PRACTICIES - Partnership Against Violent Radicalisation in Cities, European project

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European Forum for Urban Security

PRACTICIES Partnership Against Violent Radicalisation in Cities European project A group of European cities work together to prevent violent radicalisation

Table of contents >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Foreword.........................................................................p. 4 Efus and radicalisation................................................ p. 6 The PRACTICIES project............................................. p. 8 A selection of tools produced by the PRACTICIES project........................................p. 13 Tackling radicalisation: challenges and opportunities for local and regional authorities....................................................................p. 20 Recommendations for local authorities...................p. 22



>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> In recent years, there has been increasing concern among European cities’ population and governing bodies about the rise of radicalisation and violent extremism, which has led local authorities to consider these issues as key priorities in their crime prevention strategies. In particular, they are keen to understand the underlying processes of radicalisation in order to better prevent them. For more than 30 years, Efus has advocated a balanced approach combining prevention, sanction and social cohesion to address the causes of crime and better prevent it. Given that the risk factors of common crime and of violent radicalisation are in many ways similar, it is logical that the prevention of the latter be included in any comprehensive crime prevention strategy. Therefore, cities must not only address the specific issue of radicalised and violent individuals, but also include their strategy for the prevention of radicalisation into their overall local, integrated security policy. Alongside the work carried out by the police and the justice system, local prevention policies must be based on strong local partnerships and aim at strengthening the resilience of individuals and groups against the risks of radicalisation. As the level of governance closest to citizens on the ground, local authorities are particularly well placed to implement such policies and mobilise all the relevant local actors. Another crucial aspect is the need to respect fundamental freedoms in all circumstances, not only as a matter of democratic principle but also because it is a key component of the social contract and of social cohesion. Indeed, society should not have to choose between freedom and security; the two go hand in hand and it is the responsibility of European local authorities to uphold such fundamental values. From this follows the need to tackle all forms of violent extremism and to communicate in a balanced


and responsible manner, with a focus on a cohesive discourse that does not stigmatise any population group. In the face of terror attacks, the political reaction should not be emotionally driven, but based on rational analysis and evidence. In this respect, it is particularly important to identify the sociological and individual mechanisms at play in radicalisation processes. Finally, given the global and cross-border nature of violent extremism, a concerted and coordinated response between European cities is essential. Indeed, the propaganda tools, recruitment processes and pathways to radical violence are transnational and, therefore, preventive responses must also be deployed across borders. The European PRACTICIES (“Partnership Against Violent Radicalisation in Cities�) project, launched in 2017 with the financial support of the European Commission, is a concrete response to these challenges and an illustration of these principles. During three years, it examined the phenomenon of radicalisation in all its different facets and developed concrete tools that European cities can use to locally prevent radicalisation, adapting them to their needs and particular contexts. In doing so, Efus fulfils its founding mission of fostering cooperation and exchanges among European local authorities on all issues of urban security and crime prevention.

Elizabeth Johnston Efus Executive Director


Efus and radicalisation

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Founded in 1987 and now an association gathering 250 European local and regional authorities, the European Forum for Urban Security (Efus) has a long track record in preventing radicalisation, violent extremism and terrorism. As early as 2006, in its Manifesto of Zaragoza, Efus’ members claimed that local authorities have a key role to play in these efforts and advocated an approach based on social cohesion and inclusivity, far from “favouring discriminatory actions, designating scapegoats or encouraging aggressive, racist attitudes.” That same year, Efus coordinated a first European cooperation project on the topic, Cities Against Terrorism (CAT), which concluded in 2007. Following the framework created by the European Union in its 2005 Counter-terrorism Strategy, Efus has been fostering the exchange of experiences and good practices among European local authorities, strengthening cooperation and increasing shared capabilities to tackle violent extremism. Since then, it has led or taken part in a long series of collaborations and projects. In 2014, when the phenomenon of radicalisation leading to violent extremism had become more prevalent in European cities and the risk of terrorist attacks had intensified, Efus embarked on its Local Authorities Against Violent Extremism (LIAISE) projects. LIAISE 1 (2014-2016) and 2 (2017-2018) mobilised more than 30 partners – local authorities, NGOs and research institutions – who worked together to clarify and reinforce the potential of local prevention initiatives, identifying local multi-agency partnerships, family support, resilience-building, de-radicalisation, disengagement, and counter-narratives as key topics for cities to work on. They rolled out local pilot prevention projects across Europe, assembled a database of promising practice examples, and produced two handbooks with methodological guidance.

