Since 2003, the EU has been conducting missions and operations in the framework of the European Security and Defence Policy. Over the years, the crisis management structures, now located within the European External Action Service, have established well-functioning processes based on lessons learned. One of the recurring conclusions is the lack of training and education. These issues can be solved using eLearning tools, specifically developed for the European Security and Defence College (ESDC), with the same content for every participant. Through the ESDC, a certain standardization process can be guaranteed and the eLearning tools are independent from time and location constraints.
The main challenges are the different training environments within the EU Member States, but also the various training landscapes at more or less specialized training providers/institutes at local, regional and European level. Somehow 'United in Diversity' could be a catchphrase for this situation.
Another issue concerns the content of training, with Europe-wide standardized training given only at the European Security and Defence College. This College is devoted to training on CSDP issues, not only for EU Member States, institutions and missions, but also for in-country missions and operations. Other training providers' activities are based on national or regional standards, but not on agreed European ones.
The final issue concerns the lack of time available before the launch of each mission or operation. People are ideally recruited with the appropriate education and training, but in the worst case they are recruited without, just to reach the required number of personnel. For European missions and operations, the personnel can be recruited from anywhere, hence the difficulties in finding common ground and time for training.