Offline and online Radicalisation Prevention Holding back Extremism and Upholding Security
Priority AxisTechnological and Social Innovation
City of Mechelen
Project budget4 315 672 €
ERDF amount2 589 403 €
In European cities, the threat of radicalisation towards all types of political violence, such as jihadi, extreme right, 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 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 acknowledge the need to engage with young people more effectively to reduce the risk of radicalisation.
ORPHEUS will develop new integrated and aligned services for online and offline prevention of political violence by extending the prevention service together with private and social institutions, and with young people and their educators as central actors.
- offline safe spaces for vulnerable young people to express their grievances,
- online safety for young people to protect them from online grooming,
- guidance and policy recommendations for adoption of an integrated prevention method in the 2Seas area.
Cross border approach
No single Member State is able to fully respond to the current threats of political violence on its own. European countries and regions have developed their own approaches in reaction to the acute threats of political violence: local programmes have been developed on prevention, early detection, online recruitment, counter discourses and different collaboration structures subsist across Europe. However, the expertise on these topics remains limited and fragmented, and is not easily transferred to other countries and regions. Whilst extremism groups and narratives operate across national boundaries, it is crucial that our response is transnational. In order to fill the knowledge gap on prevention, local practices need to be researched, tested and adapted on a cross-border level.