The conference “EU Borders Security: Acting Ahead across Research, Practice, and Policy” will be held on 27th and 28th September in Madrid (Spain) in the framework of the MEDEA project. This two-day event aims to point out the current challenges and necessities in this relevant subject that requires constant exchange among edge research and innovation, strategy, policy planning and implementation on the ground, involving stakeholders at regional, national, and EU level.
This activity is addresed to the professionals and all the security-related actors. The conference is structured with the following focus sessions:
Hybrid Threats & Border management,
Evolving interoperability Challenges,
Practitioners’ Key Role in Security Research
Looking Forward: A common path between Security Policy and Security Research
What is more, a guided visit to the CECORVIGMAR, Spanish Guardia Civil Coordination Centre for Maritime Surveillance of Coasts and Borders, is also scheduled to take place in the context of the conference.
This project is funded by the European Union’s Horizon H2020 – Research and Innovation Framework Programme. The consortium is led by the Center for Security Studies KEMEA from Greece and formed by 19 partners from different european countries, including the Euro-Arab Foundation for Higher Studies from Spain.
In a panel held this morning dedicated to the MIRAD project, Josep García Coll, researcher at the Euro-Arab Foundation, and Mariyan Sabev and Darina Sarafova, from the Centre for the Study of Democracy, presented a paper on ‘Assessine risk of violent extremism in prison and probation contexts’, focusing on the development of risk assessment tools, specifically for violent radicalisation of the extreme right and jihadist radicalisation.
The presentation outlined the main elements and risk indicators to be taken into account when carrying out risk assessments of people convicted of violent extremism offences. The development of these tools is motivated by the needs of professionals working on the front line with people deprived of liberty or who are moving towards probation or parole. The differentiation in the tools used according to the ideologies mentioned will improve the design and implementation of existing rehabilitation and reintegration programmes and thus achieve better results in the disengagement and reintegration into society of these persons.
Regarding right-wing extremism, research shows that the main risk factors include social marginalisation, perceived threats to traditional values, belief in conspiracy theories, anti-immigrant sentiment, political and social polarisation, economic insecurity, and exposure to extremist networks.
With respect to jihadist violent extremism, recent literature shows that the main risk factors are related to feelings of community grievances, complete distrust of the government and institutions, perceived ingroup superiority and other psycho-social factors like narcissism, sensation-seeking, cognitive closure or social alienation, amongst others.
The other two presentations held at EUROCRIM focused on ‘Training prison, probation and community staff on radicalisation and violent extremism: Results from a cross-sectoral and mixed-method training initiative‘ by IPS (Innovative Prison Systems) and on ‘Interinstitutional collaboration towards successful disengagement and social reintegration of violent and terrorist offenders‘ developed by the Centre for the Study of Democracy.
The MIRAD project (Multi-ideological Radicalisation Assessment towards Disengagement) is funded by the European Commission’s Internal Security Fund. The consortium is coordinated by the Emerging Security and Defence Team of the National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts in France (le cnam) and includes partners from Portugal, Poland, Bulgaria, France, Greece and Belgium, as well as the Euro-Arab Foundation in Spain.
The UNCHAINED project is holding its final conference on Tuesday 25 July at the headquarters of the Agenfor agency in Milan (Italy) after three and a half years in operation. The conference, which is open to the public in an online format, will be attended by public authorities such as Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs), judges and prosecutors.
During the day, the digital techniques developed by UNCHAINED to analyse and investigate the economic footprint that Trafficking in Human Beings (THB) leaves in cyberspace will be presented, thus improving participants’ skills to prevent and intercept trafficking more effectively.
The event will begin with a welcome address by Agenfor director Sergio Bianchi, who will give way to the intervention of Deputy Prosecutor of Padova Silvia Golin on International Cooperation on THB. This will be followed by the intervention of the Deputy Prosecutor of Venice, Lucia D’Alessandro, who will focus on her investigative experience on the Nigerian mafia and cultists.
The day will continue with a practical session on how to use the FAST platform to analyse the THB pathway led by the CEO of MBS Engineering Mauro Manolo Belmonte, and the presentations by Emanuele Florindi, Information Technology lawyer, on how to apply the money tracking approach in cyberspace, as well as Yuval Sanders, CEO of the software development company Falkor, who will speak on public-private cooperation for THB prevention. The conference will conclude with a round table on action patterns, pathways and synergies to prevent and counter human trafficking, with the participation of Venice, Padova and Milan prosecutors, police officers from Venice and THB researcher at John Hopkins University in the United States, Alexandra Malangone.
