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A total of 50 participants from the Eastern Partnership region and from several EU Member States attended the interactive course in Baku, which was co-organised by Austria (Ministry of Defence) and Azerbaijan. Prof. Dr. Sven Biscop and Ambassador Marc Franco (both Egmont Institute) opened the course with talks on the strategic environment of the European Union. Both highlighted the challenges ahead and advocated for interest-based alliances, and hence more flexibility in international affairs. As an example, they referred to the 'Paris Agreement' (climate change), the 'Iran Agreement' (nuclear proliferation) and the possible 'trade war' between the US and the EU.
The Kennedy Institute of the Maynooth University of Ireland contributed a 'conflict analysis workshop' to the course. Mr Sean McGearty and Ms Patricia Aboglazo, experts with experience in the field, offered insights into tools such as 'conflict mapping', 'conflict tree' and 'needs-fears mapping'. The Director of the EU ISS in Paris, Dr. Gustav Lindstrom, shared his thoughts on 'emerging security threats' and paved the way for Mr. Christof Dallermassl, a cyber-professional from the private company wealthpilot GmbH, who gave a presentation on 'cyber security' that covered real-life hacking experiences.
Ms Elisa Norvanto of the Laurea University elaborated on the 'integrated approach', which involves addressing all dimensions and stages of a conflict from early action and prevention, wherever possible, to staying on the ground long enough for peace to take root. Another expert from the Laurea University was Mr Petteri Taitto, who talked about the 'Permanent Structured Co-operation' (PESCO) and its implication on Capability Development for CSDP missions and operations.
The next CSDP orientation course in the context of the Eastern Partnership initiative will take place in Kiev from 22 to 26 October 2018. All ESDC events organised in the context of the EaP panel are financed by the European Commission/DG NEAR.
Launched in 2009 as a joint policy initiative, the Eastern Partnership (EaP) aims to deepen and strengthen relations between the European Union (EU), its Member States and its six Eastern neighbours: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine. Within this framework, all partners have committed to deliver tangible benefits to the daily lives of citizens across the region by focusing on achieving 20 deliverables for 2020 in four key priority areas.