Hate crimes, radicalisation and extremists’ recruitment leading towards terrorism have increased in number and severity throughout Europe and will continue to pose a major challenge for future democratic societies. Community and grass-root organisations, as well as social entrepreneurs and non-profit/non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are essential for preventing polarisation and violence and for intervening in emerging conflicts.
Practitioners from NGOs often find it easier to access even the most vulnerable environments and penetrate the culture and language of (ex-) offenders, their followers and their social environments. Working largely independently from government institutions these practitioners are also well positioned to build relationships of respect and mutual trust, which are indispensable for successful deradicalisation work.
The European Network of Deradicalisation (ENoD) is designed to be an interactive platform of NGO-practitioners, who engage in face-to-face deradicalisation work. The practitioners’ exchange will pertain to methodologies used, target groups, good practice criteria, challenges, needs and institutional standing and support in the respective Member States. The network’s future activities may also encompass cross-training and capacity building among facilitators from different fields and countries, thus generating added-value at European level.
The project is conducted by Violence Prevention Network (Berlin), a non-profit organisation of academics and professional first-line-practitioners, who combine practical experience and social research expertise. The build-up of the European Network of Deradicalisation started in January 2012. It will continue until December 2013 whereupon results will be evaluated and future perspectives laid out. The European Network of Deradicalisation is closely connected with the EU Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN), which was inaugurated by Ms. Malström, EU Commissioner of the Interior, in September 2011.
The first ENoD conference, which took place from the 31st of October until the 1st of November, was attended by 26 organisations from 14 Member States. Through joint effort and extensive collaboration the European Network of Deradicalisation was offcially inaugurated on the 1st of November 2013.