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Migration and Home Affairs

Call for participants: RAN LOCAL Meeting on ‘Local strategy during times of Covid’

This is an online meeting that will take place on 30 November 2020 (14:00 - 17:00 CEST) and 1 December 2020 (09:30 - 12:30 CEST)

For the RAN LOCAL Group meeting on ‘Local strategy during times of Covid’ we are currently looking for suitable participants.

Background

The work in preventing and countering polarisation, radicalisation and violent extremism at the local level is more important and more challenging than ever. Aside from the threats and dynamics we were facing in the last decades (mostly dealing with the ongoing threat of Islamist extremism) there are new trends and challenging developments such as the rise of inciting conspiracy theories and violent right-wing extremist groups.

In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic seems to accelerate processes of polarisation and the economic backlash of the pandemic will presumably add to this. The first-line practitioners play a key role in helping our societies to be resilient against polarising and extremist influences and foster our democratic values such as the freedom of assembly and speech, inclusiveness and equality.

The local P/CVE coordinator organises the multi-agency approach to radicalisation. This work is under a lot of pressure due to the pandemic. During periods of lockdown communicating with the target audience by the practitioners is much more challenging. There are less physical contact moments for teachers, youth workers, community police officers and others.

The digital encounters with vulnerable people, if there are any, have a limited impact. Aside from the social distancing aspects and the online dynamics of radicalisation, there is also the risk of having less capacity in place for P/CVE, working with partners who have to focus on their activities concerning the pandemic (for instance public health, police or education). In most EU cities, also the way multi-agency meetings are being organised has changed to online meetings.

We all have been in this pandemic for over nine months now. And this period will presumably go on in the months to come. That is why it is important to exchange good practices on how to best implement the local strategy on P/CVE during times of Covid.

Therefore during the meeting, we will discuss how to best prevent and counter violent extremism at the local level in these challenging times of Covid. This question can be divided into three parts:

  1. how to work together with first line practitioners to detect early signs of polarisation or radicalisation during Covid
  2. how to stay in contact with the target group (radicalised people, at risk people and the people around them) during Covid
  3. how to shape the multi-agency work during Covid

We will encourage participants to share the good and bad experiences local coordinators have had since the start of the pandemic, in order to learn and improve.

Call for participants

We are currently looking for local P/CVE coordinators who want to attend this meeting. In order to prepare the meeting and to find the best-suited participants, we would like to ask you the following questions:

  1. What has been, in general, the effect of the pandemic on the way you have implemented your local P/CVE strategy? What are the biggest changes you see and what are the biggest challenges?
  2. What has been the effect of the pandemic on the way early signs of polarisation or radicalisation are detected in your city? Do you have any good examples to share with regards to (new) ways of early detection during Covid?
  3. What has been the effect of the pandemic on the way first line practitioners stay in contact with your target groups? Do you have any good practices to share with regards to staying in contact with your target groups (radicalised people, at risk people and the people around them) during the pandemic?
  4. What has been the effect of the pandemic on the way you are shaping the multi-agency work in your city? Do you have any good examples to share with regards to multi-agency work during Covid?

Deadline

If you are interested in participating in this meeting and believe that you could contribute with responses implemented in your city, could you please elaborate on these questions by Thursday 12 Novemberthe latest by sending your answers to Malaz Shahhoud,Rik Scheele, and Lieke Wouterse.

We will further shape the meeting and invite participants based on the information we will receive from you. Please keep in mind that we only have a limited number of places available for this meeting, so participation is not guaranteed.

If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.

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