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7th ESDC Advanced Course for Political Advisors in EU Missions and Operations Concludes

From 7 to 11 May 2018, the GCSP welcomed 25 participants from 14 European member states for the module on skills enhancement of the 7th ESDC Advanced Course for Political Advisors in EU Missions and Operations.

The GCSP conducts this course of behalf of the European Security and Defence College (ESDC), in partnership with the Austrian National Defence Academy and the Egmont Institute in Brussels. The course caters to professionals in political advisory positions working in EU institutions, in EU missions and operations or in EU member state governments.

The overall course provides participants an understanding of the tasks and challenges they will face as political advisors in an EU mission or operation at both the operational and strategic levels. It details the core principles of the EU’s External Action as well as the framework, skills and working techniques for political advisors both in capitals and in the field. The course also creates the space for participants to form networks in their field – especially valuable for a growing profession.

The module held at the GCSP communicates knowledge and skill enhancement cognitively and experientially, relying on the experience and perspectives of participants and facilitators to create an engaging environment adapted to adult learning; this is known as the“The GCSP Way.” The course focused on enhancing the skills required to effectively serve in political advisory roles. Sessions included conflict and political analysis, intelligence analysis, mediation support, political reporting, speechwriting and effective communication. Sessions are designed to be highly interactive and employ a variety of case studies for maximum application of skills.

The course was directed by GCSP Associate Ms Miriam Fugfugosh who has designed and directed the modules on skills enhancement for POLADS since their inception atthe GCSP. The speakers and facilitators were affiliated with various international institutions, agencies, and governments. The module started off with an address about the role of political advisors by Mr John Erath, a GCSP Government Fellow with extensive experience in the US Foreign Service. Mr Koenraad Van Brabant of the Global Mentoring Initiative and Navigation 360 Consulting lead the group through a half-day on political and conflict analysis. Mr Marc Finaud from the GCSP provided a session on political reporting. Mr Jean-Paul Rouiller, Manager of the Terrorism Joint Analysis Group guided the group through a simulation as intelligence analysts. Mr Matthias Ryffel and Ms Yosra Nagui, from swisspeace lead a day on mediation support. The participants received insights on effective political messaging from Mr Andras Baneth from the Public Affairs Council European Office and personalised feedback on communication styles through television and voice workshops with Mr Marcus Berry and Ms Jennifer Clickner from icommunicate, a Geneva-based collaboration of communication experts.

The participants will head to Vienna this June to complete the third and final module of the course at the Austrian National Defence Academy.

In response to the high interest in this course, the GCSP will conduct another module on Skills Enhancement for Political Advisors open to international participation from 06 to 08 June 2018 that is currently open for application