- Publication date
- 2 February 2023
- Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs
- RAN Publications Topic
- Counter- and alternative narratives
As part of the EU Internet Forum, a total of 20 Civil Society Empowerment Programme (CSEP) campaigns contributed to preventing radicalisation leading towards violent extremism across the EU by means of online alternative or counter-narrative campaigns. RAN Practitioners Staff supported the projects with (online) trainings and meetings, creating opportunities for learning, networking and exchange. With the funding of CSEP ending and no additional funding until at least 2025, a final meeting took place on 7 and 8 November in Dublin (IE) to look back and reflect on the lessons learned, while also looking forward to the future of online campaigning.
Key insights from the meeting include:
- There are various factors to consider when it comes to future programming, such as: 1. which stakeholders to include in project consortia from the outset (e.g. creative/marketing agencies and evaluators); 2. a greater need for flexibility that allows for necessary adjustments over the course of the funding period; 3. a need for monitoring and evaluation to be included on the programming side of future funding and setting out key performance indicators (KPIs) for impact measurement.
- The cooperation between preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE) campaigns and tech companies is a two-way street: social media companies could appoint a point of contact for P/CVE campaigners, for example to make sure that their content guidelines do not limit the reach of the campaign, while campaigns must likewise fulfil the conditions set out by the social media companies for their support.
- Overall, a need was identified to explore more creative ways of implementing campaigns in the absence of institutional funding. This includes forging partnerships with the private sector, for example by working with creative agencies, as well as incorporating P/CVE-related narratives in mainstream culture, for example through ‘older’ media such as television.
- P/CVE campaigns found themselves to be drops in the ocean in light of some of the root causes contributing to radicalisation that are structural and systemic, related to the overall deteriorating economic situation, inequality, discrimination and an affiliated overall lack of trust in institutions. Additionally, the mainstreaming of right-wing narratives including by educators was highlighted as a major issue.
- There is an increasing need to work on the local level, creating the trust between citizens and government that is needed to address these systemic issues.
This paper presents the main conclusions of 2 days of presentations and lively group discussions. The first day looked back with a presentation of the CSEP evaluation and an interactive session on the lessons learned. The second day focused on the future of online campaigning with a keynote, a panel and group discussions.