Flanders’ action plan against extremism approved

  • May 21, 2021

On May 21, the Government of Flanders approved the renewed action plan against extremism. “The new action plan focuses on all forms of violent radicalization. From religious extremism to right-wing extremism, online and offline. The local integrated security cells (LIVC) will be the linchpin of this policy ”, says Flemish Minister of Home Affairs Bart Somers.

The new action plan against extremism will take a broader approach. “We must focus on all forms of violent radicalization”, says Minister Somers, “figures from OCAD show that about 6 in 10 hate preachers can be labeled as Islamist-extremist, 3 in 10 on the right-extremist and 1 in 10 left-extremist. In 2018, 1 in 5 Flemish municipalities were confronted with extreme right-wing signals, today it appears to be 1 in 3. ”

In the future, there will also be more focus on online hate speech. "Freedom of expression remains the starting point," said the ministers, "but that does not mean that we should not develop a policy for the increasing influence of fake news and polarization on social media."

Local Integrated Security Cells

The Flemish cities and municipalities will assume a directing role in the implementation of this plan. Minister Bart Somers provides an extra two million euros per year for this. With the extra resources, local authorities can strengthen their LIVC operation, bring in more expertise, but also recruit a deradicalisation officer or structurally expand network moments with the police and associations.