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NDC - News-Navigating through Portugal's Defence and Foreign Policies: Senior Course 144 visits Lisbon

Navigating through Portugal's Defence and Foreign Policies: Senior Course 144 visits Lisbon

  • 24 Apr. 2024
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  • Last updated: 26 Apr. 2024 09:45

Senior Course 144 started their Field Study 2 programme in Lisbon, Portugal, with a visit to the Portuguese National Defence Institute (IDN) which provided firsthand insights into Portugal's strategic approaches concerning defence, security, and foreign policies.

Dr Nunes delivering the opening remarks.

As one of the founding members of NATO, Portugal embodies an Atlantic identity both geographically and historically. The Atlantic Ocean has been instrumental in shaping Portugal's defence and foreign policies, from its famed maritime legacy to its modern-day security considerations. This visit allowed Course Members to broaden their understanding of Portugal’s history, and in particular how its foreign relations with other nations, including the Lusophone community, impact its contemporary foreign and defence strategies.

Dr Isabel Nunes, Director of the National Defence Institute, welcomed Senior Course 144, underscoring the importance of understanding NATO through the diverse perspectives of its member states. Her remarks set the stage for engaging briefings and discussions with high-level practitioners from the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defence, and Armed Forces.

Throughout the visit, Course Members gained insights into Portugal's foreign and defence policies, which are deeply rooted in a commitment to NATO, European Union (EU) security cooperation, and historical-cultural relationships. These policies place a strong emphasis on multilateralism and cooperation, fundamental tenets of Portugal's national security framework.

Presentations highlighted Portugal's strategic priorities, such as bolstering defence capabilities to address emerging security threats effectively. Moreover, the discussions shed light on the main missions of the Portuguese Armed Forces and their international collaboration to tackle shared security challenges. Additionally, Course Members were briefed on the National Strategy for Cyberspace Security, highlighting Portugal's proactive measures to strengthen cybersecurity capabilities in response to evolving cyber threats.

The briefings offered a comprehensive overview of Portugal's position on defence and external affairs, emphasizing the nation's commitment to collective security and cooperation with international partners to address contemporary security challenges. Course Member Captain Mika Immonen, from the Finnish navy, emphasized that fostering cultural understanding among NATO and partner nations is a key objective of the Senior Course. He noted that the visit significantly deepened his understanding of Portugal's perspective, culture, and history, enhancing the field study experience.

Similar to the NATO Defense College (NDC), the Portuguese National Defence Institute (IDN) offers strategic education in defence and security issues, but focused on the Portuguese national context. The visit allowed for bilateral meetings between the NDC Commandant, Lieutenant General Max A.L.T. Nielsen, and Portuguese officials including Dr Nunes, Joao Queiros, Deputy Political Director in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Commander Luis Policarpo, Director of Strategic Defence Planning in the Ministry of Defence. These discussions explored potential avenues for future collaboration in strategic education between the two institutions.

NDC Public Affairs Office (Prepared by Ms Sofia Carvalheiro, PRT C)