Networking has recently become a buzzword within the domain of training institutions and academia. In the high-tech era we live in today it is quite easy to find acceptable technical solutions to bring together likeminded institutions for the purpose of interacting with each other physically or virtually and sharing good practices in the interest of every member’s professional development. An initiative aimed to create the network of institutions in the South East and Eastern Europe (SEEE) was launched in 2018, within the framework of the European Union’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) Risk Mitigating Centres of Excellence (CoE) Initiative.
Thirty-one institutions were identified during the first phase of the CBRN Training Net project, out of which twenty were physically visited in the SEEE region. In order to further enhance cooperation between these institutions it was suggested to create a standalone regional networking platform for them. After careful consideration of technical specifications of the different platforms and exploration of other existing options, it became obvious that the region will be better off by joining already existing networking platforms in Europe.
The European Network of CBRN Training Centers (eNOTICE) was established in 2017 through the European Union’s (EU) Horizon 2020 funding programme. It aims to enhance training capacity for improved preparedness and incident response through increased collaboration between CBRN training centres and practitioners. The Network serves as the communication platform to exchange useful information and good practices among regional peers. Besides networking, the eNOTICE may allow its members to participate in joint activities organized within the framework of this platform. Thanks to the online public catalogue, national CBRN institutions can showcase their capabilities to other partner countries.
The scope of the European Network of CBRN Training Centers may geographically cover all countries of the SEEE region. Some of the partner countries in this region even aspire to move towards the European Union membership. Consequently, all National Focal Points (NFP) of the SEEE region suggested to explore the benefits and advantages for joining the eNOTICE Network. Within the framework of the EU CBRN CoE Initiative, the Regional Secretariat for the SEEE region organized a regional meeting with NFPs and relevant national institutions, which was held on 7 April 2021. Participants received a brief overview of the progress made in terms of implementation of then previous phases of the project and plans towards integration of the SEEE CBRN institutions within the European Network of CBRN Training Centers.
The CBRN Training Net Initiative of the SEEE region will conclude its activities by delivering the Awareness Raising Workshop targeted to national CBRN institutions in partner countries. It is scheduled to be held on 17 June 2021 in online format. Representatives of the European Network of CBRN Training Centers will provide practical training to join the eNOTICE Network and fill out the corresponding questionnaire. After completion of this registration process, we expect that the national CBRN institutions in SEEE region will become visible to the European Union in order to support with the implementation of future projects and activities and provide their valuable expertise.
The Regional Meeting was organized by UNICRI’s Regional Coordinator for South East and Eastern Europe in close cooperation with the On-Site Technical Assistance Key Expert and the EU CBRN CoE Project 53, which provided simultaneous interpretation and a communication platform.