“Get involved in shaping the future of European security research” is the SecurePART workshop organised in Berlin on the 14th and 15th September 2015 within the frame of the Week of volunteering and civic engagement in Germany by the "The National Network for Civic Engagement" (BBE).
This week of events is organized in honour of the 23 million German volunteers (citizens, initiatives, associations, foundations, and social enterprises) that work together to strengthen civil society and civic engagement and participation in all social and political areas. The SecurePART workshop - that will bring together experts in the field of security research and representatives of CSOs to learn more about how to increase the interaction and cooperation between these two different fields - perfectly match in the week of volunteering and civic engagement frame.
Indeed, the SecurePART consortium considered the Berlin Workshop as a tool for democratization and participation of CSOs; This event has been designed to involve as many people as possible into the process of problem solving and decision-making.
This event served as a forum for the jointly analysing problems, creating desirable utopias and verifying their feasibility.
The event wanted to show how to:
- Support the internal structure of CSOs promoting collaboration among them and with other SR stakeholders in the field of Security research
- Explore institutional opportunities within the EU security research regime
- And define and strategy and to hear and possible action plan from the participants
The method used during the workshop was about to stimulate the participants' imagination, encourages their personal development and turns them into visionaries of their own future. The workshop was divided into three phases. 1) Criticism Phase during which participants critically examine the issue to be discussed. 2) Utopia Phase during which new ideas are created as a response to the previous criticism. 3) Implementation or Practical Phase, during which participants return from utopia to present-day reality and they verify the chances of their utopian ideas of being implemented, consider possible obstacles and devise realistic solution approaches and strategies for action.
The participants: The participants were selected in order to assure a variety of representation, more focused on CSOs but with an important presence of other relevant actors with experience in security research.
The objective was that at least 2/3 of participants were CSOs and 1/3 was security research experts. The final figures were 63% of CSOs and 37% of security research experts. Regarding their profile and expertise regarding security research, below we present how many of the participants where part of ENNAs network (19%), how many independent CSOs (26%), independent security research experts (12%), stakeholder board members (14%) of the SecurePART project and the consortium partners (29%).
The results: the third practical phase concluded with the formulation of feasible suggestions and projects. The audience highlighted the need to increase the impact of active CSOs participation in every stage, from the formulation to the overall monitors of impacts of society and comment the regulation processes because participation in only one step is not enough. Furthermore, the SecurePART consortium interviewed some participants to catch their points of view regarding the CSO involvement in Security research.
The high level profile of the participants and their active participation to the worktable and plenary sessions was crucial for the success of the event.
Audio-visual materials produced by SecurePART consortium were presented together with the video message made by Mrs Ulrike Lunacek (The Greens/European Free Alliance, Austria) Vice President of the European Parliament and Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee who expressed her support and appreciation for the project.
The information gathered during the workshop served to boost the overall results of the Future SecurePART Workshop and to prepare the next SecurePART event.