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European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations
News article19 April 2021

Prevention of radicalisation: the Commission steps up support in the Western Balkans with a new €1.55 million project

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Prevention of radicalisation leading to violent extremism and terrorism is a key priority for the EU Member States and the Western Balkan partners. As common challenges require a common approach, the Commission will support the region in preventing and countering all forms of radicalisation in the framework of the accession process and the implementation of the Joint Action Plan on Counter-Terrorism for the Western Balkans.

The Commission will mobilise practitioners' expertise within the Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN) to support prevention work in the Western Balkans, and facilitate exchanges among professionals within the region as well as with their colleagues from the EU Member States.

Challenges like the management of returning Foreign Terrorist Fighters and their family members will be addressed through the organisation of trainings, workshops and study visits conducted both in the region and in the EU Member States. These activities will improve the Western Balkans' capacity to prevent radicalisation, in line with EU policy. The foreseen activities will be funded under the Instrument for Pre-Accession (IPA II) with the signature of a €1.55 million project that will be implemented over 30 months.

Background

The RAN is a Commission funded network of frontline practitioners who work daily with both those vulnerable to radicalisation and those who have already been radicalised. As civil society representatives, social workers, youth workers, teachers, healthcare professionals, local authority representatives, police officers and prison officers, they are engaged in preventing and countering violent extremism in all its forms and rehabilitating and reintegrating violent extremists.

In October 2018, the European Commission and representatives of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina Kosovo*, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia, signed a Joint Action Plan on Counter-Terrorism for the Western Balkans, marking a big step forward for our common security and the protection of our citizens.

The signature of the Joint Action Plan, followed in 2019 by the signature of six Implementing Arrangements with each Western Balkan partner, has stepped up joint work on counter-terrorism and prevention of radicalisation, building on the enlargement and association processes and creating a robust framework for collaboration between the EU and the Western Balkans.

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Publication date
19 April 2021