- Prevention and Countering of Violent Extremism (P-CVE)
Prevention and Countering of Violent Extremism (P-CVE)
Violent extremism and radicalization leading to terrorism, as well as terrorism itself, are by no means new security challenges. However, in the last couple of years SEE, and the whole of Europe, has witnessed significantly increased level of these connected security threats. Armed conflicts in Syria and Iraq, and fall of large parts of these states under the effective control of ISIL/Daesh and other terrorist organizations boosted attraction of violent extremist and terrorist propaganda, both online and offline, for many people in SEE, mostly young.
Feeling excluded and deprived of perspective, disoriented, guided by religious and ideological reasons, or lured by false images of life under ISIL/Daesh, many hundreds of recruits from different parts of SEE joined the ranks of foreign terrorist fighters (FTF) in Syria, Iraq, and elsewhere. A lot of their family members followed them. Many more got radicalized, and considered making the move.
These challenges prompted a greater attention to security and rule of law at the national and regional levels, calling for an enhanced cooperation. An all-inclusive, regionally-owned and driven cooperation framework, the RCC put a new emphasis on the area of Stability and the rule of law, and refocused our activities in Security cooperation, seeking practical answers to pressing need for deeper and more pragmatic, results-oriented cooperation and coordination in counter-terrorism, prevention and countering of violent extremism in South East Europe.
Following the tasking received by the ministers of South East European Cooperation Process (SEECP), the RCC established the Regional Platform for Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism Leading to Terrorism and Recruitment of Foreign Terrorist Fighters. The Platform aims at strengthening cooperation and coordination in the area of prevention and countering of radicalization and violent extremism in SEE at national and regional levels under the political umbrella of the SEECP, focusing mainly on the so-called "soft" measures. Despite somewhat different thematic and geographical scope, a number of activities under the Platform are also part of the EU’s Western Balkans Counter-Terrorism Initiative (WBCTI) and, through it, the EU Integrative Internal Security Governance Initiative (IISG) for the Western Balkans. The RCC’s work in this area is complementary to the one carried out by other international and regional organizations and initiatives. In such a way, synergy is created, gaps filled, and unnecessary duplication avoided.
Outcomes of the Platform’s implementation include raising awareness of violent extremism and radicalization in SEE societies; better cooperation and coordination among the relevant regional initiatives and fora; enhanced inter-agency cooperation at the national level within/among the SEECP/RCC Participants from the region; greater exchange of information and good practices between them and international and regional organizations and initiatives; inclusion of all relevant government agencies, academia, and civil society organizations in P-CVE efforts, ensuring the application of “whole of government” and “whole society” approach.
The Platform was adopted in October 2015, and 2016 was the first year of its implementation. Among the results achieved are:
- The SEE Group of National Focal Points on CVE & FTF(NFP Group) has been established and commenced its work; at its meeting held in Tirana on 11 November 2016, the NFP Group reviewed the progress achieved so far; endorsed the RCC CVE Work Plan for 2017, and adopted recommendations that may serve as policy guidance to the participating governments.
- Regional workshop for law enforcement experts and prosecutors on overcoming legal and practical challenges in dealing with violent extremism resulted in specific, practical recommendations.
- A study on P-CVE efforts in the Western Balkans and Turkey was commissioned and published by the RCC.
- This website is also part of the Platform’s implementation. It is designed as a set of tools for the enhancement of exchange of information and other aspects of practical P-CVE cooperation in the region.
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