Since December 2018, the European Commission has been funding campaign projects to promote alternative narratives and to empower credible voices - as part of the EU Internet Forum and under the Civil Society Empowerment Programme (CSEP). Civil society organisations (CSOs) are developing campaigns to counter polarisation and radicalisation online.

During the CSEP meeting held in Brussels on 30-31 January 2019, representatives of multiple CSOs from across Europe met with representatives of EU member states, as well as social media companies and online campaign experts. More than 70 project partners came from all over the EU, namely Austria, Belgium, Bosnia, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain and the Netherlands. While the overarching aim of this event was to help initiate the projects, participants also heard from experts who explained how to face various challenges while designing and implementing online campaigns.

The ARMOUR project is also campaigning against radicalisation by strengthening resilience of individuals, communities and vulnerable groups (such as children, youth, etc.) to polarisation, and promoting interaction and cooperation between different local actors from public sectors, i.e. law enforcement, social services, etc., that specialise in working with vulnerable groups in preventing extremism through development of cooperation models. The ARMOUR Toolkit takes the form of experimental laboratories which together work towards strengthening individual capacity to resist push and pull factors of radicalization; creating community empowerment and resilience to social polarization and violent extremism and assisting states deploy proportional responses against provocations and latent conflicts. Stay tune for the ARMOUR advances in civil society empowerment!

Sources: Radicalization Awareness Network, ARMOUR Project