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RAN Centre of Excellence Policy & Practice Event: Common P/CVE challenges in the WB and EU

Mr. Rajko Kozmelj, IISG Chair, contributed to a RAN Centre of Excellence Policy & Practice Event: Common P/CVE challenges in the Western Balkans and European Union. A balanced group of some 120 policy makers and practitioners from both Western Balkan and European Union countries met to target common challenges in Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (PCVE). Many of these challenges have similarities in both regions. Whereas the first part of the event focusses on an effective and sustainable partnership between all actors involved (authorities, agencies, NGOs, and communities), the second part highlights the vulnerability of young children (pre-teens) in extremist environments. Mutual learning on the responses needed is foreseen., where both practitioners and national policy makers met in order to allow insights of practitioners to feed into national policies, as well as have national policy priorities guide the daily work of practitioners.

During the “Multi-Agency Cooperation” session, Rajko Kozmelj presented the Prevent-Refer-Address (P-R-A) concept, proposed by the IISG Support Group, which has been developing in the region Western Balkans in close cooperation with all international partners involved and engaged in the P/CVE policy in the region (UNDP, IOM, RCC, OSCE, and other partners). The discussion developed around the key questions:

  • Who takes the lead at the local level?
  • How to build the trust between agencies as partners – is it engagement of all relevant agencies/partners into the development of concrete P-R-A mechanisms at local level one of the ways forward in building the trust?
  • Does the division of tasks and mandates between agencies help?

Not all answers were provided but the level of understanding of the violent extremism as highly complex threat and a number of good practices and solutions were exchanged which represents a significant step forward and a benefit for all societies concerned.