ductive and much-needed involvement of cities in European radicalisation prevention policies. At the same time, European local authorities became more aware of the importance of their role and the need for developing local prevention strategies. Adopted in 2017 by 60 mayors from 18 countries and promoted jointly by Efus and the Euromed network, the Declaration of Nice advocates for more recognition of the role of local authorities, in particular through better representation within European consultative bodies and increased financial support in order to effectively implement preventive and educational actions. In line with its commitment to cross-border collaborative work between local and regional authorities, Efus is a partner or member of several multi-stakeholder partnerships, including the Alliance of European Cities Against Violent Extremism (an initiative promoted by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe), the Strong Cities international network, and the EU’s Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN). Efus’ participation in RAN consists mainly in contributing to exchanges between the various RAN working groups, their experts and projects led by Efus on topics of interest to both parties. This pioneering work gave rise to a series of projects on the prevention of radicalisation and violent extremism that further developed and promoted the impact local authorities can have with regard to specialised prevention approaches, such as Local Voices (2018-2019) and Local Young Leaders for Inclusion (LouD, 2019-2020), which work with youngsters to promote alternative narratives and build resilience, or the project Building Resilience to Reduce Polarisation and Growing Extremism (BRIDGE, 2019-2020), which develops a methodology to monitor and mitigate polarisation at the local level. The PRACTICIES project, which sought to better understand the root causes of radicalisation and to prevent its spread, is yet another example of a pan-European project in which Efus played a leading role. As it has done in other publications on the issue of radicalisation, Efus hopes this brochure will provide concrete insights and tools for local and regional authorities across Europe.

This practical work was accompanied by a series of political resolutions adopted by Efus’ executive committee, which further promoted the pro-



The PRACTICIES project


It also aimed to identify good intervention or prevention practices that address violent radicalisation at a European, national and local level, and ultimately to develop effective actions and innovative tools against radicalisation.

Radicalisation and violent extremism pose serious security challenges for governments and society at large not only because they may lead to terrorist attacks such as those perpetrated throughout Europe (and other regions) in the past few years, but also because they divide society and instil fear and suspicion. In order to efficiently prevent and curb this deleterious phenomenon, it is necessary to involve civil society as much as possible, alongside law enforcement agencies, academics and other professionals, notably those working in the fields of research and technology.

Finally, the project mobilised networks of European cities and experts from the fields of humanities and political and information sciences with the objectives of better understanding the “human roots of radicalisation”, characterising these processes and their origins, and building concrete prevention tools and practices.

The “Partnership Against Violent Radicalisation in Cities” (PRACTICIES) network was the result of a call for projects issued by the European Union. Set up in 2017, it gathered more than 25 partners – academic and research institutions as well as national governments and regional and local authorities – from several European countries (Austria, Belgium, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain) as well as Tunisia. This vast partnership allowed the project to cover a wide range of fields of expertise, notably humanities, psychology, political science, information science, and information technology.

1. To document risk and protective factors

Objectives of the project

More specifically, the project set the following objectives:

2. To understand communication processes that promote or limit the spread of radical discourse 3. To identify good intervention and prevention practices around radicalisation leading to violence 4. To evaluate research or action programmes on radicalisation leading to violence 5. To evaluate and develop programmes to strengthen social cohesion 6. To create spaces for discussion and exchange between academic and social stakeholders in order to better understand the phenomenon of radicalisation leading to violence


7. To strengthen theoretical, methodological and practical exchanges between researchers, stakeholder networks and cities

The PRACTICIES project aimed to understand radicalisation in order to better anticipate its occurrences and intervene as early as possible in this negative process. Our research and the professional assessment of practitioners allow to reduce the risk of violent radicalisation and improve urban security in the project’s partner cities. PRACTICIES contributed to tackling one of the biggest challenges faced by European cities: empowering and engaging civil society, particularly the most vulnerable, and thus becoming more inclusive and diverse.

