B Explanatory memorandum
by Ms Sahiba Gafarova, rapporteur
1. The recent terrorist attacks,
in particular those in Barcelona, Berlin, Brussels, Istanbul, London,
Moscow Nice and Paris, have provoked intense debate on the issue
of the infiltration of terrorists into recent arrivals of refugees
and migrants. Several media outlets have reported that migrant smugglers
claimed to have been contacted by representatives of Daesh. That
individual terrorists are exploiting the mass arrivals of refugees and
migrants to facilitate their own entry into western Europe with
criminal intent represents several risks, in particular the radicalisation
of refugees through contact with these extremist elements, further
stigmatisation of all migrants, and increasing, if disproportionate,
fear and mistrust in destination countries.
The overwhelming majority of refugees arriving in Europe are
fleeing violence and extremism in their native countries and come
to Europe hoping for a peaceful and secure life. Unfortunately,
some of them are radicalised on the way, including in refugee camps.
Others may be subject to radicalisation when they fail to integrate
into European society and suffer different forms of discrimination
and violence upon arrival, as described in Mr Andrea Rigoni’s recent
report on violence against migrants.Note
The internet and social media have
become efficient tools in the radicalisation process.
The Parliamentary Assembly has adopted several resolutions
calling for action against radicalisation and extremism in Europe:
on counteraction to manifestation of neo-Nazism and
right-wing extremism, Resolution 2031
“Terrorist attacks in Paris: together for a democratic
response”, Resolution 2091
on foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq, Resolution 2103
on preventing the radicalisation of children by fighting
the root causes or Resolution 2147
on the need to reform European migration policy. In
these resolutions, the Assembly stresses that a lack of education
and employment opportunities, and restrictions in freedom of movement
are the major factors which make migrants more susceptible to radicalisation.
The Council of Europe has defined the fight against violent
extremism and radicalisation leading to terrorism as a key priority
and adopted an action plan.Note
The present report and
its recommendations could contribute to the development of further
activities of the Council of Europe to implement this action plan.
5. In this report, l will try to address the questions of why
migrants and refugees who arrive to Europe are at risk of radicalisation,
how it happens and how this dangerous phenomenon can be prevented.
However, the facts show that it is not only newly arrived migrants
who are at risk of radicalisation, but also citizens of European
countries of migrant origin who feel segregated and are facing the
loss of their identity and culture of origin.
6. In this context, it is necessary to analyse the entire spectrum
of factors that influence the radicalisation process, such as individual
factors, social environment, political failures, violence and discrimination,
cultural marginalisation, influence of the country of origin, etc.
7. A major part of the present report is devoted to the counter-radicalisation
action of different European countries, international organisations
and religious communities. In it, I analyse prevention strategies
that work with vulnerable groups at the community level, aiming
to promote counter-narratives to the propaganda of radical views.
Special attention is paid to the use of social media by radical
organisations and ways to counteract this dissemination.
8. In my recommendations, I will try to formulate the main principles
around which European countries could develop a joint approach to
prevent the radicalisation of refugees and migrants, based on the
best practices of some European countries. These recommendations
will address reception systems for migrants, social inclusion, and
2 Factors which influence the radicalisation
of migrants and diaspora members
9. Several factors make migrants
vulnerable to the influence of extremist organisations, such as
the social environment, problems of identity, discrimination, economic
conditions, cultural marginalisation, influence of the country of
origin etc. It is very important to analyse these factors in order
to protect migrants from the threat of becoming involved in radical
crises and recruitment
As I mentioned, it is not only
recently arrived refugees and migrants, but also citizens of European countries
of migrant origin and diasporas who feel discriminated against and
marginalised by the host society, and can thus become highly vulnerable
to extremist propaganda. Evidence shows that most of the perpetrators of
the recent terrorist attacks in Europe were European Union citizens
of migrant origin.Note
It is also worth noting that they
are usually young individuals who have lost their sense of identity
and purpose in life. This can be especially seen amongst second
and third generation migrants of Muslim background, who have neither adopted
the Western secular way of life, nor the Muslim identity of their
parents. They are seeking to rediscover their religious roots and
can be influenced by Salafist Jihadists, who, through extremist
ideology, give them the impression of finding a new identity.
