Sumario: January 20, 2003: European Commission Launches Pilot Courses for Training Civilian Experts in Crisis Management (Brussels)
The first European Union (EU) pilot training course for experts in civilian crisis management opens today, 20 January 2003, at the Austrian Study Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution in Stadtschlaining. 28 participants from all EU member states, as well as from EU candidate countries and from conflict areas will undergo two weeks of intensive training to prepare themselves for participation in EU missions in areas of conflict. Judges, prosecutors and human rights observers as well as
local administrators, social workers, teachers and infrastructure experts are amongst those to be trained on how to apply their professional competence in conflict-stricken environments. The course is part of a major training initiative launched by the European Commission at the end of 2001 with the aim of boosting the Union's civilian peacekeeping capacities. The initiative will train up to 250 experts in 2003. The European Commission contributes €1.49m to the training courses under the
European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR).
Civilians play an increasingly important role in peace missions, assuming a leading role in crisis and post-conflict situations by supporting democratisation and the rule of law, by strengthening human rights, and by rebuilding civil societies and viable administrations. One of the major challenges the international community faces however, is the lack of suitably qualified and available personnel for peace missions. The participants in the pilot courses will be taught specific field skills, ranging from conflict management, to gender and cultural awareness and personal security. The training course in Austria is the first in a series of 14 courses which, between January and July 2003, will train experts in rule of law and civilian administrators in nine different European training institutions.
Following the decision to strengthen its actions in civilian crisis management at the European Council meeting of Feira in June 2000, the Union engaged in an important effort to build up personnel in the priority areas of rule of law, civilian administration, civil protection and police. 5,000 police officers, 2,000 civil protection personnel and 280 rule of law experts will be available for crisis management missions.
Following the successful launch of the European Union Police Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina on January 1, 2003, the training initiative will now help to improve the size, qualifications and rapid deployment capabilities of Member States' personnel pools in the areas of rule of law and civilian administration.
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