19 November 2015 - 14.00-15.30 - Room 5, Palais de l'Europe, Interpretation: FR/EN - Sponsored by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe


Communities that marginalise their immigrant populations risk radicalising the most vulnerable elements, and also miss out on the many opportunities that come when all community members feel welcome. How can societies fully leverage the potential of diversity and benefit from the entrepreneurship, creativity and variety of skills associated with migration? This lab addresses new strategies to prevent radicalisation and to improve outcomes for all residents by more successfully integrating migrants into society.

Initiative 1

Preventing radicalization and violent extremism in Aarhus, Denmark

The essence of the Aarhus model is preventing radicalisation by working with at-risk citizens to improve their possibilities for inclusion in society and to help them develop better life skills.  Work in this area began in 2007 with the aim to prevent radicalization - political as well as religious. It is a collaboration between the East Jutland Police and the Aarhus Municipality, and is a supplement to the existing crime prevention efforts. In this initiative, prevention of radicalization is seen as crime-prevention, demanding of the authorities that they can navigate between the citizen’s constitutional right to political and religious activism and the penal codes regulations on the means. The initiative deals with early prevention of radicalization, both for groups and individuals through various methods, which will be examined in this lab.


Mr Sten SORENSEN, Denmark, Deputy Chief Superintendent, Head of Crime Prevention Unit, East Jutland Police, Danish National Police

Mr Sorensen has 27 years of service with the Danish National Police. The last 10 years he has been working in the East Jutland Police District. Other than head of Crime Prevention Unit, he is the Head of Grenaa Local Police and the Head of the Aliens Department. From 2012 to 2013, he was Head of the Danish Police Mission in Afghanistan. He mentored the District Chief of Police in Gereshk, Helmand. My main task was to mentor the cooperation from province to district level, the cooperation between the Chief of Police, the District Governor and the Afghan military in the area. In 2011 and 2012, Mr Sorensen was Head of the Danish Police Mission in Iraq, working as mentor for the leaders of the Iraqi Police Academy.

Initiative 2

The Welcoming approach to community development

Nashville is an American city that rejected the temptation to marginalize its growing immigrant population. Led by a visionary Mayor, and a non-profit and business community that saw the potential inherent in its rapidly growing immigrant community, Nashville has shaped itself into one of the most welcoming cities in the United States. As a result of these efforts, Nashville has benefited economically, and the immigrant community - including a sizable Muslim population - has made its way into the mainstream. 


Ms Rachel PERIC, USA, Deputy Director of Welcoming America

Rachel Peric is the Deputy Director of Welcoming America, an organization based in the United States that leads a movement of communities achieving prosperity by becoming more welcoming toward immigrants and all residents. Previously, she served as Executive Director of the Montgomery Coalition for Adult English Literacy, as a Regional Director with the United Way of the National Capital Area and managing international development programs with Management Systems International (MSI).  Ms. Peric holds a BA in International Studies from Johns Hopkins University and a Masters in Public Management from the University of Maryland.


Discussants are invited to take part in the Labs in order to share their experience with the presented democratic initiatives and try to bring broader perspectives to the following discussions.

Mr Karl DEAN, USA, Former Mayor of Nashville

Karl Dean was the sixth mayor of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County. He was elected on Sept. 11, 2007, and was re-elected on Aug. 4, 2011. Dean’s priorities were improving schools, making neighborhoods safer and bringing more and better jobs to Nashville. He also worked to sustain and improve Nashville's high quality of life through numerous initiatives that promoted health, sustainability and volunteerism. Dean first held public office when he was elected as Nashville’s Public Defender in 1990, a post he was re-elected to in 1994 and 1998. He served as Metro Law Director from 1999 to January 2007, when he resigned to run for the office of mayor. Dean completed the program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard in 1999. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Vanderbilt.

Mr Leen VERBEEK, Netherlands, King’s Commissioner of the Province of Flevoland and Vice-President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe.

Leen Verbeek is King’s Commissioner of the Province of Flevoland, Netherlands, and Vice-President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe. He is actively engaged in the promotion of democracy and human rights on a local and regional level throughout Europe. As thematic rapporteur on the fight against radicalization he has presented a report on guidelines for local and regional authorities on the prevention of radicalization.  Verbeek is also co-founder and chairperson of the International Tree Fund, which carries out rural development projects in Latin America.


Ms Jocelyne CABALLERO, France, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of France to the Council of Europe

Jocelyne Caballero is Ambassador and Permanent Representative of France to the Council of Europe since September 2013. Based in Paris from 2010 to 2013, she was Special Representative to coordinate the international fight against maritime piracy (Strategic Affairs, Security and Disarmament). Before that, she has been Deputy Director of Multilateral Affairs and Sector Cooperation in the context of Security Cooperation and Defence from 2009-2010. From 2005 to 2008, she has been Consul General in Antwerp, the Netherlands. During her career at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, she has also been based in Bujumbura (Burundi), Quebec (Canada), as well as in Mainz and Bonn (Germany).



Lab 12 - Countering radicalisation
Palais de l'Europe - Room 5 19 Nov., 14.00-15.30
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Challenges 2015