8. To participate in political decision-making with the aim of improving the safety of cities.



The PRACTICIES Working Group of Cities


In their own words: the benefits of PRACTICIES according to the members of the Working Group of Cities

In order to create a link between on the one hand PRACTICIES’ 25 research and institutional partners1 and on the other the project’s end-users, i.e. European local and regional authorities, Efus set up a Working Group of Cities. It was composed of eight European cities: Amadora (Portugal), Augsburg (Germany), Berlin (Germany), L’Hospitalet de Llobregat (Spain), Nice (France), Riga (Latvia), Salzburg (Austria), and Solna (Sweden). For three years, this Group of Cities worked to identify their specific needs concerning the prevention of radicalisation at the local level and to ensure that the project’s outputs matched those needs in a concrete, pragmatic manner.


Over the course of the project, three other Efus members joined the Working Group of Cities to contribute their views. These were the cities of Liège (Belgium) and Lyon (France) and the regional government of Calabria (Italy).

The project created a platform for discussion among local stakeholders involved in preventing radicalisation at the local level in several European cities and countries. Furthermore, the project partners were able to meet a wide array of professionals working in the prevention of radicalisation through study visits, round tables and workshops organised across Europe. All these exchanges have shaped an extended network that will live on after the project and keep on disseminating its outcomes.

The Working Group of Cities had four main objectives: 1. To define the main threats posed locally by radicalisation that affect local and regional authorities 2. To learn about the work carried out through the other strands of the project (i.e. the “work packages”), which predominantly consisted of tools to help local authorities tackle local issues of radicalisation 3. To draft recommendations that would help local and regional authorities adjust their local prevention policies against radicalisation 4. To design a communication strategy in order to disseminate the project’s results among European local and regional authorities, not only within the Efus network but also beyond.

What benefits and insights did the members of the Working Group of Cities gain from the PRACTICIES project? We have summarised here the main points mentioned by members of the Working Group of Cities following the work carried out over three years, notably through four workshops organised across Europe and various dissemination events.

Rich exchanges among local stakeholders throughout Europe

Furthermore, the project’s partners have also participated, or are currently taking part, in other European projects on the prevention of radicalisation or in specialised European networks such as the EU’s Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN). There is thus a feedback loop between PRACTICIES and other European projects that enhances the capacities of European local authorities to address the phenomenon of radicalisation. Another long term benefit is that there has been cross-fertilisation between the partner local authorities and the European institutions.

Exchanging promising practices

1. The full list of the PRACTICIES partners is available page 30


One of the key benefits of PRACTICIES was that it enabled participants to exchange their on-the-ground practices regarding the prevention of radicalisation. Being able to compare the strategies and practices carried out in other cities and countries and gaining knowledge on the specific context of


different local and regional authorities throughout Europe brings longterm benefits that cannot be measured but are undeniable. Furthermore, the project has brought European-level visibility to the strategies put in place by the PRACTICIES participants. This has been made possible in particular through the series of fact sheets that were produced through the project and shared at European level. This formalised exchange of practices also goes a long way towards promoting among European institutions the important role played by local authorities in the efforts to prevent radicalisation.

In-depth knowledge of the phenomenon of radicalisation Exchanges among the project’s participants but also with its associate experts as well as with external organisations have improved knowledge on the phenomenon of radicalisation, in particular the individual and social mechanisms that lead some individuals to radicalise. Such knowledge will enable local authorities to design evidence-based strategies and action programmes that are better adapted to the target groups (i.e. groups and individuals at risk of radicalisation). An important aspect that has been highlighted through the project is the need to create strong links between academic research and practitioners on the ground. It is to be noted that the knowledge acquired through PRACTICIES also builds on other European projects either led by Efus or in which it took part on the issue of radicalisation and, more broadly, polarisation (such as those mentioned in the Foreword above).

A better understanding of local strategies By working together on the prevention of radicalisation, local and regional authorities have gained knowledge of each other’s local strategies. Discussions held within the Working Group of Cities as well as with the other members of the PRACTICIES consortium have produced interesting reflections on the challenges ahead and the ways to overcome them. Participants re-examined their priorities and identified new ones. Also, they discussed at length the difficulties professionals involved in tackling radicalisation face in their daily work. This also fed into the reflection and re-calibrating of their strategy for the prevention of radicalisation. One finding emerged on which everybody strongly agreed: the need to work across the board and collaboratively to implement a prevention strategy (i.e. local/regional authority staff, but also neighbourhood associations, schools, sports clubs, etc.)

