On 22nd March 2017, the anniversary of the 2016 Brussels attacks provided an occasion to discuss measures to prevent similar tragedies: the European Policy Centre (EPC), in partnership with the European Foundation for Democracy (EFD) and the Counter Extremism Project (CEP) presented the final publication of The challenges of jihadist radicalisation in Europe and beyond, a research and event project.
Throughout the discussion, the panel commented on the challenges the European Union faces in terms of preventing radicalisation and implementing security measures considering the root-causes of radicalisation. Herman van Rompuy, EPC President and President Emeritus of the European Council opened the discussion, followed by an insight from Sir Julian King, Commissioner for the Security Union, and Gilles de Kerchove, EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator, who gave his expert perspective on the matter. EFD President and Founder, Roberta Bonazzi, along with EFD Executive Director Alexander Ritzmann, provided an overview of the book’s content, highlighting the main issues to tackle in terms of prevention of radicalisation. Finally, Deputy Prime Minister of Belgium Jan Jambon closed the event with a very enlightening key note address.
Against the background of the geographically and sectorally ubiquitous challenge posed by jihadist radicalisation, as clearly demonstrated by the murderous Brussels attacks on 22nd March 2016, EU Member States and institutions have adopted a number of measures over the past few months. However, despite public pressure related to the urgency of eradicating the terrorist threat, radicalisation remains a complex and multi-layered challenge which demands truly comprehensive and long-term policies. To meet this challenge, addressing some of the following, underlying questions, remains essential: How to effectively define radicalisation? What are the ultimate drivers of such a process? How to strengthen the resilience of vulnerable individuals and communities? How to counter extremist propaganda effectively? How does radicalisation concretely occur in key third countries and regions outside Europe, as well as in selected hotspots within Europe, such as in prisons, universities, mosques, or on the internet? What good practices and lessons learned can be identified and shared to tackle radicalisation in Europe? And how to move forward in facing such an insidious and multi-layered challenge?
The EFD-EPC book The challenge of jihadist radicalisation in Europe and beyond which includes contributions from a number of well-established experts on the different dimensions of the issue, provides in-depth analysis and policy relevant recommendations to address these questions.