After the CSDP High Level Conference last December, the capital of Georgia was once again the location for a CSDP training event in the margins of the European Security and Defence College. Austria and Georgia organised an orientation course and a conference for about 100 participants from 17 countries; the course and conference were dedicated to the six Eastern Partnership countries and conducted within the framework of the Eastern Partnership platform (EC/DG NEAR).
The course took place from 29 May to 3 June 2016 as part of the ASPR’s longstanding cooperation programme with the Austrian Ministry of Defence and Sports, and was conducted in partnership with the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP). It managed to gather a highly qualified group of 15 participants from 11 different countries and from a wide range of professional backgrounds and affiliations: civilians, police officers, military officers, academics, NGO workers, EU and UN mission staff and government officials or media experts.
The fourth residential module of the ESDC flagship course was jointly organised in Berlin between 30 May and 3 June 2016 by the BAKS (Bundesakademie für Sicherheitspolitik - Federal Academy for Security Policy, Germany), the EU Institute for Security Studies and the IHEDN (Institut des hautes études de défense nationale - the French Institute for higher national defence studies).
The European Security and Defence College (ESDC) was established in 2005, with the aim of providing strategic-level education in European Security and Defence Policy, now Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). It followed thorough need analysis and experimentation phases. The creation of the ESDC was to give the Common Security and Defence Policy a training and education instrument which actively promotes a European security culture.
EU Member States participate in the effort on a voluntary basis. The training audience includes civil servants, diplomats, police officers, and military personnel from the EU Member States and EU institutions involved in CSDP. Partner countries and other international organisations are also invited to participate in some of the ESDC courses. In its first 5 years, the ESDC has developed into a key strategic CSDP training provider.
The ESDC is a network college. Several national universities, academies, colleges and institutes contribute to the success of the ESDC. The network members are well known civilian and military educational and research institutions in Europe.
The objective of the ESDC is to provide Member States and EU Institutions with knowledgeable personnel able to work efficiently on CSDP matters. In pursuing this objective, the College makes a major contribution to a better understanding of CSDP in the overall context of CFSP and to promoting a common European security culture.