European Union External Action

General KOSTARAKOS Awarded 1st Honorary IG Member

01/03/2018 - 12:45
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On 20 and 21 February 2018 the 37th Implementation Group meeting was held in Brussels, where General Mikhail Kostarakos, the EU Military Committee (EUMC) Chairman, was awarded the title of the first honorary Implementation Group (IG) member by the ESDC.


The Head of the ESDC, Mr Dirk Dubois, and the Chairman of the IG, Mr Harald Gell, referred to his strong and diachronic support for the European initiative on the exchange of military young officers/Military Erasmus (the Initiative) by including it on the agenda of the Military Committee meetings on several occasions and by giving the floor to the Chairman of the Initiative, to the ESDC military training manager, Mr Symeon Zambas, but most importantly by using his personal time to promote it.

General Kostarakos, when Chief of the Hellenic National Defence General Staff, contributed substantially to the Initiative, for which the three Hellenic Academies were to implement at least one Common Module. His efforts resulted in the 'European Month', in which the Hellenic Academies have organised at least one Common Module every year since 2014, the creation of new Common Modules that have been adopted by the IG and last but not least the implementation of the International Semester by the Hellenic Army Academy.


The participants of the 37th IG Meeting


A total of 46 people originating from 17 EU Member States and 34 different institutions participated in the 37th IG meeting. These included representatives of military, naval, air, technical and medical universities and academies. Through its activities, the IG promotes a European security and defence culture which contributes to Europe's overall security. During the first day of the IG meeting numerous issues were addressed regarding the existing Common Modules and the creation of new Modules, the evaluation of conducted exchange events, the realisation of the 4th CSDP Olympiad in Bulgaria and the organisation of the 10th anniversary of the Initiative in Greece from 7 to 12 November 2018.

During the second day of the IG meeting, working groups were formed in order to explore the possibility of creating new strategic partnerships between Naval, Air Force, Medical and Technical Academies with a view to result to common International Semesters or short-term period exchanges. Since 2008, 35 Common Modules have been created and 11 of them have been structured into an International Semester. Furthermore, within the frame of ERASMUS+, new strategic partnerships are created and the way is paved to elaborate on joint degrees for the basic officer education so as to enhance interoperability between the armed forces of EU Member States.