4th Annual Euro-ISME Conference 2014

Didactics of Military Ethics

“From Theory to Practice”

Conference Report

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This year again, more than 100 ISME members and interested participants representing different fields of science, politics and armed forces had gathered for Euro-ISME’s annual meeting.For the first time since the inaugural meeting in 2011, Germany was the host country for the itinerant annual conference series turning through various locations in Europe.

With the Leadership Training Centre of the Federal Armed Forces as host institution, the organizers had made an excellent choice: the “ZInFü” was a guarantee to meet the highest expectations not only in terms of organizational support, but also from the scientific and professional competency in conjunction with this year’s theme.
With its modern conference infrastructure, including media technology and accommodation, as well as by its attractive location close to the city-centre of Koblenz, the venue was extremely attractive for visitors from all over the world.
Thus, the rich program was not straitened exclusively to lectures and discussions but also arranged for a historical-cultural excursion to the fortress Ehrenbreitstein and a river cruise on Rhine and Moselle around the “German Corner”.

Opening address of the President

” First of all, my most heartfelt thanks go to Major General Jürgen Weigt, the commander of the Centre “Innere Führung”, for his warm words of welcome. And I would like to already thank all those now who have worked so diligently for the preparation of the event. I can say that we could gather here in such excellent conditions in the first place thanks to your organisational skills, your tireless work of preparation, your assiduous sense of service and your efficiency. It’s with particularly expectant joy can declare the 4th Euro-ISME Annual Meeting in Koblenz opened.

But I also want to thank all the participants of this conference who do us the honor and friendship to be there. We see familiar faces of our faithful friends, always ready to share their insights and reflections with us. But it’s with as much gratification that we discover new faces of participants from various fields.
Thank you that you devote for your time to join us. I have no doubt that we will have a fruitful exchange and together with all members of our society I am looking forward to a successful conference .

Let me now turn, for a few minutes, to the topic that unites us and offer you some reflections which I hope will serve to introduce the debate and stimulate the debate on our overall theme : “The study of military ethics: from theory to practice “… read the whole Opening Address

Conference Items

Just before the President, the commanding general of ZInFü, Major General Jürgen Weigt, in his introductory lecture, had underlined the importance of ethical reflection and education for a responsible execution of the military mission. read the complete Welcome Speech and Introductury Lecture Cdr ZInFü

After this memorable prelude, the participants continued in various plenary and parallel sessions to discuss theoretical and scientific issues related to use of military force as well as questions of methodology and practical decision-making mechanisms for conflict situations with ethical implications.

There also were quite controversial discussions about how soldiers deal in a high-tech operation environment with remote controlled weapons, not the least in view of the fact that moral concerns may arise with their use. Unlike the days of the “Cold War” soldiers nowadays regularly face “hot” combat situations which can cause quite real physical and emotional wounds.In this respect, the witness reports of young officers who concretely experienced conflict situations represented highlights by which it became clear that there can be no “decision models” and no guarantee exists for faultless decisions.

This was exactly why Euro-ISME, with this year’s “Overall Theme”, purposefully addressed the often neglected issues of communicating and teaching military ethics. Modern armed forces need well-trained soldiers, of strong character and with well founded faculties of judgment who must resist severe physical and psychological pressures in a wide range of crisis situations. In addition, civilian employees of security and defense forces are increasingly confronted with ethical challenges, for example in the framework of international peace support missions.

Three key stages in the process of ethical education for the military were illuminated. The first was what should be taught? What values and virtues characterize a modern leadership culture and are they sufficient by themselves?

After that, the discussions turned to the question by what means those values are delivered to an increasingly multinationally structured defense community? And finally, how do we evaluate the success or otherwise of what has been taught?

These 3 stages obviously overlaped to some extent, but the focus of this conference was primarily dedicated to the second stage: how should education and training be delivered most effectively?

The worked out contributions to the conference will be consolidated by the end of the year and than be publishe in a conference volume of the Euro-ISME book series. Manuscripts are acceptable until the 15th of September 2015. Guidelines for Manuscripts are available here.

The meeting also offered the annual statutory frame for “the Ordinary General Assembly”. The members unanimously approved the annual reports of the chairman and of the treasurer and they re-elected those members of the Board of Directors, for whom the election term had expired. see the Composition of the Board here..

The 5th Annual Euro-ISME Conference will be organised from 10th to 13th of May 2015 at the „Military Academy of the Serbian Army“ in Belgrade.

Programm of the 4th Annual Euro-ISME Conference

Pressestimmen zur 4.Euro-ISME Jahrestagung

Pressestimmen zur 4.Euro-ISME Jahrestagung

Pressestimmen zur 4.Euro-ISME Jahrestagung