The Norwegian government plans to set up a new commission to examine ways of preventing radicalization. The plans were announced in connection with a state visit late last week by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who also sees the need for what Prime Minister Johan Gahr Støre called “a completely necessary battle against extremism.”
Støre took Steinmeier and his wife Elke Büdenbender on Friday to his Labour Party youth organization AUF’s island of Utøya, where a young Norwegian right-wing extremist set off a massacre that killed 69 young party members and wounded scores more for life, both physically and mentally.
What’s needed now, Støre said, is “to find out how and why extremism can arise” in democracies. His government, acting on a proposal from AUF, still needs to formulate its mandate for the commission and appoint members. AUF hopes the commission will examine the childhoods of extremists in Norway, both right-wing and those recruited to other radical extremist groups.
The goal is for the commission to complete its work midway through the current four-year parliamentary session that began last month.