EUKN Statement on Brussels terrorist attacks and cancelled event
A little over 24 hours ago, Brussels was hit by a dreadful attack as terrorists detonated several bombs at Brussels Airport and Maalbeek metro station, in the heart of the European District. Familiar places in a familiar city. These places shall now forever be connected to the 22nd of March 2016. The EUKN expresses its deepest sympathy to the relatives and friends of the victims of the tragic events.
Today, the 23rd of March, the EUKN had planned a Policy Lab with partners from Belgium, France and the Netherlands, at a venue very close to the Maalbeek metro station. The theme of the event was “Urban strategies to prevent radicalisation and extremism”. Obviously, we cancelled our event and decided to postpone it to a later date. Not only because of practical reasons but also because we would like to organise a profound debate on prevention and long-term solutions. This would not have been possible the day after an attack.
The events in Belgium show that radicalisation and extremism are not only a safety and security issue. It is an urban topic par excellence that requires profound reflection. The EUKN Scoping Paper on this page provides background info on the what we intended to discuss today.
Radicalisation and social exclusion are closely linked. There is a need for local authorities to cooperate with all urban actors to invest in a society that does not lead to radicalisation, where different groups in society can live respectfully of the diversity that make cities unique places to live, work and play.
The EUKN will contribute to inclusive cities and neighbourhoods by providing knowledge to its partners. The Policy Lab planned for today will take place later this year, probably before summer. In Brussels, in the heart of Europe. More detailed information will follow when available.
Photo by Jennifer Jacquemart