Exit Europe

Development and identification of exit and distancing programs

EXIT Europe intends to develop and/or identify local exit and distancing programs where they are not yet too visible, along an European east to south axis, going through Vienna, Austria, connecting partners in Italy, France and Spain with neighbour Slovakia, liaising with Czech Republic and Hungary. Existing expertise on distancing and deradicalisation practice will be mustered from the national Austrian program for the prevention of and exiting from violent extremism, innovative initiatives by the German national “Live Democracy!” program, as well as the European Commission’s RAN network and, inter alia, the NGOs Exit Sweden, Cultures Interactive, and Provention. The EXIT Europe project is coordinated by the prevention department of the Austrian Ministry of Interior.

Civil-society based exit and distancing programs with a cross-extremism perspective

The distancing and exit work activities in partner countries will be civil-society based, have a cross-extremisms perspective (e.g. Islamism, neo-Nazism, regional hate groups, i.a.), be multi-agency and directly embedded in local community prevention and resilience building networks – but also connected to security agencies. Recent innovations, as the ‘triangular exit facilitation method’, elements from restorative justice and gender-focused approaches will come together with existing local methods and resources – and thus effectively address local radicalisation challenges.

The EXIT Europe initiative has been devised, planned and submitted by Harald Weilnböck (cultures interactive), who now serves as scientific coordinator in the implementation of the project.

Main outcomes and impacts

  • an adaptable core training manual for exit and distancing practitioners, which will be locally customized
  • a consultancy mechanism for on-the-job coaching of practitioners
  • an operational European exit trainer pool
  • local teams of exit practitioners in ES, FR, IT, DE, AT, SK
  • min. 4 exemplary case studies of local exit work each
  • local community prevention and resilience networks: with NGO practitioners, security/LEAs, and secondary prevention community actors (youth welfare, prison/ probation, employment i.a.) – to allow for reintegration and reducing polarization
  • legal expertise on protocols of information exchange and data protection in inter-agency exit work

Beneficiaries are: local exit practitioners and communities EU wide, exit candidates, policy makers in the field, practice research EU/national working groups on exit work. An innovative three level QM procedure combines ‘formative evaluation’/consultancy by an independent local expert with both central and external scientific evaluation. The Austrian coordinator intends to engage long-term and EU wide in this topic.


01.01.2019 – 31.12.2020


European Union’s Internal Security Fund – Police

Consortium Partners

Bundesministerium für Inneres/ BMI, Abteilung Prävention, Austria (Project coordination)
cultures interactive e.V. (CI), Germany
Türkische Gemeinde in Schleswig-Holstein (TGSH), Germany
Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Belgium
Association Dialogues Citoyens, France
Fondazione Benvenuti in Italia (BENVENUTI), Italy
Ayuntamiento de Malaga (MALAGA), Spain
Mládež ulice – Youth Street Work (MLADEZ), Slovakia
Österreichisches Institut für internationale Politik (OIIP), Austria