11. Contrary to the common belief that the majority of radicalised
persons are religious fanatics, different European surveys show
that this is not the case. Many of those involved have never read
the Quran, nor are they regular visitors to mosques.
The majority of attacks appear to have been masterminded
and perpetrated by individuals inspired by Daesh rather than those
who work with the organisation directly, the Europol reportNote
indicates. As an example, the perpetrator
of the terrorist attack in Nice (France) in 2016, Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel,
had a “clear and recent interest” in radical Islamic movements,
even though no evidence was found that he had pledged allegiance
to any radical group.
13. The use of migration channels has been attempted by Daesh,
but remains very limited: two of the perpetrators of the attacks
in Paris on 13 November 2015 were recently arrived migrants.
Attempts to corrupt Syrian refugees by local Salafists, as
is the case in Germany where these extremists are particularly active
in the community, do not seem, for the time being, to have been
successful. In France, only a few children of Chechen refugees have
been reported to be radicalised.Note
15. Social media and the internet can accelerate the radicalisation
process of individuals. Research shows that recruiters frequently
use social media as an opportunity to reach new victims. They can
talk and persuade the targets personally through social media, which
is why it is highly convenient for them to use these tools for recruitment.
16. Many migrants arriving to Europe
have misconceptions because smugglers spread unrealistic and spectacular
pictures of European cities via social media, as an advertisement
for those considering migration. When they arrive in Europe, these
false images can cause frustration and disappointment and can even
trigger the radicalisation process.
According to a report by Qulliam (a counter-extremism organisation),Note
recruiters take the opportunity to preach
and proselytise amongst refugees in both camps and mosques. Their
propaganda is based on calling on the refugees to wage a jihad against
non-believers. Their main goal, as the report states, is to recruit refugees
for terrorist activities by provoking hatred for Western values
and setting them against the European population. Extremist groups
try to take advantage of the vulnerable situation of refugees, especially
young people, by offering them food and money. They also seek to
inflame negative attitudes toward refugees in Western society by
linking them to extremists. The refugee camps most vulnerable to
recruitment by Daesh are those in close proximity to military operations
(in the same way that the Palestinian camps in Jordan or Lebanon
are a breeding ground for recruitment, and the Syrian refugee camps
in Turkey are often frequented by the IS to recruit young fighters).
This is not the case for the camps in most other countries.
18. In reality, the majority of terrorist attacks are conducted
by diaspora members and not refugees. Therefore, it is extremely
important that politicians do not link the refugee population with
the extremist threat.
According to different studies, young migrants are more vulnerable
to radicalisation than other age groups. The typical profile is:
young people (specifically between 16 and 24 years of age) with
a history of failure in school, with a criminal record, without
work experience, often second generation migrants. This vulnerability
can be an outcome of the psychological stateNote
of the individual as well as external
effects – such as family influence, discrimination or perceptions
of marginalisation. Young unaccompanied migrants are more vulnerable
to radicalisation if they are separated from their parents. In any
case, it should be a priority of policymakers to understand and
consider this phenomenon, as most of the perpetrators of terrorist
attacks have this type of profile.
In many cases, radicalisation
takes place in prisons and detention centres. The European Union’s Counter-Terrorism
Coordinator, Gilles de Kerchove, stated in January 2015 that “[w]e
know that prisons are a massive incubator for radicalisation”, going
on to say that rehabilitation and deradicalisation efforts could
be a far more effective means of countering extremism than imprisoning
21. There is a lack of information and data on people being radicalised
in prisons, as well as on the effectiveness of measures applied
to deradicalise imprisoned extremists. However, it is clear that
to prevent radicalisation in prisons, prison staff should be trained
to recognise signs of radicalisation.
