> The panel
The panelists were Rasha Nagem and Chafiaa Djouadi of the University of Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, Rut Bermejo of the University Rey Juan Carlos, Marina Martínez of the Spanish Office for Sciences and Technology, Moritz Konradi and Martí Navarro Regàs of Efus.
> The project’s main results
Rasha Nagem recalled the origin and main objectives of the PRACTICIES project (which we won’t detail here, see our dedicated web page for an exhaustive presentation), and presented its main results:
- a comparative, Europe-wide analysis of the processes of radicalisation leading to violence;
- reation of new educational tools for the prevention of radicalisation leading to violence;
- evaluation of methods for identifying and accompanying radicalised individuals through a comparative analysis of European practices;
- creation of a glossary of radical discourses in Europe;
- creation of digital tools to identify radical discourses;
- improving local prevention policies by identifying and exchanging good practices at European level.
> Political recommendations
Rasha Nagem said that the political recommendations are one of the key results of the project and explained how they were drafted by the PRACTICIES consortium.
These thematic recommendations are grouped in three categories: those aimed at the supranational level (European Union), those aimed at the national level (governments) and those aimed at local and regional authorities. For each of these groups, the consortium worked on a number of themes (16 in total), such as, among others, research, improving the impact of prevention policies, evaluating these policies, sharing good practices, supporting professionals, citizen participation and local democracy, and innovation and new technologies.
> Recommendations for the EU
Rut Bermejo then presented the recommendations to European institutions, which fall into four broad categories:
- Ensuring that those who implement the policies (local authorities, professional organisations, citizens…) contribute to their design, and that this approach is also applied as regards the collaboration between European institutions and local authorities on crime prevention policies.
- Awareness-raising and training: this concerns notably media education in schools. The project recommends publishing a European manual on the prevention of radicalisation. Furthermore, the project recommends strengthening cooperation with Maghreb countries, for example through the Euromed forum.
- Increase research and make its results more applicable on the ground: research on violence should be strengthened and the knowledge thus acquired should be easier to translate on the ground (for example by organising joint workshops and working groups between researchers and European and local political decision makers). Another recommendation is to set up a database on radicalisation.
- Design a common evaluation system comprising evaluation tools that include both quantitative and qualitative indicators.
> Recommendations for national governments
Chafiaa Djouadi presented the political recommendations addressed to the national level of governance and said the consortium had identified for focus areas:
- the sharing of good practices (encouraging multidisciplinary work, increasing knowledge in the educational sector and among practitioners, disseminating skills among relevant sectors such as research, experts, and field practitioners);
- supporting professionals working in this area (increasing training, improving the efficacy of tools and methods for detection and prevention);
- using the tools and approaches developed by the PRACTICIES project (a holistic approach combining science-based aspects and emotional, relational and ideological factors – working with victims and perpetrators);
- enriching public policies (fighting against stigmatisation, encouraging multicultural dialogue, sharing experiences among European cities)
> Recommendations for local and regional authorities
Moritz Konradi then presented the recommendations drafted by Efus for local authorities. “They are the result of an intense work process. We worked with all the researchers involved in the project to ensure that the local perspective is taken into account and that the tools developed by the project really correspond to the local needs,” he said.
Six main themes were identified:
- The inclusion and welfare of local populations as these are key factors in local prevention that should be strengthened (either locally or as part of national policies).
- Institutionalisation, long term planning and evaluation: these are also priority areas as highlighted by research, which shows that long term planning is key in preventing radicalism.
- Professional culture and cooperation: the idea is to develop a common culture among all the stakeholders working on preventing radicalisation (teachers, social workers…). They must learn to work together.
- Innovation and new technologies: there is a tendency to rely on known methodologies but there is a need to develop new ones, in particular in order to limit the spread of extremist contents online. European municipalities are implementing numerous projects in this respect (such as, for example, the Efus-led LOUD project – Local Young Leaders for Inclusion).
- Include the local and regional perspective in European policies: municipalities should be more involved in the drafting of EU policies. “Many local stakeholders are calling for political solutions at EU level, in particular concerning asylum policies, which fuel polarisation and local tensions,” noted Moritz Konradi.
> EU sources of funding
Marina Martinez then presented the European Union’s funding schemes that can be tapped into by municipalities and other implementers of programmes for preventing violent radicalisation (law enforcement agencies, civil society organisations, universities, research organisations…).
€1.7 billion has so far been available under European research and innovation programmes for the period 2014-2020. The new EU research programme, Horizon Europe, starts this year with extended missions and an ambitious budget of €100 billion.
The prevention of radicalisation can benefit from the funding lines allocated under Horizon Europe’s second “pillar”, “Global Challenges and Industrial Competitiveness”, which includes a “safe civil society” component.
However, the coronavirus pandemic risks delaying the implementation of this programme.
It would take too long in this article to reproduce in detail the extensive information provided by Marina Martínez. Efus is constantly monitoring funding opportunities at European level (see the dedicated section on Efus network, our collaborative platform for Efus members) and will publish any information of interest on relevant calls for proposals.