EXPERTS

European Foundation for Democracy

Biography

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.
CONTACT INFORMATION

Analysis & Events


Mention

Syrian refugee crisis can help ‘re-energise’ relations between Turkey and EU

The Brussels Times reports on the recent closed-door policy briefing organised by the European Foundation for Democracy on 29 February 2016. The event, entitled “Turkey-EU Deal on Refugees – Domestic and Foreign Policy Implications”, offered insights into the possibility of positive benefits for EU/Turkey relations with regards to cooperation in the handling of the refugee crisis.


Mention

Syrian refugee crisis can help ‘re-energise’ relations between Turkey and EU

EU today writes about the recently hosted closed-door policy briefing organised by the European Foundation for Democracy on 29 February 2016. The briefing, entitled “Turkey-EU Deal on Refugees – Domestic and Foreign Policy Implications”, considered to what extent cooperation on the refugee situation has the potential to help reinvigorate EU-Turkey relations.


Events

Turkey-EU deal on refugees: domestic and foreign policy implications

On 29 February 2016, the European Foundation for Democracy hosted a closed-door policy briefing for EU diplomats and officials entitled: “Turkey-EU deal on refugees: domestic and foreign policy implications”. The guest speaker was an associate professor of political science and international relations at Okan University in Istanbul, where she also contributes to the European Union Research Center.


Mention

Europe is getting the best migrants ever

Vita International writes about the recently convened closed-door policy briefing organised by the European Foundation for Democracy on 27 January 2016. The event, entitled “A Syrian Perspective on the EU’s Response to the Refugee Crisis”, offered a comprehensive overview of the Syrian conflict, the article notes, examining the implications and challenges posed by the massive influx of refugees who are fleeing to neighbouring countries and to Europe.


Events

A Syrian perspective on the EU’s response to the refugee crisis

On 27 January 2016, the European Foundation for Democracy, in collaboration with the Counter Extremism Project, hosted a closed-door policy briefing for EU diplomats and officials which offered a Syrian perspective on the EU’s response to the refugee crisis. The guest speaker was a Syrian activist currently based in Gaziantep, southern Turkey.


Events

Picking up the pieces after Paris: root causes and possible solutions to the radicalisation challenge

On 9 December, the European Policy Centre, the European Foundation for Democracy and the Counter Extremism Project hosted a policy briefing on dealing with the radicalisation challenge. Experts deliberated the root causes of radicalisation – the pervasive ideology, radical preachers urging jihad, and the hijacking of religion – and how these interact with factors such as culture, identity and socio-economic conditions


Article

International community urged to do more to tackle the ideology of Islamic extremism

The Brussels Times summarises the issues addressed at the EFD policy briefing “Sharing best practices in countering violent extremism”. It highlights the event’s aim to set the agenda with regard to tackling today’s prevalent challenges related to radicalisation by taking effective preventive measures on a policy level.


Events

Sharing best practices in countering violent extremism: can EU and U.S. prevention experts learn from one another?

On 1 December 2015, the European Foundation for Democracy organised a public policy briefing, in collaboration with the European Institute of Peace, the Counter Extremism Project and the U.S. Mission to the EU. The panel discussed both European and U.S. radicalisation prevention programmes, how best to reach out to vulnerable communities, considered what a compelling counter narrative needs to look like and what needs to change in existing prevention policies in the U.S. and Europe.


Events

Syria between the West and other worlds

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.


Events

Radicalisation and jihadist violence: understanding the ideology that can lead to terrorism

On 26 November 2015, the European Foundation for Democracy hosted a closed-door briefing in Brussels in response to the Paris attacks of 13 November. The speakers examined the role that ideology plays in creating fertile ground for recruitment to violence and terrorism.


Events

Post-Paris attacks: what role now for EU radicalisation prevention policy?

On 18 November 2015, the European Foundation for Democracy and the Counter Extremism Project hosted a closed-door briefing to discuss the implications of the 13 November Paris attacks and how the EU should best address the threat of terrorism in order to prevent similar attacks in future. The briefing examined why many individuals have been susceptible to radicalisation, with many subsequently choosing to join terrorist groups like the so-called Islamic State/Daesh.


Events

What opportunities and challenges arise for Germany and Europe from the refugee crisis?

On 14 October 2015, the European Foundation for Democracy organised a briefing in Berlin, in collaboration with Citizen Diplomats for Syria (CDS), to discuss the refugee crisis, which has become the largest influx of refugees since World War II. The panel included two former Syrian diplomats and members of CDS, as well as EFD Program Director Ahmad Mansour. During the briefing, the speakers discussed a wide range of issues relating to the crisis, with a focus on understanding the potential opportunities and challenges that Germany and the rest of Europe are facing.


Publication

Generation Allah: why we need to rethink our approach to fighting religious extremism

EFD Programme Director Ahmad Mansour has released his first book, Generation Allah: why we need to rethink our approach to fighting religious extremism. Ahmad analyses the causes of Islamism and looks at ways out of the radical Islamist scene. The book explores several key questions, including why so many young individuals have been persuaded to carry out jihad; is Islam responsible for acts of terrorism; and how can we best address religious extremism?


Events

Radicalisation in the EU eastern and southern neighbourhoods

On 30 September 2015, the European Foundation for Democracy organised two policy briefings in Washington D.C. to present three studies on the issue of radicalisation in a number of countries, particularly focusing on the European eastern and southern neighbourhoods. The panel included EFD Senior Fellow Valentina Colombo, who presented the case for Tunisia with a report entitled Tunisia, a nascent democracy under siege; EFD Researcher Tommaso Virgili, who presented a report on Secularism in Azerbaijan and the threat of radicalisation in the region; and EFD Adjunct Fellow Arturo Varvelli of ISPI (Italian Institute for International Political Studies), who discussed his report on Libya’s fight for survival: defeating jihadist networks.


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