Since the start of 2023, the UNCHAINED project has delivered ‘Trainings for Trainers’ in the cities of Padua and Venice (Italy); in Athens (Greece); in Murcia (Spain) and in Bremen (Germany). Public authorities from all over Europe have thus benefited from these practical trainings where they have learned how to use the OSINT (Open Source Intelligence), HUMINT (Human Intelligence), SIGINT (Signals Intelligence), Big Data and FAST technology platforms for data analysis and human traffic monitoring. The training also included immersions in virtual reality and theoretical knowledge on the national and European human trafficking legal framework.
During this time UNCHAINED has also created a network of experts for the promotion of public-private cooperation between public authorities and private technology companies, which has been a success as significant synergies have been created, for example with the Local Police of Murcia.
The UNCHAINED project is funded by the European Commission under the Internal Security Fund – Police. The Consortium is coordinated by the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Padua and formed by the Euro-Arab Foundation for Higher Studies (Spain), the AGENFOR International Agency (Italy), the Center for Security Studies KEMEA (Greece) and the School of Public Administration (HfÖV) of Bremen (Germany).
The Euro-Arab Foundation is taking part in the annual conference organised by the Society Terrorism Research, which this year will be held in Lisbon on 20 and 21 July, organised by the University Institute of Lisbon – ISCTE.
The 15th annual international conference, which is presented under the generic title Terrorism Research in a Polarised World, has speakers from all over the world and more than a hundred people registered who will be able to attend the wide range of topics that the Conference offers through the 22 round tables programmed.
The Euro-Arab Foundation’s participation in this scientific event focuses on the organisation of the round table discussion entitled The paradigms of the prevention of radicalisation, which will be held tomorrow, Thursday, July 20, within the framework of the international INTERRAD project on The internationalisation of the prevention of the phenomenon of violent radicalisation of a jihadist nature.
This session, led by the Vice-Rector for Internationalisation of the University of Granada, Inmaculada Marrero Rocha, and moderated by the Euro-Arab Foundation’s Executive Secretary and professor at the UGR, Antonio Sánchez Ortega, will address different aspects of the prevention of radicalisation:
The prevention of violent extremism from the 3N model of radicalisation by Manuel Moyano, from the University of Cordoba.
Bridging the Gap: Research on radicalisation and the problems of prevention, Javier Ruipérez Canales, Euro-Arab Foundation and University of Granada.
Radicalisation and deradicalisation in prison: moving towards a future paradigm, Salvador Berdún, Association of the Corps of the Administration of Penitentiary Institutions and University of Granada.
The challenges of risk assessment to improve the prevention of radicalisation, Josep Garcia Coll, Euro-Arab Foundation.
Impact of psychological and structural factors on radicalisation processes, Roberto M. Lobato, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia.
On 30 May, the Euro-Arab Foundation hosted the presentation of the conclusions and recommendations of the MIRAD project (Multi-Ideological Radicalisation Assessment towards Disengagement), a closed-door meeting attended by leading professionals in the prevention of radicalisation and disengagement, belonging to security forces, NGOs and penitentiary institutions.
The conference began with the presentation of the project and the protocols of multi-agency cooperation in de-radicalisation and disengagement work in prison, probation and community contexts. This was followed by the presentation of tools for assessing the risk of radicalisation in the aforementioned contexts, together with the presentation of the tool developed for the assessment of competences and integrity for work in coordination with NGOs.
During this meeting, the invited professionals shared their considerations on the tool and the criteria presented by the project researchers, issuing a final assessment on the identified needs of frontline practitioners.
The partners of BIGOSINT, a project dedicated to the fight against Human Trafficking through Big Data and Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) analysis, met on 22 June in Bremen, Germany, for a regular session where they updated on the progress of the different work packages and future activities.