22. Another important element of prevention of radicalisation
in prisons is spiritual support to prisoners, which can be provided
by chaplains and imams. Unfortunately, in many countries the access
of religious representatives to prisons is very restricted. The
right to freedom of religion is a fundamental human right and should
be ensured for all people without restrictions. Moreover, chaplains
and imams could deliver alternative narratives to extremist’s propaganda.
In some European Union countries, a mentoring system is introduced
in prisons for those inmates who want to deradicalise. Some of the
mentors are former extremists who share their experience and offer
guidance towards an alternative life.Note
and social exclusion
Another potential reason for
radicalisation is economic and social instability. Many migrants
live in segregated areas or communities and are surrounded by poverty,
social exclusion and dissatisfaction. A survey on migrants’ employment
status in GermanyNote
illustrated that only 13% of recent
migrants have found a job, despite the fact that almost 90% of them
have sought work. Data from an International Monetary Fund (IMF)
shows that migrants, in general,
have more difficulties in entering the labour markets of the host countries
than the host population. Unemployment and lack of financial independence
may eventually lead individuals to illegal ways of earning, but
the recent terrorist attacks have demonstrated that there is no concrete
evidence of a causal link between socio-economic factors and radicalisation.
reception facilities for migrants
25. European countries have not
been prepared to host such large numbers of refugees and migrants, therefore
their reception has often been organised in a rather chaotic way,
with minimal or no resources.
26. The mass arrivals of refugees and migrants have only increased
the fear of Europeans for their future in terms of security, unemployment
and identity. This fear, which has given more and more votes to
extremist parties, means that European governments are reluctant
to use resources for the economic and security needs of migrants.
27. At the same time, almost no special action has been undertaken
or strategies planned by Muslim communities in European countries
to facilitate the reception of migrants. Local Muslim associations
are active but there has been no intervention by religious representatives
at the national level.
against certain populations
28. Although in theory the law
protects all European citizens from any form of discrimination,
the facts reveal a different reality for long-term migrants: inequality
in education opportunities, in finding employment, obtaining a house,
facial recognition control in certain urban areas; all of which
migrants are confronted with regularly. All of these issues resulted
in the events in 2005 in France, when young people from disadvantaged
urban suburbs set cars on fire and destroyed shops to vent their
frustration at not being included in a society in which they felt
segregated. However, their appeal was not heard, leading to much
more serious consequences that we are witnessing now.
29. The discriminatory acts of police and anti-Muslim media messages
are perceived by Muslim communities as being unfair and prejudiced
and are very often used by jihadists to illustrate European societies as
oppressors who discriminate against Muslims. Therefore, it is very
important to strike a balance between adequate policies and community
30. A number of measures have been
taken by European countries at local, regional and national levels
to prevent the radicalisation of migrants. The measures focus on
early identification of persons who are targets for radicalisation,
as well as strengthening and empowering communities which are vulnerable
to radicalisation. Special measures for promoting the social inclusion
of migrants and diaspora members as well as counter-narrative activities
are particularly important in preventing radicalisation. We should
also stress the vital role of education in providing necessary intercultural
and religious knowledge to everyone.
Several European countries have adopted counterterrorism action
plans or strategies for the prevention of radicalisation and violent
extremism (including Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France,
Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and the
have created special permanent mechanisms,
which develop interdisciplinary expertise in the prevention of violent
extremism and radicalisation.
32. The social inclusion of migrants
is paramount and is the best defence against radicalisation, providing
it takes into account cultural and religious aspects. A migrant
should know his identity and his history, as well as that of the
host country. The basis of different religions should be a part
of common knowledge and their shared messages of peace, love, and
compassion should be widely disseminated by the media.
33. The practices of many countries show that only when migrants
are involved in society as equals and are not placed in ghettos
or targeted as a special risk group, do they have a feeling of being
part of society and feel secure.
