Summary: EMILYO, or the “Initiative”, involves the exchange of young officers inspired by the EU’s Erasmus student exchange programme. Separately, the Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership links five Central/Eastern European military academies in the international Military Academic Forum (iMAF). It is largely run through the European Security and Defence College (ESDC), an element of the European External Action Service (EEAS) (qv).
At stake: The EU has been trying for years to introduce exchanges and common training in order to foster a sense of commonality in armed forces. The UK stepped away from the modular ‘defence college’ concept a decade ago. New models now risk replicating and advancing it.
What they say: “An efficient cooperation in education of our future elites for the realisation and consolidation of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), regardless of their nationality or their armed forces” – iMAF mission statement.
Exposure: The UK is a participant in the associated European Air Force Academies (EUAFA) Commandants’ Conference. Switzerland, Norway and Turkey are also associated, but notably the US and Canada are not. The UK is thus partially exposed to the Military Erasmus package, perhaps due to different policies in different services (cf. European Air Group).
Action: UK should institutionally disengage where North American participation is not welcomed, in order to preserve NATO primacy.
Deep dive: http://www.emilyo.eu/node/872