On the occasion of the EuroMeSCo Annual Conference “Confronting Violent Extremism in the Euro-Mediterranean” held in Barcelona on 1-2 June in Barcelona, over 150 researchers and practitioners from 22 countries debated the scope of the threat of violent extremism in the Euro-Mediterranean region, its manifestations, drivers, impact and what responses could be developed to confront it. The following report summarizes the discussions and outcomes of the EuroMeSCo Annual Conference 2017.
The report starts with an account of the presentations and discussions that were held in the Plenary Sessions. They constitute a valuable contribution to the mapping of violent extremism in the Euro-Mediterranean region. The sessions explored how this region is affected by violent extremism, the specificities of violent extremism today and possible strategies to counter the phenomenon, the complex drivers and root causes motivating the radicalisation of individuals across the Euro-Mediterranean, as well as the interactions between violent extremism and other phenomena such as populism, islamophobia and authoritarianism.
Three “working sessions” offered an opportunity to discuss in smaller format specific angles of the phenomenon of violent extremism. The link between violent extremism and geopolitics was explored in one working group, with a specific focus on Sinai and Libya. Another group looked into the complex nexus between violent extremism and populist, nationalist and islamophobic trends in EU countries on the one hand and authoritarian trends on the other. Lastly, concrete examples of policies and initiatives in Lebanon and Turkey in the fields of preventing and countering radicalisation were presented and discussed.