EU Internet Forum: Civil Society Empowerment Programme by RAN

Link to REACH Alliance on CSEP 

REACH Alliance GN gratefully accepts the invitation to join the CSEP Network by RAN.

As foreseen under the European Agenda on Security, the European Commission created the EU Internet Forum in December 2015 to serve as a platform to address terrorists’ use of the internet and social media. The EU Internet Forum’s objectives focus on reducing accessibility to terrorist material online as well as empowering civil society partners to challenge effectively the terrorist narrative online.

The CSEP aims at harnessing the positive power and the tremendous reach the Internet has, so as to provide alternatives to the presence of violent extremist and terrorist oratory online. Civil society is in need of massive support to produce and distribute effectively, moderate voices, alternative narratives and thereby building resilience.

An EU-wide Civil Society Empowerment Programme, coordinated by the RAN Centre of Excellence (RAN CoE) together with industry and civil society partners across Member States, will provide training, technical support and analyses of the effectiveness of counter narrative campaigns to achieve such much needed support.

What is the CSEP?

The Civil Society Empowerment Programme supports civil society, grass roots organisations and credible voices.

Using the positive power and tremendous reach of the internet, it empowers these different groups to provide effective alternatives to the messages coming from violent extremists and terrorists, as well as ideas that counter extremist and terrorist propaganda.

The Civil Society Empowerment Programme is an initiative under the umbrella of the EU Internet Forum, which was launched in 2015 by Dimitris Avramopoulos, Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, to tackle terrorist content online.

Why the need for CSEP?

Terrorist and extremist groups are very successful in capitalising on technology and social media to spread their propaganda, and to radicalise and recruit supporters.

Many civil society organizations are already active in providing alternative narratives and sharing moderate voices. But they often lack the capacity and / or resources to produce and disseminate these messages effectively online. With the CSEP, support will be provided by providing training, funding campaigns, sharing of knowledge and expertise for the development of impactful campaigns as well as an evaluation of the effectiveness of the CSEP.

How does CSEP helps?

Through the Civil Society Empowerment Programme, the EU is committed to capacity building, training, partnering civil society organisations with internet and social media companies, and supporting campaigns designed to reach vulnerable individuals and those at risk of radicalisation and recruitment by extremists.

A training programme was rolled out across Europe for civil society organisations in 2017, providing participants with the skills needed to design and implement an effective, convincing and credible online campaign, and to ensure it reaches the target audience. The training material is available online.

The Civil Society Empowerment Programme (CSEP) database lists organisations campaigning in some way against radicalisation and violent extremism. By registering your details in this database, you are joining the CSEP network.

Anyone may consult the database to find potential partners for funding opportunities at regional, national, EU or international level. If you intend to submit a proposal in response to the CSEP call for proposals, you need to be registered in this network in order to have your proposal considered.

Browsing the database may also inspire people to see how other organisations are engaging in alternative and counter-narrative campaigns.

Please click the Link to know more or to join the Civil Society Empowerment Programme network.

CSEP is coordinated by the RAN Centre of Excellence, which is funded by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs. The programme also brings together the European Strategic Communications Network and internet industry partners. (  )