In Europe today there are a wide range of situations and circumstances where extremist narratives have emerged as powerful and destructive tools used by religious fanatics, terrorists and those espousing radical political views to radicalize vulnerable youth. Indeed, it is clear that the range of situations and circumstances where radicalization can occur increases with every economic downturn; every incident of racial hatred or homophobic abuse; every new migrant or refugee crisis.

The CONCORDIA Project consortium comprises 8 partners representing 8 Member States. It is led by Jugendförderverein Parchim/Lübz e.V. from Germany who are supported by Asociatia pentru Educatie si Dezvoltare Durabila from Romania; Die Kärntner Volkshochschulen from Austria; Centrum inspirace from the Czech Republic; Future In Perspective from Ireland; Etudes Et Chantiers Corsica from France; SYNTHESIS Centre for Research and Education from Cyprus and Innoventum Oy from Finland.

While it is widely accepted that teenage years can be a particularly hard time for some young people in the vast majority of cases issues that arise are of a transient nature and the young people in question with appropriate supports successfully negotiate the pitfalls. For a small minority these challenges persist and are often further exacerbated by a lack of positive role models and feelings of alienation from their peer group. For this cohort of vulnerable youth the path to an inclusive and rewarding life can be somewhat obscured. Educational under-achievement most often leads to social exclusion and multi-faceted disadvantage and in a small number of cases young adolescents on the margins of society and economy are being attracted to extremist groups enticed by the false promises of Neo-Nazi or “Islamic State” ideologies.

The Radicalization Awareness Network (RAN) of the European Commission is unequivocal that fighting terrorism and violent extremism is not only a question of applying additional security measures. It also demands that authorities develop interventions to stop people from getting involved in violent extremist activities in the first place, or to convince them to turn away from violence promoting ideologies. Supporting those front-line professionals who are working with vulnerable youth to reduce the impact of violent extremism is key. In the words of Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs “no country is spared from the scourge of violent extremism but still far too few EU Member States are facing up to this rising threat. We need strong, preventive measures to counter extremism in all its forms”.

Social networking sites are the new 'street corners' where young people 'hang out' and there is an emerging 'virtual world' culture throughout Europe as the numbers of citizens engaged in on-line virtual communities expands. Problems that exist in the real world; bullying; racism; xenophobia; stigmatizing; etc. are rampant in virtual settings and continue to grow exponentially. The Internet is like a modern day “Wild West” where any sort of behaviour or activity is plausible and present. Within this virtual cosmos there are growing sections that have been colonized by political and quasi-religious fanatics with vulnerable European youth their target audience. Front-liners need the tools, resources and training if they are to repel this advancing menace.

The battle for the hearts and minds of young people today needs to be fought simultaneously on multiple levels in real and virtual environments in every country in Europe and all professionals working to support vulnerable youth need innovative continuous professional development training and media rich resources if they are to successfully address the growing incidence of radicalization among the indigenous, migrant and growing refugee youth communities of Europe.

Project outputs


Summary Research Report


Training Curriculum


Media Content Tool-kit


E-learning Portal


On-line Observatory


Policy Paper