With 70 participants from 12 European countries, the first Transnational Thematic Workshop (TTW) explored and debated the criminal justice system practitioner role in preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE) and radicalisation in the Balkan region.
The event titled “Preventing radicalisation and violent extremism in the Balkans – The role of criminal justice settings” was organised within the HOPE “Holistic Radicalisation Prevention Initiative” project and took place on November 19th, 2021.
This was the first of eight transnational thematic online workshops targeting the Balkan countries involved in the project consortium, namely Romania, Serbia, Bulgaria and Slovenia.
These transnational thematic workshops broach topics in the project’s field, exploring theoretical and practical content. They are the materialisation of HOPE project’s network that supports continuous training, sharing of information and experience on the topic of P/CVE within the Balkan area – The Balkan, Southern and Eastern European learning hub on radicalisation.
The first TTW opened with a presentation by renowned expert Dorin Muresan from the International Corrections and Prisons Association (ICPA). His contribution was about “Regional solutions for regional challenges – A historical perspective on preventing radicalisation and extremism in the Balkans”. This presentation provided a comprehensive historical perspective on P/CVE in the region and shared interesting practical examples of initiatives implemented in this area.
Moreover, researcher Josep García Coll from the Euro-Arab Foundation for Higher Studies (FUNDEA) presented “An overview of P/CVE in South-eastern Europe: Approaches, challenges and practitioners’ impressions” and provided a relevant analysis of facts and figures regarding P/CVE in the South-eastern Europe region.
In addition, the event comprised a sub-workshop called “A hands-on approach to P/CVE” which actively engaged participants and promoted pertinent and thought-provoking debates on the implementation of local/regional P/CVE initiatives. It also explored the participants professional role and potential contributions to the field.
The HOPE Initiative is led by IPS_Innovative Prison Systems (Portugal) in partnership with the Prison and Probation Service’s Education Centre (Norway), Agenfor International Foundation (Italy), the Euro-Arab Foundation for Advanced Studies (Spain), the Bulgarian Association for Policy Evaluation, the Bulgarian General Directorate “Execution of Sentences”, the Bucharest-Jilava Penitentiary (Romania), the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights (Serbia) and the Slovenian Probation Administration (Ministry of Justice). The project is partially funded by the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Regional Cooperation.