European Fair Skills

Exchanging good practices in community-embedded prevention of group hate and violent right-wing extremism – in Central and Eastern Europe

In the last decade, the NGO Cultures Interactive (CI) has developed and tested many concepts of community-embedded prevention work – mostly in Eastern Germany and neighbouring countries – comprising formats, such as workshops with young people, further training for education professionals, or advising and coaching local civil society, political actors and administration. In order to act sustainably against group-focused enmity, hate crime and violent extremism a holistic community approach as well as offers tailored to different stakeholders are required.

During its involvement with the European Commission’s Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN), CI came into contact with many prevention work practitioners from across Europe. It was made clear that, until now, prevention work has been particularly underdeveloped in Central and East European countries even though discriminatory attitudes have strongly taken hold in significant parts of these societies, which is reflected, for instance, in the presence and impact of organised militant right-wing groups, anti-Semitic rhetoric, violence motivated by homophobia or attacks on Roma settlements.

Against this backdrop, CI developed and implemented the two year project European Fair Skills from January 2015 to March 2017, in close cooperation with its NGO Ratolest and Eruditio Publica in the Czech Republic, Kontiki Szakképző and Foresee Institute in Hungary, and REACH – Research an Education Institute and Centre for Community Organizing in Slovakia.

The project aimed at transferring, testing and modifying a combination of a number of CI’s good-practice approaches: 

  • Fair Skills: training for trainers of civic education, pedagogues and youth cultural actors to become (peer) facilitators of human rights-based youth cultural workshops with young people
  • Locally Embedded Deradicalisation Training (LocalDerad): advanced training for multipliers and stakeholders on how to effectively practice primary and secondary prevention of group hatred and right-wing extremism among young people in their respective work environments.
  • Round tables: set up a local network of key stakeholders who are relevant for the prevention of group-hatred and right-wing extremism (social and youth work, government, administration, civil society, schools, prison and probation, police, etc.)

Furthermore, project partner Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES) contributed methods of disengagement mentorship from its recent Federal Model Project ‘Exit to Enter’ leading up to building the German Association of Exit Practitioners. The FES also advances international networking on deradicalisation and prevention of violent extremism.