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The Hellenic Supreme Joint War College (HSJWC) hosted its annual CSDP Orientation Course in Thessaloniki from 4 to 8 June 2018. The course was held by HSJWC in cooperation with the University of Macedonia (UoM), under the auspices of ESDC.
General Mikhail KOSTARAKOS, Chairman of EUMC, stressed the need to develop a “Common security and Defence culture” within the EU in his welcome message. He stated that this was the main purpose of the course.
62 participants from 15 EU member states (Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Germany, Greece, Netherlands, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom) attended the course and represented a wide spectrum of organizations, agencies and services. Among them were military and civilian officials, police, diplomats and PhD students.
That variety of working backgrounds and experience, the collective knowledge and expertise that the participants brought with them, created a synergy that helped ensure that the course was successful and productive. This demonstrated vividly a positive aspect of EU dynamics as well as the effectiveness of an Integrated Approach in addressing new challenges in a changing Europe, in the context of the EU Global Strategy.
Course participants went through a series of sessions on CSDP-related, in line with the course curriculum. The course was taught by a number of distinguished lecturers including: Dean Ilias KOUSKOUVELIS (U of Macedonia), Professor Daniel Fiott (EUISS), Mr Richard Barker (CMPD), Mr Christos KOMNINOS (DG Near), Mr Apostolos NIKOLAIDIS (DG ECHO), Professor Aris GEORGOPOULOS University of Nottingham).
Participants were able to familiarize themselves with the EUGS, CSFP structure and processes, CSDP decision-making procedures, factors influencing deployment of CSDP missions/operations, EU operations and M/S security cooperation initiatives.
They were also able to do more networking during the welcome cocktail and the official dinner and to learn more about the history of Macedonia and Thessaloniki through the guided visit to the city’s Archaeological Museum.
In conclusion, LTGEN Dimokritos ZERVAKIS EL-EUOHQ commander and commander of the 1st Hellenic Army, (one of the pioneers in CSDP training back in 2003) gave an inspiring closing speech entitled "EU security - from ambition to reality".