A selection of tools produced by the PRACTICIES project >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> A variety of tools were produced by the project to help local and regional authorities tackle radicalisation. They were tested on the ground through the pilot projects developed by the PRACTICIES participant local authorities. Here is a selection.

A comprehensive toolbox Through a partnership that gathered researchers, experts in supporting radicalised people, sociologists, public associations, municipal technicians and police officers the project produced innovative tools that are tailored to the needs of end-users and can be adapted to the various specific contexts of the cities and regions associated with PRACTICIES. These efficient, easily transferable tools and their instruction manuals were presented and tested several times before being finalised. The cities and regions associated with the project now benefit from a toolbox that can complement their own existing tools.



Citizens Agora

Organising body

The methodology has been developed by the Salzburg University of Applied Sciences

Target group

Citizens Agoras can address the broader public or specific target groups such as young people, immigrants or certain ethnic and religious groups


The Citizens Agora methodology aims to create public spaces for educational citizenship activities that encourage inclusive and active participation. The basic premise is that radicalisation is closely linked to discrimination, structural exclusion and unequal access to democracy. It thrives on manipulative, unequal and exclusive speech and should thus be tackled by its opposite, which is open and inclusive dialogue between all social groups and individuals.

The methodology is made up of various activities, grouped into 4 modules:

 Module 1: Exchange of views and perspectives between different groups



Organising body

The software and the user manual have been created by the consulting cabinet Bouzar Expertises

Target group

Professionals from public or associative institutions tasked with identifying and supporting radicalised individuals

• E.g. intergenerational and intercultural exploratory walks, community and youth work, etc.

 Module 2: Making the opinions of young people heard and offering them the space and skills to express their views • E.g. public speaking, poetry slam, etc.

 Module 3: Inclusion and participation of young people in local decisions • E.g. training and workshops for young people, youth parliaments, round tables with politicians, etc.

 Module 4: Building relationships with schools and cultural centres to improve the impact of these activities

The activities are planned and carried out by both academic institutions and city administrations/social workers, working in close collaboration to fit the actions to the needs of the target group. Through these activities, Citizens Agoras aim to improve inclusive citizenship education, political dialogue, equal opportunity for expression, and open debate. It will give a platform to those who are not normally included in decision making processes, and allow them to formulate, articulate and criticize arguments – vital skills for taking part in the democratic experience.

The methods of radicalisation employed by extremist groups are evolving. For example, Muslim men are no longer the only targets for recruiters: women and young people from non-Muslim families are also targeted. The approach has also become more individualised, with subjects’ specific anxieties being exploited to encourage their radicalisation. Desistance-Pro is a piece of software designed to help social workers not only to identify individuals who are at risk of being radicalised, but also in the care and follow-up of individuals who have already been through the radicalisation process. It assesses the extent to which an individual is willing to accept non-violent alternatives to the radical paths they have been exposed to – information that can help the social worker in tailoring their work to the needs of the individual. Rather than employing a one-size-fits-all method, social workers can use Desistance-Pro to determine the needs of their client and thus the best way to proceed with the deradicalisation process. If extremist groups use individualised processes to radicalise and recruit, then protection against radicalisation must also be individualised. The tool has also been designed to be applicable to people from a wide range of backgrounds in order to meet the growing pool of potential targets. In order to generate the assessment, the social worker must answer a series of questions (each with 6 possible answers, including ‘I don’t know’ and ‘No concern’) about the individual, using information they have



gathered through interviews, observations and exchanges with external referents such as family, spouse, etc. Each answer corresponds to a score, ranging from 1 (‘Has accepted alternative commitments’) to 4 (‘Still not considering alternative commitments’). Once all the questions have been answered, the final scores appear as a pie chart that the professional interprets him/herself. This data will help social workers to:

 Take into account the ideals of the radicalised person  Fulfil the needs and anxieties that underlie the individual’s engagement in the radical group

 Choose good alternative commitments which have been tailored to the individual

 Check if the supporting work allows the individual to evolve in their vision of the world and their definition of him/herself and others.

