Expert Group on Violent Radicalisation

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The Expert Group on Violent Radicalisation was established by a Decision of the European Commission of 19 April 2006 (2006/299/EC). The expert group consists of a maximum of 20 members appointed by the Director-General of Directorate General Justice, Freedom and Security of the European Commission.[1] According to the European Commission's Register of Expert Groups:

The Group is advising on any matter relating to violent radicalisation and terrorism, is giving policy advice and identifying new research areas required into the phenomenon of violent radicalisation and terrorism. It exchanges expertise with networks, institutes or other bodies of the EU, in Member States, third countries and international organisations working in the same field. The Group prepares a synthesis report on the state of play of research in the field of violent radicalisation.[2]

According to the Commission's Decision 'the members are appointed in a personal capacity and are required to advise the Commission independently of any outside influence'.[3] Despite this proviso however, the Expert Group has clearly been infiltrated by some of the dominant right-wing groups involved in terrorism research - particularly the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence.

The Group was succeeded by the European Network of Experts on Radicalisation (Also referred to in early mentions as the European Network of Experts on Violent Radicalisation) from 2009 and then the Radicalisation Awareness Network from 2011.

Members

The Commission initially refused to reveal the names of the members of the Group[4] but after further requests revealed in a letter[5] that the group includes the following individuals:

Michael Taarnby, Danish Institute for International Studies
Andrew Silke, honorary fellow at CSTPV
Magnus Ranstorp, ex member and Advisory council member CSTPV
Tore Bjørgo, Norwegian Police University College and Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
Fernando Reinares, chair, [6]
Farhad Khosrokhavar, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, France
Alex Schmid, CSTPV
Therease Delpech
Donatella della Porta
Ruediger Lohlker, Ecole des Hauntes Eyides en Sciences Sociales, France
Carlo Maria Panella
Gabriele Crespi
Gijs de Vries, Netherlands Institute of International Relations 'Clingendael', Netherlands
Rogelio Alonso, Universidad Rey Carlos, Spain
Rick Coolsaet, Ghent University, Belgium

John Horgan was also a member of the expert group during his time at CSTPV, but resigned his membership on 29 October 2007.[7] This is significant since his resignation occured at the same time as he left CSTPV (Horgan took up his new role as head of the International Center for the Study of Terrorism on 1 November[8]) suggesting that the CSTPV members' work in the Expert Group is based on their position at St. Andrews rather than being undertaken in their personal capacity as the university has maintained in response to requests for information. Peter Waldmann is also a former expert in the group.

The CSTPV claims that 'two staff members are serving' on the group,[9] but this is not the whole story as a further two members of the group are either on the CSTPV advisory council (Ranstorp - a former director of the centre) or an honorary fellow (Silke). This means that at least 20 per cent of the group is made up of 'experts' attached to the St Andrews centre.

Reports

  1. First report on the state of play of research in the field of radicalization and recruitment by the Expert Group on Violent Radicalisation
  2. Second report on manifestations, trends and dynamics of radicalisation processes by the Expert Group on Violent Radicalisation. [10]

'Radicalisation Processes Leading to Acts of Terrorism'

In response to the Commission's request for a report 'on the state of play of research in the field of radicalization and recruitment', the Expert Group put together a 'concise report' entitled 'Radicalisation Processes Leading to Acts of Terrorism'. The Group met twice in September 2006 and November 2007 to discuss the topic and prepare the report. The Group requested that the Commission should commission four background studies. These were:

  • Analysis of the sources of information used to indicate empirical facts on violent radicalisation, John Morrison (University of St Andrews, UK);
  • A review of recent academic literature on the subject of violent radicalisation, Dr Manuela Caiani (European University Institute, Italy);
  • Assessment of the link between external conflicts and violent radicalisation processes, Matenia Sirseloudi (University of Augsburg, Germany);
  • Analysis of security indicators, Jesús Javier Castán Areso

These then fed into the first report titled 'Radicalisation Processes Leading to Acts of Terrorism', submitted to the European commission on 15 May 2008.[11]

Resources

Commission Decision of 19 April 2006 setting up a group of experts to provide policy advice to the Commission on fighting violent radicalisation (2006/299/EC)

Notes

  1. Commission Decision of 19 April 2006 setting up a group of experts to provide policy advice to the Commission on fighting violent radicalisation (2006/299/EC)
  2. E01836, Expert Group on Violent Radicalisation EGVR European Commission > Secretariat general > Transparency > Register of expert groups > Search > Details of the group, accessed 8 May 2008
  3. Commission Decision of 19 April 2006 setting up a group of experts to provide policy advice to the Commission on fighting violent radicalisation (2006/299/EC)
  4. 'I regret to inform you that, due to the confidentiality of the discussions of this group, I cannot confirm you the names/ the dates of services of the members of this group.'Email From: Carmona Nunez Jesus [1] Sent: 08 May 2008 10:34 To: David Miller Cc: PRESSE CONSEIL Subject: Re:Expert Group on Violent Radicalisation
  5. Letter to David Miller from Joaquim Nunes De Almeida, Head of Unit D1: Fight Against terrorism; access to information, dated 24 June 2008
  6. Real Instituto Elcano Home>Who we are> Analysts, accessed 8 May 2008
  7. Letter to David Miller from Joaquim Nunes De Almeida, Head of Unit D1: Fight Against terrorism; access to information, dated 11 July 2008
  8. see Screen Grab of John Horgan's page at International Center for the Study of Terrorism, created 26 June 2008, 10:55:31
  9. Introduction to CSTPV, accessed 8 May 2008
  10. Commission Activities in the Fight against Terrorism MEMO/07/98 Brussels, 12 March 2007
  11. Radicalisation Processes Leading to Acts of Terrorism, A concise Report prepared by the European Commission's Expert Group on Violent Radicalisation submitted to the European Commission on 15 May 2008, Released under Access to documents rules, 24 July 2008