Building on the expertise of successful cities such as our President Bart Somers’ city of Mechelen, the European Commission and European Committee of the Regions are collaborating to foster exchanges among cities to identify effective and transferable approaches. In this context, European Commissioner Julian King supports Bart Somers’ push for a European network of cities for the prevention of radicalisation.

Preventing radicalisation is nothing new to Bart Somers, Mayor of Mechelen. His successful policies received wide acclaim across Europe and beyond. He argues that “prevention of radicalisation is always better than deradicalisation”:

A “Covenant of Cities” for prevention of radicalisation

During the EU Cities against Radicalisation Conference in Brussels, European Commissioner for the Security Union Julian King came out in support of Bart Somers’ en Beatriz Becerra MEP push for a European Covenant of Cities for the prevention of radicalisation. They agreed there is a need for a higher level of engagement and want to build this network to promote regular, structured contacts & approaches to tackle radicalisation.

The city of Mechelen can be a great example in such an network for other cities as it has a strong track record in fighting radicalisation. A lot of cities already came to study the “Mechelen model” – last month (January 2019) alone, three capitals cities (Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Berlin had delegations visiting Mechelen.

Watch Bart Somers explain the concept of the network and how Mechelen can play an important role:


<brThe conference “EU Cities Against Radicalisation” took place in the European Committee of the Regions on 26 February 2018, gathering about 150 participants from the European institutions, European Parliament with Beatriz Becerra MEP, national policy makers, organisations and initiatives such as the Radicalisation Awareness Network, council of Europe,… and representatives of EU cities such as Mayor of Mechelen Bart Somers, but also the Mayor of Brussels, Vilvoorde, Copenhagen,…