NATO discusses defence and security sector reforms in Skopje

NATO’s Defence Education Enhancement Programme (DEEP); Photo: NATO

SKOPJE – A team of representatives from NATO’s Defence Education Enhancement Programme (DEEP), together with experts from Bulgaria, Germany and the United States, visited Skopje, in Macedonia from 30 October to 2 November 2017. They reviewed the government’s progress on defence education reforms and identified clear priorities for the future.

During the visit, the Minister of Defence, Radmila Šekerinska, emphasised the importance of the programme.

“I can say, with conviction, that our inclusion in this NATO programme will help us reform and develop our military education and achieve better results,” she said.

The DEEP team will complete an assessment report in close cooperation with Skopje. An initial action plan will then be developed to focus on defence education priorities. The DEEP project is expected to begin in February 2018 and could take up to three years.

The foundations for these negotiations were laid during the meeting between Defence Minister Šekerinska and NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller in Brussels on 27 September 2017. Both expressed strong support for strengthened cooperation and emphasised that education remains a critical factor of transformation.

DEEPs are tailored programmes through which the Alliance advises partners on how to build, develop and reform educational institutions in the security, defence and military domain. Projects are currently running in 12 countries: Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mauritania, the Republic of Moldova, Serbia, Macedonia, Tunisia and Ukraine. They focus in particular on faculty building and curriculum development, covering areas such as teaching methodology, leadership and operational planning.