Sport, especially football, could help a lot in the inclusion
of young migrants and the prevention of radicalisation. The Council
of Europe’s project “Integration through Sport”, sponsored by the
German Federal Ministry of the Interior and the Federal Office for
Migration and Refugees supports different sports clubs and federations,
encouraging them to create projects for the better involvement of
migrants and refugees.Note
35. Social security for migrants is very important for the process
of their social inclusion and can be considered as a very good investment
for the economic development of the country concerned. European countries
should think about the creation of a European mechanism for fostering
social protection of working migrants and their families.
role of religious communities
36. Religious communities have
a key role to play in tackling the problem of radicalisation of
vulnerable populations. In France for example, in comparison to
Belgium, Muslim religious bodies are closely linked to foreign countries.
Many imams in France are trained outside its territory.
37. In some European countries, governments have decided to co-operate
with selected organisations, which in fact are not representing
religious communities or diaspora. Building resilient communities
and stronger social ties may play an important role in reducing
the risk of radicalisation, especially of young people, and may
help to neutralise the appeal of terrorist propaganda.
38. Religious representatives can play an important role in helping
people in prisons to find their true path through religious expression
and resist fundamentalist theories. However, not all countries give
religious representatives access to places of detention and there
is a substantial lack of imams in Europe to exercise this important
Some European countries have launched special projects encouraging
the involvement of religious representatives in activities for the
prevention of radicalisation. In France, the prefect office of the
Bas-Rhin region in co-operation with the Protestant Theology Faculty
of the University of Strasbourg developed a training programme for
the representatives of the Muslim religious associations to instruct
them on how to prevent radicalisation of young people.Note
40. A more effective reorganisation needs to be considered on
a national and European level, in which different religious bodies
could come together and agree on joint efforts to promote peaceful
41. Norway was one of the first
European States to introduce, in 2010, an Action plan to prevent radicalisation
and violent extremism. Since then the plan has been developed and
has enjoyed broad support. The main focus is on preventive efforts.
For this purpose, a SalLTo model for co-ordination of local crime prevention
measures in the municipalities has been developed. Five measures
of the plan are focused on the prevention of radicalisation and
recruitment through the internet. In addition to this action plan,
the Norwegian Government has adopted a Strategy against hate Speech
2016-2020 and an action plan against anti-Semitism 2016-2020.
42. Extremism, if it does not lead to violence, is not outlawed
in Norway. In recent years, extremist organisations have gained
more popularity, probably because of the anti-migrant rhetoric of
some right-wing politicians. However, Norway is not confronted with
large-scale radicalisation in society, as it has developed a very
successful integration mechanism for migrants. The Norwegian education
system could be a model for other countries as regards prevention
of radicalisation and promotion of tolerance: democracy and human rights
are integrated into the learning environment. In the new core curriculum,
“Democracy and Citizenship” is one of three cross-cutting themes
to be integrated into all relevant subjects. The Ministry of Education
has also initiated the development of digital
teaching and learning resources to prevent radicalisation
and violent extremism, racism, hate speech and anti-Semitism, for
use in lower secondary school and in upper secondary education and
training (dembra.no). In 2016, The Center for Research on Extremism
(C-REX), a cross-disciplinary centre for the study of right-wing
extremism, hate crime and political violence was established.
43. In addition, under the direction of the European Wergeland
Centre, a project has been launched with the objective of preventing
hate rhetoric, discrimination and undemocratic attitudes on the
internet. It has been closely linked with the national campaign
“Stop hate speech on the internet”, which in turn has been a part
of the Council of Europe’s “No Hate Speech” campaign. The project
has translated and adapted the instruction package that the Council
of Europe created for schools and used it as the basis for a training
course for teachers and others in the school system. The manual,
developed by the Youth Department of the Council of Europe as part
of the No Hate Speech Movement campaign, consists of 21 activities
tailored for a classroom setting. The aim of these activities is
to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed for young
people to become active democratic citizens online.
44. I also found very useful the introduction in Norway of the
special school subject “Knowledge of Christianity, religion, philosophies
of life and ethics”, which provides basic knowledge of different
religions and philosophies of life.
