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The Council of the European Union reached a political agreement on the establishment of the the European Security and Defence College (ESDC). The purpose of the ESDC is to contribute to forging a European security culture by offering courses that foster a common understanding of the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) for civilian and military staff of the Member States and European institutions. This training will ensure good knowledge of the ESDP and will promote contacts among ESDP professionals.
The idea of creating such a College is already several years old. The European Council of 16 and 17 December 2004 asked the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union to establish the procedures for running the ESDC based on the evaluation of the College’s pilot course organised by several national institutes. This evaluation was completed last April. Its positive results have facilitated the determination of the College’s future organisation.
The ESDC will be organised as a network of national academies, colleges and institutes in the EU that deal with security and defence policy. The European Union’s Security Studies Institute (SSI) will be part of it. The college will organise an annual high-level course (in-depth training) and ESDP orientation courses. The ESDC will develop all the training materials necessary for the courses and will be based on an Internet-based distance learning system. The ESDC will also establish an alumni network.
Led by a Management Committee in which all the EU Member States will be represented, and advised by an academic body that will oversee the quality and consistency of courses, the College will also be supported by a permanent secretariat. This secretariat will be provided by the Secretariat General of the Council of the European Union in Brussels.
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