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Summer University in Light of NATO Accession

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The 15th Euro-Atlantic Summer University coincided with the 15th anniversary of Hungary’s accession to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The accredited program, held in the HDF Peace Support Training Centre in Szolnok between 28th of July and 1st of August, had a major emphasis on NATO’s tasks, crisis management and the organization’s answers to new types of security challenges.

This year’s summer university had 64 participants (lecturers and students) coming from the defence sector, public administration and the National University of Public Service (NUPS). The programme provided insight into the theory and practice of crisis management, the current challenges and the vision of NATO with a special focus on the antecedents of the Alliance’s 2014 September summit and on the challenges demanding the cooperation between members of the military, law enforcement and public administration.

Professor Péter Tálas, Director of the Centre for Strategic and Defence Studies, organizer and head of the summer university reminded that while this year’s event was first and foremost targeted at people in this profession, the summer university included entertaining and interactive programmes as well. Professor Tálas added that in addition to the lectures and seminars, a series of sporting and teambuilding exercises made the event more colourful with such new programmes like the “Fight Filmclub”.

“Already the first day’s panel discussions made it obvious that our goal of fostering constructive dialogues can be achieved, however, later intense debates throughout the week were beyond our expectations. Whether the talks were about the security perception of the Hungarian society and that of the political elite, the internal factors of the crisis in Ukraine or about the changes in global power, our students were active participants who did not only reveal their interest but their knowledge regarding these issues as well. The exchange of views was also beneficial for us and we hope that this informal, outspoken and open dialogue will remain between people of this profession” – summarized Professor Tálas.

The summer university jointly organized by the Hungarian Defence Force and the National University of Public Service, however, the event’s preparation included the joint efforts of the colleagues at the “vitéz Szurmay Sándor” Budapest Garrison Brigade Protocol, the Cultural Subdivision of the Directorate for Recreation and Cultural Affairs, the HDF Peace Support Training Centre in Szolnok, the Centre for Strategic and Defence Studies at NUPS and the students of the Special Student Community for Security Policy.

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