IMPACT Europe news digest [#5]

Welcome to the fifth instalment of the IMPACT Europe news digest. Through this series, the IMPACT Europe team will endeavour to present you with a selection of news, commentaries, journals articles and web materials relating to research and policy developments touching on the subject matters underpinning IMPACT Europe’s project’s mission. To receive the latest updates on IMPACT Europe’s research, dissemination and outreach activities you can follow our Twitter account (@impacteurope) or sign up to our quarterly newsletter through our homepage.


Jean-Claude Juncker calls for an EU “Security Union”

European Commission News

In response to the Brussels terror attacks, the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, called for the creation of a security union between EU countries which would enable a more coordinated response to the terrorist threat. Proposed measures to support such a union include an EU border and coast guard that would protect Europe’s external borders, and the approval of a PNR (Passenger Name Records) directive, which would allow the exchange of passengers’ data between airlines and EU countries. These and other security strategies were discussed by EU Justice and Home Affairs ministers on Thursday 24 March. Subsequent to this meeting, a joint statement was published in which ministers stated their commitment to adopting a series of measures that would enhance the EU’s collective ability to combat terrorism.



Are French prisons ‘finishing schools’ for terrorism?

The Guardian

France has launched a controversial new plan to combat Islamic radicalisation in prisons. Beginning in February, several prisons have opened dedicated anti-radicalisation units which are designed to counteract the process of political alienation and to reform those prisoners who are deemed vulnerable to extremist ideology. The detainees transferred to these units will be offered a well-resourced program of workshops, discussions and classes, as well as visits from sociologists, psychologists and historians, in order to support their re-integration into mainstream culture and society.


A Man’s World? Exploring the roles of Women in Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism

Edited by Naureen Chowdhury Fink, Sara Zeiger and Rafia Bhulai

This recent publication by Hedayah and the Global Centre on Cooperative Security presents a compilation of essays that reflect on the role of women in both the prevention and promulgation of violent extremism. The contributors offer a diversity of perspectives as well consideration of the emergence of best practice and lessons learned. The edited volume concludes with an analysis of the preceding essays, and presents a series of recommendations which aim to support the integration of a gender perspective into countering violent extremism policy and programming by national, regional, and international actors.


Development and countering violent extremism

By Naureen Chowdhury Fink, Head of Research and Analysis, Global Center on Cooperative Security; and Rafia Bhulai, Programs Officer, Global Center on Cooperative Security

In recent years, counterterrorism activities have adopted a broader strategic approach, focussing on preventative strategies which address local drivers of radicalisation and violent extremism. This shift in focus has resulted in an overlap with traditional development efforts, and creates opportunities for increased interaction and collaboration between countering violent extremism and development practices, which would derive mutual benefit from working together towards complementary goals.



  • Counter-terrorism and Deradicalisation: How to Answer the Training Needs of Justice Practitioners
    European Judicial Training Network conference
    Brussels, Belgium, 20 May 2016
  • Countering Violent Extremism 2016
    Information Operations symposium
    London, UK, 15-16 June 2016
  • ‘Towards new strategies for contemporary security challenges’
    Institute of Security and Global Affairs (ISGA) Conference
    The Hague, the Netherlands, 9-11 November 2016

[Image shared by European Parliament via Flickr; CC BY 2.0]