EU pledges €5 million to help UAE fight violent extremism
ABU DHABI // The European Union has pledged €5 million to the UAE’s battle against violent extremism, calling the country a valuable partner in the fight against the global threat.
Marcus Cornaro, deputy director general of development and cooperation at the European Commission, made the announcement at the Countering Violent Extremism Expo in Abu Dhabi.
Mr Cornaro said the main aim of his visit was to increase efforts in preventing terrorism by focusing on communication.
“You need to communicate the risks involved if isolated strands become radicalised, and I think we share with the UAE the analysis that part of that risk can be overcome by engaging in a more inclusive policy,” he said.
“Second, if you reach out and communicate you have the opportunity to better identify remaining risks and have a focused vigilance around that issue.
“Third, it is clear that this is not a national phenomenon but it has a lot of regional elements that can only be capitalised upon through outreach, communication, coordination and collaboration.”
“EU and UAE cooperation on counter-terrorism have progressed considerably in recent years, in particular an agreement to hold annual political counter-terrorism dialogues.”
During the expo organised by the Hedayah Centre, the capital’s body dedicated to countering extremism, Mr Cornaro discussed ways to prevent political radicalisation leading to terrorism.
“We are in the process of finalising our EU support to the Hedayah Centre which we see as a valuable partner,” he said.
“Our support will also enable grassroots organisations around the world to define their own initiatives and develop their own approaches against the threat posed by radicalisation and terrorism.”
Mr Cornaro said the EU also aimed for closer cooperation with the UAE in areas including the fight against piracy, and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) risk management.
In June, the EU Centre of Excellence in Abu Dhabi was opened to encourage cross-border cooperation between Arabian Gulf countries for an incident response strategy to help ensure the region’s readiness to tackle CBRN incidents.
Mr Cornaro said the UAE had been active regionally and globally in fields of potential cooperation with the EU, including energy, environment and climate change.
Published: December 11, 2014 04:00 AM