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Action to combat terrorism cannot succeed in the longer term if no action is taken to try to limit recruitment into terrorism.

One of the EU priorities in the field of CT is to identify the factors which contribute to radicalisation and the processes by which individuals are recruited to commit acts of terror. This will involve looking at trends within the EU and working with other countries to learn from their experiences in this field. The objective is to devise a strategy to address these problems in order to prevent people from turning to terrorism and to stop the next generation of terrorists from emerging. In December 2005 the EU agreed a comprehensive strategy for combating radicalisation and recruitment into terrorism, revised in February 2007. The EU Strategy for Combating Radicalisation and Recruitment - Implementation report, November 2007.

Council Conclusions on enhancing cooperation in the area of countering radicalisation and recruitment to terrorism, Brussels, 8 July 2008

Factsheet Communication of the EU policies and objectives in counter-terrorism

There is a range of conditions in society which may create an environment in which individuals can become more easily radicalised. These conditions include poor or autocratic governance; rapid but unmanaged modernisation; lack of political or economic prospects and of educational opportunities. Within the Union these factors are not generally present but in individual segments of the population they may be. To counter this, outside the Union we must promote even more vigorously good governance, human rights, democracy as well as education and economic prosperity, and engage in conflict resolution. We must also target inequalities and discrimination where they exist and promote inter-cultural dialogue and long-term integration where appropriate.

Radicalisation and recruitment is an international phenomenon. There is much we can do with our partners overseas to assist them in combating radicalisation, including through co-operation and assistance programmes with third countries and work through international organisations.

The EU is working on the following key priorities for ‘Prevent’ radicalisation and terrorists recruitment:

  • Developing common approaches to spot and tackle problem behaviour, in particular the misuse of the internet;
  • Addressing incitement and recruitment in particular in key environments, for example prisons, places of religious training or worship, notably by implementing legislation making these behaviours offences;
  • Developing a media and communication strategy to explain better EU policies;
  • Promoting good governance, democracy, education and economic prosperity through Community and Member State assistance programmes;
  • Developing inter-cultural dialogue within and outside the Union;
  • Developing a non-emotive lexicon for discussing the issues;
  • Continuing research, share analysis and experiences in order to further our understanding of the issues and develop policy responses.