As part of the UK’s contribution to the European Security and Defence College (ESDC), Building Integrity (BI) UK supported by International Section delivered the 5th annual Building Integrity and Reducing Corruption in Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) Missions course on behalf of the European Security and Defence College (ESDC), held for the first time at the Baltic Defence College in Tartu, Estonia.
Situated just 6 miles from Russia the Baltic Defence College is a joint venture between Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. This cooperation was formalised in 1998 with the signing of an agreement establishing the Baltic Defence College in Tartu, Estonia with English as its working language.
ESDC provides training in the field of the European Union’s CSDP in the context of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) at EU level in order to develop and promote a common understanding of CSDP among civilian and military personnel, and to identify and disseminate, through its training activities, best practice in relation to various CSDP issues. This is the only course specifically addressing corruption risks within the CSDP framework. The EU currently has 5,000 personnel deployed on six military and 10 civilian missions from Iraq and Libya to Moldova and Ukraine.
The course was attended by 29 diverse delegates from 12 countries: Lithuania, Italy, Finland, Greece, Moldova, Slovenia, Greece, Estonia, Canada, Latvia, Spain and the United States from police to military, legal and civil service backgrounds. Against the backdrop of the ongoing process for exiting the EU, there were lively debates and it was clear whatever the outcome the contribution of the Defence Academy of the UK will continue to be valued.
Speaking on the course Luc Van Aken from the European External Action Service said:
“Corruption is often both a cause and a consequence of conflict. The drivers for corruption are variable with factions actively perpetuating conflict, fuelled by post-conflict money flows, the influence of organised crime or result of compromised peace deals entrenching corrupt factions. Civilian CSDP Missions typically operate in post-conflict environments where indigenous capacity to address corruption and build integrity is limited, contributing to instability and insecurity. Corruption concurrently poses a threat and risk to the implementation of Mission mandates.”
The course was also publicised by the Baltic Defence College.