HOMEAFFAIRS – Internal Security Forum in Prague first started in 2015 as a new platform for experts and policy makers in the field of internal security. Organised by the European Values Think-Tank, the Internal Security Forum 2015 focused on the so-called Islamic State as one of the primary security issues for the region, the European Union and global security in general. While the topic may seem too distant for policy makers in Central Europe, the Islamic State is not only detrimental to the Middle East but also threatens the security of the EU as a whole. Due to an unprecedented number of European citizens leaving to fight in wars in the Middle East and then returning to their home countries, the risk of terrorist attacks on European soil has significantly increased. European citizens fighting in the Islamic State’s militias are becoming a major internal security challenge for European states. Consequently, the fight against radicalisation into militant Islamism within European Muslim population has become even more urgent then before.
The first HOMEAFFAIRS – Internal Security Forum Prague was held under the auspices of the President of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic, Mr. Jan Hamacek, the Minister of the Interior of the Czech Republic, Mr. Milan Chovanec, and the Vice-Chairman of the Committee on Defence, Mr. Ivan Gabal.
During the one-day conference, high-level security experts from Western Europe and the USA met with their Czech counterparts to discuss pressing questions in the current European internal security environment. Each panel of speakers was followed by a discussion with the attending Members of the Czech Parliament and the representatives of ministries. By introducing the topic of radicalisation towards Islamic extremism and counter-strategies to the political representatives and the public servants, the aim of the conference was to raise the level of understanding of this complex issue among the policy makers of the Visegrad countries.
The Internal Security Forum gathered high profile participants from the European Union, the United States of America and other partner countries. Among the attendees were:
- Gilles de Kerchove, EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator
- David L. Aaron, senior fellow in the RAND Corporation
- Haras Rafiq, Managing Director at Quilliam, a counter-extremism think tank