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The Doctoral School on CSDP managed by the European Security and Defense College

24 July 2023 | Back to news list

Impressions from Luigi Nicolo’ Segarizzi, after attending the European Security and Defense College's Doctoral School on CSDP as part of his Ph.D. project

ESDC - Doctoral School on CSDP

As an initial contact with the ESDC doctoral program on the CSDP, Mr. Segarizzi was invited to the annual summer course organized by the Romanian National Intelligence Academy in Bucharest in early July 2023. Seminars have been focused on peace, security, and defense in the current international security context, with topics related to security challenges in the Black Sea region. ESDC fellows from all over the EU had the opportunity to engage in seminars and workshops on these topics. They also attended lectures and practical sessions regarding scientific writing, publication, as well as research methodology, and interacted with mentors and experts from European institutions so as to draw from their expertise for their own research. The event attracted the attention of specialists from government bodies, academia, research, and industry and created a perfect atmosphere to share skills, exchange experiences, and initiate discussion about research within the environment of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP).

Various activities organized during the five-day workshop have been intellectually challenging and extremely useful to advance the Doctoral Project ESR 13 of the GEM-Diamond program. Given the objective of this research project to shed light on the issue of foreign disinformation against the European Union’s peace and security support initiatives in the Eastern neighborhood, the summer school provided valuable insights into the debate concerning Foreign Information Manipulation and Interference (FIMI). Especially, a realistic simulation concerning online disinformation in conflict-prone areas underlined the severe implications of these activities for the EU's external actions. The exercise has indeed demonstrated how the distortion of the local information space by externally-fabricated sources can undermine the rapid and smooth implementation of CSDP mechanisms conceived to manage sudden crises and stabilize tense situations. Consequently, standardized anti-FIMI procedures, such as those developed by the EEAS StratCom division, need to be constantly adapted to specific conflict-affected regions in order to detect and counter disinformation campaigns able to hamper the EU crisis response procedures.

Training programs such as those provided by the ESDC are a crucial complement to the research activity, as they allow the researcher to concretely address critical geopolitical challenges. Therefore, advanced knowledge of the EU decision-making in the field of CSDP as well as ad-hoc workshops simulating the response to complex security threats, form disinformation campaigns to terrorist activities, enable the Fellow to identify possible gaps in the current discipline and to contribute to finding practical solutions.

Luigi Nicolò Segrazzi is a MSCA Fellow at the Université Libre de Bruxelles and Universitatea Babeș-Bolyai in Cluj-Napoca, within the EU-supported GEM-DIAMOND doctoral program. His Ph.D. project is developed as part of a partnership between the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Universitatea Babeș-Bolyai (UBB) in Cluj-Napoca, and the Doctoral School on CSDP managed by the European Security and Defense College (ESDC). His academic co-supervisors are Professor Aude Merlin (ULB) and Professor Valentin Naumescu (UBB).