The Citizenship, Governance, and External Relations (CIVEX) Commission of the European Committee of the Regions, has today unanimously supported the ALDE Group’s proposal to draft an own-initiative opinion on Combatting Radicalisation and Violent Extremism: Prevention Mechanisms at Local and Regional Level.
The proposal, which was presented by ALDE CIVEX Coordinator, Bart Somers (BE, Open VLD), Mayor of Mechelen, who will also be the rapporteur, has been in preparation since the ALDE Group decided at its April 2015 group meeting that this topic would be one of its priorities for the new CoR mandate 2015-2020.
The discussion of the ALDE proposal was already on the agenda of the CIVEX meeting, when the attacks took place in Paris last Friday 13 November. Bart Somers said: “I am grateful to all the groups in the CoR for their support. These horrific attacks have an impact well beyond Paris, and highlight the need for united action across the political spectrum, and across all levels of government, to ensure that those who wish to destroy democracy fail to find support in our streets and neighbourhoods. As rapporteur, I will invite those cities with successful policies to contact me so we can build upon good practices already existing in several places around Europe.”
Local and regional authorities are responsible for policing, integration, education, employment, social integration, prevention, deradicalising people who return from war zones, prisons, social services etc. These are all key areas in the prevention of radicalisation, and the objective of this own-initiative opinion is therefore to help shape the EU’s actions on the prevention of radicalisation and terrorism. This opinion will aim to demonstrate how local and regional authorities have the power to deliver some of the EU’s key objectives in the prevention of violent radicalisation and will outline what instruments are required to combat this phenomenon. It will spell out how the strategies of the different levels of government can complement each other to achieve better coordination and results, while respecting EU fundamental rights and values.