PRESS RELEASE: EUCTI’s Kick-off Meeting

18/03/2021

The official Kick-off meeting of the EU Civilian Training initiative (EUCTI) project took place on 11 March 2021. The meeting welcomed eight project partners as well as representatives of EU structures, OSCE African Union, UN and EU CSDP missions. The meeting provided a platform for intense knowledge exchange through past and present experiences in the field of civilian crisis management and cooperation strategies that will provide guidance for the project.

The EUCTI project, co-funded by the European Commission through under Service for Foreign Policy Instruments (FPI.2), Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace, Conflict prevention, peacebuilding, and crisis preparedness component. The overall budget of the project is 2,5 million EUR. The EUCTI project consortium consists of eight partners: Austrian Study Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution (ASPR), Clingendael – the Netherlands Institute of International Relations, Crisis Management Centre Finland (CMC), EGMONT – The Royal Institute for International Relations from Belgium, Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies (SSSA) from Italy, Center for International Peace Operations (ZIF) from Germany, Folke Bernadotte Academy (FBA) from Sweden and CEP from Slovenia as its coordinator. All consortium partners participated previously in the Europe’s New Training Initiative for Civilians Crisis Management (ENTRi) activities and the EUCTI will draw on this experience.

The kick-off meeting was opened by the welcome speech of Markko Kallonen, Head of the EUCTI Secretariat, Katja Geršak, Executive Director of Centre for European Perspective, Matej Marn.
It is envisaged that action will be implemented in collaboration and coordination with the EU Civilian Training Group (EUCTG) and its National Training Experts as well as with the European Security and Defence College (ESDC).

Lead Partner responsible Isidoro de Bortoli, Prof. Roland Psenner, the president of Eurac Research, and Dr. Thomas Philipp Streifeneder, the head of the research institute of regional development. As the project focuses on the Carpathians which are a strong link between the project partners, Eleonora Musco, representing the Carpathian Convention officially welcomed the partnership.

Over the next 3 years, guidelines, strategic documents and pilot actions will be implemented. During the meeting, the three Thematic Work packages have been presented by the Work package leaders. These work packages focus on the integration of biodiversity conservation and sustainable development in the Carpathian Region, building capacities of Carpathian Protected Area managers and strenghtening ecosystem services in the Carpathians.

We are looking forward to the fruitful cooperation!

European Union launched its first CSDP mission back in January 2003, the European Union Police Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Since then, European Union deployed 37 civilian and military missions of different types, be it capacity building, monitoring, training or border assistance mission, that operated only couple of months up to several years, from small to really large ones. But all the missions had something in common: they all relied on the knowledge, experiences and skills of the mission’s personnel.

At the moment there are 11 civilian and 6 military missions operating under the EU flag.

EU Civilian Training Initiative (EUCTI) is EU-financed project that commenced its activities in January 2021 and is planned to last three years. Its main objective is to contribute to enhanced position of the EU as a peace actor through better prepared professionals that are supporting the EU CSDP missions in achieving its mandates. This will be reached through almost 30 training activities, developed and designed specifically for the mission that will voice a training need, and implemented in the mission or in the region. Several other project activities are foreseen, mainly related to the development on new pedagogical approaches to the training, evaluation and standardization, as well as support for 3rd country training institutions. EUCTI consortium consists of eight renowned partners holding solid experience on developing and delivering civilian crisis management training.

As organizing demand-driven training activities in current times of global pandemic is not the easiest task, a virtual kick-off meeting will be held on Thursday, 11th March 2021. It aims to bring together all key stakeholders that will support, shape and streamline the EUCTI activities. On one hand it will give floor to the European Union institutions (the European Commission and European External Action Service) that will explain how they see the EUCTI activities fit in the bigger picture of the Common Security and Defence Policy. On the other hand, project partners will be invited to present their experiences and adaptation to the Covid-19 reality that affected greatly the training actions. Last, but not least, EU CSDP missions, the project’s most direct beneficiaries, and other international actors present on the ground (the UN, OSCE and African Union), will get the floor to share their training needs and practical insights from their side of the world.

We’ll be sharing the main take-aways after the meeting in a new post and a short video!