Offline and online Radicalisation Prevention Holding back Extremism and Upholding Security | 2 Mers Seas Zeeën


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Offline and online Radicalisation Prevention Holding back Extremism and Upholding Security

Priority Axis

Technological and Social Innovation

Specific objective

Social Innovation

Lead partner

City of Mechelen






Project budget

4 427 671

ERDF amount

2 656 603

ERDF rate



    Common challenge

    In European cities, the threat of radicalisation towards all types of political violence, such as jihadi, extreme right or hate crime, is a significant and rising societal concern. Since 2014, more than 30 fatal attacks have been carried out in Europe. Over 50,000 Islamist violent extremists were counted in 2017, while the number of extreme-right arrests also increased. 

    Counterterrorism experts describe the youth at risk as solitary adolescents estranged from family, friends, and social institutions, with a lack of positive prospects, both real and perceived, and in search of belonging. This social alienation makes them receptive to a groomer’s attention. Both policymakers and field workers acknowledged the need to engage with young people more effectively to reduce the risk of radicalisation.

    Policies are not considered as adapted to tackle this issue because of 4 important challenges. First, the lack of integral methods in the field of preventing radicalisation, second, the lack of safe spaces for individuals to express their grievances in a peaceful way, third the need to build resilience within young people, to increase the confidence of educators to address sensitive issues such as extremism and fourth,  the need to integrate online work within prevention strategies. The ORPHEUS project answered these challenges. 

    Main Achievements

    The main achievement for the partnership was the final event, organised on the 30th of November in Mechelen (BE). All project main achievements and lessons learned were presented to a large audience. Participants could join workshops to learn how ORPHEUS tools and trainings could support them. 
    Another main achievement was the ORPHEUS website, which includes all the reports, tools, trainings, and guidelines. On the website, professionals and policy makers are guided towards tackling violent extremism and focusing on strengthening resilience and cohesion. In the strategic report and the policy recommendations, partners brought their insights together, with 11 policy recommendations.
    Another great result was the cooperation between the different project partners. In the last year, all the insights and lessons learned came together, which resulted in animated and deep discussions, and the cooperative presentation during the final event. The project cross-border cooperation has proved very successful, although the circumstances due to the pandemic were difficult for a social innovation project.



    We could not have accomplished this teamwork without cooperation of the schools, youth organisations, local governments, municipalities and city councils. They play an essential role in this project due to their expertise on the matter and their work on positive identity development, counter terrorism and non-stigmatisation.

    City of Mechelen representant



    Portsmouth City Council

    University of Portsmouth

    Arteveldehogeschool Gent

    Greta Grand Littoral

    Centre of Expertise and Advice for Prevention and Intervention of Radicalism and Extremism

    University College Roosevelt



    Output title
    URL / Download


    Thema: Innovative social servicesIntegration and education

    Feasibility study with policy recommendations for adoption of the ORPHEUS integrated prevention model

    Type: Feasibility study
    Target: Local, regional and national authorities


    Thema: Innovative social servicesIntegration and education

    Offline safe space pilots to provide young vulnerable people a place for dialogue & expression of grievances

    Type: Pilot and demonstration action
    Target: Citizens


    Thema: Innovative social servicesIntegration and education

    Online safety pilots to provide online alter-narratives and training for critical awareness and resilience of young people against online grooming

    Type: e-infrastructure/online tool
    Target: Citizens