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The Chairman of the EU Military Committee, General Mikhail Kostarakos, opened the event and welcomed all participants. In his keynote speech, he underlined the principles of the EU's Global Strategy and the importance of its implementation. He also quoted the Greek philosopher Thucydides ('The strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must'), which immediately attracted the attention of the audience and stimulated a fruitful discussion.
The course agenda touched on crisis management structures and procedures. A one-day workshop on conflict analysis gave the participants the chance to interact and play a more active role during the rest of the one-week course. In addition, a reception hosted by Austria and a study visit to the Brussels-based House of European History gave the course members ample opportunities to network with one another.
The orientation course was once again supported by various ESDC network partners, such as the Austrian Institute for European and Security Policy (AIES – Arnold Kammel, Christof Dallermassl), the Spanish Ministry of Defence (Vicente Diaz de Villegas), the Slovenian Ministry of Defence (Pavlina Gorenc), the Irish Edward M Kennedy Institute for Conflict Intervention (Sean Mc Gearty), the Egmont Institute (Sven Biscop, Thomas Renard, Marc Franco) and the Finnish Defence Forces International Centre (FINCENT – Elisa Norvanto).
Most of the 47 participants will meet again in Tirana for the last module of the 2017 CSDP Training Programme. From 2 to 5 October, the 'students' will have to apply all the CSDP knowledge that they have gained during the previous training modules, discussing CSDP topics such as capability development, integrated approach and cyber security in small working groups, overseen by EU experts.