Post-Paris attacks: what role now for EU radicalisation prevention policy?


On 18 November 2015, the European Foundation for Democracy and the Counter Extremism Project hosted a closed-door briefing to discuss the implications of the 13 November Paris attacks and how the EU should best address the threat of terrorism in order to prevent similar attacks in future. The briefing examined why many individuals have been susceptible to radicalisation, with many subsequently choosing to join terrorist groups like the so-called Islamic State/Daesh. Some 25 EU and international diplomats and officials participated.

One of the speakers, a radicalisation prevention and community outreach specialist in Belgium, highlighted that there are huge numbers of at-risk youth in Belgium that state systems cannot support, leaving this responsibility solely for parents to deal with. These individuals are ripe for radicalisation and already feel discriminated against, suffering from identity issues, he explained.

Another speaker, a radicalisation prevention expert from the U.S., stressed that it was essential to address the Islamist ideology that is the source of radicalisation if governments hope to defeat violent extremism. He warned that the fight against jihadi radicalism is a generational fight, like those against Nazism or Communism.