European Security Seminar - South (ESS-S 17-11)
Monday, June 19, 2017 to Friday, June 23, 2017
Location : Marshall Center - Contact : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Course language: English
Nomination due date: May 8, 2017

19 - 23 March 2018 / Course language: English

"Foreign Fighters, Youth Radicalization and Refugees as Instruments of War."
Developing Strategies to Address Contemporary Security Challenges on Europe’s Southern Flank


This one week seminar is designed to examine the threats to Europe emanating from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and to develop appropriate responses to regional security challenges.

The effects of transnational terrorism, illicit trafficking, and illegal migration have been acutely felt along Europe’s southern flank, but threaten the political, economic, and social stability of the entire continent.  Multilateral and whole-of-government approaches are essential to addressing these multi-faceted problems.

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This workshop will engage mid to senior level security practitioners to share insights and to collectively work potential strategies to counter emerging threats. Such responses must necessarily address issues at the source (in MENA) and security policies within Europe. Moreover, the event will generate a network of professionals for continued interaction, dialogue, and cooperation.

This seminar will bring together mid to senior level security practitioners from Europe, Eurasia and the US to build a common understanding of the new dynamics in the South and to develop comprehensive strategies to address conflicts, vulnerability and disorder. The event will generate a network of professionals for continued interaction, dialogue, and cooperation.



  • To engage a range of partners in better understanding conflict dynamics in Europe’s southern flank, with a particular focus on foreign fighters and refugees as instruments of war and, over the longer term, the issue of youth radicalization.
  • We begin by a review of how the Iraq/Syria crisis has increasingly spilled over into neighboring states and a metastasis process impacts on the stability of states, institutions and identities in the Middle East and North Africa.


  • This metastasis creates vulnerabilities and challenges for Euro-Atlantic space and needs to be addressed through the use of a range of policy tools - hard power; combating transnational organized crime and political corruption; economic integration tendencies; and, energy security and the logics of interdependence.
  • We assess and align potential Euro-Atlantic policy responses to fit the new realities we face and “stress test” these responses through an alternative future scenarios exercise.
  • The final results of the ESS-S will be published as a conference report “Marshall Center Insights” series. These insights will be fed back through to the U.S. and Germany, as well as the EU and NATO, in order to inform strategy development.

Expected accomplishments

This course will be taught by subject matter experts from the Marshall Center along with adjunct professors and guest lecturers from national and international European and Euro-Atlantic security organizations.  It will invite representatives from: the EU’s Mediterranean Union and NATO PFP, MD and ICI; Southern EU/NATO members (Cyprus, Malta, Italy, Spain, Greece, Turkey, Rumania, Bulgaria, and Croatia); the Western Balkans (Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia, Kosovo, and Albania) and non-aligned or neutral states (Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, and Austria). 

The course is structured and designed in such a way to be able to capture the insights from these representatives as to how the EU and NATO can formulate new strategies towards the southern flank while minimizing negative spillovers and “collateral damage” to NATO and EU neighbors and partners in the region.


Indicators of achievement

The primary indicator of achievement will be that the ideas and outputs from the course help inform EU and NATO strategic thinking, as well as understanding in those countries invited, with regards to the southern flank.  On that basis we can widen sponsors of the course for its FY17 iteration by securing additional EU and German funding. 

A secondary objective will be to suggest alternative policy options and strengthen the GCMC’s role as incubator of and honest broker within a Euro-Atlantic and MENA community of strategic experts and institutions.


Main activities

ESS-S addresses the topic by providing three different platforms for discussions, exchange of ideas, networking and strategy development: the first platform includes conference-style format of lectures, panels and plenary discussions; the second is outcome-oriented and product-driven topical workshop format (five topical workshops led by SMEs, supported by a rapporteur with input by SMEs and guest speakers); the third, “night owl” sessions held in the format of a DV “fire side chat.”


For application and deadline information, contact the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., your ministry point of contact, or the U.S. or German Embassy in your capital city.