Bucharest, Romania

The focus groups under Work Package 2 'Mapping challenges, needs, innovative solutions required in the process of prevention and de-radicalization' were carried-out with participation of first-line practitioners, including academia representatives, educators, youth workers, social services and specialist professionals working with youth and child as psychologists, minor’s services and LEAs. The group discussions were designed around three different dimensions: religious-inspired extremism; right-wing extremism with a specific focus on Islamophobia, hate and anti-immigrant crimes; and left-wing extremism with a special focus on anarchist, animal rights, environmentalist and separatist ideologies.

The ARMOUR Focus Group in Romania was held on 11 June 2019 and was hosted by our partner “Mihai Viteazul” National Intelligence Academy (MVNIA).

Sixteen first-line practitioners attended the focus group.

As per methodology the meeting started with a semi structured discussion on radicalization and the understanding of violent extremism, in order to identify and communicate radicalization cases and tools towards designing a specific program for effective prevention and intervention with young people and minors. The discussion went through the factors, drivers and key elements for each of the three types of ideologies (religious-inspired, right-wing and left-wing extremism), as well as through the existing protocols, programs, strategies and policies the practitioners faced in their work.

The discussions highlighted the idea that education and instruction (to parents, teachers and children) are the base in preventing radicalization. The participants put emphasis on the practitioners’ skills to be good observers to understand the children’s/youths’ needs and to know various and persuasive techniques. Another important aspect is the possession of multi-disciplinary knowledge in psychology, history and religion, in order to identify signs of radicalization or work on the de-radicalization process.