14 - 18 January 2019 / Course language: English and Russian

Demographic Change and the Youth in the MENA Region – Issues of Human or National Security?
Developing Strategies to address contemporary security challenges on Europe´s southern flank



The European Security Seminar – South (ESS-S) 2018 is about the implications of demographic change in the MENA region on the youth, and it investigates into the impacts on human, national and regional security. 60 per cent of the MENA population is under the age of 30. It is clear that the future of the region belongs to them. They inherit the economic, political, cultural, security environment from the preceding generation. The Arab uprisings in 2011, largely organized by this young generation, for the first time brought to light their demands for a future in dignity, most importantly an economic future, and political participation.   Seven years later, these demands still remain on the table. Far worse, youth in war torn societies like Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen, is a lost generation which will find it hard to rebuild their countries.

ESS-E image

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.


Discussion Topics

  • What are the implicated security dimensions of this situation?
  • What are the national and regional security dimensions?
  • What have governments, partners, NGOs or multilateral organizations done to reduce inherent risks?
  • How successful are these measures?
  • What additional or alternative programs are needed?

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.