After a two-week break from lecture, we had the privilege of starting our Monday off with a lecture from former Colonel Cuzzelli in the First Euroflat Hotel. He is a soldier from Italy who has become a scholar. His experiences and knowledge of security and military issues are reflected clearly in his lectures.

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Our first day back in lecture was split into two parts: the first was about the concept of security and the second part was focused on crisis management. While they are interconnected, the former focused on the theory and general overview of security and the latter was more application.

Security is complex. It is something that we all knew, but Colonel Cuzzelli made it very clear that it is impossible to achieve it entirely. According to the Oxford Dictionary, security is quite literally “the absence of danger and fear.” It is a core value of human life. It is also central to most issues and highly interconnected with many other issues, like human rights. Security was broken down into three distinct fields: National, International, and Human.

National security is focused on the well-being and security of Nation-States people. Individual personal security and well-being depend on the promise of security from Nation-States. International security focuses more on an international society with common aspirations for peace. There are a few dilemmas, like how much deterrence is acceptable before it becomes dangerous for neighbors? Finally, human security is a state responsibility. National and international security cannot exist unless human security is in place. This is called spillover.

Our next lecture was focused on crisis management. We discussed the processes that take place when a crisis occurs. There is an overall procedure that states follow when there is a crisis. The process goes: indications and warnings, assessment, development of options, planning and then finally execution and transition. It was interesting getting a step by step process of how crises are handled, especially with the crises that are occurring all over the world right now, not just Europe.

After a quick lunch and coffee break, we headed to the Belgian Foreign Ministry. We had the absolute privilege of getting briefed by a seasoned diplomat, Thomas Lambert, as well as someone who works with the European Union budget, Bernard Latour. They gave us a wonderful briefing on the importance of the European Union budget, and how they intend to change it with the events of Brexit. A point that stuck out to me was the amount of the European Union budget that focused on agriculture, and how they would like to change it and allocate money to technology and innovation.

It was interesting to hear about the change that was coming to the budget. The effects of Brexit are demonstrated in every aspect of the European Union. We have heard quite a bit of information about Brexit and how each different institution has processed the information. In the case of the European Union, the effects are large but nothing that cannot be handled.