During the course, students create a digital story: a small video of 1-3 minutes composed of images and a voice-over in which they give their point of view and try to inspire empathy around a topic. The stories are shared within a Story Circle, where students must ask and answer questions about their work and offer feedback to others in the group. In this way, they are encouraged to think critically about the information they encounter, whilst simultaneously learning to participate actively in a group. The stories will usually attempt to tackle an injustice or raise awareness of an issue, so students can feel empowered in their ability to resolve problems in society from within. Studies show that young people are drawn to radical and extremist groups for the feelings of identity, security and legitimacy that are promised. The Digital Me course aims to provide students with an alternative route to these outcomes by teaching students to:

Think critically about how a narrative can be used to persuade others Make sense of their identity and experience through storytelling Tool

Digital Me

Organising body

The toolkit has been developed by the Belgian association Media Actie Kuregem - Stad (MAKS)

Talk about emotions Develop and articulate their point of view Realise their ability to resolve injustices Work as part of a group Take pride in sharing their work

Target group

ages 14-18

The Digital Me Teacher Toolkit is intended to provide secondary school teachers and trainers working with young people aged between 14-18 years old with a specific methodology to promote active citizenship. The course aims to develop a student’s sense of identity, creativity and digital literacy, and thereby to reduce their vulnerability to radical and extremist discourse.


The premise of Digital Me is that there is no single profile of a radicalised person, and no single reason why they become radicalised. Radicalisation is a process made up of a myriad of reasons, both micro and macro, and it remains entirely specific to the subject. Digital Me is an effective tool, therefore, as it is a holistic approach that offers young people a wide range of benefits – from emotional literacy to critical thinking skills – as well as being tailored to each individual student who takes part.


 Understanding how news is created (e.g. the tension between attemptTool

Serious Game: Newscraft

Organising body

The game has been developed by the company Vertical and the University of Lille, through the GERiiCO research laboratory.

Target group

ages 14-20 but primarily 14-16

Newscraft is a serious game designed to encourage students to think critically about the news and media they consume. The idea is that this game could be used as an educational tool in schools as part of a wider lesson about media and information literacy. The concept of the game is to put players in the role of a journalist working in a newsroom. The characteristics and aims of the newsroom will differ on each round of play, and players are therefore encouraged to play differently, depending on the editorial style of the assigned newsroom. During the game, the player must publish news to fit their brief, taking into account the means at their disposal while ensuring that the publications generate a minimum number of views. Players are rewarded for fitting the brief of the newsroom and generating views whilst some publication choices can trigger outside events (both positive and negative).

ing to attract readers/viewers and creating news; the material obstacles that might affect a journalist’s ability to provide accurate coverage of events, such as time or money)

 Understanding the techniques used to make a narrative seem credible (e.g. the use of statistics, quotes from ‘experts’ or proof through images)

The gameplay will encourage students to employ these skills whether or not the information they are presented with comes from legitimate news sources. The idea is not to divide news outlets into ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, or to view the internet and social media as an automatic source of danger, but to instead help students to think critically about all forms of media. The game will thus tackle issues related to a variety of news sources, including written press, social media, satirical news shows, online videos and images. The gameplay is designed to last between 20 and 30 minutes so that it can fit into an hour-long class, alongside other relevant materials and activities on the subject of media literacy. This whole class will be developed as a dedicated teaching kit by the University of Lille. The game will also have some replay value (for instance, if a player wants to play again at home or the instructor wants to hold a second session).

The aim of Newscraft is to teach students to reflexively question and critique the news they encounter, so that they are equipped to navigate fake news, conspiracist narratives, and radical propaganda discourse. The key skills developed in the game include:

 Making a habit of verifying the source behind every piece of news (both text and images)

Asking who is talking to me, and what are they trying to do Analysing images  Learning the importance of a free and varied press in a democratic society



Tackling radicalisation: challenges and opportunities for local and regional authorities

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> At the end of 2019, when the project was drawing to a close following three years of intense work, Efus organised a workshop with the Working Group of Cities, in Toulouse. The purpose was to take stock of what had been achieved and list the challenges posed by radicalisation to local and regional authorities, but also the opportunities that can arise from carrying out preventive work in this field. This work was enriched by the insights gained by Efus on the issue of the prevention of radicalisation over the past few years, notably the European projects it has been either a part of or leading. One of the main aspects highlighted by the cities member of the Working Group is that PRACTICIES enabled them to map out their local strengths and weaknesses and thus design tailored solutions. This work resulted in a series of fact sheets that are available on the Efus website ( Here is a summary of the main challenges and opportunities they identified.


