Delegation of the European Union to Uganda

ESDC/Western Balkans: A 'security academy' for the region?

01/06/2019 - 02:00
News stories

The Western Balkans have a clear European perspective, and it is only logical to invest in security, development and defence in future EU member states. During the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the EU (in the second half of 2018), an initiative was launched to develop a 'security academy' (working title) for the region. This institution/network will provide security and defence related training for all six Western Balkans partners and create a common security culture.

Lolita Hasani MFA North Macedonia ESDC Western Balkans

In the spring of 2019, three international teams visited the six partners and carried out a mapping exercise. Their findings and recommendations were listed in an initial report, which is currently being discussed in the EU structures and the EU member states. The plan is to consolidate the training landscape and streamline the various courses in the region. The outcome of these reflections could be a master's programme or even a PhD, depending on participants' willingness to commit personal and financial resources.

The European Security and Defence College stands ready to support this initiative. With the dedicated training programme for the Western Balkans, the college can take recourse on a 15-years-experience from Austria, Croatia and Hungary. The most feasible solution for implementing this initiative could be an ESDC like network, which could also receive an 'associated network partner' of the European Security and Defence College and thereby being fully integrated in the CSDP training landscape of the European Union.

Group Work Western Balkans enlargement
Group work during an ESDC event in the Western Balkans.

Regardless of the ultimate result, the process has already proven enlightening and will serve various purposes, including facilitating the accession of the Western Balkans partners to the European Union.

Secções editoriais: