Belgium, 21-22 June 2018: the second Study visit of the Project was held in Brussels. IES organized the event, which included also the launch of the Belgian Living Lab. The visit was focused on the Belgian CVE policies in the two specific contexts of schools and the Internet.

The second MINDb4ACT Study visit took place in Brussels, on the 21, 22th of June 2018. The event, hosted by the Belgian partner Vrije Universiteit Brussel Institute for European Studies (IES) and the European Foundation for Democracy served also as kick-off meeting for the Belgian Living Lab. The MINDb4ACT delegation together with representatives of grass-root organizations, policy-makers on the federal level, scholars and local administration took part in the two-day event. Participants discussed tools and policies applied by multi-spectral Belgian actors for prevention of radicalization and violent extremism on the Internet and in schools.

The program began with an introduction to MINDb4ACT and the Living Lab methodology. The participants then discussed the current state of the art in Belgian CVE policy, practitioners’ needs, and the integration of gendered approaches to CVE policy and practice. In the afternoon, participants were divided into two groups to conduct a policy simulation exercise, which helped practicing interagency collaboration and discussing problems in a real-world context. The first group was tasked to design a forum for information exchange between law enforcement and educators. The second group planned a state-driven media campaign to counter extremist propaganda with an alternative narrative. A presentation of the initiatives’ findings followed.

On the second day, the MINDB4ACT Delegation met with officials at the Brussels Observatory for Prevention and Security to discuss local implementation of the National Strategic Action Plan and other initiatives. Later that day, the Delegation met the advisor for the EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator at the Council of the European Union to discuss the role of the EU in countering radicalization and violent extremism as well as the communication with the EU Member States and the situation with Western Balkan states.

Through these meetings, the Delegation established links for future knowledge sharing and collaboration within the project thematic network of Living Labs.

The next activities for the Belgian Living Lab, among other, include: participation in the macro-survey, focus groups and the approbation of the online platform for the CVE Living Lab.