EUROCITIES today (26 October) publishes a report on the strategies and actions cities are using to address radicalisation.
Growing concern about the security threats coming from radicalised individuals has put this issue firmly in the spotlight.
Our report, ‘City responses on preventing radicalisation and violent extremism: social inclusion as a tool?’ analyses the experiences of 28 major cities.
Among our main findings are:
Fostering a greater sense of community and relieving tensions between citizens are at the heart of addressing radicalisation. Successful approaches go beyond security concerns to improve social inclusion, integration and citizen participation.
Target groups are extremely diverse, and focusing solely on a single group risks stigmatisation and can be counterproductive. Developing stable networks and good relations with different communities is crucial.
It is important to address all forms of extremism and radicalisation and focus on the full range of radical ideologies. While radical Islamism is a press concern for many cities, prevention activities respond to a wider range of concerns, including hate crimes, political extremism and Islamophobia.
Cities find themselves in very different situations: some develop their own plans from the bottom up, while others operate under national frameworks. Effective coordination between partners at local level as well as between local, national and European governance level is key to success.
Anna Lisa Boni, EUROCITIES secretary general, said:
“Cities can get down to the root causes of radicalisation, creating initiatives that promote a greater sense of community and alleviate tensions between residents. Our findings show that successful approaches are those that go beyond security concerns to address broader societal needs, such as opportunities for young people, better dialogue and greater citizen participation. Many cities are fairly new to anti-radicalisation activities, so EUROCITIES offers an outlet for them to share and get inspired by what is being done across Europe.”
Our report examines the different approaches and strategies used in cities, and the impact this work has on funding and human resources. The findings show that addressing social inclusion issues such as education, inequality and poverty is key to success. We also look at the challenges cities face in this field, including in response to recent terrorist attacks and the ongoing refugee situation.
You can find the report here.