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Migration and Home Affairs

Call for participants: RAN LOCAL meeting – Online P/CVE approach for local authorities: how to manage it?

(With input from RAN C&N and RAN POL)

This meeting will take place online via WebEx on 27 and 28 May 2021 (9.00-12.30 CEST).

It will be held in English.

Background and objective

During previous RAN events, such as the meeting titled Local strategy in times of COVID-19, practical matters about how local authorities can continue a multi-agency approach online and stimulate partners to detect signs of radicalisation and reach people vulnerable to radicalisation have been discussed. Extremist groups make extensive use of the internet to reinforce their ideologies, recruit new members and plan violent activities offline.

Specifically during the COVID-19 pandemic, isolated individuals desperately looking for a sense of belonging, were rapidly exposed to massive amounts of online content advocating for conspiracy and anti-state narratives. While practitioners and local authorities are trying to adapt their P/CVE work to include this digital space, they still encounter many challenges.

During this meeting, local coordinators and practitioners working in P/CVE will discuss the necessary tools, knowledge and means to deal more effectively and in smarter ways with the online space on the local level. Building on previous meeting outcomes, participants will discuss amongst other things:

  • How to take into account the role of the internet (including social media) in preventing radicalisation and violent extremism at the local level? What kind of digital infrastructure is currently being used/available and what type of digital infrastructure is needed?
  • How to gather information online about extremist groups or individuals operating at the local level and what role should local authorities have in this regard?
  • What are the opportunities for including online aspects in P/CVE multi-agency cooperation? How can information from (open) internet sources be included and which partner should have which role? How can the local level also benefit from collaboration and support from the industry (Google, Facebook etc.)?

The meeting aims to collect tips and insights on how to use online and offline actions impactful on the local level. This will feed into a conclusion paper with a tangible list of 10 tips on how to do so for local P/CVE coordinators.

Call for participants

We are currently looking for participants who have (some) online experience, local coordinators and practitioners who would like to share their thoughts and experiences on the online dimension of radicalisation either in reaching out online or in analysing social media. In addition, we are welcoming social media or communication specialists as well as police officers who are experienced with this type of work and online youth workers.

If you are interested in participating in this meeting, please answer the questions in this form by 3 May.

  • What is your experience in including ‘the online sphere’ or online activities in the local P/CVE approach? Why is it important to do it?
  • If online activities are included in your local P/CVE approach, what is being done and by whom? If they are not included, what are the reasons for this?
  • Do you know any good practices or examples of local authorities who have an online P/CVE approach (e.g. in using information from internet or reaching people through the internet)? Do you have suggestions for other practitioners and experts we should invite?

We will invite participants based on the answers to the questions. Since we only have a limited number of places available for this meeting, participation is not guaranteed.

If you have any further questions, please contact Lieke Wouterse, Rik Scheele and Malaz Shahhoud.