Reports 2016

Countering violent extremism in the Western Balkans and Turkey - What avenues for stronger EU-U.S. cooperation?

8 July 2016


Countering violent extremism is a complex challenge. In the long-term, it requires a multi-dimensional strategy combining security, societal and communication tools, both at home and in destination countries. In order to be effective, the U.S. and the EU therefore need to build lasting cooperation with other countries and areas of the world. This includes, most notably, the Western Balkans and Turkey, which are increasingly serving as a source and/or transit point for foreign fighters. What is the extent of the threat posed by violent extremism to the political and societal stability of the Western Balkans and Turkey? What financial and operational interlinkages exist between terrorism and organised crime in those countries? What is the state of play of U.S. and EU respective strategies of engagement towards source and transit regions beyond their borders, in particular the Western Balkans and Turkey? How can the EU-U.S. partnership fully exploit its high potential to ensure the security of key partner countries affected by the scourge of violent extremism?

Speakers included: Andrea Frontini, Policy Analyst at the European Policy Centre; Jeremy Shapiro, Research Director, European Council on Foreign Relations; Peter Spoor, Adviser to the EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator, Council of the European Union; Ruşen Çakır, Turkish Journalist and Author, Founder of medyascope.tv; Gjergji Vurmo, Programme Director, Institute for Democracy and Mediation, Albania