The Council of Europe assists the six Western Balkans Horizontal Beneficiaries, namely Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia, in overcoming the shortcomings and practical deficiencies and building synergies throughout the region related to identification and rehabilitation of violent extremist offenders in prisons.

In that direction, prison and probation practitioners, social care workers and CVE coordination representatives from the region met in Skopje on 21-22 January 2020, where they exchanged views on good approaches, lessons learnt and weaknesses with regards to preparation for release and post-penal assistance to violent extremis offenders. As a result, practical shortcomings have been identified and good practices for further strengthening the provision of assistance to VEPs upon their release from prison have been discussed, through applying a holistic multi-agency approach in order to enhance the prospectus for their successful reintegration back into society.

This activity was organized within the scope of the Regional Action “Enhancing penitentiary capacities in addressing radicalisation in prisons in the Western Balkans” that is co-funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe within the “Horizontal Facility for Western Balkans and Turkey 2019-2022” and implemented by the Council of Europe.