In this month’s issue of the RAN Update, we take a look back at the European Remembrance Day for Victims of Terrorism, which took place last month, and as Europe looks ahead to the possibility of emerging from national lockdowns we look at some of the digital challenges that we now face as a result of the COVID pandemic.
European Remembrance Day
On 11 March 2021, the EU paid tribute to Victims of Terrorism (VoT). Organised by the European Commission, in close cooperation with the RAN Victims of Terrorism Working Group, the Remembrance Day takes place every year on the day of the 2004 Madrid attacks.
This year the event, which returned to Madrid, provided victims with a platform to share their stories and to hear about local, national and EU-wide efforts developed to tackle the terrorist threat and provide them with the support they need.
Some 40 victims and representatives of the European Commission and EU Member States attended a ceremony at the Permanent Representation of the European Commission in Madrid, with 120 participants joining online.
Find out more about RAN’s support to victims.
European Commission statement
On the occasion of the 17th European Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Terrorism, The Commission issued the following statement: “Today, we come together to listen, to support survivors, and above all to honour all victims of terrorism… To all who seek to hurt and divide us, we will continue to respond with unity. Our democracies will always strive to protect our fundamental rights, freedoms, and values. We are committed to building inclusive and cohesive societies in which everyone has a stake and everyone can feel safe.”
Read the statement in full.
Read Commissioner Johansson’s speech.
A series of events and ceremonies were held across Europe to commemorate victims of terrorist attacks. On 11 March 2021, a ceremony was held in Paris to mark the French National Remembrance Day for Victims of Terrorism and in Madrid the Spanish National Remembrance Day for Victims of Terrorism was commemorated.
On the same day, families of victims came together to mark the attack on the Berlin Christmas market, which took place on 19 December 2016.
Meanwhile, special ceremonies were held in Brussels and London to mark the Brussels bombings, which took place on 22 March 2016, and the London Westminster attack, which took place on 22 March 2017.
At the end of last year, RAN Practitioners launched a competition for schools across the EU to create a new design for the European Remembrance Day for Victims of Terrorism. The aim of the competition was to increase awareness of the European Remembrance Day and open up a conversation about the impact of terrorism. Pupils between the ages of 15 and 18 were invited to create a design. Unfortunately, due to the low representativity of the Member States in the application process, RAN Practitioners has decided to relaunch the competition in the forthcoming weeks to enable more schools and their pupils, some of whom are now returning to the classroom, the opportunity to participate.
2021 marks the 10-year anniversary of RAN. To commemorate and celebrate the anniversary, we are producing a series of short films which look at how RAN has evolved over these 10 years and at some of its achievements. The first of these films explores the topic of victims of terrorism. The film hears from a number of victims and practitioners involved in RAN, who share their experiences. Watch the film in full
The latest edition of the RAN Spotlight magazine, which is available now on the RAN website, takes a look at the digital challenges that practitioners are facing in doing their work online, including challenges that have resulted from the COVID pandemic. The publication, which features the insights and views of RAN practitioners and includes a series of articles, opinion pieces and interviews, covers a number of topics. These include transnational online VRWE networks, terrorist and extremists’ use of online gaming platforms, digital policing and lone actors in digital environments. Read the Spotlight in full
Following much demand from RAN practitioners, we have (re-)introduced a new series of podcasts, called ‘RAN in Focus’. Presented by two practitioners from the RAN network, who speak to practitioners, RAN Working Group leads and experts in the field, the podcasts will take a look at what’s new in the world of RAN. The first episode, which takes an in-depth look at the topic of terrorist and extremists’ use of online gaming platforms, is featured in the latest Spotlight magazine and can be found on the RAN YouTube channel.
A new programme, called ‘RAN Reporters’, will uncover some of the most interesting news stories and innovative projects from across Europe. The programme follows a set of RAN reporters as they meet other practitioners from the RAN network who talk about their work and efforts in addressing some of the latest P/CVE challenges of the day. The first episode, which visits Utrecht to explore how practitioners from different fields worked together to prevent a local riot, can be found on the RAN YouTube channel and is featured in the latest Spotlight magazine.
Due to the global COVID pandemic, RAN Practitioners will continue to deliver all meetings in the coming months online. For more information on planned meetings please go to the RAN website. A number of other meetings planned for the first few months of 2021 will be published in due time.
Education and youth work: towards effective collaboration
RAN Y&E | 08-09 April 2021
This meeting aims to discuss practical methods for schools and youth work organisations to foster effective cooperation between them.
Lone actors – jointly taking stock of recent developments and combining knowledge
RAN cross-cutting thematic event | 21-22 April 2021
This meeting aims to develop targeted recommendations on how to better prevent lone actor violent extremism.
Please keep an eye on the calendaron the RAN website for up-to-date information.
Radicalised and Terrorist Reoffenders
A new paper provides insights for practitioners about the current situation in Europe regarding recidivism rates of radicalised and terrorist offenders as well as the characteristics of these cases. The paper looks at the data available, the characteristics of the offenders and reoffenders, as well as expectations for the future. The paper draws on the insights gathered from ‘small scale meeting’ held online on 27 January 2021. Read more...
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RAN Update 83 (also available in French and German)