In the aftermath of the tragic events in Paris, Copenhagen and Tunis, today in Brussels the S&D Group in the European Parliament organised a high-level conference on violent extremism placing emphasis on de-radicalisation policies and preventive measures to fight intolerance and discrimination against minority communities.
Gianni Pittella, president of the S&D Group, said:
"After the last terrorist attacks, many have resorted to the false belief that the best way of fighting terrorism is to strengthen control over our borders and to tackle illegal migration. These are neither the real problems nor solutions.
"Our national security strategies must address the risks of radicalisation of vulnerable and marginalised people, strengthening integration and dialogue with third countries. Terrorist threats should be met with more democracy, not less!"
S&D vice-president Tanja Fajon added:
"Social relations between citizens with different backgrounds are becoming increasingly tense across Europe, as terrorists, racists and extremists spread their hate through violence and fear.
"Violent extremists and terrorists succeed when people start mistrusting each other because of social boundaries and stereotypes. To overcome this, we need to bolster the bridges of communication and trust within the European societies.
"Socialists and Democrats call all Europeans to stand up together with us against terror and hatred. We need to unite and promote our values of equality, inclusion, freedom, democracy, respect and tolerance".