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>  Radicalism and violent extremism is a multifaceted phenomenon (that can be motivated by anything from religion, to left/right political opinions, to even sport), which requires targeted, tailored strategies.

 Polarisation often precedes radicalisation, but often there are no specific local strategies or policies to tackle it because many local/regional authorities struggle to identify this phenomenon as such.

 Preventing radicalisation requires working across the board and in cooperation with all the relevant local stakeholders as well as citizens. It


can be difficult to mobilise all these actors and it is important that public institutions build relationships of trust with them.

 Evaluating schemes for preventing violent radicalisation is often quite complicated. It is therefore necessary to strengthen the links between researchers and practitioners on the ground.

 The confidential or sensitive nature of information on radicalisation hampers exchanges and the sharing of information among prevention stakeholders, which reduces the efficiency and scope of prevention strategies.

 Often, schemes for the prevention of radicalisation do not have sufficient financial support to be fully implemented and efficient.


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>  Intense work on radicalisation and violent extremism at the local level is a key opportunity to understand the root causes of such processes. It helps local/regional authorities to better grasp the detrimental effects that inequality, exclusion, discrimination and polarisation have and how they increase vulnerabilities among young people and society in general. It challenges them to work harder to protect the fundamental rights of all local residents and enable their democratic participation at the municipal level.

 Identifying and understanding what resources are available in a given local territory is indispensable for any crime prevention strategy, but in particular for the prevention of radicalisation.

 Given that radicalisation is an international phenomenon, local stakeholders may be led to work with peers at national, European and international level. This helps to foster exchanges and increase knowledge.

 Researching innovative tools that enable citizens to participate in policymaking in the field of the prevention of radicalisation is worthwhile for local authorities, in particular because they can use them in any other policy area.


Recommendations for local authorities

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> In order to meet the challenges and seize the opportunities they have identified, the member cities and regions of the Working Group of Cities propose the following recommendations to other European local and regional authorities.

>>>>>>> Topic: Inclusion and well-being of the population Promoting and enhancing the psychological well-being of young people.

 To promote, starting from local policies, paths of inclusiveness aimed at families with the aim of widening these paths to regional and national policies. Governments and institutions play a relevant role in supporting schools and educational systems’ efforts in promoting adolescents’ competences for democratic culture. Particularly, they are called to create social cohesion and inclusive environments and to offer equal developmental opportunities to young people who experience discrimination, deprivation and exclusion.

 Families must be involved in a context that sees them as an active part of society. This should consequently promote the psychological well-being of their children, preventing them from deviant paths that could lead to violent radicalisation.

 Therefore, the strengthening of anti-discrimination agencies, which could give men and women the confidence and certainty of fully belonging and being protected in the context in which they live, seems fundamental. There is a general lack of civic education (human rights and democratic values) teaching in schools. The education system is not adapted to new problems that for example result from the greater mobility of people, such as discrimination against children on the basis of language and race, and the lack of preparation of the teaching staff in areas such as multiculturalism and the different religions and languages.


Intercultural education has to be promoted at the local level.  Forums have to be created to monitor and ensure that cultural dialogue is respected.

 Municipalities must counter “fake news” and conspiracy theories by teaching critical thinking and media literacy along with respect and the appreciation of differences.

 We propose to create mentorship programmes focused on multicultural, democratic values, respect, and conflict-solving skills.

>>>>>>> Topic: Professional culture and collaboration Collaboration among the relevant actors in the field in order to reach the target groups.

 Well established structures and experts in youth or social work, educators or school teachers have better access to young people and should therefore be involved in the different activities from the very beginning.

 A combination of face-to-face and online contacts via social media is helpful and useful for establishing and maintaining sustainable networks between social workers, educators, opinion leaders and youngsters. Involve parents in the work. Taking care of the frontline professionals

 Provide coaching or supervision and socio-psychological support for youth workers and time and space for the exchange of experiences.

 Open a space for exchange among them: face to face and online contact. The actors involved in the implementation of prevention policies against radicalisation call for better training based in shared common knowledge.

 Measures to combat discrimination, intolerance, prejudice and social polarisation should be implemented with two main objectives: to prevent the manipulation of young people and to facilitate the social integration of newcomers.


