Violent extremist is an affront to the values of the civil society committed with maintaining positive peace, promoting real democracies, human security, sustainable development and protecting human rights. Violent extremism is undermining our humanity in all the Euro-Mediterranean Region. Extremist movements are cynically distorting and exploiting religious beliefs, ethnic differences and political ideologies to gain political power and act against human rights and fundamental freedoms. Fanatic movements which are spreading racist, ultra-nationalist and extreme-right ideologies are gaining momentum and institutional representation.
We understand violent extremism(s) as the ideologies that aspire to achieve political power opting for the use of violent means over persuasion. Violent extremist ideologies are based in totalitarian, fanatic, intolerant, patriarchal, anti-democratic and antipluralistic values. Violent extremist ideologies can be adopted by individuals, groups, corporations or states.
Nothing can justify violent extremism but we must also acknowledge that it does not arise in a vacuum. The available qualitative evidence points to the presence of certain recurrent drivers, which are common among a wide variety of countries of the Euro- Mediterranean Region and which lead, sometimes in isolation and sometimes in combination with other factors, to radicalization and violent extremism.