN High Level Conference on radicalisation, Brussels 9 November 2016
- RAN HLC Discussion Paper, 9 November 2016
- Policy Paper Developing a local prevent framework and guiding, November 2016
- Issue Paper Tackling the challenges to prevention policies in an increasingly polarised society, November 2016
- Issue Paper Foreign fighter returnees & the reintegration challenge, November 2016
- Issue Paper Child returnees from conflict zones, November 2016
- Speech Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos
- Speech Robert Kaliňák, Minister of Interior, Slovakia
- Speech Vlaho Orepić, Minister of the Interior of Croatia
- Speech Bostjan Sefic, State Secretary Slovenia
- Speech Dick Schoof, National Coordinator for Security and Counter Terrorism of the Netherlands
- Speech Luigi Soreca
High-Level Conference ‘Strengthening the EU’s response to violent extremism: From ideas to action’ – June 2014
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.
Cities Conference on Foreign Fighters (FF) – January 2014
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.
High-level conference ‘Empowering local actors to prevent violent extremism’ – January 2013
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.
- 3rd RAN High-Level Conference on Radicalisation - November 2016
- Discussion paper for the High Level Conference
Policy recommendations for the High Level Conference: