Two years after the Brussels attacks: The challenge of jihadist radicalisation in Europe and beyond


On 22 March 2018, the European Foundation for Democracy and the European Policy Centre hosted a conference on “Two years after the Brussels attacks: The challenge of jihadist radicalisation in Europe and beyond”, held in cooperation with TRENDS Research and Advisory.

March 22 marked the second anniversary of the tragic Brussels attacks.The conference allowed experts working across different sectors of society to come together to discuss the challenges the international community continues to face from jihadist radicalisation, as well as propose recommendations for change.

Speakers of the event included; Julian King, European Commissioner for the Security Union, Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Policy Centre and President Emeritus of the European Council, and Didier Reynders, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belgium.


The full agenda of the conference is below:


10.00        Introductory remarks

Fabian Zuleeg, Chief Executive, European Policy Centre

Roberta Bonazzi, President, European Foundation for Democracy


10.10        Keynote speech

Julian King, European Commissioner for the Security Union

Q&A session


10.30        Panel ITwo years since the Brussels attacks – What has changed?

Saad Amrani, Chief Commissioner, Policy Advisor, Belgian Federal Police

Javier Nart, Member of the European Parliament

Pieter Van Ostaeyen, Visiting Fellow, European Foundation for Democracy

Alastair MacDonald, Bureau Chief, Reuters, Brussels (Moderator)


11.40        Panel II: Local governance – The role of mayors, imams and other key actors

Manwar Ali, Imam & Chief Executive, JIMAS, UK

Jessika Soors, Co-chair, RAN Local authorities Working Group, Head of service CVE and deradicalization, Vilvoorde

Olivier Vanderhaeghen, Prevention Manager, Municipality of Molenbeek

Louise Harvey, Non-Exec Chairman, Strategic Communications Brussels, FTI Consulting (Moderator)



12.50        Lunch



13.50        Panel III: The role of grassroots organisations

Cherif El Farri, Executive Director, Centre of Expertise and Advice for Prevention and Intervention of Radicalism and Extremism

Karin Heremans, Coordination policy on radicalization and polarization, GO! Flemish education system; Co-Chair of the Radicalisation Awareness Network Education Working Group

Demir Murat Seyrek, Senior Policy Advisor, European Foundation for Democracy

Amanda Paul, Senior Policy Analyst, European Policy Centre (Moderator)


15.00        Coffee break


15.15        Panel IV: International efforts and cooperation to prevent jihadist radicalisation

Maqsoud Kruse, Executive Director, Hedayah International Center of Excellence for Countering Violent Extremism

Elizabeth Abela Hampel, Deputy Head, OSCE Action against Terrorism Unit

Ben Pugsley, Adviser to the EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator, Council of the European Union

Richard Burchill, Director of Research and Engagement, TRENDS (Moderator)


16.15        Final remarks

Herman Van Rompuy, President, European Policy Centre; President Emeritus of the European Council


16.20        Closing keynote speech

Didier Reynders, Deputy Prime Minister; Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belgium


17.00        End