Third European Union-South America and Mexico CSDP Seminar,Madrid,16 -19 October 2023
The 19th of October marked the end of the European Union-South America and Mexico Third CSDP Seminar, which took place in Madrid from 16 to 19 October 2023. It was a true pleasure to have the seminar organised in person by Spain’s CESEDEN (Centro Superior de Estudios de la Defensa) and under the auspices of the European Security and Defence College (ESDC) for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic, and for the third time overall, following previous seminars in 2016 and 2018. The seminar brought together 58 participants from several EU Member States and 15 countries in Latin America. We were honoured to have with us Mr Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, who delivered the opening keynote speech during the inauguration ceremony. His intervention gave course participants an in-depth insight into the current global geopolitical situation. In this highly complex, multipolar world and its rapidly changing security environment, the HR/VP underlined that the established dialogue and cooperation activities between the EU and Latin American and Caribbean States are of common interest. Discussing challenges and working together in areas of mutual concern, such as global peace and security, and ranging from hybrid threats, cyber attacks, combating organised crime, climate change and security and maritime security, is a strategic imperative. The welcoming words of both the Director of CESEDEN, Lt General Francisco Bisbal Pons, and the Head of the ESDC, Mr Holger Osterrieder, reflected a similar spirit. Indeed, strengthening the relationship between the countries of Latin America and the European Union also involves joint activities in the domain of training and education in CSDP matters, and the third joint seminar is a prime example of that success story. It was an honour to have the Acting Head of the European Commission Representation in Spain, Mr Lucas Gonzalez Ojeda, opening the second day of the seminar. Over the three days of the seminar, highly qualified speakers from the European External Action Service and from Spain delivered enlightening presentations on their individual perspectives, covering topics relating to the EU integrated approach, CSDP civilian and military missions and operations and horizontal issues facing both the EU and the countries of Latin America. An important take-away was that the future of the EU and of South America and Mexico are inextricably linked, given the interdependence of the threats and the common global security challenges. Keynote speeches by career diplomats from Spain and Argentina and the presentation of certificates to course participants concluded the seminar. Looking back, we are proud that the event provided an excellent platform for exchanging experiences and sharing ideas on tackling common regional and global security challenges. Judging by the feedback received, participants were delighted to have been part of such a high level event. The ESDC would like to thank all the participants and speakers as well as the moderator, Col (Res) Fernando Moreno, for their dedication to the seminar. Special thanks also go to CESEDEN for its strong support and collaboration, as well as to the European Commission Representation in Spain for hosting us on their premises.