On 26 February, the European Commission and European Committee of the Regions met to foster discussion between European cities to identify effective and transferable approaches to radicalisation. Present at the Conference were ALDE CoR President and award-winning Mayor of Mechelen Bart Somers and Beatriz Becerra MEP, who have previously proposed a European Covenant of Cities for the prevention of radicalisation.
“When somebody is radicalised, to deradicalise him, it’s very expensive, takes a lot of time and a lot of energy, and success is never guaranteed. So, the best thing we can do is to prevent people getting radicalised,” said Somers.
The proposal for a ‘Covenant of Cities’ was supported by European Commissioner for the Security Union Julian King. It was acknowledged that there is a need for a higher level of engagement and want to build a this type of network to promote regular, structured contacts and approaches to tackle radicalisation.
In this regard, the city of Mechelen is a great example, as it has a strong track record in fighting radicalisation. This success has not gone unnoticed in Europe, as several cities, such as Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Berlin, have sent their representatives to study the ‘Mechelen model’.