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Migration and Home Affairs
News announcement21 February 2022Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs

RAN Thematic Event on ‘Conspiracy narratives and anti-government sentiments in relation to (V)RWE and other forms of extremism’, 16 March 2021

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This is an online meeting that will take place on 16 March 2022, 09.30 – 16.00 (times are indicative)

RAN Practitioners is organising a Thematic Event on ‘Conspiracy narratives and anti-government sentiments in relation to (V)RWE and other forms of extremism’. Practitioners from different work fields/RAN Practitioners Working Groups who have experience with this topic are invited to participate in this event.

Specifically, practitioners from RAN Communication & Narratives, RAN Police, RAN Mental Health, RAN Local, RAN Families, Communities and Social care, and RAN Youth and Education are welcomed to register.

Topic of the meeting

Previous RAN events have identified conspiracy narratives and anti-government sentiments in the context of the pandemic as a persistent challenge and addressed certain elements of them with the aim of strengthening first-line practitioners’ response.

These previous RAN activities include:

Due to the mainstreaming of conspiracy narratives and anti-government sentiments and the widespread disinformation online, detecting when and how such attitudes call for violence or turn into violent behaviours, both at individual and group level, and assessing when and how to intervene, pose a growing challenge for practitioners.

The focus of this RAN Practitioners Thematic Event is on practitioner strategies and approaches to address the (threat of) violence erupting from anti-establishment sentiments and their links to different forms of extremism. This event will not focus on early prevention and addressing conspiracy beliefs through media literacy and critical thinking, which has been discussed in multiple RAN activities before. Instead, the focus is on how to keep people from crossing the border from peaceful protesting to resorting to violence.

Key aspects to be addressed by this event include: detecting protests or actions that potentially could  turn violent or ignite violence, assessing when action is needed, and how to respond in a de-escalating manner after instances of violence. During the event, the nexus between (V)RWE and anti-establishment extremist will also be discussed – as well as the implications for practitioners. Lastly, the online sphere will also be considered for all these aspects.

Goal of the meeting

This Thematic Event serves as an opportunity for practitioners from different RAN Practitioners Working Groups to prepare for the online cross-cutting event on the same topic, which is scheduled to take place later in 2022. During the Thematic Event, several participants will be asked to present cases related to the topic from their daily work.

On the basis of these cases, which will be selected so as to discuss a variety of experiences, the practitioners will conduct joint analyses and formulate lessons learned per case as well as overarching recommendations and point to remaining challenges and practitioners’ needs.

These lessons, recommendations and challenges will be presented during the RAN Cross-Cutting Event later this year, which will also include input from researchers and policy makers.

Call for participants

If you are interested in participating in this meeting, please answer the questions in this form.

Please also indicate if you have relevant experiences that could be presented as a case study during the meeting. These cases will be further discussed in the meeting during break-out sessions (you can find more info about this in the registration form).


Please fill in the form before Wednesday 02 March. We will invite participants (and contributors) based on the answers given in the survey.

Please keep in mind that we can only invite a limited number of participants to this meeting to ensure valuable exchange and interaction, so participation is not guaranteed.

If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact RAN Staff members Alexandra Korn, Alwyn Voogd, Rik Scheele or Rositsa Dzhekova.



Publication date
21 February 2022
Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs