EU/CoE HELP Project ‘Radicalisation Prevention, Judicial Response to Terrorism & International Cooperation in Criminal Matters’ (HELP RP-TERR-ICCM)

Cross-border crime, risks to public security and the rise of radicalisation leading to violent extremism and terrorism in the EU Member States continue to occur, alongside violations of fundamental rights. The increasingly open area of free movement could be abused by criminals (including terrorists) to pursue their objectives. The criminal justice response to these phenomena must be enhanced.

The European Union (EU) and the Council of Europe (CoE) work together in the area of criminal matters. Considering the global nature of cross-border crime, an effective response to such a challenge, while respecting human rights and allowing citizens to live in an area of freedom, security and justice, requires intense international cooperation. In this regard, it is essential to improve the coordination of investigations and prosecutions and the cooperation between the competent authorities in the Member States, particularly by facilitating the execution of international mutual legal assistance requests and the implementation of extradition requests.

The Council of Europe (CoE) Programme for Human Rights Education for Legal Professionals (HELP) aims at supporting CoE Member States in implementing European human rights standards (CoE and EU) at national level, by raising the capacities of legal professionals to apply those instruments in their daily work.

The HELP Project ‘Radicalisation Prevention, Judicial Response to Terrorism & International Cooperation in Criminal Matters’ (HELP RP-TERR-ICCM) is funded by the European Union and implemented by the Council of Europe through its HELP Programme in partnership with the Confederation of European Probation (CEP).

The project’s main objective is to improve justice cooperation in criminal matters and to contribute to the effective and coherent application of related European instruments through increasing capacities and mutual trust of justice practitioners. The emphasis is on transnational cooperation and the following priorities: mutual recognition of instruments; judicial responses to terrorism, notably on reinforcing the prevention of radicalisation, especially in prisons; issues related to pre-trial detention, in particular raising awareness of case law of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR); the functioning of European and other international Treaties/legal instruments on international co-operation in criminal matters.

This two-year project supports EU criminal justice systems via (i) the development and implementation in targeted EU countries of a series of cross-border seminars and ii) a high- level conference promoting mutual learning. These events will provide a unique opportunity for justice professionals to exchange experiences and best practices with a multi-agency and transnational approach.

In addition, the project will benefit from existing HELP online courses on ‘radicalisation prevention’, ‘international cooperation in criminal matters’, ‘procedural safeguards in criminal proceedings and victims’ rights’ and ‘CPT (Committee for the Prevention of Torture) Standards’ among others.

In November 2020 CEP organized its first international seminar in the framework of this project, more information can be found here

In December 2021 a second event took place, face-to-face in Barcelona, more information can be found here.

In 2022 CEP launched a series of 8 vodcasts – online video interviews with experts working in the field of deradicalization and rehabilitation in Europe. They are created by Mr. Robert Örell (co-chair EU RAN Rehabilitation Working Group, Sweden) and Prof. Ioan Durnescu (University of Bucharest, Romania) in cooperation with CEP.

  • Spiros Papadopoulos, Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism expert within the Austrian probation service and project manager at NEUSART KOMPASS, Austria.
  • Liesbeth van der Heide, Researcher and lecturer at Leiden University, the Netherlands.
  • Tina Mykkänen, International Consultant, P/CVE and CT Expert.
  • Maarten van de Donk, Expert of RADAR, working for Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN).
  • Marc Hecker, Director of Research and Communications, French Institute for International Relations.
  • Elvar Jonsson, Program Educator, Entré program Sweden.
  • Pedro Liberado, Chief Research Officer & Head of Radicalisation, Violent Extremism and organisied crime at Innovative Prison Systems (IPS).
  • Torben Adams, Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Officer UNODC Vienna.

On 30 March 2022 CEP organized its third seminar in the framework of the HELP project, this time in Cologne, Germany. This last seminar was focused on radicalization and rehabilitation after the release from prison. More information can be found here

On 12 May 2022 CEP Secretary General Mr. Willem van der Brugge and CEP Policy Officer Ms Mirka Jakesova participated in the final seminar ‘Strengthening EU criminal justice systems’: Project impact & Success stories. The aim of the seminar was to examine the results of the EU-CoE project HELP RP-TERR-ICCM and offer an opportunity to hear success stories from some of the participating institutions, professions and countries who will explain the project’s impact at national level. CEP as a partner to the project presented on the implementation and results within the project. For more information please see here.

For the project website, click here.

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