Library of Congress

Law Library of Congress

The Library of Congress > Law Library > News & Events > Global Legal Monitor

European Union: Justice and Home Affairs Council Adopts Conclusions on De-Radicalization and Disengagement from Terrorist Activities

(May 9, 2012) On April 26 and 27, 2012, the Justice and Home Affairs Council of the Council of the European Union convened in Luxembourg, where it adopted a set of conclusions on handling the twin issues of promoting de-radicalization and disengagement from terrorist activities. (Council Conclusions on De-Radicalisation and Disengagement from Terrorist Activities (Apr. 26-27, 2012), Council of Europe website.) The meeting was convened in the context of the ongoing threat of terrorist activities in EU Member States, in order to evaluate the underlying reasons for the phenomenon of radicalization and “to improve initiatives to counter radicalisation in all vulnerable populations.” (Id.)

Some highlights of the conclusions reached by the Justice and Home Affairs Council are:

· the primary responsibility for combating terrorism and preventing radicalization rests with the EU Member States, which are in charge of public security and public order within their respective borders;

· the EU's contribution to the issues of de-radicalization and disengagement lies in the establishment of a framework conducive to sharing knowledge, experience, and best practices. In particular, two measures adopted by the EU, the Counter-Terrorism Strategy and the EU Action Plan on Radicalization and Recruitment, contain concrete actions to be taken by the EU and the Member States; and

· the Radicalization Awareness Network has proved to be a valuable tool for those involved in eliminating radicalization by identifying best practices across the EU. (Id.)

The Council called upon the EU Members to take the following measures:

· strengthen cross-sectoral cooperation among public authorities at the national, regional, and local levels to develop plans and practices to convince radicalized individuals to abandon violent actions and radical ideologies;

· increase cooperation among public authorities and private individuals to identify those who have joined radicalized groups and take measures to reform such individuals;

· develop strategies and ways to assist persons to leave radicalized groups;

· initiate “targeted interventions,” including dialogue and direct contact, to facilitate the disengagement of individuals from such groups; and

· prevent radicalized individuals from converting others to radicalization and commission of violent acts. (Id.)

Finally, the Council urged the European Commission to continue to gather, by means of the Radicalization Awareness Network, information on the best methods and strategies for EU Members to apply in combating radicalization. (Id.)