Skopje's Public Affairs Regional Centre launches new NATO training course on strategic communications and public diplomacy

  • 21 Feb. 2018 -
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  • Last updated: 21 Feb. 2018 17:15

Regional public affairs professionals and experienced journalists from across the Western Balkans gathered first in Skopje (14-16 February 2018) and then Brussels (19-20 February 2018) to explore the importance, core concepts and tools of strategic communications and public diplomacy, to foster awareness of NATO and Euro-Atlantic values, policies and activities, and to reinforce a regional common understanding. This marked the successful launch of the Public Affairs Regional Centre’s first NATO Strategic Communications and Public Diplomacy Course, funded by the United Kingdom.

Mark Laity, Chief Strategic Communications at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), was a guest speaker for the course in Skopje. While in Brussels, participants heard from EU officials and then had a full day at NATO Headquarters where they had lively interactions with the both Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy Tacan Ildem and NATO Spokesperson Oana Lungescu, and a number of other professional communicators.

The Public Affairs Regional Centre is an accredited Partnership Training and Education Centre (PTEC). PTECs focus on the operational and tactical levels of a military operation. Each one has a different area of expertise and provides enhanced training and facilities for personnel from all partner countries. In April 2011, NATO adopted a concept for PTECs to support interested partners in developing their defence education and training capacities even further. It is based on NATO’s “Policy for a More Efficient and Flexible Partnership”, which states that, “all partners will be offered deeper political and practical engagement with the Alliance, including through support for defence education, training and capacity building, within existing resources”.

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