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Returning from violence: How to tackle the foreign fighters’ problem in the Western Balkans?

The Institute for Foreign Affairs and Trade in cooperation with the Slovak Foreign Policy Association, the EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy and the Warsaw Institute for Strategic Initiatives organized a conference on 26 April as part of the project entitled "Returning from violence: How to tackle the foreign fighters’ problem in the Western Balkans?” implemented with the financial support of the International Visegard Fund. The conference brought together experts from the Visegrad and the Western Balkan countries in order to analyse the foreign fighter phenomenon from thematical and country-specific perspectives.


In accordance with the comprehensive approach of the project, the panelists covered various aspects of the phenomenon, including recent trends, propaganda and recruiting in the cyber domain, EU approach to the issue, conflicts (Syria/Iraq, Ukraine) and the measures that were put in place in the countries to decrease the outflow of these people and to manage the challenges related to returnees. The experts drew attention also to the changing dynamics of these outflow depending on the phases and international contexts of the conflicts in concern and the discrepancies in the application of criminal code that might have further implications for the Western Balkan region.