Meeting at the 3rd Summit of Mayors for the Alliance of European Cities against Violent Extremism in Barcelona, Spain, on 15 November 2017, 55 mayors and deputy mayors from 18 European countries adopted a declaration stressing the need to implement co-ordinated strategies at local and regional level.
Given the threat of growing extremism and the attacks perpetrated against individuals in towns and cities, the participants underlined that “violent extremism covers a lot more than just terrorism and is not primarily a religious issue.” Above all, this type of violence involves rejection of the very values and roots of democracy.
In the declaration, the participants undertook to redouble efforts in terms of prevention, in particular through intercultural and interfaith dialogue, the inclusion of all citizens and enhanced North-South co-operation at local and regional level.
The 3rd Summit of Mayors was held jointly by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe and the European Forum for Urban Security (Efus), in partnership with the City of Barcelona. It followed on from the summit in Rotterdam (Netherlands, November 2016) and the Conference of Local Authorities on the Prevention of Radicalisation Leading to Violent Extremism (Aarhus, Denmark, November 2015).
The Summit of Mayors is an event initiated under the Alliance of European Cities against Violent Extremism set up by the Congress and Efus in 2015, as well as the Council of Europe’s Action Plan on the fight against violent extremism and radicalisation leading to terrorism. It provides a European forum for sharing experience and information about promising practices and training programmes, and has previously produced the Rotterdam and Aarhus declarations.