EU PROTECTS > Our Safety > From awareness to prevention: How the EU is combating radicalisation across Europe

“Like most people, to me radicalisation was something on TV. But 22 May 2017 changed all that.”

Figen Murray

Figen and Nabila are 2 women with very different experiences of radicalisation. While Figen’s son was killed in a terrorist attack, Nabila almost lost her son to an extremist ideology. Both mothers’ lives have been changed forever by extremism, but they are united in wanting to educate others about the risks of radicalisation.

The EU’s Radicalisation Awareness Network connects Figen and Nabila with social workers and local organisations working to stop the spread of both extremist views and the groups that use them to promote violence.

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From awareness to prevention: How the EU is combating radicalisation across Europe

Radicalisation and extreme views have always existed, but new technologies and the growing polarisation of society make them a particularly insidious threat, especially for young people. Follow 2 mothers, the personal events that brought them to anti-radicalisation work, and the EU-wide network that has given them a new stage to share their stories and join forces with other practitioners in the field.

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EU Protects: How the EU is combatting radicalisation

Figen Murray

Peace Promoter

United Kingdom

“My son, Martyn, was one of the 22 people killed in the Manchester Arena terror attack in 2017. I went from shock to deep sadness, to needing to make sense of Martyn’s death. So, now I tell our story wherever I can make a difference. I’ve even spoken at the European Parliament and have met like-minded people through the EU’s anti-radicalisation network. Working together, putting aside differences and sharing good practices, that’s what it’s all about.”

“I want to prevent other families from experiencing the heartache caused by such senseless and ultimately preventable acts.”

 - Figen Murray

Robert Örell

EXIT NGO

Sweden

“I have 15 years’ experience helping people leave violent extremist environments, be it right-wing extremists, gang members or religious radicals. Everyone has a story. We want to help people make a positive change in their lives and create a safer society. This takes time and resources. We need to build EU-wide support and awareness.”

“Extremist groups aren’t tied to national borders. Countries must work together to combat the influence of these groups in Europe.”

 - Robert Örell

Jessika Soors

Municipality of Vilvoorde

Belgium

“In Vilvoorde, I am responsible for coordinating local efforts to prevent and counter violent extremism. This means, in addition to policy work, we go into schools and communities.”

“What is good about the EU’s Radicalisation Awareness Network is that professionals from across Europe can find and support each other. We know that we are all in this together.”

“The EU supports first-line practitioners who work with people vulnerable to radicalisation. This support has a direct impact on the safety of our streets.”

 - Jessika Soors

Nabila Mazouz

Community Speaker

Belgium

“One day the police called to tell me my son had been arrested travelling to Syria via Turkey – he was only 17 years old. Once he was in jail, we had the opportunity to de-radicalise him and bring him back into the community. It took patience and understanding. Today my son has resumed his studies and wants to become a social worker.”

“Now, I have a platform to share my experience. I go to schools with Jessika, and other members of the EU network, to raise awareness of the many faces of radicalisation.”

 

“Once my son was in jail, I knew it was the right time to get him help."

 - Nabila Mazouz

Did you know?

Radicalisation

can take many forms – religious, political and social – that provide inspiration for extremist groups and, potentially, violence.

5,000

The total number of practitioners in the EU’s Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN) in 2018. Known as a ‘practitioners’ network’, RAN promotes cooperation, working groups and training among local organisations, social workers and teachers already active in different EU Member States.

9

The number of RAN working groups, which are divided into different thematic areas of expertise: Communication & Narratives; Education; EXIT; Youth, Families & Communities; Local authorities; Prison & Probation; Police & Law enforcement; Terrorism victims remembrance; Health & Social care.

€4.5 million

The 2017 budget for Europol’s EU Internet Referral Unit. The Unit is responsible for countering online radicalisation and recruitment by terrorists using YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

WHO ARE THE OTHER HEROES TACKLING CRIMINAL ACTIVITY?

Some of them may even come from your country.

Connected by the EU, there is a network of local heroes working together to help protect us from radicalisation, drug trafficking, cyberattacks and more. From police investigators to pilots, trade experts to medics, discover how the EU supports local heroes in your country.