“Dear Members and friends of Euro-ISME,
some men and women freely choose to follow dangerous professions or to persue risky passions. The profession of a soldier is one such but not the only one. The level of mortal risk which the individual decides to accept in such cases is the result of a very personal commitment which has its roots in the depths of his conscience and which implicates only himself.
But when a soldier engages in warfare, he enters a world that borders on absolute evil and has nothing to do with everyday life. He is confronted by real issues of conscience, the solutions to which will not be found in military regulations.
How can we help him to find answers to such questions and how can we train him to react without losing his soul or suffering irreparable psychological damage? How can military fight while respecting the people’s dignity.
In conflict situations that are humanly unacceptable and often close to unbearable, only sound ethical principles, imprinted in the mind very early in education and training will enable not only military leaders but every soldier to give meaning to their action and remain at peace with their conscience.
The International Society for Military Ethics brings together scientists, academic professors and military practitioners involved in both research and education or training in the field of professional military ethics. Especially in Europe, where we are still searching for a common culture of security and defence concienceness, we need this forum for the analysis, development and sharing of ideas, principles and best practice.
I invite you to contribute actively to this endeavour by providing clear foundation stones and reference points to help commanders and soldiers of all ranks to prevent immoral behaviour when ever possible or to find bearable solutions to ethical dilemmas. Euro-ISME is your forum to make available knowledge, facilitate encounters, initiate or support studies and promote a shared culture of responsibilty and ethical thinking.”
Sincerely yours Benoît Royal
Général de Brigade Benoît Royal
The International Society for Military Ethics (ISME) is the first organisation of scientists, academic professors and military practitioners engaged in research as well as in education and training in the field of professional military ethics. For years simply an informal meeting of interested parties, in 2005 ISME incorporated as a non-profit organisation in the United States.
In 2011, some European members and interested institutions decided to create a new chapter of ISME, based in Europe, in order to better focus their work on the specific European approach to the analysis, development and promotion of best practice throughout the armed forces of the members of the European defence community.
The Inaugural Conference on “Ethics and Alliances” was held at the Ecole Militaire in Paris on the 16th and 17th of June 2011. In January 2012, the new “Euro-ISME” was registered as a non-profit organisation under French law (association loi 1901).
The 2nd Annual Conference on “The Responsibility to Protect” was held on the 14th and 15th of June 2012 at the UK Defence Academy in Shrivenham and the 3rd Annual Conference on “Reconciliation & Reconstruction” was organised in Amsterdam on 2nd and 3rd of May 2013.
The Euro-ISME association particularly aims to :
establish a European forum for discussion and exchange of ideas on professional responsibility and military ethics;
promote comprehensive and systematic analysis in the field of military ethics and of the law of armed conflict in accordance with the principles of human rights;
initiate research on the ethical traditions in Europe and worldwide as well as on behavioural norms that guide and limit the conduct of military;
enhance the quality of ethics education in European armed forces and the armed forces of partner countries who require advice;
support educational institutions and military command in analysis and topical studies on the behaviour in the operations and their impact on military ethics;
promote the harmonization of ethical principles and standards of conduct in relation to the creation of a shared culture of responsibility and ethical thinking;
disclose knowledge about this culture to other continents via a global network of regional Societies for Military Ethics.
The Board of Directors
Being the general directing body of the association, the Board sets the main direction for the activities of the association and gives guidance to its daily management.
The BoD – as elected on 02.05.2013 – is composed of the following members :
Brigadier General Benoît Royal, France
1st Vice-President :
Dr. David Whetham, United Kingdom
2nd Vice-President :
Prof. Dr. Henri Hude, France
3rd Vice-President :
Prof. Dr. Thomas R. Elßner, Germany
Executive Directors :
Air Commodore (Retd) John Thomas, United Kingdom
Dr. Ted van Baarda, Netherlands
Dr. Magdalena Revue, France
Members of the Board : Dr. Mihàly Boda, Hungary Dr. Paul Ertl, Autriche LTC Dr. Srecko Kuzmanovic, Serbia Dr. Daniel Messelken, Germany/Switzerland Dr. Leif Tore Michelsen, Norway Brigadier General (ret.) Patrice Mompeyssin, France Colonel (ret.) Manfred Rosenberger, Germany Eva Whitehead, Germany/Netherlands
The International Society for Military Ethics is established for an unlimited period of time and is actually governed by French law of 1 July 1901 and Decree of 16 August 1901.
The Board of Directors following approval by the General Assembly may decide to convert the association’s status into a European association once this status will be created/established.
The seat of the association is located at the Research Center of the Military Academy Saint-Cyr – Coëtquidan in F-56380 GUER, France.
The seat of the association may be transferred to another place on a decision of the board of directors.
The society is a non-governmental politically independent non-profit organisation. She is guided by the principles of the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human rights.
The working languages of the association are English, French and German.
Internal provisons regulate various elements not envisaged by the statutes, particularly those concerning the internal administration of the association.