Since January 2005 the Royal Higher Institute for Defence has been organising the High Studies for Security and Defence in cooperation with Egmont, the Royal Institute for International Relations for the benefit of Belgian senior managers or officials. In the most recent decennium, the need for a multidisciplinary approach in security and defence matters has been increasingly felt in the face of various crises breaking out in the four corners of the world. Globalisation is not only an economic phenomenon. The rise of international terrorism, which we nowadays painfully experience in our country and in other places in Europe, is for instance only reinforcing the need for a global approach.
An efficient but, more importantly, responsible management of security and defence starts with a good understanding of the existing phenomena. An accurate multidisciplinary analysis can prevent subjective, corporative or individual feelings to get the upper hand over reason. This is the objective and challenge that the participants in the sixteenth session of the High Studies for Security and Defence will have to meet as from September 2020..
During the previous sessions, not only did the Defence staff (both civilian and military) take part in the various activities but also members of the Belgian Development Cooperation, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Home Affairs and Justice, the federal police, the economic and industrial sectors, the academic community, NGOs, and so on. The Royal Higher Institute for Defence is an interface between those worlds: this is one of its core tasks.
Ten seminars of two days are each devoted to a specific issue. During the monthly seminars participating members first attend conferences given by renowned professors or academic, political or diplomatic experts charged with issues relating to the theme of the seminar. Those conferences are followed by a debate with the speaker. Participants then form discussion groups in which they share their personal experiences and views, enabling them to get a more comprehensive insight into the broached issues.
In addition to the seminars ten visits of major institutions in the sectors of security and defence in Belgium are organized.
The analysis of the participants’ reactions shows that they unanimously think that this formula is of great interest. The knowledge they gain from the workshops makes them even more effective in their tasks. The aim of those High Studies for Security and Defence is indeed rather to better equip officials from various sectors of the wide security and defence field than to provide regular academic training.