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The European Defense College celebrates its 5th anniversary, despite broken promises!

(BRUSSELS2) A little-known system in European defense, the european security and defense college celebrates its 5th anniversary these days. A seminar will bring together, on Wednesday in Brussels, several European leaders, around Javier Solana, the former High Representative of the EU, and Karl Von Wogau, former chairman of the defense sub-committee of the European Parliament. Nearly 2500 people have passed through the benches of the college to follow various training courses: introduction to the ESDP, communication... A fine result for an entity, a real "virtual college" which works mainly in a network, with the various universities, academies, national colleges and institutes (Austria and Greece, for example, provide active support). But with weak permanent means.

Broken promises

The 27 had indeed promised, 2 years ago (1), to strengthen its resources by increasing its permanent staff to 7 or 8 people, by giving it legal personality and additional financial resources. As it stands, few promises have been kept. The college still works with 2 (read: two!) permanent staff and works thanks to permanent "resourcefulness", contacts with each other and the commitment of several national training centers (Austria, Greece, Belgium in particular). But it seems, all the same, quite surprising that nothing has been done to strengthen the college, when all the countries highlight the need for better cooperation, often citing training (2), and the commitment to In place, a "military Erasmus" was approved in 2008. Its usefulness is nevertheless indisputable: it is a question of training all those who go on a mission for the EU, whether it is a question of civil or military missions. And success is often there: people are often refused at these sessions.

We might be tempted to say: less beautiful declarations, a little more action. Let's hope that in 10 years, the promises of 2008 will finally be kept...

(1) The 27 agree to strengthen the European Defense College

(2) See in particular: Informal defence: the “in” and the “out”
et In the east, the armies find the path of cooperation

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).

2 thoughts on “The European Defense College celebrates its 5th anniversary, despite broken promises!"

    • It is understandable, but in the context of Pooling & Sharing, training and instruction facilities – such as military schools, unit training grounds, pilot training centers, etc. – are part of the installations which are seen as being able to pass from the national fold to the European fold.
      This would suppose a real strategic, military culture, developed by the EU, which is still far from being the case. And the CESD could help in the formation and formulation of such a culture.

      The dissolution of the CESD would not necessarily lead to a total halt in the construction of the ESDP/CSDP, but then how to ensure that the national military schools have sufficient legitimacy to say what European strategic culture is and to replace the CESD?

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