EU steps up support to prevent violent extremism, radicalization in Central Asia

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BISHKEK (TCA) — The European Commission has mobilized additional €4 million to prevent violent extremism and counter radicalization in Central Asia.

The European Commission has mobilized the new funding to support the media, civil society organizations, and active citizens in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan to prevent violent extremism and counter radicalization.

The new projects will support trainings and professionalization of local journalists, activists and press officers to produce high-quality content, while fact-checking platforms to flag fake news will be created. The action, through the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace, will also contribute to fighting disinformation, increasing resilience of local population and minorities, and developing counter-narratives.

The support announced on September 11 will consolidate and advance activities started through a previous collaboration with the NGO Internews, promoting regional collaboration and the co-production of content related to peace and stability. The September 11 conference at the European Endowment for Democracy in Brussels presented and showcased the main achievements and results of the first phase.

Very often, extremist groups use online channels to promote ideologies inciting society’s most vulnerable, including young people, to violence. This has resulted in the spread of disinformation and biased views on sensitive social, political and religious issues that can easily be exploited, the European Union External Action Service reported.

Against this backdrop, the EU-supported project ‘Contributing to stability and peace in Central Asia through media literacy, improved reporting and regional cooperation’ has sought to increase the capacity of local journalists, activists and press officers to produce high-quality content while encouraging a more critical reading of news.

More information is available here.

Sergey Kwan

TCA