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Brussels, 28 January 2013
FAQ: The Radicalisation Awareness Network
What is the RAN?
The Radicalisation Awareness Network, launched in September 2011, is an umbrella network connecting people involved in preventing radicalisation and violent extremism throughout Europe.
First liner practitioners from different Member States and Norway, such as social workers, religious leaders, youth leaders, policemen, researchers and others who work on the ground in vulnerable communities can meet, each in their area of expertise, in order to exchange ideas, knowledge and experiences.
EU-wide conferences like the one organised tomorrow in Brussels (IP/13/59) provide opportunities for the practitioners to make recommendations and interact with policy makers ('empowering local actors to prevent violent extremism').
How can a network help to counter violent extremism?
Fighting terrorism and violent extremism is not only a question of security measures. The best prevention is to stop people from getting involved in violent extremist activities in the first place, or to convince them to turn away from violence promoting ideologies. Prevention, especially at an early stage, cannot be left to a small number of authorities and actors to deal with. The nature of the phenomenon requires a wide-ranging cooperation and multitude of expertise.
As a 'network of networks' the RAN includes eight working groups consisting of practitioners and researchers with concrete and practical involvement in preventing radicalisation issues.
How is the RAN structured?
The activities of the RAN are organised in working groups that are focusing on priority areas relevant for radicalisation: - the possible role of local and community police in preventing radicalisation leading to terrorism or violent extremism; - the use of voices of victims of terrorism in addressing radicalisation; - the role of the Internet and social media communication as a counter-messaging vector; - the prevention of radicalisation among the youth; - the way deradicalisation efforts can be supported;- the possible role of prison administration and other actors working in prisons and during probation in the fight against radicalisation; - the role of the healthcare sector in raising awareness of radicalisation; - the role of the diaspora groups in countering radicalisation and on the issue of 'foreign fighters'.
What do practitioners recommend to policy makers?
In the preparation of the High Level Conference, the different RAN working groups have produced recommendations to policy makers1 on three main topics:
Such policy recommendations include:
How does the Commission support the RAN?
The Commission plays a key role in the coordination and the facilitation of the work of all actors involved in the network.
The Commission provides the means necessary to set up the RAN platform and its Technical Assistance and Support (‘RAN Secretariat’) as well as the functioning of the network with a maximum financing of € 8 million until 2015. The RAN Secretariat takes care of logistic, technical and administrative support.
What else is being done to prevent radicalisation?
Apart from funding the set up and functioning of the RAN the Commission is financially supporting a number of projects aiming to tackle radicalisation leading to violent extremism.
In 2013, prevention of terrorism and countering radicalisation remains one of the priority subjects of the programme on Crime Prevention - ISEC. A total amount of € 53 million is available to support projects in this field. Examples of supported projects are amongst others:
One of the many anti radicalisation projects co-funded through ISEC in the past was the 'COPPRA' project implemented by the Belgian Federal Police. The project developed tools and training needed for early detection of signs of radicalisation by front line police officers.
With an ISEC grant, the Danish Ministry of Refugee, Immigration and Integration Affairs ran a 3-year pilot project on deradicalisation. The project 'Deradicalisation - targeted intervention and mentoring' started in 2009. It developed tools for providing long term support and advice to young people in order to break with (and stay out of) extremism.
A series of handbooks have been produced to help municipalities, institutions, housing associations, police, etc. in their efforts against various forms of extremism, especially in youth environments. These handbooks focus on: Anti-democratic and extremist environments; Relational work and mentoring; Methods for working with Radicalisation; Local Strategies; 14 cases on handling radicalisation.
More examples of EU funding are available in the ISEC project database.
Press release IP/13/59