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Migration and Home Affairs
News announcement29 September 2021

Call for participants: RAN Families, Communities & Social Care meeting – Violent Right Wing Extremism (VRWE) in Communities

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(with input from the RAN LOCAL and RAN POL working groups)

Tuesday 23 November and Wednesday 24 November 2021 (9.00 - 12.30h CET).

This digital meeting will take place via WebEx.

For the RAN multi meeting of the Families, Communities & Social Care Working Group, with input from the RAN LOCAL and RAN POL working groups, we are presently looking for suitable participants. The topic of this multi meeting will be ‘Violent Right Wing Extremism in Communities’.

Background

The phenomenon of violent right-wing extremism (VRWE) has been part of both extremist groups and the ideological landscape of European societies for decades, and its influence on mainstream political discussions and polarisation of societies in many European countries is a continuous and growing concern. Awareness of violent right-wing extremism has increased over the past decade with a number of attacks (such as in Utoya, Hanau and Halle).

Whereas P/CVE programmes for VRWE often primarily focused on neo-Nazi and skinhead youth subcultures, ranging from teenagers to young adults, today’s manifestations of violent right-wing extremism have become more diverse with a notion that for example VRWE is no longer perceived as exclusively a youth problem.

Hence, these VRWE groups see a significant involvement of adults as leaders and active members. In addition, women’s multiple roles within these groups should be expanded from understanding their role from passive participation to more active involvement. When we look at the online and offline dimension and dynamics of how VRWE groups operate and spaces they exhibit, we see that online communities (such as on social media, in WhatsApp or closed chat) are complementing traditional VRWE groups that promoted their messages via offline channels and events.

Aim of the meeting

The mobilisation of a broad target group in online contexts also has consequences for communities on a local level. For example, there are local communities or neighbourhoods that see active physical VRWE groups and struggle with their polarising and radicalising effect to a diverse set of communities and provoking fear and grievances for people living in these neighbourhoods. At the same time, more and more civil-society and community-led initiatives are attempting to prevent/counter the challenges described above.

This meeting will specifically focus on: first, the ways in which VWRE groups manifest themselves within communities and neighbourhoods  and second, how to decrease/limit the influence of VRWE on other groups within a community, such as by connecting between administrative and community/civil society-led approaches to prevent/tackle VRWE local activities. This meeting will build further on meetings of the LOCAL and POL working groups and the factbook on VRWE. The deliverable of this meeting will be a brief overview of the ways VRWE groups influence local communities and how to deal with this, including inspiring examples.

Practitioners and initiatives we are looking for are:

  1. Community and civil-society led initiatives preventing/countering VRWE on a local level.
  2. Social, family and youth workers dealing with VRWE and other practitioners (such as community police officers) working specifically in communities.
  3. Local coordinators dealing with VRWE.
    • Participants should have experience in issues related to violent right wing extremism (VRWE) and/or working in (online or offline) communities.

To find the best suited participants, answer the following questions: 

  • In your work, what is your experience in dealing with violent right wing extremism on a local and community level? What are your main challenges?
  • Can you share inspiring projects/tools for practitioners from your country or any civil society or community-led initiatives that are focused on tackling violent right wing extremism in (online and/or offline) communities and building community resilience?
  • What specific topic, question or challenge would you like to discuss and learn from during the meeting?

Deadline

If you are interested in participating at this meeting, elaborate on these questions until 05 November 2021 the latest and email responses to Alexandra Korn and Fenna Keijzer.

We will invite participants based on this information. Please keep in mind that we only have a limited amount of places available for this meeting to foster exchanges, so participation is not guaranteed.   

Please note, the meeting will be held digitally in English.

If you have any questions, please contact Alexandra Korn and Fenna Keijzer.

Details

Publication date
29 September 2021