A draft law on measures to
prevent radicalisation and jihadist extremism, initiated by Italian parliamentarian
Mr Stefano Dambruoso, is a forward-looking legislative initiative
which could be used as a good example for other European countries.
This law foresees the establishment of a National Centre on Radicalisation,
targeted at radicalised individuals, and a number of regional co-ordination
centres, which should be responsible for implementation at the local
46. The draft puts special emphasis on the importance of specialised
training for police and military forces, penitentiary administration
staff and ombudsperson, teachers and directors of schools and universities
and social and health-care workers. The proposed preventive strategy
foresees measures in the fields of education, social work, employment,
health and social care, disengagement and rehabilitation programmes,
training for staff, and countering of extremist narratives on social
media, and interreligious dialogue.
47. To my great regret, the Italian Senate did not manage to pass
this draft at the end of 2017 and its adoption is pending due to
the recent parliamentary elections in Italy.
48. Aside from this legislative initiative, Italy has advanced
in the development of a culture of hospitality, coexistence and
peace. The Ministry of Education adopted an approach on preventing
radicalisation through positive integration in schools and social
inclusion of migrants. In 570 schools in Italy, foreign students
account for more than 50% of students. The positive approach in
education provides that all students are treated equally, without
any segregation. An institution of mediators has been introduced
to help foreign students with different cultures and languages to
adapt to Italian society.
49. In Italy, migrants actively participate in voluntary work,
providing assistance to elderly people. Another very good initiative
in Italy is the commemoration of the migrant victims who died in
the Mediterranean. October 3rd, the day on which 400 migrants died
in Lampedusa, is now a day of remembrance in Italy: this is a very good
example of the promotion of a spirit of solidarity.
50. While talking to police officials
working on combating radicalisation and violent extremism, I learnt
that radicalised young people do not have a good knowledge of Islam.
The recruiters present them with a distorted interpretation of this
religion and in the absence of different opinions, young people
tend to believe them. Therefore, the counter narratives presented
by the leaders of Islam communities, scientists and mass media, addressing
religious understanding and providing a true knowledge of Islam
should be a key element in preventing radicalisation.
51. The media also has an important role to play. Very often the
media encourages the links between Islam and terrorism, portraying
Muslims as a threat to Europe. Such destructive narratives should
be avoided and strongly condemned, and in some cases even punished.
52. I believe that the engagement of young Muslim leaders and
politicians in public affairs is very important to challenge the
radical interpretation of Islam and to give a better image of the
53. Muslim communities should be particularly proactive in countering
the narrative of radical Islam. Imams, parents and associations
could promote statements from moderate Islamic figures or persons
who have left extremist groups.
As many experts’ analyses prove, radicalisation is now mostly
taking place via the internet and social networks. In some countries,
like Italy, a special postal police unit was created to deal with
all online offences, including identifying the recruiters and those
who disseminate jihadist propaganda. The United Kingdom and France
have agreed to launch a bilateral campaign to tackle online radicalisation
by imposing fines on information technology companies which fail
to remove extremist content.Note
55. But these measures are not sufficient and a more comprehensive
approach reaching all users of the internet is needed. Ordinary
internet users should be involved in the process of fighting radicalisation. European
governments could encourage grassroots initiatives, which could
help promote self-regulation of the internet and combat online radicalisation.
Both primary and higher education
have a crucial role to play in preventing radicalisation, confronting misconceptions
and promoting mutual understanding. Teachers are often the first
to notice the signs of radicalisation and their reaction might be
decisive in shaping students’ views and behaviour. Therefore, prevention
of radicalisation should be a regular part of professional training
for all teachers.Note
They should be trained
to accept differences and to be aware of cultural and religious
differences. Islam and the migration process from different countries
are ignored in many school curricula in European countries. A comprehensive reform
of the curriculum is needed to build up a more tolerant mentality.
