The EU-funded project CHAMPIONs organized an international roundtable – the ‘Central and Eastern European Cities for Preventing Radicalisation’ Virtual Meeting, on 27 October 2020 with an exciting line-up:

first-hand narratives from the piloting of the CHAMPIONs model, and experiences of the project roundtable series in Cluj-Napoca (Romania), Budapest (Hungary), Dąbrowa Górnicza (Poland), and Berlin (Germany);

live demo of the CHAMPIONs online tools for cities and practitioners;

learning from the experiences of existing European platforms with guests from the Nordic Safe Cities and European Forum for Urban Security (EFUS);

exploring the creation of a Central and Eastern European Safe Cities Network.

The event brought together city representatives, NGOs, and first-line practitioners in a highly interactive discussion. Some insights are presented below:

Approaches towards PVE/CVE must above all be pragmatic and action oriented.

Long-term sustainability must be a priority as addressing radicalization is a long-term engagement

Trust-building is the foundation of all our effort.

The CHAMPIONs model is about creating further spaces for exchanges between practitioners, governments and municipalities, but also between the polarized groups.

There is space for the creation of a Central and Eastern European Safe Cities Network.

According to forum organizer, overall, it is not about miracles, but advancing with small steps with a long-term vision for a more inclusive society. Practitioners from different agencies should be brought together to bring forward ideas for policy and practice together.