“Towards an alliance of European cities against violent extremism”
Conference of Local Authorities on the Prevention of Radicalisation Leading to Violent Extremism

Aarhus, Denmark, 18 November 2015


We, mayors and representatives of cities and regions from 22 European countries meeting in Aarhus, Denmark, at the initiative of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, the European Forum for Urban Security and the cities of Rotterdam and Aarhus,

Shocked by the monstrous attacks that took place in Paris on Friday, 13 November 2015, which have come in the wake of numerous terrorist acts all over Europe and beyond,

Aware of the serious threats posed by radicalisation leading to violent extremism to our societies and to their proper democratic functioning with full respect of human rights,

Convinced that the fight against these threats must be conducted at all levels of government be they European, national, regional or local:

-       emphasise that local authorities have a key role to play, through their huge network of millions of local elected representatives;

-       stress that this unique network of elected representatives can contribute, through its members’ knowledge of their area and population, to an early warning system for any drift towards radicalisation;

-       ask national authorities to systematically include local decision makers in the drawing up and implementation of strategies that are being developed at European and national levels;

-       commit themselves to adopting integrated approaches at local level in order to ensure that all stakeholders: civil society, faith-based organizations, social, educational, security and justice services are involved;

-       endorse the proposal to launch an alliance of cities for the prevention of radicalisation leading to violent extremism;

-       in this perspective, suggest to develop capacity-building activities and to underpin this network by establishing a digital platform to exchange the initiatives, experiences and resources that are already in place for the fight against radicalisation;

-       decide to pursue this initiative and therefore invite local elected representatives to meet in Rotterdam in 2016 in the context of a European summit of mayors.