Symposium on Combating Terrorism in Europe
The EU Member States are primarily responsible for taking action against terrorism. Nevertheless, in consideration of the increasing cross-border dimension of the phenomenon, the EU plays a fundamental supporting role. Already in 2005, the Council adopted a EU Strategy for Combating Radicalisation and Recruitment to Terrorism. In view of the changing nature of the threat and the increasing understanding of the issue, the Strategy was revised in 2014 and complemented with a set of guidelines, last updated in 2017. In this context, on 7 March 2017, the Council adopted a new directive on combating terrorism, addressing, among others, the issue of foreign fighters.
Online communication, especially through social media, constitutes a powerful tool for terrorist organisations to gain global visibility and reach new audiences, recruit, and obtain financial support. The rapid identification and removal of online terror content can help curb this virtual contagion. On many occasions, the perpetrators of terrorist attacks were nationals of the countries they attacked or people who have migrated and resided in those countries for a long time. Moreover, almost one-third of arrestees for terrorist offences in 2016 were 25 years old or younger (Te-Sat, 2017). Building resilient communities and stronger social ties may also play an important role in reducing the risk of radicalisation, especially of young people, helping neutralise the appeal of terrorist propaganda.
This timely symposium will provide police officials, security professionals, local authorities and other key stakeholders with an invaluable opportunity to discuss the latest advancements and challenges in the fight against terrorism across Europe. Delegates will also explore how digital tools and the engagement of local communities can be effectively employed in counteracting violent ideologies.
• Analyse the EU framework for fighting terrorism
• Consider options for enhancing information sharing on terrorism
• Look into measures to decrease the exposure to terrorist attacks
• Debate about successful strategies to counter online terrorist propaganda
• Explore solutions to counter factors conducive to radicalisation and recruitment
• Building an effective counter-narrative to violent ideologies
• Assess the benefits of community engagement
The symposium will take place in Belgium, Brussels in Thon Hotel Brussels City Centre on Thursday 17th May 2018.