SEMINAR 5+5. HIGHER LEVEL MILITARY EDUCATION
General Valença, Vice admiral Maicieira, officers, ladies and
gentlemen, good morning.
It is a pleasure and an honour to have the opportunity to meet you in
such an outstanding forum to close this innovative seminar. This
Seminar is the outcome of a process carried out on the basis of the
experience gained during the previous years of the Initiative 5+5
action plans and with the participation of all 10 Western
Mediterranean partner countries.
During these days, the participants representing the Ministries of
Defence, Joint and Service Staffs, as well as educational centres
have had the opportunity to discuss their interests and priorities
concerning Higher Level Education as the recognition of the
importance of the educational dimension for the Initiative 5+5, as its
fourth pillar to be developed.
As a result, today there is a broad consensus on the necessity to
increase our cooperation and integration of our training tools as a
key issue in development strategies and programs in the Western
Mediterranean. The decision made in the 2007 Minister Meeting to
establish the “5+5 Defence College”, primarily designed for civil and
military personnel from Defence institutions of each of the 5+5
countries, is an illustration of this appreciation.
This seminar, hosted by our Portuguese colleagues, is based on the
common idea of staging an event to support the potential role played
by military education in increasing the military cooperation, drawing
on its long tradition among our armed forces. Hence, I would like to
thank Portugal for the efforts, enthusiastic service and cooperation
to organize this event where we have had the opportunity to deal
with the highest quality of professionals.
These sessions were devoted to a comprehensive assessment of
the opportunities for regional cooperation and the implications for
our own armed forces on both sides of the Mediterranean.
It has been emphasized that the many factors and challenges
affecting the Western Mediterranean area could be faced with a new
approach through a common effort in improving our knowledge and
shared education, all of them in close coordination with other actors
in “5+5 Dialogue”. To continue to progress, we should develop
integrative projects, primarily aimed at younger officers, because the
future opportunities belong to them, the younger generations.
We should strive to gain a good deal of our credibility and leverage
in the Western Mediterranean Region by promoting integrative
educational efforts, working on education, avoiding the perception of
“double standards”, which will have a negative impact on the whole
architecture of regional cooperation.
A good example inside Initiative 5+5 is the Euro-Maghreb Centre for
Research and Strategic Studies (CEMRES). Tunisia is the leader
regarding national contributions with which we have established
common long-term objectives, committing effectively concerned
actors and educational centres.
Regarding the Spanish commitment with education in the Initiative
5+5, we have completed the first Senior Course, organized with
Algeria, just three months ago. It was a great success due to the
true and efficient coordination between us. The chosen subject, “the
contribution of the 5+5 Defence Initiative to the security in the
Mediterranean”, was perfectly adapted to the level of the
participants. It enabled high level thinking and real debates to better
understand each other’s views about this issue.
I can announce that Spain confirms its commitment with
intermediate level offering new modules for the 2010/2011 cycle.
According to the proposal of the Academic Committee, this module
will be organized in coordination with France and Libya, in the
general framework of the issue on “threats of the Western
Spain also supports the basic training module in the area of Air
Security during 2012. As you could understand basic level planning
is the basis to support the Initiative 5+5 in common areas.
Finally, I would like to underline that the implementation of our goals
and objectives depends on the actions undertaken at the national
It is therefore important for national military education policies to
reconcile the regional requirements at the Higher Education Level, in
particular by looking for cooperative approaches covering areas
such as air security, maritime security and armed forces
participation in supporting civilian authorities, and finally,
encouraging common educational procedures for younger
Let me finish by expressing many thanks to Portugal, once again for
such a remarkable organization and to all the participants for sharing
their always interesting thoughts. This seminar has established a
strong platform to widely develop our commitment with our own
Thank you for your attention.