CSDP Orientation Course, 23-27 May 2022, Larnaca, Cyprus
On the 27th of May, the 2022 Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) Orientation Course that took place in Larnaca, Cyprus, came to an end. The course was organised by the Cyprus Security and Defence Academy and the Austrian National Defence Academy, under the aegis of the European Security and Defence College. This edition of the Orientation Course focused on the MENA region and addressed issues facing that area of the world. The opening remarks were delivered by Mr Kornelios Korneliou, Ambassador/Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Ms Dorothea Auer, Ambassador of the Republic of Austria to Cyprus. The five-day residential course was attended by 26 civilian, diplomatic and military participants from several EU Member States. Participants were asked to complete an eLearning phase prior to their arrival, which was designed to provide them all with a shared knowledge of the main topics of the residential course. The aim of the CSDP Orientation Course is to deliver a broad understanding of the Common Security and Defence Policy of the European Union: its complex structure and decision-making process, its crisis-management procedures and crisis-response mechanism, and its integrated approach to external conflicts and crises. Throughout the week, the participants took part in group activities which saw them interact with one another and discuss specific topics assigned to them. In addition to offering an opportunity for knowledge development, the course was a useful networking platform designed to foster and harmonise cooperation among people working in the field of CSDP with different experiences and expertise to share. Backed by the expertise of speakers from various institutions across Europe, the course comprised lectures by members of the Cypriot Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Defence, who shared their knowledge and experiences in the field of CSDP. The course concluded with a lecture delivered by Mr Riccardo Scalas, from the Netherlands National Defence Academy, and with closing remarks by Lt. Gen. Dimokritos Zervakis, Chief of the Cypriot National Guard, and Mr Dirk Dubois, Head of the ESDC. The number of people that attended this edition of the Orientation Course even in these challenging times confirms that the course represents an important tool for European cooperation in the field of CSDP. We want to take this opportunity to thank the Course Directors Maj. Christophoros Christophorou (Cyprus Security and Defence Academy), Dr Jochen Rehrl (Austrian Ministry of Defence) and Ms Sandra Kick (National Defence University of Ukraine), as well as all guest speakers and participants.