In the last 15 years, there has been a gradual expansion of EU development and other cooperation policies into security-related areas, and this is likely to grow still further. The [...]
Key EU Policy Documents
The official objective of the strategy, first developed in 2005, is ‘to reduce terrorism globally, whilst respecting human rights.’ It is based on four pillars that aim to reduce both the threat of and vulnerability to terrorism: Respond (prepare for the consequences of a terrorist attack); Protect (reduce the vulnerability of civilians and infrastructure to terrorist attack); Pursue (bring terrorists to justice); and Prevent (stop using people turning terrorism by tackling underlying drivers). The EU aims to add value in all these fields to member and external state efforts.
The EU’s Strategy focused on countering violent extremism (the ‘Prevent’ pillar of its CT Strategy) was first drawn up in 2005 and subsequently revised twice, with the latest version produced in 2014. While it has a predominantly internal security focus, it also forms the basis of the EU external ‘Prevent’ actions and addresses the external dimension of CVE. Its aim is to prevent radicalisation to all forms of terrorism and violent extremism. The strategy acknowledges that much radical ideology stems from groups which operate within the law. It also recognises the need for an all-inclusive counter-approach across a number of sectors and stakeholders that includes disrupting existing networks and preventing new recruits from joining the cause. The strategy is designed to help states develop, where relevant, their own programmes and policies, which take into account the specific needs, objectives and capabilities of each.
An official Communication from the Commission from January 2014. This policy paper sets out how the Commission, in collaboration with the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and with the support of the EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator, can support member states in preventing radicalisation. It identifies ten areas in which member states and the Commission could work together, from consolidating expertise and training practictioners to cooperating with civil society and the private sector. While mainly a document focused on internal CVE efforts within the EU, it does identify the need to align internal and external aspects of preventing radicalisation and identifies areas for further work.
Key International Policy and Good Practices Documents
This Strategy and its Action Plan were adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2006 and represent the first time UN member states adopted a common strategic approach to countering terrorism. It has four key areas of action: addressing conditions conductive to the spread of terrorism, preventing and combating terrorism, building capacity to prevent and combat terrorism and strengthen the role of the UN system, and ensuring respect for human rights and the rule of law as well as the fundamental basis of countering terrorism.
Under the auspices of the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) and specifically its dedicated Working Group on Countering Violent Extremism, this document was produced in September 2013 and draws upon the experience of GCTF Members. It aims to promote a comprehensive approach to CVE by setting out the possible roles that governments, agencies and civil society can play. It divides these into the following sections: Identifying the Problem; Multi-Agency Approaches within the State; Public-Private Partnerships; Socio-economic Approaches; and The Role of Law Enforcement Agencies. It also identifies additional areas including the role of women, the promotion of economic opportunity, education, intercommunal efforts, and working with youth.
This is another document produced under the auspices of the GCTF Working Group on CVE, and was drafted and developed in cooperation with the Hedayah Center in September 2014. This document focuses on how CVE policies and programmes can be developed at primary and secondary school levels as well as in higher education. The purpose is to provide concrete options on how education can be used positively without securitising the education sector.
In this good practice document, written under the auspices of the GCTF, Morocco and the Netherlands launched the FTF Initiative. The Memorandum covers four broad areas: Detecting and Intervening Against Violent Extremism; Preventing, Detecting and Intervening Against Recruitment and Facilitation; Detecting and Intervening Against Tracel and Fighting; and Detecting and Intervening Upon Return. The aim of this initiave is to bring together practicioners and policymakers.
This good practice document, produced in August 2013 under the GCTF Working Group on CVE, focuses on the importance of locally relevant CVE initiatives and two key CVE tools in particular: community engagement and community-oriented policing. These are tools that focus on building trust with local communities and engaging them as partner through raising community awareness of the threat of violent extremism, building resilience, and providing them with the tools to prevent radicalisation and violence. It sets out a number of good practices while stressing that context-sensitive and tailored actions are essential.
This document, produced under the GCTF framework from May 2012, recognises the incubating effect that prisons and other civilian incarceration facilities may have in terms of radicalisation and violent extremism, and suggests good practices to counter this. The aim is to suggest methods designed to rehabilitate violent extremists and reintergrate them back into society with a reduced risk of recidivism.
This memorandum by GCTF members in response to the rising phenomenon of kidnapping for ransom (KFR) to finance terrorist activities, especially in the Sahel but also elsewhere around the glove, recognises that KFR is a terrorist activity in itself aside of financing other terrorist activities.