 The measures that are envisaged should take into account the different

 It is imperative to establish a prior communication strategy at the local

age groups among the young and their specificities, e.g. consider that adolescents build their personal identity in opposition to the rules of society.

level that addresses the transmission of common values from an early age. Being resilient against discriminatory processes is an essential skill that should be taught early to children.

 Cities must also develop actions and strategies for managing cultural diversity in a positive way. An important measure in this respect would be to educate and empower young people so they become more resilient and accept cultural diversity.

 Cities must ensure access to fundamental rights such as housing, education, proper nutrition, healthcare and religious freedom. Respecting these fundamental rights is a precondition for social integration. Holistic approach and networking

 We propose to create European Days Against Violent Radicalisation to provide an open space for discussion between public authorities and civil society.

 Concrete measures should be taken to restore society’s trust in their government and police as well as shared common values.

 Measures should be developed to promote the active participation of civil society in the development of policies to prevent radicalisation. This also includes teaching young people about citizenship and how to participate in society.

 General political and social structures, discourses and developments need to be analysed and taken into account (different extremisms).

 Collaboration between different actors must be strengthened: Youth departments, open youth work, schools and educators, political representatives, trade unions, enterprises, NGOs, artists, sports people and others.

>>>>>>> Topic: Innovation and new technologies In order to counter radicalisation, local authorities too often rely on the use of tools or strategies that “have worked in the past”, but are not necessarily adapted to the changing local contexts.

 Nowadays, a phenomenon as fluid as radicalisation calls for innovative

>>>>>>> Topic: Local democracy and citizen involvement Some people are particularly excluded or vulnerable in the school system and do not feel included at any point of their lives. For example, they fear being punished for their opinions.

 Promote citizens’ empowerment – make sure everyone has the opportunity and skills to participate.

 Educational institutions must become the place where local democracy is lived and practised.

and adapted response tools. Such new methods need to be tested before being implemented and thoroughly evaluated.

 The participation of young people in reflections around innovation should be promoted.

 Educational tools should be innovative and systematically integrate an intercultural approach.

 Tools should be adapted to take into account the growing influence of online media in our lives.

 Local authorities must be prepared to speak forcefully against radical The success of a radicalisation prevention policy depends in part on the active participation of civil society. Adequate communication in both directions (authorities to citizens and citizens to authorities) is essential, especially towards the young public.


ideas and conspiracy theories. The internet and social networks are very effective means of disseminating extremist speeches, especially among young audiences. Online communication and social networks occupy a considerable


share of the public space and have an important influence on social life and democratic structures.

 Municipalities must propose alternative discourses that convey positive messages and promote democratic values and social cohesion in order to strengthen the resilience of the population against extremist discourses.

 They must give visibility to local actions and offer the population the chance to be involved in the creation process.

 Municipalities have to be committed to integrating into their campaigns the issues and needs of young people.

 Municipalities have to give young people a role in developing campaigns

lar the right to asylum. Better coordination at European level is needed to ensure refugees are properly received and get support to integrate into the local community.

>>>>>>> Topic: Local governance and strategies Institutionalisation, planning, costing and evaluation

 Early prevention needs to be planned, structured, well organised, accompanied and evaluated by social scientists. It also needs proper resources.

 Policies aimed at preventing radicalisation should be cost-effective in order to be sustainable, especially given the general context of decreasing public funding.

against violent extremism not only because such campaigns would benefit from their know-how in new technologies, but also because they have to be involved in these efforts, which concern them directly.

 An overall concept, guiding principles and broad strategy for prevention

 Municipalities must not allow extremist content to thrive and must

 Local radicalisation audits and diagnostics can be used to optimize

ensure that democratic values and the rule of law prevail. This has to be translated into legal and technical measures.

>>>>>>> Topic: Local and regional authorities and the EU National and local public authorities often feel disconnected from European institutions as regards the fight against radicalisation. Some initiatives exist at European level that cities can be involved in, e.g. RAN Local or the EU Cities Against Radicalisation partnership.

 Local authorities must actively seek information about the initiatives they can be part of. On the other hand, European institutions must incentivize local authorities’ participation.

 The EU must support local policies that are ultimately closest to citizens and the most reactive in terms of prevention.

 EU funding is a fundamental tool for cities to implement their policies. European institutions should award more funding to the local level.

have to be designed within the local administrations. policy implementation. These are important decision-support tools that provide a knowledge base for the development of prevention policies.

