On 30 November 2015, the European Foundation for Democracy, in partnership with the European Law Students Association and the Counter Extremism Project, hosted a conference in Bologna, Italy, on the current conflict in Syria and its geopolitical implications. Among the panellists were EFD researcher Tommaso Virgili. Other panellists included leading geostrategic analysts, legal experts and diplomats, who provided a multifaceted insight on the Syrian crisis, its root causes and its legal and geopolitical implications.
Virgili warned of how Islamists of various sorts are taking advantage of the Syrian crisis through a number of different means. He stressed the danger of underestimating Islamist groups fighting Assad, while urging a response to the Wahhabi ideologues and Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated organisations that are exploiting the refugee crisis to advance a non-democratic agenda.