European Security and Defence College Core Course on Security Sector Reform

1. Concept and Purpose of SSR 

The course aims to enhance the knowledge, skills and competencies of participants in relation to the concept and principles of SSR as part of the EU's Integrated Approach and other related EU policy and concepts, in particular "the EU wide strategic framework in support of Security Sector Reform". It will highlight the key components of SSR, the various tools and techniques used by SSR practitioners and the challenges that an SSR advisor could face. It will also develop examples of good practice through the collective sharing of experience and provide tools to address future challenges and assess needs in relation to SSR.

The course also aims to strengthen a network of SSR experts, with a common understanding of EU SSR.

The course is organized by FINCENT in the framework of the Academic Programme of the European Security and Defence College (ESDC) and conducted in cooperation with the International Security Sector Advisory Team of the Geneva Centre of the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF/ISSAT).

2. Learning Objectives 


• Define and differentiate between the notions of security, the security sector and security sector reform

• Explain the concept and evolution of SSR, including such issues as contexts, principles, programme areas and the highly political nature of SSR

• Describe the key policy frameworks and actors involved in SSR, including the UN, OSCE, NATO, with a special emphasis on the EU and the Joint Communication to the European Parliament and the Council - Elements for an EU-wide strategic framework to support SSR


• Demonstrate the importance of working complementarity across the various sub-components of SSR in post-conflict or fragile environments

• Place SSR within its international and national contexts, and explain how the context has an impact on the approach to be taken


• Assess political commitment to reform, likely sources of resistance and ways in which support for reform can build constituencies that may come to support the change process

• Develop and understand synergies with other international actors and seek to build consensus with them in the field of SSR programming

• Discuss and develop indicators to measure the success of SSR programmes as part of systematic monitoring and evaluation

3. Student Criteria

Participants should preferably be middle to senior level professionals deployed or just about to be deployed in support of a bilateral, regional or multilateral mission to support security and justice reform within EU or EU Member State and/or partner country structures. The course is also open to those involved in programming, programme management and/or in political/policy dialogue in the wider context of SSR.

Priority is given to personnel from the EU Member States.

4. Course Dates

31 May -5 June 2020

5. Course Fee

No course fee.