Article 67(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) declares as the European Union’s objective ensuring a high level of security within an area of freedom, security and justice.
To achieve this objective, enhanced actions at European Union level should be taken to protect people and goods from increasingly transnational threats and to support the work carried out by Member States’ competent authorities. Terrorism, organised crime, itinerant crime, drug trafficking, corruption, cybercrime, trafficking in human beings and arms, inter alia, continue to challenge the internal security of the Union.
The Internal Security Strategy for the European Union (Internal Security Strategy), adopted by the Council in February 2010, constituted a shared agenda for tackling these common security challenges and identified the following relevant strategic objectives for 2010-2014: to disrupt international crime networks, to prevent terrorism and address radicalisation and recruitment, to raise levels of security for citizens and businesses in cyberspace and to increase Europe’s resilience in the face of crises and disasters.
To promote the implementation of the Internal Security Strategy and to ensure that it becomes an operational reality, the Internal Security Fund (ISF Police) was set up.
In April 2015 the European Commission adopted the European Agenda on Security for the coming five years, which builds on the actions undertaken under the previous Internal Security Strategy, thus ensuring consistent and continued action. The European Agenda on Security represents an effective and coordinated response at European level to new and complex threats and sets out how the European Union can bring added value to support the Member States in ensuring security. It has identified the following three priorities: tackling terrorism and preventing radicalisation, disrupting organised crime and fighting cybercrime.
On the basis of the European Agenda on Security, the Council adopted in June 2015 the renewed European Union Internal Security Strategy 2015-2020 confirming tackling and preventing terrorism, radicalisation to terrorism and recruitment as well as financing related to terrorism, preventing and fighting serious and organised crime and preventing and fighting cybercrime as the main priorities for European Union's actions.
Legal basis of ISF Police are the following regulations:
- Regulation (EU) No 513/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014 establishing the Instrument for financial support for police cooperation, preventing and combating crime, and crisis management (OJ L 150 of 20 May 2014);
- Regulation (EU) No 514/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014 laying down general provisions on the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund and on the instrument for financial support for police cooperation, preventing and combating crime, and crisis management (OJ L 150 of 20 May 2014).
The ISF Police Regulation sets out two specific objectives, respectively:
- (i) crime prevention, combating cross-border, serious and organised crime including terrorism, and reinforcing coordination and cooperation between law enforcement authorities and other national authorities of Member States, including with Europol or other relevant Union bodies, and with relevant third countries and international organisations;
- (ii) enhancing the capacity of Member States and the Union for managing effectively security-related risks and crises, and preparing for and protecting people and critical infrastructure against terrorist attacks and other security-related incidents.
In conformity with Regulation (EU) No 514/2014 Article 6.2, in order to implement the ISF Police, the Commission shall adopt a work programme. The 2020 annual work programme for Union actions and emergency assistance, which includes this call for proposals, is under finalisation. Therefore, this call is published subject to the adoption of the 2020 ISF-Police annual work programme including this call as foreseen and this call would be cancelled if this would not materialise. As soon as adopted, the 2020 ISF-Police annual work programme will be published online on the Migration and Home Affairs Europa website and on the Funding & tender opportunities website.
The rehabilitation of violent extremists and their reintegration into society has been a priority since the High Level Commission Expert Group on radicalisation presented its final report in May 2018.1 The report recognised that considering the increased number of terrorist convicts, including returning Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTFs) and in view of their eventual release, there is a need to further enhance Member States’ capacity to develop, implement and evaluate risk assessment tools and disengagement programmes to allow for targeted and effective rehabilitation and reintegration of terrorist offenders.
The Group recommended to develop exit programmes, rehabilitation activities and job training of prisoners and reintegration of (young) offenders. It further recommended training for judges and prosecutors as well as for prison and probation staff.
Against this background, the Steering Board on Radicalisation identified probation and rehabilitation as one of the strategic priorities for 2019 and 2020. Managing terrorist offenders and radicalised individuals, motivated by violent Islamist or right-wing ideology, confronts Member States with important challenges related to rehabilitation and reintegration and, in some cases, risk management. Such efforts require a multi-agency approach between prison and probation administrations, judicial authorities, police forces, local governments, social workers and other local actors, including local communities.
In this context, the work of the Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN) is of particular importance. The RAN brings together various activities sharing practices, recommendations and lessons learned among practitioners in dedicated expert meetings, One of the results of this work is the RAN Manual on “Rehabilitation of radicalised and terrorist offenders for first line practitioners” published in June 2020: https://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/what-we- do/networks/radicalisation_awareness_network/ran-papers/rehabilitation-manual_en.
The Manual offers guidance to practitioners and considers the specific challenges for rehabilitation, by radicalised and terrorist offender profiles, including returned male jihadist foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs), returned female jihadist FTFs, ‘regular’ offenders who become radicalised to Islamist extremism in prison as well as ‘home-grown’ violent right-wing extremists originating from a dominantly extremist community in a Member State.
