Maja Halilovic-Pastuovic, Research Professor at Trinity College Dublin and Coordinator of GEMS project, and Bledar Feta, Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Macedonia, and P/CVE researcher at GEMS’s research team of ELIAMEP participated to the Community of European Research and Innovation for Security (CERIS) Annual Event which was organized by the European Commissions’ DG Home in Brussels between 14 and 15 December 2023.

This event brought together security research practitioners, policymakers, civil society representatives and law enforcement authorities to discuss latest insights and lessons learned from ongoing EU-funded projects. The establishment of more robust data ecosystems and the difficulties that NGOs and CSOs faces in participating in security research consortia were two of the main topics discussed among the participants during this two-day event. More concretely, the first day of the event was dedicated to the exploration of concerns that challenge effective access to high quality and quantity of domain-specific research data, and provided possible solutions, whereas the second day of the event focused on the possible challenges from NGO/CSOs to participate in security research consortia and proposed feasible solutions to galvanize greater diversity in the future consortia.

The GEMS team participated in a panel alongside of representatives from EU projects that have involved CSOs in their consortia and shed light on their long years of experience in implementing Horizon research projects. In her intervention, Maja Halilovic-Pastuovic elaborated on the barriers and challenges that GEMS faced in involving civil society organizations in project’s consortia. She also underlined the significant role that civil society plays in P/CVE projects explaining that GEMS will collaborate with a set of non-governmental actors in the second part of the project via ENgaGE-the European Network against gaming Related Extremism and Citizen Awareness Campaigns.

From his part, Bledar Feta supported that that the inclusion of CSOs in the P/CVE processes is considered an effective step in overcoming radicalization, but their inclusion in not guaranteed mainly due to the very centralized strategies with strong security parameters which somehow has created obstacles in the cooperation between security and civil society practitioners. He explained that GEMS is facing this challenge through the development of ENgaGE, which will function as un umbrella under which security practitioners, police authorities and civil society actors will find ways to collaborate under a common goal, the protection of gamers from malicious networks and extremist voices inside the gaming ecosystem.

You can learn more about GEMS project and its objectives here  and here.

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