57. Knowledge of different religions, their history and their
role in contemporary life should be conveyed in different subjects,
including history, literature, social sciences and the arts. The
modern curricula and textbooks should reflect the diversities in
society, address controversial issues and represent histories of
migration as “standard” facets of modern European history. Young
generations in Europe should be given detailed and objective information
about Islam and migrant societies.
58. Children should be taught democracy and human rights on an
everyday basis. They should learn how to become responsible citizens
and be actively involved in social life. The modern education system
should give each student the opportunity to be heard and to express
their views and interests.
of diaspora communities
59. The results of police work
on counter-radicalisation suggest that diaspora communities are
essential for efficient counter-terrorism efforts. The local communities
offer important sources of information and intelligence about potential
terrorist acts and people at risk. Diaspora communities could be
very helpful in spotting and preventing young people from entering
60. The best way to prevent radicalisation is to explore the potential
of diaspora communities to work with those who hold radical views
and to counter these views. Society and the authorities can only
do part of the job – diaspora associations can help to remove misunderstandings
and distrust at the local level and promote personal relationships
and dialogue between people of different origins.
61. Women and women’s organisations
play an important role in preventing radicalisation. Women, as mothers,
can be the first to identify signs of radicalisation and their voice,
as a counter narrative to the radicalisation process, could be decisive.
However, their role should not be limited to the family environment and
they should be encouraged to be involved in policy shaping, educational
activities and community work on the prevention of radicalisation.
Women are also vulnerable to radicalisation and recruitment,
as many extremist organisations are targeting women and girls by
exploiting their grievances and lack of inclusion. Therefore, it
is very important to develop special programmes targeting women’s
and girl’s needs.Note
63. As some studies point out, women who have been involved in
violent extremism and stepped into the role of mentor of troubled
young people have achieved a lot of success in the de-radicalisation
process. Their inclusion in de-radicalisation programmes could be
very profitable for society.
64. Women’s organisations are actively involved in counter-extremism
narratives and working with vulnerable youth. Non-governmental organisations
(NGOs), such as “Cultures Interactive” in Germany, work in prevention
and first-line de-radicalisation with at-risk young people who engage
in, or have shown to be susceptible to, violent right-wing extremism
or religious fundamentalism, as well as to racist, and other forms of
In 2006, the European Council
adopted a European Union Strategy for Combating Radicalisation and Recruitment
to Terrorism. In view of the changing nature of the threat and better
understanding of the issue, the Strategy was revised in 2014 and
complemented with a set of guidelines, last updated in 2017. In
this context, on 7 March 2017, a DirectiveNote
adopted by the European Council to help prevent terrorist attacks by
criminalising acts such as undertaking training or travelling for
terrorist purposes, as well as facilitating such travel.Note
The European Commission has established a Radicalisation Awareness
which unites more than 4 000 practitioners
across Europe working with radicalised people and those at risk.
The task of this network is to strengthen exchanges between practitioners,
policy makers and researchers and to facilitate the implementation
of best practices.
In 2015, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe
adopted an Action Plan 2015-2017 on the fight against violent extremism
and radicalisation leading to terrorism with two major objectives:
to reinforce the legal framework against terrorism and violent extremism
and to prevent and fight violent radicalisation through concrete
measures in the public sector, in particular schools and prisons,
and on the internet.Note
In the framework of
this Action Plan a Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture
(CDC) was developed as an instrument at the disposal of the member
States with a view to preparing a holistic response to radicalisation through
education. The Committee of Ministers also adopted Guidelines on
the protection and promotion of human rights in culturally diverse
societies. This document could also be very useful for the member
States in their national strategies for the prevention of radicalisation.
68. A pedagogical toolkit was prepared in 36 languages for local
and regional authorities, bringing together guidelines to combat
radicalisation at grassroots level, as well as 12 Principles of
interreligious dialogue. The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities
of the Council of Europe set up a Summit of Mayors of the “Alliance of
Cities against Violent Extremism”. Another important document adopted
by the Committee of Ministers is Guidelines for prison and probation
services regarding radicalisation and violent extremism. It provides
a legal and structural framework on how the work of prisons should
be organised to prevent and deal with radicalisation.