Over the past years, several activities have been conducted concerning returning FTFs and their family members. “Returnees” has been identified as a priority by the EU MSs in the 2020 Strategic Orientations for prevent work2 and “Returning children and women” has been identified as one of the four “RAN Roadmaps” for 2020.
In recent years, RAN has actively discussed the challenges related to returnees through different Working Groups. Even after 2017, when the RAN Manual on Returnees was published, RAN has been asked to continue to work on the topic, given that still a high number of EU citizens who had left for Syria and Iraq, sooner or later would have returned.
In 2018 the High Level Commission Expert Group on Radicalisation identified child returnees and refugees from conflict zones, as well as detainees convicted for terrorism- related offences, as vulnerable categories who require appropriate preventive measures. In line with this indication, EU has brought together in the last two years practitioners and policy makers to exchange their views and experiences.
Several activities have been conducted also on returnees and convicted terrorist offenders. Key elements have been explored in the above mentioned different frameworks, like the challenges related to their release; the information management systems; the role of families and of local communities for their reintegration; the role of police on dealing with returnees in general, and with convicted returnees after their release more specifically.
The EU will continue to support in 2020 – and likely beyond – Member States in dealing with people who, either spontaneously or through repatriations, have already returned or will return from conflict zones. The EU support will mainly focus on facilitating exchanges among policy makers and practitioners, as well as supporting them in identifying best practices in order to allow them to reflect on the measures that need to be put in place in view of future returns.
In the Annual Work Programme, an important effort is foreseen to provide financial support to projects tackling radicalisation and developing effective responses and tools to prevent and counter all forms of radicalisation in priority areas highlighted in the annual Strategic Orientations on a coordinated EU approach to prevention of radicalisation, focusing on approaches for disengagement and reintegration of extremist offenders and radicalised individuals, including on returning foreign terrorist.
2. PRIORITIES OF THIS CALL FOR PROPOSALS
The present call for proposals aims at funding projects providing approaches for disengagement and reintegration of extremist offenders and radicalised individuals related to violent right wing and Islamist extremism, including returning foreign terrorist fighters and their families.
Project applications submitted under the present call for proposals must develop such approaches addressing both of the following sub-priorities:
1. strengthen the collaboration among stakeholders involved in disengagement and reintegration programmes, and
2. enhance the preparedness of stakeholders involved in disengagement and reintegration programmes
Proposals which match most closely these priorities will be evaluated as particularly relevant and will have a higher chance of being selected. Applicants are therefore invited to consider very carefully the links between their proposal and the priorities of the call.
Proposals focusing on
media campaigns with counter-narrative or alternative narrative;
research studies of the motivations of phenomena of polarisation and/or radicalisation;
For each sub-priority, projects must be aiming to achieve one or more of the following outcomes:
1. Strengthen the collaboration among stakeholders involved in disengagement and reintegration programmes:
• Designing and implementing collaboration models and protocols for disengagement and reintegration work addressed to violent right wing extremists,
• Designing and implementing collaboration models and protocols for disengagement and reintegration work addressed to Islamist extremists, including also foreign terrorist fighters and their family members (differentiating between men, women and children),
• Designing and implementing methods to assess the expertise and trustworthiness of non institutional partners (such as NGOs) in disengagement and reintegration programmes.
2. Enhance the preparedness of stakeholders involved in disengagement and reintegration programmes:
• Developing and rolling out train-the-trainer modules, - of the different professional profiles involved in disengagement and rehabilitation work within programmes addressed to violent right wing extremists,
• Developing and rolling out train-the-trainer modules - of the different professional profiles involved in disengagement and reintegration work within programmes addressed to Islamist extremists, including also foreign terrorist fighters and their family members (differentiating between men, women and children),
• Developing and rolling out risk assessment methods that could be used both during the implementation of disengagement and reintegration programmes and when these programmes have been concluded, addressing the risks posed by far right extremists and Islamist extremists, including also foreign terrorist fighters and their family members (differentiating between men, women and children).
The methods, models, protocols and modules developed under both the sub priorities above must be implementable in the different contexts of as many as possible EU Member States.
Applications should foresee a quantitative and qualitative evaluation of the reach and impact of actions proposed, accompanied by a set of lessons learned and good practices for future similar actions. Where appropriate the gender dimension of different interventions, approaches and tools should be taken into account.
Applications should demonstrate that proposals do not duplicate existing work, projects and initiatives, including the activities of the EU Radicalisation Awareness Network and that they are built on results, insights and tools of relevant existing projects (EU funded or not). A dissemination of the results of the projects should be proposed in particular through the RAN.
Where applicable the proposals should demonstrate how they will effectively build on the relevant previous or on-going EU funded projects, including but not limited to, under the Horizon 2020.
