In Europe today there are a wide range of situations and circumstances where extremist narratives have emerged as powerful and destructive tools used by religious fanatics, terrorists and those espousing radical political views to radicalize vulnerable youth. Indeed, it is clear that the range of situations and circumstances where radicalization can occur increases with every economic downturn; every incident of racial hatred or homophobic abuse; every new migrant or refugee crisis.
The CONCORDIA Project consortium comprises 8 partners representing 8 Member States. It is led by Jugendförderverein Parchim/Lübz e.V. from Germany who are supported by Asociatia pentru Educatie si Dezvoltare Durabila from Romania; Die Kärntner Volkshochschulen from Austria; Centrum inspirace from the Czech Republic; Future In Perspective from Ireland; Etudes Et Chantiers Corsica from France; SYNTHESIS Centre for Research and Education from Cyprus and Innoventum Oy from Finland.
While it is widely accepted that teenage years can be a particularly hard time for some young people in the vast majority of cases issues that arise are of a transient nature and the young people in question with appropriate supports successfully negotiate the pitfalls. For a small minority these challenges persist and are often further exacerbated by a lack of positive role models and feelings of alienation from their peer group. For this cohort of vulnerable youth the path to an inclusive and rewarding life can be somewhat obscured. Educational under-achievement most often leads to social exclusion and multi-faceted disadvantage and in a small number of cases young adolescents on the margins of society and economy are being attracted to extremist groups enticed by the false promises of Neo-Nazi or “Islamic State” ideologies.