With its partners in the PAVE project consortium, OTT attended the second progress and general assembly meeting between 22 and 24 February 2022. The meeting took place at the Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme (FMSH) in Paris, France. On the first day of the meeting, OTT presented its progress over the previous year, notably the findings of a 71-page report investigating the role of political and religious institutions, and their relations, in the vulnerability and resilience of communities in Nineveh province to violent extremism. The first day of the meeting was also the occasion to compare key findings between the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and the Balkans, bringing together unique perspectives into the factors of vulnerability and resilience to violent extremism in and across the two regions.

On the second day of the meeting, PAVE partners welcomed Horizon 2020 sister projects The sister projects Preventing Violent Extremism (PREVEX) and Contexts of Violent Extremism in MENA and Balkan Societies (CONNEKT). The three projects and their partners exchanged views on violent extremism, including terminology caveats, drivers and aspects of violent extremism, national findings, and regional trends. Participants stressed the significance of coordinating research efforts to get a better understanding of violent extremism in the MENA and Balkan regions.

On the third and final day of the meeting, OTT and his partners from the MENA and Balkans gathered for a validation workshop held by the Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers. During the workshop, the Network’s partners presented key themes of interest related to the prevention of violent extremism with the purpose of developing capacity-building tools and training modules. PAVE key stakeholders were given the opportunity to offer reflections and sustainable recommendations on the identified capacity needs and proposed solutions.

OTT is grateful to Marie Kortham and her colleagues at FMSH, as well as Berghof Foundation’s Véronique Dudouet and Johanna Hülzer, for organising the event. OTT also thanks all PAVE colleagues who attended the meeting in person and virtually for their feedback and comments on the work conducted in Iraq.

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