In addition to the regular dissemination activities of the projects’ outcomes, the Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs (DG HOME) would like to encourage more dialogue among the individual project beneficiaries and between the community of project beneficiaries, stakeholders and the Commission services. The aim is in particular to promote more interaction about innovation in project outputs and to increase visibility, learning effects and synergies. Moreover, DG HOME invites applicants to reflect on how to reinforce the communication, dissemination and visibility of the contents of their projects (outputs and outcomes). Applicants are therefore encouraged to earmark budget for networking activities in Brussels, as well as dissemination products supporting DG HOME’s communications efforts, such as factsheets, and to plan accordingly.
Any action under this call for proposals shall respect and shall be implemented in line with the rights and principles enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. Applications should pay appropriate attention to the effects of the project on individual rights and freedoms, as well as to possible remedies. In addition, any action under this call for proposals should comply with all relevant ethical principles and all applicable international, EU and national law on ethical issues while carrying out the project.
a) Publication of the call
23 July 2020
b) Deadline for submitting applications
24 November 2020 – 17:00 (Brussels Time)
c) Evaluation period
December 2020-April 2021
d) Information to applicants
e) Signature of grant agreement
f) Provisional starting date of the action
4. BUDGET AVAILABLE
The total budget earmarked for the co-financing of projects under this call for proposals is estimated at EUR 4 000 000.
The Commission reserves the right not to distribute all the funds available.
5. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA
5.1. General provisions (admissibility)
Applications must be:
- sent no later than the deadline for submitting applications referred to in section 3;
- submitted using the Electronic Submission System of the Funding and Tender Opportunities Portal3;
- submitted using the standard Submission Form Part A and Part B of the respective call for proposals. The template for Part B shall not be customised, i.e. keep all its foreseen sections (even if not relevant for your proposal), and without deleting
instructions or changing the font. They must include all the mandatory information and be accompanied (if applicable4) by the audit report annexes;
- drafted in one of the EU official languages. English is preferred in order to speed up the evaluation procedure.
Failure to comply with these requirements will lead to the rejection of the application.
5.2. Eligibility criteria
5.2.1. Eligibility of the applicants and co-applicants
All the applicants and co-applicants must fulfil the following eligibility requirements for applications to be eligible. To prove these eligibility requirements, applicants and co- applicants will have to provide the relevant information and upload necessary documents showing their legal status in the Participant Register.
a) Legal Status
The following entities can apply as lead applicants and co-applicants:
- public bodies;
- non-profit-making private entities.
The following entities can only apply as co-applicants:
- profit making entities;
- international organisations5;
- entities established in the Western Balkans partners (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo6, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia).
The following are not eligible, neither as applicants nor as co-applicants:
- Union Agencies;
- natural persons.
Affiliated entities, i.e. legal entities having a legal or capital link with applicants, shall take part in the action as individual co-applicants in order to declare eligible costs unless they are affiliated to a public body.
b) Country of establishment
With the exception of international organisations:
4 See section 7.1
5 The term "international organisations" is used in this call for proposals as defined in Article 156 of the FR (Euratom 2018/1046);
(a) international public-sector organisations set up by intergovernmental agreements, and specialised
agencies set up by such organisations;
(b) the International Committee of the Red Cross;
(d) other non-profit organisations assimilated to international organisations by a Commission decision.
- Co-applicants must be established in the following countries to be eligible:
o the Member States of the European Union with the exception of Denmark
(“Member States participating in the ISF Police instrument”),
o the Western Balkans partners (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo7, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia).
International organisations can be established outside the above-mentioned countries.
For UK applicants: Please note that the United Kingdom is not bound by Regulation (EU) No. 513/2014 establishing the ISF Police instrument and its implementing decisions and UK entities are therefore not eligible to participate under this call.
5.2.2. Eligibility of the application In order to be eligible, applications:
The following types of activities are eligible under this call for proposals:
(a) activities that are supporting the exchange on effective and innovative approaches and practices, including, where appropriate, activities to foster networking, public-private partnerships, mutual confidence, understanding and learning, exchange programmes, seminars and workshops;
(b) activities that are enhancing awareness of Union policies and priorities listed under point 2 among stakeholders and, where relevant, the general public, including, where appropriate, the organisation of events such as conferences, seminars, debates, workshops and facilitating a better dissemination and awareness of also relevant policies and actions at national level;
(c) activities that are supporting the development and the dissemination of new models and methods with a significant transferability to other Member States, including,
In case the co-applicant is an international organisation established in an EU Member State (participating in the ISF Police instrument), the other co-applicants need to be established in a different EU Member State (participating in the ISF Police instrument) than the international organisation. In case the co-applicant is an international organisation established outside the EU, at least three other co-applicants established in three different EU Member States (participating in the ISF Police instrument) are required.
activities aiming at testing and validating the outcome of Union funded security research projects;
(d) the development and/or the implementation trainings, including tools/toolkits or (e- learning materials;
(e) sharing lessons learned and good practices within the Radicalisation Awareness Network;
(f) the management of the project, including monitoring and evaluation of its activities.