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          • Year: 2019
          • How Can NATO Contribute to Regional Cooperation in the Field of Training and Education?

          • The extent of NATO’s contribution to regional cooperation in the field of education and training, and specifically the role of PTECs and DEEP will be examined in the analysis by BCSP Researcher Marija Ignjatijevic.

        • NATO shares its expertise with partner countries in order to assist them with defence education and training reform through a set of mechanisms. By joining different NATO initiatives partner countries open up the opportunity to exchange insights and experience in areas of common interest, gain access to the advice and support of NATO experts, as well as to take part in various NATO events and activities. Partnership education and training mechanisms are predominantly designed as bilateral tools - focused on enhancing cooperation and interoperability between the Alliance and the partner.

           

           

          The aim of this analysis is to examine the extent to which NATO mechanisms contribute to regional cooperation in the field of education and training in the Western Balkans. For that purpose, the role of Partnership Training and Education Centres (PTECs) and the Defence Education Enhancement Programme (DEEP) in bolstering regional cooperation will be observed.

           

          Regional cooperation among military educational facilities in the Western Balkans is an important means of attaining interoperability, necessary for tackling common security challenges. Even though NATO mechanisms do create space for regional cooperation, additional possibilities for its enhancement should be explored and developed. So far, attempts to intensify regional cooperation in the Western Balkans through NATO Partnership tools appear to be scattered efforts mostly initiated by the countries themselves, rather than NATO’s systematic approach to the defence education and training reform in the region. Within the framework of the existing partnership tools, there is space for both NATO and the Western Balkan countries to pursue and promote the regional dimension of education and training, and accordingly, boost regional military cooperation.

           

          The principal feature of NATO education and training Partnership Tools, such as PTEC network, which can contribute to regional cooperation is the opportunity to specialize in a particular area of expertise. Specialization further enhances other factors which can be beneficial for regional cooperation:

          • Knowledge exchange enabled by the exchange of students and instructors
          • Bigger training audience through deployment of Mobile Training Teams and exchange of instructors
          • Strengthened personal links among the personnel in the region
          • Discussion platforms provided by organizing different networking events and meetings

           

          NATO education and training providers are the establishments which have a link with NATO, but are usually governed by sponsor countries, national authorities or civil organizations and are open to members and partner countries personnel. These include Centres of Excellence (CoEs), Partnership Education and Training Centres (PTECs) and Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defence Academies and Security Studies Institutes (PfP Consortium). Western Balkan countries actively participate in PTEC and PfP Consortium programs, therefore its role in facilitating regional cooperation will be further discussed.

           

          Read the full analysis HERE.

        • Tags: nato, regional security cooperation, security coopearation, Partnership for Peace, serbia and NATO, defence cooperation, Marija Ignjatijević
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