CESI presents position on public sector workers in the fight against radicalisation and terrorism to the Dutch Council Presidency

31 May 2016

CESI Secretary General Klaus Heeger and the President of CESI's Trade Council 'Security', Gerrit van de Kamp, handed over CESI's new position paper on the role of public sector workers in the fight against radicalisation and terrorism to the Dutch Minister of Security and Justice, Ard van der Steur, in The Hague today.

CESI presents position on public sector workers in the fight against radicalisation and terrorism to the Dutch Council Presidency

The paper, fully titled ‘Fighting radicalisation: Supporting public sector workers’, is the result of CESI’s long-standing work on how the public sector and its employees can be better equipped and enabled to face rising radicalisation and surging terrorist threats in Europe more effectively. Throughout the last year, CESI held several conferences and meetings on this topic.

Klaus Heeger said: “In the light of recurring terrorist attacks within and outside Europe, the question of how to best fight and prevent terrorism is of crucial importance. It is clear that the public sector and its employees must be at the centre of the debate. As a trade union confederation, CESI represents many public sector employees that get in touch on a daily basis with persons at a potential risk of radicalisation: Teachers in schools, security forces in prisons, police forces in their local communities. They have stressed understaffing and shortcomings with regards to equipment and training for a long time. Our position paper tries to bring this issue to the political agenda.”

CESI’s position paper stresses in particular that:
• the legal protection of security agents must be further improved;
• more training on anti-terrorism is needed for soldiers since they are being increasingly deployed in the fight against terrorism despite this initially not being part of their mission;
• further support and training on the detection of radicalisation is urgently required for the various public sector workers that are in direct contact with individuals at risk of radicalisation – such as teachers or prison guards;
• education should become a social integration channel and a vector for values such as civil rights, democracy, fundamental rights, tolerance and respect. This means that teachers must receive more support from schools – and that schools must receive more support from the state in order to better guide students when shaping ideas and their identity.

The position paper will be made available in the policy positions section of CESI’s website soon.

Picture: Gerrit van de Kamp, Ard van der Steur and Klaus Heeger © CESI 2016