CESS - The Centre

The Centre for European Security Studies (CESS) is an independent institute for research and training, based in Groningen, the Netherlands. CESS seeks to advance political development, democracy, human rights and in particular security, by helping governments and civil society face their respective challenges.

CESS is an international, multidisciplinary and inclusive institute. Its work is part of the European quest for stability and prosperity, both within and outside Europe. CESS encourages informed debate, empowers individuals, fosters mutual understanding on matters of governance, and promotes democratic structures and processes.

CESS was established in 1993 by Prof. Dr Peter Volten, University of Groningen. CESS is a non-governmental organisation, which also undertakes think tank activities through research. In the 1990s, it played a pioneering role in the democratic transition of security sectors in Central Europe. In the 2000s, CESS continued researching on security and democratisation, as well as carrying out training and awareness-raising activities in the Western Balkans, Eastern Europe, the South Caucasus, Central Asia and Turkey. With the incorporation of EUCAM, CESS is expanding its attention and research activities concerning Central Asia.

CESS’s core-business is capacity-building, foremost through training for civil servants, parliamentary staff and civil society representatives, including media. CESS trainings are interactive, including simulation games, break-out groups, debates, and case studies. Several of its training projects incorporate coaching and training-of-trainers seeking to further contribute to local ownership and sustainability.

An increasingly important component of CESS’s work is policy-oriented research. The output generated is used to impact policy communities in Europe through active outreach, including through the organisation of meetings and debates. CESS staff has the expertise and capacity to also analyse EU policies towards the Western Balkans, Eastern Europe and Central Asia. CESS has a strong track-record of policy-oriented research related to Euro-Atlantic integration, security sector reform and democratic oversight.


CESS Movie

CESS The Movie

SSR training: Simulation Exercise

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CESS SSR Training

Key elements of the CESS SSR training:

  • Interactive
  • 3-5 day courses
  • Simulation exercise
  • Groups of max. 20 participants
  • Experienced trainers
  • Tailor made

See our SSR Training Brochure (PDF).