Ms Sofia Moreira de Sousa, Head of the EU’s Commission Representation in Portugal delivering the opening speech to the course
“EU history and core values” pilot course, Lisbon, 13-17 March 2023
The Colégio Militar – a Portuguese military school founded in 1803 – had the honour of hosting, under the auspices of the European Security and Defence College (ESDC), a pilot version of a course dedicated to ‘EU history and core values’. The course took place in Lisbon between 13 and 17 March 2023, with active participation and exceptionally positive outcomes. This pilot course aimed to help military secondary school students familiarise themselves with the European Union, its history and core values. It focused on creating and disseminating knowledge and skills at secondary school level. An important aspect was to highlight those attitudes, which need to be further developed in order to better understand and promote EU values and create an even stronger Europe. Ms Sofia Moreira de Sousa, Head of the EU’s Commission Representation in Portugal, opened the course with a keynote address, followed by fantastic speakers from the Portuguese Ministry of National Defence, academia and Brussels-based think tanks. The two first days of the course concentrated on presenting the EU in general and the role of the European Commission in particular, the present and future of the EU and its core values. The third day of the course dealt with current challenges, the role of the EU as a global player, its enlargement and partnerships, the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), as well as the role of Member States and of the EU Military Committee therein. The final two days were dedicated to CSDP missions and operations, students’ group work and the presentation of the results to representatives of the EU Military Secondary Schools Forum (EUMSSF). The latter convened in Lisbon for their 11th meeting, held back to back with this pilot course. The ESDC would like to thank all the outstanding speakers for their excellent contributions and input. We also would like to thank all 16 course participants, from 11 EU military secondary schools, for their active participation and engagement with the EU’s history and core values. We will do our utmost every day to continue providing high-quality training.