Short term actions and projects that link and feed into long term structures but are not backed by dedicated sustainable policies are likely to be inefficient and may even fail.

 Municipalities must invest in creating sustainable structures that complement short-term decision-making.

 It is necessary to define a strategy comprised of the following stages: 1) the vision / idea (objective of the action); 2) the reinforcement of the action through support at national or supranational level, including an overall plan framing the action; 3) the roll-out of the plan at local level; 4) the implementation of these three stages through projects that can become permanent structures.

 Anticipation is key in radicalisation prevention strategies and local authorities must focus on primary prevention policies such as fighting against discrimination and polarisation.

 The EU must actively ensure respect for fundamental rights, in particu-



Radicalisation prevention strategies that are approached from a singular point of view are ineffective. Too often, legislation and overly complex administrative structures hinder the work between the various actors despite their good intentions.

 It is imperative to systematically include in any policy for the prevention of radicalisation this aspect of multi-stakeholder work, which must take on board the largest possible number of institutions intervening in the lives of radicalised people: social workers, police, associations, families, schools, justice, health services, public institutions in charge of employment, immigration services, and others.

 Trust is the key to any good partnership and needs to be strengthened through training on information sharing.

 Other methods and strategies, such as community policing, can also strengthen trust and collaboration among different actors such as police and citizens.

In four of the five cities analysed, there is no formal, structured network for the prevention of radicalisation. However, it would be possible to create such a network based on structures already in place to promote social integration, coexistence and multiculturalism, and to cater to the young.

 To enhance coordination, each city should have: 1) An umbrella group composed of policy makers from local government departments linked to the prevention strategy. This group would be in charge of promoting the strategy, goals and objectives and of reviewing them in light of the results obtained. 2) A stable group of social actors, faith representatives, local media, youth associations and representatives of professional groups – trade unions, schools, civil service bodies, etc.

 Local authorities should adapt the existing structures for social integration, coexistence, multiculturalism and youth with the aim of strengthening security and preventing juvenile crime.



The PRACTICIES consortium (list of partners) The PRACTICIES “Partnership Against Violent Radicalisation in Cities” project was led by the University of Toulouse II-Le Mirail (France). The consortium included 22 partners: the Ministry of the Interior CITCO (Spain), Fachhochschule Salzburg GmbH (Austria), University of Calabria (Italy), University Charles de Gaulle Lille 3 (France), TNS Opinion Kantar (Belgium), Media Actie Kuregem Stad (Belgium), Stadtgemeinde Salzburg (Austria), University Rey Juan Carlos (Spain), Ministry of Justice (Portugal), Qualify Just-IT Solutions and Consulting LDA (Portugal), University of Grenoble Alpes (France), Bouzar Expertises (France), University of Piraeus Research Centre (Greece), Kentro Meleton Asfaleias (Greece), Office national d’études et de recherches aérospatiales (France), City Council of Madrid (Spain), City Council of Amadora (Portugal), Métropole Nice Côte d’Azur (France), Association Forum des Sciences sociales appliquées (Tunisia), City Council of Toulouse (France), Commission Nationale de Lutte Contre le Terrorisme (Tunisia), European Forum for Urban Security. Several European cities and civil society institutions were associated to the project as end users: Land of Berlin – Office of the State Commission against Violence (Germany), the Senate Department for Education, Youth and Science of Berlin (Germany), Municipality of Schaerbeek (Belgium), Municipality of Liège (Belgium), Region of Calabria (Italy), Leitung Beratungsstelle Extremismus (Austria), NGO Syriens ne Bouge Agissons (France), S.A.V.E. Belgium (Belgium), Ville de Lyon (France), Municipality of Solna (Sweden), Municipality of Augsburg (Germany), Municipality of L’Hospitalet (Spain), Madrid Municipal Police (Spain)

The project lasted from May 2017 to April 2020


This brochure has been produced in the context of the Practicies Project. The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 740072


About Efus

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Founded in 1987, the European Forum for Urban Security (Efus) is the only European network of local and regional authorities dedicated to urban security. It includes 250 local and regional authorities from 16 countries. Its objectives are to:

 promote a balanced vision of urban security, combining prevention, sanctions and social cohesion,

 support local authorities in the design, implementation and evaluation of their local security policy,

 help local elected officials get recognition for their role in the development of national and European policies.

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