The project, which started in January 2022 and will end in January next year, aims to improve investigations into human trafficking on the internet by analysing how the characteristics of the cyber environment affect the Human Trafficking chain. For that purpose, BIGOSINT combines technological tools such as OSINT and cryptocurrency analysis with the FAST platform to detect existing online markets and networks, collect human-rights compliant digital evidence, share information and develop enforcement countermeasures by leveraging on public-private partnership.
During the meeting there was a review of the project management and coordination carried out by the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Trento, coordinator of the project. Each member updated the status of the different work packages, such as the sustained service delivery led by HFÖV, the dissemination strategy, sustainability and transferability of BIGOSINT as well as the integrated FAST platform for cybercrime investigation, management and coordination, led by AGENFOR, or the work package led by the Euro-Arab Foundation, dedicated to understanding the investigation cycle of Human Trafficking. The session will end with an open debate and final conclusions.
Currently, training sessions are being jointly prepared in the framework of the BIGOSINT and UNCHAINED projects, which will take place on 11 and 12 of July in the city of Murcia, Spain, and on 19 July in Bremen, Germany, for law enforcement and judicial officers. The training consists of practical sessions where participants will be trained in the use of the technological tools OSINT and the FAST platform. In addition, a Virtual Reality immersion will be carried out to combat the chain of human trafficking in cyberspace.
After these trainings, the tools involved will be tested for 5 months by the security forces in order to implement them on a daily basis and thus improve their skills in the fight against trafficking in human beings.
PARTES project (Participatory approaches to protecting places of worship) proposes a comprehensive model for the protection of places of worship (PoW) that is evidence-based, inclusive and participatory, in order to effectively combat the security threats posed to synagogues, mosques and churches in the European Union, thus also preventing hate crimes against religious communities.
The Euro-Arab Foundation is part of the consortium and leads the “Threats and Responses Landscape” work package, which coordinates research to establish an overview of attacks on religious communities, hate crimes against them and existing protection measures, as well as to identify good practices for cooperation between religious institutions and public authorities, and for the protection of places of worship.
PARTES aims to achieve the following objectives:
Map the specific threat landscape of involved religious communities (incl. cyber threats);
Assess and derive lessons learned on vulnerabilities and existing security concepts of involved religious communities and exchange best practices on protective measures Europe-wide;
Establish cooperation and communication structures and channels between religious communities and local authorities;
Develop proactive and preventive security measures;
Carry out trainings and workshops with religious and local authorities;
Raise awareness among the wider population about the threat and strategies of extremist organisations targeting places of worship and involve them in prevention strategies.
The methodology employed in the project is multi-disciplinary and participatory in nature, involving researchers and end-users within and beyond the consortium, and also citizens. PARTES employs a variety of methods, from desk research and interviews to live labs, workshops and dialogue forums.
The project seeks to make a significant contribution to the improvement of the overall protection of public spaces through the creation and enhancement of PoW’s preventive and security concepts by taking the threat landscape, the online dimension and pre-attack, preventive phases and measures into account, as well as by the newly established communication structures with authorities.
The motivation for this project lies in the recent trend of attacks and hate crimes, both in the digital and physical world, targeting places of worship in Europe and around the world. These attacks are symptomatic of a growing violent extremist phenomenon in Europe, fuelled by extremist rhetoric, ignorance of other religions and cultures, and insufficient societal engagement in preventing extremism.The project considers that this phenomenon needs to be addressed in a more complex way, going beyond architectural security and police presence.
PARTES is funded by the Internal Security Fund of the European Commission. The consortium involves experts of 15 institutions from 10 European countries, where the project coordinator is the Austrian Institute of International Affairs (oiip).
The first phase of this training has focused on future professionals in this sector, with sessions given last week on 15 and 16 May at the Faculty of Communication Sciences of the University of Malaga (UMA) for students of Citizen Journalism and Social Networks of the Journalism Degree, and for students of Audiovisual Programming and Audience Analysis of the Audiovisual Communication Degree at the University of Granada (UGR).
The training package, developed by the Euro-Arab Foundation researchers Lucía García del Moral, José Luis Salido Medina and Daniel Pérez García, focused on three specific blocks: presentation of the results of the monitoring they have carried out in two fields, Islamophobia and extreme right-wing hate speeches, and a third block on alternative narratives as a response to hate speeches from a holistic perspective.
