The Centro Nacional de Inteligencia (CNI) of the Kingdom of Spain, in collaboration with Universidad Rey Juan Carlos (URJC), Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) and Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM), organised the first module of the Intelligence College in Europe’s Executive Programme in Madrid, from 25 to 29 October 2021. The sessions took place at the campuses of these three partner universities, and the Universidad de Alcalá (UAH) and the Universidad de Cádiz (UCA) were also associated through various activities.
The CNI designed this course as a food-for-thought and knowledge transfer space between the Intelligence community, the academic world and society. Therefore, the active involvement of the 21 attendees from 17 different member countries was encouraging.
A visit of interest, related to the topic tackled, was included every day of the course. The attendees visited the CNI’s Headquarters and were welcomed by its Secretary General, Mr. Arturo Relanzón. The latter gave a presentation on the CNI and underlined the excellent collaboration between the European Intelligence Services and the importance of the College to promote a common strategic culture and bring Intelligence Services closer to society.
As part of the visit, the National Cryptologic Centre (CCN), under the Secretary of State-Director of the CNI, made a presentation on cyberintelligence. The CCN is the body responsible for ensuring the security of both the Information and Communication Technologies in the Spanish public sector and the systems involved in processing, storing or transmitting classified information.
The CNI divided the course according to five subject matters – security, Latin America, technology, knowledge transfer and disinformation – and included the following aspects as cross-sectional elements to all of them:
- The European stance and approach.
- The vocation for prospective analysis and, therefore, the importance of discussing ideas independently of official political stances.
- Potential cooperation elements and common interests between the academic world, civil society and the European Intelligence community.
Scholars from the different universities and educational centres presented their theories and research on new threats and challenges that are part of today’s social debate with the aim of offering the attendees room for discussion.
The closing ceremony of the course was chaired by the Director of the Permanent Secretariat of the College, Mrs. Yasmine Gouédard, and the Director of the Intelligence Academy of the CNI. Furthermore, M. Nicolas Labasque, deputy to Mme Gouédard, and the three university directors of the course, Messrs. Fernando Velasco (URJC), Juan Manuel Estévez (UC3M) and Borja Manero (UCM), also attended the event.