“Collecting Data and Information on the Processes of Radicalisation in the EU”


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Excerpt from Tony Bunyan, “Intensive Surveillance of ‘Violent Radicalisation’ Extended to Embrace Suspected ‘Radicals’ from across the Political Spectrum; Targets Include: ‘Extreme Right/Left, Islamist, Nationalist, Anti-Globalisation Etc’,” Statewatch:

The document which the Council Conclusions are based is entitled: “Instrument for compiling data and information on violent radicalisation processes” (EU doc no: 7984/10 ADD 1).  For a new EU instrument to tackle those who promote terrorism it is strange to find only one reference to terrorism.  It is also odd that the terminology used flips between referring to “violent radicalisation” and “radicalisation” as if they are the same.

Moreover, the target for this new “instrument” is clearly not people or groups who have or are planning to commit terrorist acts nor those inciting terrorism, because both can be tackled under the criminal law (arrest, charge, sentence etc).

So what is the scope of the new instrument?  Annex 1 (p6) opens with:

“Description of ideology directly supporting violence 1. Spectrum in which the ideology is situated?”

The scope/targets are defined in Footnote 1 as:

“Extreme right/left, Islamist, nationalist, anti-globalisation etc.”

So the “instrument” is not primarily about people or groups intending to commit terrorist acts.  But rather directed at people and groups who hold radical views described as those propagating “RM” (radical messages).  This definition could include, for example, those who support liberation struggles in other countries.

See, also, Valentina Pop, “EU Instrument for Spying on ‘Radicals’ Causes Outrage” (EU Observer, 14 June 2010).

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