- 6 april 2022
- Generaldirektoratet för migration och inrikes frågor
The Manifesto for Education, published by the Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN) in 2015,1 called for educators, partners and governments to take action to stem the rise of violent extremism across Europe.
Over the following 6 years, practitioners were given the opportunity to do this through the RAN Practitioners group. Hundreds of education practitioners attended a series of meetings, identifying the key drivers of violent extremism and suggesting ways to address these drivers. RAN connects frontline practitioners from across the EU with one another, and with academics and policymakers, to exchange knowledge, first-hand experiences and approaches to preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE) of all forms.
The aim of this paper is to review progress made to date against the original 2015 Manifesto for Education and identify areas for further development. The paper will also explore potential new contributing factors to violent extremism. It is a call to action for practitioners in education and youth work. The new RAN working group will enable the adoption of a more holistic view in its endeavour to tackle extremism. We are at a pivotal moment in the history of such extremism and taking action now will reduce the risk of further such violence. Much has changed since 2015, and more changes are likely in future as people struggle to deal with the consequences of terror attacks across Europe (including the murder of French teacher Samuel Paty), the Covid-19 pandemic and the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban.
These events and the associated societal responses are likely to contribute to a rise in violent extremism. We must be prepared and ready to tackle new challenges in the coming years. In many ways, we are better prepared for this task now: there is a wider understanding of what does and doesn’t work when tackling violent extremism. What we as practitioners must do is become better at putting this understanding into practice. We must stay abreast of changing dynamics and developments and become more agile, to ensure we do not lose ground in any evolving threats.
The paper is proactive rather than reactive in considering what direction developments will take, and proposing issues for consideration. It asks questions which may not yet have answers. It is clear that without committed action and close collaboration from policymakers and practitioners, the risk exists of a perfect storm of conditions that could foster a significant rise in violent extremism. It is also clear that the fight against such extremism has expanded, with many new fronts opening up and old ones being reinforced.