ISAC hosts the First Regional Seminar on ESDP


European Security and Defence Policy

26-29 March 2006, Belgrade

Cooperative project between think-tanks from
Serbia and Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia

This project was made possible through the kind donations of the Balkan Trust for Democracy
(a project of the German Marshall Fund) and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung

Accession to the European Union (EU) is one of the foremost foreign policy priorities of all the countries in the Western Balkans.  Taking this fact into consideration and adding to it the importance of Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) of EU, especially its core element – the ESDP, there is a real need for presenting and elaborating ESDP to certain groups of people in the Western Balkan countries, through various forms of specialist training, in particular to those who professionally deal with European Integration and, more specifically, with Foreign and Security Policy issues.  The purpose of such specialist training would be to assist these individuals in better understanding the various elements and the purpose of ESDP so as to become more competent and confident when working on ESDP issues.

As palpable proof of the fact that EU accession and integration are the priority for the countries of the Western Balkans is the growing cooperation of the three most prominent foreign and security affairs related think-tanks from Serbia and Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia – ISAC¹, CSS² and IMO³. These three-think tanks are preparing to expand their established cooperation by jointly organizing a 3-day seminar on ESDP at the end of March 2006, in Belgrade.  The attendees / participants (target audience) are employees of Ministries of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, Ministries of Defence, Ministries of Internal/Home Affairs, as well as parliamentarians, post-graduate students, scholars, representatives of NGOs and the Media from Serbia and Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia.

This seminar represents a concrete contribution to better understanding of ESDP in the Western Balkans region.  Through lectures by distinguished experts on EU issues, the seminar will begin with the basic issues of the ESDP – its beginnings, the structure and development; it would then go into its concrete elements – the importance of the ESDP in the new global security setting; the ESDP missions (especially mission ALTHEA in Bosnia and Herzegovina); experiences of other countries in the ESDP and finally to political and military aspect of the eventual participation of Serbia and Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia in ESDP activities when these countries become members of the EU.

Responding in line with their founding goals and recognising the high level of interest in ESDP issues as well as a real need for the further capacity building in EU related topics, ISAC, CSS and IMO are committed to continued cooperation on this and related regional projects in 2007 and beyond.

ISAC, CSS and IMO welcome new partner organisations to join in the effort of designing, organising and implementing projects in support of EU integration of and Security Sector Reform in South East European countries.

Main Goals of the Seminar:

To provide core knowledge on the ESDP in a brief, clear and effective manner beneficial to the participants in their work.
To broaden the comprehension of the necessity for developing an overall regional approach to the European political, economic and security integration.
To further enhance regional cooperation in the Western Balkans.
To help networking between participants from the region and networking with/between organising institutions and lecturers.
To support a more effective and streamlined accession of the states from the region to membership in the EU.
To set a standard for regional cooperation in developing advanced professional training in collaboration with the relevant EU institutions.