On 23 and 24 of October 2019, the conference ‘DARE and EU Counter Terrorism Developments’ took place in The Hague. This European conference was organized by Nils Duits and the DARE project group. The first results of the European DARE research were presented and people were informed that and how DARE will continue the coming years, with the emphasis on evidence first in terrorism research and evidence-based practice in combating terrorism and violent extremism.
During the first day of the conference the DARE results and the necessary developments for the coming years were discussed. Eurojust hosted the second day of the conference. On this day leading European speakers from DG Justice, the EU counter terrorism coordinator, Europol, Eurojust and Europris presented their necessary developments in combating terrorism in conjunction with the activities of DARE. Everyone underlined the importance of DARE for more evidence in terrorism research, practice and policy.
DARE stands for Database and Assessment of Risks of violent Extremists. The project has been funded by the European Commission for two years. From 1 November 2019, the Database activities will continue as DARE2 with financial support from the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security and the Dutch Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism (NCTV). Other funding will be necessary. The DARE products are the European Database of convicted terrorists (EDT) and the Violent Extremism Risk Assessment tool (VERA-2R).
The objective of the EDT is to contain judicial, personal and contextual data of persons convicted for terrorist offences and their acts of all European Member States. The analysis of the standardized research and the comparison with violent offenders will lead to improved knowledge about risk assessment, risk management, prevention and of countering violent extremism and terrorism. This evidence is important for research, practice and policy issues. It can lead to evidence-based and possibly to more effective national and European counter terrorism approaches. The EDT research is done with strict European privacy rules with encryption of personal data. The EDT will consist of more than 800 cases of Austria, Belgium, German states, The Netherlands and Sweden. The objective is to involve more European Member States like France, Spain and others, given the great European interest.
The VERA-2R is a risk-assessment tool that is based on professional and theoretical knowledge about risk factors of violent extremism and terrorism. The VERA-2R uses the structured professional judgment approach. It helps professionals to evaluate the risks of violent extremism and terrorism in a structured manner with the aim of achieving a more focused risk management. In the context of the DARE-project the VERA-2R manual has been translated into Dutch, German, English and French, and more than 600 European professionals were trained with translated training material using the VERA-2R. This helps judicial practitioners work in an evidence-based manner in risk assessment and risk management of violent extremists and terrorists.