The ESDC  European Doctoral School on CSDP accepted our Association to join this configuration and provide its expertise and mentorship on PhD level research.  

The European Doctoral School on the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) is an initiative launched in 2017 by volunteer institutions and the European Security and Defence College to develop a range of training and provide support for doctoral research on the CSDP in the EU.

Its objective is to develop a critical mass of scientific and academic expertise that brings together supervisors and mentors and promotes the exchange of knowledge, skills and competences on European security and defence with a view to providing support for PhD level research reflecting on the CSDP.

It offers a specialized training program supplementary to the courses organized by its network institutions in their doctoral curricula and supports multi-disciplinary doctoral researches with relevant European training and environments in the following areas:

  • Cyber, new technologies and security in the CSDP context
  • Critical infrastructure, personnel and logistics in CSDP
  • Defense industry and capabilities for the CSDP
  • Partner capacity-building and external relations in the CSDP context
  • History, conflict studies, concepts, values and ethics of the CSDP
  • Defence economics, financing, education, training and leadership in the CSDP context
  • Governance, management, decision-making and deployment for CSDP

More information about this initiative can be retrieved from its official webpage at: https://esdc.europa.eu/doctoral-school/

We are delighted to announce that the Steering Commitee of the European Security and Defence College , in its  meeting of 26 June 2020, has decided to accept the application of European Citizens  Association to join its Executive Academic Board.

We are ready to contribute to the work of this great network of more that 160 institutions towards the creation of a Common Security and Defence culture.

(Harald Gell; 19 April 2020)The European Union (EU) is – among having other functions – the most successful peace project on the European continent. Since World War II not any armed conflict has taken place on the European territory of its Member States. That is why after 70 years of peace, the EU was awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize for its efforts for peace, reconciliation, democracy, and human rights in 2012.[1]

On the other hand, the EU is criticised for different avenues of approach permanently – which can be seen as a positive democratic quality assurance system – but it must be assured that the criticism is based on facts and not on fake news. As an example, the former President of the European Commission, Jean Claude Juncker, was interviewed after his retirement in 2019 about “what he would have changed during his presidency when looking back?” He said that one of his biggest mistakes was the silence before the BREXIT-referendum following a policy of non-interference, because a lot of arguments were lies and fake news resulting in an unexpected outcome.[2]

To counter fake news it is possible to publish counterblasts, but the more effective and efficient way is to educate and to inform people across-the-board. Thus, people can evaluate the news on their own. But how to assure that?

In 2018 – based on the idea of the current ECA-president – specialists, familiar with the functioning of the EU, found together to create a legal, supranational, and non-profit association with the following purposes:

  • Safeguard and promote the European Union’s fundamental values in contributing to the development of a common culture in security and defence and a common EU identity.
  • Increase citizens’ resilience to information manipulation concerning the European Union.[3]

Officially established in 2020, the European Citizens Association is thought as a growing consortium with full members from EU Member States and associated members from in- or outside the EU. ECA is organised according to the following sketch:

Figure 1: Organisation of the European Citizens Association.[4]

Among other activities, the ECA members promote the values of the European Union, of its common challenges and the fundamental components of its construction at all levels of education and training by means of informing and encouraging the integration of the pedagogical objectives geared towards the European Union.[5]


[1]: Homepage of THE NOBEL PRIZE. URL: https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/peace/2012/summary/. [19-4-20].
[2]: Interview with Jean Claude Juncker on 06 November 2019. Homepage of tagesschau.de. URL: https://www.tagesschau.de/ausland/juncker-interview-107.html. [19-4-20].
[3]: Statuses – European Citizens Association (March 2020). Article 3.
[4]: Figure created by the author based on Statuses – European Citizens Association; Article 10-12.
[5]: Statuses – European Citizens Association (March 2020). Article 4.

About us

The European Citizens Association, which is not for profit, aims to safeguard and promote the European Union’s fundamental values and to increase citizens’ resilience to information manipulation. From its very first day of creation the association had a pan European and multidiscipline character as its 13 founding members come from 10 different Member States having different professional and academic background. Some of us are actors of the European Union (EU) policies from professional background. All of us, in our individual capacities, are convinced that wealth and peace in our countries and on our continent can only be enhanced through greater integration of our societies and nations. All of us share the same passion to make our Union and societies better and more integrated.

Contact us

Belliard 100, Brussels 1040, Belgium