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Western Balkans Regional Hub: Multiagency Coordination on Preventing Hate, Extremism & Polarisation: Founding the Local Safety Council of the Municipality of Danilovgrad

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On 25 – 26 July 2023, the Strong Cities Network Western Balkans Regional Hub co-organised a workshop with the Municipality of Danilovgrad on multi-agency coordination to prevent and respond to hate, extremism and polarisation. The purpose of the event was to support the Mayor of Danilovgrad and the local government he leads in developing a Local Safety Council (LSC) dedicated to addressing threats to peace and security as well as safeguarding local democracy. The event brought together 20 municipal officials and civil society representatives from Danilovgrad as well as city practitioners from across the region to discuss the crucial components of operationalising an LSC.

Supported by the U.S. Department of State, the workshop drew insights from Strong Cities’ experiences and four municipalities form the region – Brčko District (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Novi Pazar (Serbia), Podgorica (Montenegro) and Strumica (North Macedonia) – that have developed mechanism for multi-agency coordination. The goal was to aid Danilovgrad in establishing an LSC that is tailored to the city’s needs and priorities. The Mayor of Danilovgrad emphasised how establishing an LSC was a demonstration of the vital role that cities can play in strengthening social cohesion and community resilience to extremist and hate-motivated violence through a human-rights compliant and whole-of-society approach.

Key workshop themes included mapping local threats and relevant stakeholders, considerations for operationalising an LSC, coordination among law enforcement, civil service, neighbouring municipalities and central authorities and identifying priority areas for the Council’s work. A Strong Cities representative with experience in multi-agency coordination facilitated the working sessions and consolidated participants’ feedback, which will inform the drafting of the LSC’s Action Plan.


Event Report