Polarisation and extremism have historically been critical security threats to communities in the Balkans. North Macedonia is no exception. SCN Manager Simeon Dukic describes how one city has implemented its new Local Action Plan to help address these threats and outlines how other cities can take a similar leap.
One of the most significant challenges in preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE) is the sharing of information, resources, expertise and strategies. The lack of proper channels of communication, shared goals and informal spaces to discuss exchanges of ideas can breed mistrust and isolationism.
To encourage the breaking down of these barriers, the Strong Cities Network (SCN) has conducted a series of city exchanges between its members. In this article, Local Prevention Coordinator Veton Latifi outlines their purpose and describes the latest (and first) city exchange to take place in the Western Balkans.
In 2017, the SCN launched an innovative and radical experiment in the Middle East – to bring local community actors together to drive efforts to help prevent violent extremism. This novel approach proved enormously successful, with six Local Prevention Networks (LPNs) launched across Lebanon and Jordan.
Today, we are proud to announce that this model is being expanded to the Western Balkans in the North Macedonian city of Kumanovo.