BRIDGE: a new European project on preventing polarisation and radicalisation

Paris, France, January 2019 How can local authorities act to reduce polarisation in their local communities, which renders them more vulnerable to radicalisation? This is the central question to which the European project “BRIDGE – Building resilience to reduce polarisation and growing extremism”, which is led by Efus, will seek to answer.

Started in January, BRIDGE will gather for a period of two years (until December 2020) 13 local and regional authorities from seven European countries as well as the Spanish think tank Real Instituto Elcano and the German association Ufuq, which works on the prevention of radicalisation.

> Evaluating local contexts and implementing targeted actions

The project’s general objective is to raise awareness among local stakeholders and strengthen their capacity to reduce collective vulnerability to radicalisation, while at the same time mitigating the phenomenon of polarisation. To do so, it will strengthen local polarisation detection and management tools; assist local authorities in the development of actions to tackle tensions and social unrest; promote community-based initiatives that imply cooperation between different public services and private actors, and lastly bring together European local authorities and experts willing to address polarisation at the local level.

As part of its activities, the project will develop tools to evaluate and monitor local phenomena of polarisation and implement local actions in each partner local authority. This work will notably result in a series of European seminars and webinars and, at the end of the project, a publication.

This new project will enrich the work Efus has been conducting for several years now on the issue of radicalisation and extremism, in particular through several European projects: Liaise (Local institutions against violent extremism); Stresaviora (Bounce), which seeks to strengthen the resilience of young people in the face of radical and extremist messages; Local voices (Local communication strategies to prevent extremism); PROTECT (public resilience to terrorism through new technologies); PRACTICIES (Partnership against violent radicalisation in cities), and PREPARE on the prevention of radicalisation in prison and probation.

Two other European projects on this topic started in January 2019: LOUD, which will promote at local level alternative narratives to extremism, and PACTESUR, which will provide local authorities with methods and tools to better secure their public spaces.

>>> More information on the BRIDGE project

>>> Read the brochure: European Local Authorities are mobilising against radicalisation

The European Forum for Urban Security is currently looking for an expert for the BRIDGE project. Know more