As regards counter-narrative actions, the Council of Europe’s
European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) adopted
the General Policy Recommendation No. 15 on Combating Hate Speech.
The Council of Europe has also implemented the “No Hate Speech Campaign”
and the Parliamentary Assembly has launched the No Hate Parliamentary
Alliance to raise awareness and encourage co-operation among parliamentarians
and civil society against hate speech, racism and intolerance.Note
a number of measures fostering mutual understanding and respect
are foreseen in another Council of Europe Action Plan on Building
Inclusive Societies (2016-2019). The activities proposed focus on
education, combating intolerance and discrimination and support
for effective integration policies. However, despite their great
relevance, both action plans are heavily under-funded by the member
States and their efficiency therefore undermined.
70. The “NoHateNoFear” campaign launched by a former President
of the Parliamentary Assembly to combat terrorism is a good example
of a common European response to the attempts to divide people and promote
fear and hatred. Elimination of radical discourse and fighting segregation
and discrimination against migrants, close co-operation with migrant
communities and providing more education and employment opportunities
should be included in measures aimed at preventing radicalisation.
71. The main conclusion I have
arrived at during the preparation of this report is that the fight
against radicalisation should not become an outlet for anti-Islamism.
Radicalisation affects many countries and several religions and
should not be linked only to Islam. It is very important to stop
anti-Muslim rhetoric, which reinforces Daesh’s anti-Western messages
addressed to migrants and young people in Europe. Measures to prevent
radicalisation must ensure a balance between the security of the
population and respect for the fundamental rights of those at risk
from, or who are already subject to, radicalisation. Policies for
the prevention of radicalisation and violent extremism should be
more focused on how to ensure that migrants feel secure in host
countries and socially included in societies without being forced
to abandon their own cultural identity.
72. Public policies to prevent radicalisation must be planned
on a medium to long-term basis and, as far as possible, shared and
supported across political divides. The relevant authorities should
be responsible for data gathering and research on the process of
73. Combating radicalisation and violent extremism requires close
and co-ordinated collaboration between a whole range of stakeholders
(governments, municipalities, law-enforcement authorities, individuals
and civil society), at all levels of governance (local, regional
and national) and with civil society. All efforts should lead to
the protection of human rights values and rejection of violence
as a way of self-expression.
74. European countries should develop strategies to rehabilitate
the fighters who come back to Europe from Syria, including special
rehabilitation programmes in prisons.
75. Action to prevent radicalisation and violent extremism must
ensure that the root causes (often social) that make a particular
section of society vulnerable to radicalisation are addressed, not
just the ideologies.
76. Public policies must promote the development among young people
of healthy and strong identities free of inferiority complexes so
as to prevent alienation, lack of a sense of belonging, marginalisation
and community isolationism from gaining the upper hand and providing
a fertile breeding ground for radicalisation. As the best European
practises show, highly-functioning child protection services and
well-developed youth involvement programmes are essential in preventing
involvement in the radicalisation process at an early stage.
77. Social and ethnic mixing must be pursued in spatial planning
policies, as well as in social housing and access to education.
78. There is still much to be done in Europe as regards the creation
of opportunities for all religious communities to practise their
religions. It is important that all religions have their places
of worship. Another important problem is access of religious representatives
to prisons, so that prisoners may practise their religion on a regular
basis, without looking for alternatives, which can lead to radicalisation.
Interfaith dialogue in all European countries should be promoted
as a tool to counter violent extremism and radicalisation.
79. The role of local authorities and municipalities is crucial
in the prevention of radicalisation and violent extremism. More
people of migrant origin should be involved in the local police
and municipalities. Cooperation and co-ordination of efforts between
municipalities, police and civil society is very important. Teacher
training on how to deal with issues of radicalisation, hate speech
and signs of violent extremism should be promoted.