European Foundation for Democracy


The European Foundation for Democracy (EFD) is a Brussels and Berlin-based policy institute that has been working with civil society, academic, governmental and other stakeholders on the prevention of radicalisation for more than a decade. Through our work with these organisations and groups, EFD’s goal is to ensure that the universal values of the Enlightenment – political pluralism, respect for individual rights, government by democracy – remain the founding precepts of European security and prosperity.

Analysis & Events


The Threat of ISIS from a Turkish Perspective: Deputy Chair of Turkey’s main opposition party will share his insight and experiences

The European Foundation for Democracy hosted a closed-door breakfast briefing with Öztürk Yilmaz, Vice Chair of the Republican People’s Party (CHP, Turkey’s main opposition party) in charge of Foreign Relations. Yılmaz, a former Ambassador, is a Member of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey from Ardahan. He was taken hostage in June 2014, when he was the Consul General of Turkey in Mosul and held for 101 days by ISIS.


“Jihad 2.0”: How to tackle online propaganda, radicalisation and recruitment?

The European Foundation for Democracy, along with the European Policy Centre, jointly hosted a policy dialogue entitled: ” “Jihad 2.0”: How to tackle online propaganda, radicalisation and recruitment?” on 4 October 2016. The guest speakers included Andrea Plebani, Associate Research Fellow, Istituto per gli Studi di Politica Internazionale, Milan, Tahir Abbas, Senior Research Fellow, Royal United Services Institute, UK, David Ibsen, Executive Director of the Counter-Extremism Project, Lucinda Armstrong, Policy Officer, Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs, European Commission and Andrea Frontini, Policy Analyst, European Policy Centre (Moderator).


“eGLYPH”: an innovative new algorithm that identifies extremist content on Internet and social media platforms

In June 2016, the Counter Extremism Project (CEP) announced the development of a technological solution, “eGLYPH”, that will allow Internet and social media companies to quickly remove extremist content from their platforms.


Turkey in the Aftermath of the Failed Coup Attempt

Late in the evening on 15 July, an attempted coup d’état was initiated in Turkey by a faction within the Turkish Armed Forces. Within less than 24 hours, the attempt to overthrow the government had failed, leaving hundreds dead and thousands injured in its wake.


Press Release

Statement by Elham Manea


Jihadist Hotbeds – Understanding Local Radicalisation Processes

Building upon the current debate on the origin and nature of jihadist militancy, “Jihadist Hotbeds – Understanding Local Radicalisation processes” outlines a broad spectrum of radicalization factors contributing to the emergence of jihadist hotbeds: poverty, unemployment, lack of job prospects, juvenile delinquency, trafficking and smuggling, socio–political, economic and physical marginalization, the role of Salafist ideology as well as the influence of brotherhood networks.


Jihadist radicalisation in schools, universities, prisons and mosques: What challenges for Europe?

On June 28, the European Foundation for Democracy, the European Policy Centre, the Counter Extremism Project and the Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI) hosted a conference entitled: “Jihadist radicalisation in schools, universities, prisons and mosques: What challenges for Europe?”. Guest speakers included: Rupert Sutton, Director of Students Rights (UK); Muhammad Manwar Ali, Imam, Founder and Chief Executive of Muslim educational charity JIMAS (UK); Rodrigo Ballester, Member of Cabinet of Tibor Navracsics from the European Commissioner; Stefano M. Torelli, Research Fellow at ISPI. The event was moderated by Andrea Frontini, Policy Analyst at the European Policy Centre.


Tools of the Trade: Online Radicalisation

Social media has fundamentally changed how we share information – now there are so many more ways of reaching people. Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms are widely used, especially by young people, to stay informed in real time. However, some groups and individuals misuse these platforms to promote radical ideas and shape information for their own purposes. In the open space offered by social media, where identities can be kept anonymous or changed quickly, how can these individuals and groups be identified, and how effective are their strategies?


Far-right extremism in EU politics – an existential threat to our democracies?

On 22 June, the European Foundation for Democracy hosted a policy briefing at the European Parliament to discuss far-right extremism and the threat it represents for Europe today, with MEP Tanja Fajon and experts Prof. Matthew J. Goodwin from the University of Kent and Visiting Senior Fellow at Chatham House, Dr Péter Krekó, Associate Professor at Eötvös Loránd University International, Director of Political Capital in Budapest and member of the Radicalisation Awareness Network and Prof. Benjamin De Cleen from Vrije Universiteit Brussel.


The role of the ideology in radicalising vulnerable young people – how can international cooperation best tackle this thorny issue?

On 9 June the European Foundation for Democracy and the Counter Extremism Project, hosted a policy dialogue conference entitled: “The role of the ideology in radicalising young people – how can international cooperation best tackle this thorny issue?”.

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