Uniting across borders to combat right-wing extremism
12 May 2022
Over 100 experts from nearly 40 countries meet at a two-day conference at the Federal Ministry of the Interior and Community to share their experiences on combating right-wing extremism
The first meeting of the Counterterrorism Law Enforcement Forum (CTLEF) took place over two days at the Federal Ministry of the Interior and Community in Berlin, with over 100 participants from the U.S., Canada, South America, Israel and Europe, as well as Australia and New Zealand coming together to further enhance their already strong international cooperation on combating right-wing extremism. The Federal Ministry of the Interior and Community founded the CTLEF together with the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Justice to increase awareness of the threat posed by violence-prone right-wing extremism. Representatives of police authorities, public prosecution offices, intelligence services, and various ministries and NGOs attended this kick-off event. Dr Amy Gutmann, the new U.S. Ambassador to Germany, also took part.
Speaking about the event, Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser said:
“We are working closely with our international partners to combat right-wing extremism. By holding the first meeting of the Counterterrorism Law Enforcement Forum at the Federal Ministry of the Interior and Community, together with the U.S. Departments of State and Justice, we are sending a clear message. Right-wing extremism is the greatest threat to our country’s democracy and to our people. Their networks are also increasingly international, which requires an internationally coordinated and resolute response. So I couldn’t be happier that almost 40 countries accepted our invitation and I am looking forward to the valuable input we can gain from the conference.”
Current developments, government strategies and different approaches were discussed in various talks and expert lectures. Participants had the opportunity to talk about their experiences, challenges and successes in combating right-wing extremism.
Judicial and police authorities’ ability to prosecute right-wing extremist crimes, for example through financial investigations, was also addressed. As well as this, the participants discussed what role multilateral organisations can play in supporting the fight against right-wing extremism. The participants were encouraged to network and have face-to-face discussions with representatives of other professional communities and countries.
Right-wing extremism ceased to be a merely domestic problem long ago – it is an international threat. Right-wing extremists have continued to grow their networks across borders, through events such as concerts and combat sport events, and especially online. They use social media to communicate, to share their ideology and to inspire one another’s crimes. There are thus growing similarities in the ideological narratives found in different countries.