Expert Roundtable Meeting with Mr. Adriaan van der Meer

On Thursday 29 January 2015, ICCT hosted a Roundtable Meeting on “Managing Global Threats – Opportunities for Mobilising Dutch Expertise” with Mr. Adriaan van der Meer, Head of Unit of the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP) at the EU Development and Cooperation (EU DEVCO). After a word of welcome by ICCT Director Mark Singleton and ICCT Research Fellow Dr. Bibi van Ginkel, Mr. van der Meer gave a presentation on the work, programmes and procurement procedures under the IcSP.  Similar events take place in other EU Member-States. The presentation was followed by a roundtable discussion that brought together various Dutch actors from the security and development sectors to explore opportunities and guidelines for increasing involvement and cooperation in IcSP projects.

The IcSP is one of the key external assistance instruments that enable the EU to lead in helping to prevent and respond to actual or emerging crises around the world. IcSP pursues long term measures that tackle global, trans-regional and emerging threats. Examples of these emerging threats are countering terrorism, fighting organised crime, protecting critical infrastructure, security threats emanating from climate change, chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) risk mitigation, major threats to public health and dismantlement of weapons-related programmes.

One of the IcSP’s flagship programmes is Counter Terrorism Sahel with objectives such as the creation of a Sahel Security College in Mali, training and capacity building for law enforcement authorities and the judiciary as well as intelligence sharing. This meeting presented an opportunity to gain more information on ways that Dutch organisations could become involved with the IcSP and implement projects in many areas of the world. Moreover the IcSP has three new priorities, being security and climate change, counter-terrorism and an increased focus on cyber security. Important to note is that there is a 400 percent budget increase for counter terrorism projects, increasing the possibility for counter-terrorism projects in the future.

The IcSP has seven other flagship programmes including the CBRN Risk Mitigation Centres of Excellence, the Critical Maritime Routes Programme, the Cocaine Route Programme, Improving Biosafety and Biosecurity in Central Asia, the Destruction of Syrian Chemical Stockpiles, Fight against pandemics  with training and the deployment of  EU Mobile Laboratories in  West-Africa and support to Moldavian and Ukrainian Border Guards.

Following Mr. van der Meer’s presentation, the discussion between the various representatives of Dutch organisations emphasised the prospect of new programming being spearheaded by Dutch organisations as well as the challenges they face. The discussion led to a better understanding of the procurement procedures under the IcSP and the challenges and opportunities organisations face in finding increasing involvement in the work under the Instrument.