23 Jun 2024

European Diplomatic Academy's Pilot Programme: Third Edition of the Natolin Borderland Study Trip Module

From 23/06 08:00 till 30/06 20:00

On 23 June 2024, the third edition of the Natolin Borderland Study Trip Module, an essential part of the European Diplomatic Academy's Pilot Programme, will begin. This initiative, carried out in collaboration with the College of Europe in Bruges and funded by the European Union through the European External Action Service (EEAS), provides participants with a thorough understanding of regional, European, and transatlantic security dynamics in the aftermath of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine on 22 February 2022. 

This year’s group of the Borderland Study Trip Module comprises 27 diplomats representing 21 EU member states and EU institutions. This programme will start in Przemyśl and Rzeszów. There, the group will meet with various stakeholders representing local authorities and non-governmental organisations providing help to war refugees. The field trip will also take the participants to the Medyka Border Point at the border with Ukraine, for a meeting with the Border Guard. The meetings will allow to better understand life in the situation at the EU borderland during times of crisis across the border, including the magnitude of humanitarian assistance offered to the refugees, and development of the city of Rzeszów into a hub for assistance to Ukraine.  

In Natolin, the Borderland Study Trip Module will offer discussion with diplomats, members of parliament, think tankers from e.g. the Polish Institute of International Affairs or the Centre for Eastern Studies. Participants will also have an opportunity to analyse the Baltic perspective on the security situation in the Baltic region with Mr Tobias BILLSTRÖM, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden, and with Mr Žygimantas PAVILIONIS, Member of Parliament of Lithuania.

An important part of the study trip will also be a visit to Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency. These engagements will provide participants with an opportunity to analyse the multidimensional consequence of the full scale Russian invasion in Ukraine for peace and security in the local (borderland), regional, European and transatlantic dimension. Discussion will also look into the developments in Central Asia, Africa and the Middle East in the context of the war in Ukraine.

Since its first edition in 2022, the Borderland Study Trip Module has not only offered each group a 360 degrees overview of the war-instigated developments and food for thought for possible verification of earlier ideas and assumptions, but also served to strengthen the team spirit of each group, through made-to-measure teambuilding and network sustainability activities.

The College of Europe in Natolin remains committed to advancing the knowledge and capabilities of future European diplomats through innovative and impactful programs such as the Borderland Study Trip Module for the European Diplomatic Academy. This initiative not only underscores the importance of understanding regional security dynamics but also highlights the EU's solidarity and support for Ukraine during these challenging times.

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