In December 2022, the Intelligence College in Europe (ICE) attended for the first time the annual Security Symposium organised by the European Commission’s General Directorate for Human Resources and Security. The Symposium brought together a wide range of actors contributing to the security of the EU institutions, be they EU officials, Member States security personnel, intelligence high representatives and private security partners.
The Symposium started with a welcome speech by Mr Bernd Adolph, Security Director in the European Commission, and a keynote speech by Ms Francisca Bostyn, Administrator General of the Belgian State Security Service, on the challenges confronting the intelligence services in a hyper connected world.
The Director of the Permanent Secretariat of the ICE, Mr François Fischer, spoke on the panel “New approaches to crisis management: Lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine”. This brought together experts from different disciplines to discuss the implications of these two major crises and to explore avenues for enhancing crisis management strategies.
Drawing on his own experience in crisis management while working in the EU INTCEN and speaking in the name of the ICE, Mr Fischer highlighted the importance of the intelligence support during a crisis but, also, the absolute need to build a common, European, strategic “grammar”.
In order to achieve its goal, a crisis management system must engage smoothly different actors and fully exploit the added value of intelligence. This must be prepared, trained and played in advance: the different crisis management actors must understand each other’s roles and strengths, work on building synergies and joint preparedness capabilities to avoid the need “to create bridges in the middle of a crisis.” Helping to create this common culture when it comes to threat assessment and joint crisis preparedness is at the heart of ICE’s mission since 2019.
The participation to this dynamic panel, including the side-line meeting opportunities, was also a good way to spread knowledge on the latest ICE’s developments and to understand better the needs of the EU security practitioners.