Senior Executive Seminar (SES) Graphic

Senior Executive Seminar (SES)

Russia in Europe: The Return of Great Power Competition

Course language: English


Who Should Attend?

The George C. Marshall Center Senior Executive Seminar (SES) is an intensive five-day program tailored to meet the specific needs of national ministers, ambassadors, legislators, general officers and senior government officials who must address the critical issues facing our global and regional security environment.

Participation in this high level and concentrated program is open to senior government officials who will meet experts, analysts and government officials at commensurate level. The seminar combines the sharing of knowledge with interactive seminars that help share best practices among the participants.

About this Seminar

Russia, as an international political actor is interested in acquiring and maintaining its great power status in the international system. Its efforts are two-fold: 1) To divide its self-identified adversary, the West, starting from Europe and its areas of interest, thus weakening western prominence and influence in the international system; and 2) to complement this division by finding strategic partners/allies globally. Even though these actions may eventually result in strategic overstretch, Russia has certainly gained prominence on the international stage with the partially successful combination of the two.

It is essential to present and assess clearly the reality of Russia’s actions backing its aspirations, grouped around a number of topics and complemented by seminars that interactively deepen the analysis, and complement it in regional contexts.

The objectives of this seminar are to:

  • Create/deepen awareness among international stakeholders on Russia's goals and strategy with an emphasis on areas where its interests intersect with Europe;
  • Improve understanding of Russian interests, goals and policy in Europe and other areas beyond its region, and how it uses indirect and asymmetric approaches to realize them;
  • Identify trends and commonalities in Russian bilateral and regional initiatives in Europe in order to better understand Russian intentions including competition short of armed conflict;
  • Compare how European and other nations perceive and react to Russian diplomatic, informational, economic, and military initiatives in the context of great power competition.

Key Themes and Focus

States and institutions in Europe and elsewhere are trying to understand and adapt to the changing nature of Russia’s influence in European affairs. To do so we must focus on:

  • Understanding of Russian internationalpolicy goals in Europe as well as the waysand means it employs to reach them.
  • Understanding Russian strategiccommunication strategy in Europe andhow to measure its impact.
  • Analyzing Russian political, economicand strategic goals in Europe and withinthe international system.
  • Establishing a strategic context for theRussian-Western relationship.
Senior Executive Seminar 19-14
(DOD Video)

Course Outcomes

  • Provide participants with currentanalyses of Russian goals regarding theirEuropean strategic planning incomparison with European and U.S.positions.
  • Provide objective assessment ofWestern unity and disunity concerningRussia’s policies towards the West.
  • Identify trends and likely futuredevelopments as Russia becomes moredeeply integrated into European affairs.
  • Highlight specific policies andtechniques Russia uses to achieve itspolicy goals in Europe and beyond.
  • Facilitate exchange among seniordecision-makers.
  • Establish networks based on mutualunderstanding and shared political willto respond to Russian initiativesin a coordinated and internationallysupportable manner.

Course Details

George C. Marshall Center - European Center for Security Studies
Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
How to Register

For application and deadline information, contact Marshall Center Registrar, your ministry point of contact, or the U.S. or German Embassy in your capital city.

Course Director
Portrait image
Italian Carabinieri Brigadier General Sebastiano Comitini
Italian Carabinieri Brigadier General Sebastiano Comitini
Senior Executive Seminar
Course Language