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European Security and Defence College (ESDC)

The ESDC is a network of European Defence academic institutions set up to promote and train member states in the implementation of the European Defence and Security Policy (ESDP) and Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). On behalf of the Defence Academy the JSCSC acts as the UK element of the ESDC.

The current ESDC course catalogue includes:

  • The Higher Level Course (HLC) is aimed at those personnel who are about to occupy senior ESDP policy roles within the MOD, FCO or in Brussels. It may have limited relevance to those not specifically looking at employment in these areas, or who have undertaken HCSC or ACSC, as these courses cover much of the HLC content.
  • The Orientation Course (OC); a one week package that runs about 4 to 6 times per annum.  This is held in Brussels using EU Commission /Secretariat facilities but is organised on a rotational basis by different groups of nations. Aimed at the SO2 to OF5 (civilian or military) it provides a useful introduction to the ESDP, the CFSP and the EU Security Strategy, and would be good training for a staff lead for EU ‘matters’. 
  • The Press and Public Information Course (PPI).  This is a two day course, run once or twice a year.  It is aimed very much at press or public affairs officers and provides training in the EU way of doing business; it is probably pertinent for a PRO or Media Advisor on a 1 or 2* staff about to embark on EU operations. 
Access to the course is controlled by DPIO and application should be made via the Desk Officer, Austin Mitchell (, Ext. 9621 86843).

As the ESDC evolves, a wider range of courses are being considered, and there are currently plans afoot for Security Sector Reform and EU Mission Planning modules.  Here at JSCSC, whilst I would hesitate to describe the small team within the College as experts on all matters relating to European Defence, there is nevertheless a grouping of individuals, both academic and uniformed, who are a potential source of advice and guidance, and would be able to offer some support -  if only to point you in the right direction.

A good overview of ESDC activity can also be obtained from the College’s website.

The primary point of contact within the College is Wg Cdr Trollen who can be emailed on  or tel: 96161 8107/01793 788107