The Euro-Arab Foundation, a member of the STAND-UP consortium and responsible for its Communication package, has initiated this training as it understands that the media are a fundamental element in the chain of information and education of citizens because, according to the European Code of Ethics in Journalism, approved in 1993 by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, “the media assume an ethical responsibility towards citizens and society that is necessary to remember at the present time, when information and communication are of great importance for the development of citizens’ personalities as well as for the evolution of society and democratic life“.
The main objective of the STAND-UP project is to improve inter-agency cooperation in the fight against hate crime through the design, development and implementation of a new inter-agency model led by public authorities. Among the different actions developed by this project, funded by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers, is the design and implementation of training for civil society organisations, law enforcement agencies, prosecutors and judges on how to report, investigate, prosecute and prevent hate crime and discrimination.
The model developed by the STAND UP project, which involves institutions from four European countries: Spain, France, Greece and Italy, includes technological tools to improve the reporting, investigation, prosecution and prevention of hate speech and hate crime, as well as the exchange of data between different agencies; an established definition of hate crime; standardised templates for reporting hate crime (for law enforcement and civil society organisations) and an inter-institutional manual for victim support.
The EU-funded SHIELD project is holding a virtual training on 17 May on the protection of places of worship for representatives of Christian, Jewish and Muslim communities. The project aims at the interfaith protection of places of worship against possible terrorist attacks. This practical course taught in English will be held online behind closed doors with the project partners and attendees and will last five hours (10:00 – 15:00 CET).
This training session will involve law enforcement, security and risk detection experts and religious organizations. The objective is to train religious leaders in security and teach them how to quickly report suspicious behavior to the relevant authorities, as well as to sensitize their respective communities to the risk of a terrorist attack.
All participants will be trained on security measures, communication, cooperation and prevention. During the session, three specialized workshops will be implemented about each religious community, in order to prepare the different actors to face a possible attack taking into account their specific needs, in order to be able to adopt customized methodological, technological and procedural solutions.
SHIELD is financed by the Internal Security Fund of the European Union and is is comprised of 19 members from 10 countries (Austria, Germany, Belgium, Spain, France, Hungary, Italy, Romania, Poland and Portugal), including the Euro-Arab Foundation. The project is coordinated by the partner SYNYO GmbH from Austria.
On 31 May, the National Dissemination Workshop on the prevention of radicalisation will be held in Granada, at the Euro-Arab Foundation headquarters, in the framework of the HOPE project (Holistic Radicalisation Prevention Initiative), which will end at the end of this year after 3 years of implementation. In this seminar, the research work that has been carried out in each of the phases of the project, as well as the conclusions and recommendations obtained, will be discussed in depth.
The seminar will start with the presentation of the project, which focuses on the prevention of radicalisation in the Balkan countries, comprising Southern and Eastern Europe, through the creation of a support network, continuous training, and the improvement of the transition process between the prison and/or probation systems for those prisoners at risk of radicalisation or who have already been radicalised, and their integration into the community.
The introduction will be followed by a presentation of the different activities developed in HOPE, such as the state of the art analysis document, surveys and interviews with prison professionals, training modules for prison professionals, the creation of a European training and knowledge transfer centre on deradicalisation and disengagement, as well as the creation of a mentoring programme for people in prison for violent extremism.
The seminar programme will conclude with the presentation of the book “La encrucijada entre la radicalización y la desradicalización: Teorías, herramientas y aspectos aplicados” (The crossroads between radicalisation and deradicalisation: Theories, tools and applied aspects) by Josep García Coll and Roberto M. Lobato. This work, published by the Euro-Arab Foundation and Catarata publishing house, was written by its authors using the theoretical framework of the HOPE project. It will be presented through a dialogue between the author and researcher on the prevention of violent radicalisation Josep García Coll and Moussa Bourekba, senior researcher at the CIDOB (Barcelona Centre for International Affairs) whose lines of research cover the greater Mediterranean, global geopolitics and security. This meeting will be followed by a colloquium with the audience.
The seminar is open to the public with prior registration. Register at this link If you want to attend the seminar and get a certificate of attendance.
The HOPE project, in which the Euro-Arab Foundation is a partner, is made up of a consortium involving institutions from Bulgaria, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia and Slovenia under the coordination of IPS-Innovative Prison Systems, and with funding from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA-Norway Grant Fund for Regional Cooperation.
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