The Greek Association for Atlantic & European Cooperation
The Greek Association for Atlantic and European Cooperation (G.A.A.E.C.) is founded by a number of prominent Greek personalities to support European and Transatlantic cooperation through education, dialogue and advocacy, and registered under Hellenic law, by Court decision no. 10450 /28 May 1991, as a Private not for profit Institutional Company.
The beginning of the road
The first annual international Symposium on Transatlantic cooperation issues is organised at the Hellenic Ministry of Foreign Affairs auditorium, whic is eventually established as the annual Zappeion Symposium. The participants and Speakers included many important Greek and Foreign Personalities, decision makers, including the -then- Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece, who eventually became Prime Minister.
First educational Seminar
G.A.A.E.C. expanding its audience to the younger generations, organizes the first Academic Seminar on International Relations and Security for University Graduate and Postgraduate students. The participants were introduced to the background of the issues to be discussed at the 3rd annual International Symposium, which were invited to attend.
That was the first of many national and international Academic events addressed to the younger generation of decision makers, to offer knowledge and access to information on issues of international relations, foreign affairs, security and diplomacy, especially on matters of the Balkans and the Middle East.
First longer summer educational program
GAAEC organizes its first 15-day Summer School in cooperation with the Atlantic Council of the United States, in Patras and Athens. Participants of The Young Leaders Seminar on “Visions of Transatlantic Security in the Year 2000” represented 22 countries.
All participants attended a Round Table discussion on the role of the United Nations with guest speaker the Secretary General of the U.N., H.E. Mr. Boutros Ghali, organised by the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation.
An important partnership for education Establishment of the "International Institute for Political and Economic Studies” (I.I.P.E.S.)
G.A.A.E.C. develops a cooperation with “The Fund for American Studies” Foundation, based in Washington D.C., based on shared commitment on youth empowerment through education, academic integrity and a strong belief in the power of ideas.
The "International Institute for Political and Economic Studies” (I.I.P.E.S.) was launched the summer of 1996 in Athens and Ancient Olympia, as a two week credit summer program of Georgetown University. The Faculty was from Georgetown and Harvard University, primarily, complemented with Professors from Universities in Europe and the Middle East.
Students from the Middle East, the Balkans and the U.S. attended the academic program on philosophy, history, conflict resolution and political economy. Social integration was equally important to the academic modules, to build cross- border and inter-cultural relations, sharing views and perspectives outside the classroom.
The vision was to have generations of leaders who could put aside old hostilities and stereotypes, and build additional bridges of communication and understanding among the Christian, Judaic and Muslim worlds.
Moving the summer programs to Crete
In preparation for the 2004 Olympics in Greece, I.I.P.E.S. location moves from Athens and Ancient Olympia to Crete, at the international academic campus of the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania (MAICh), with the added cooperation, to offer our students the experience of a high quality educational program in combination with the culture and history of the prominent Mediterranean island.
The International Institute for Political and Economic Studies is extended to three weeks, a larger number pf participants and distinguished Professors and Experts to teach.
Almost 3.500 students from all over the world maintain a strong Alumni network over the years, supported by preferred invitations to numerous events all over Europe and America from the network of G.A.A.E.C., from the Youth Summit parallel to the NATO Head of States Summit to events highlighted with V.I.P. speakers, visits to NATO and EU Headquarters, Hellenic and European Parliaments, the Hellenic Presidency, national and private media broadcasting networks, and more.
Most of our Alumni have achieved leadership positions in business, government and academia, and still express their appreciation to the program they attended years ago!
"Kernels of our Future" An original program is created for High school students
The international team of GAAEC innovative educators responded to the expressed need of parents and created a unique academic program for young “teenagers” (15-18 years old) under the name “Kernels of our Future”, later rebranded to “Leaders For Our Future”.
As a pilot program with no previous experiential data worldwide, it was reviewed annually as to its duration, the participants’ needs, the teaching approach and the curriculum, to reach its optimal effectiveness.
The Leaders for our Future brought together a small team of no more than 40 young boys and girls from all over the world, in delegations of no more than four per entity, at the MAICh campus, for 17 days, to learn about subjects beyond their school curriculum, interact on a multicultural foundation and develop their leadership capabilities.
The experience has shown that a solid introduction to current issues of international academic interest should begin at a younger age, plus the added value of English language articulacy, made this program a huge success, due also to its annual revision of the format –as it was a pilot with no prior documentation on effectiveness.
“Euro-Mediterranean Journalism Institute” (E.M.J.I.)
Responding to assessments on the quality of journalism, the international “Euro-Mediterranean Journalism Institute” (EMJI), for young journalists, is launched, in cooperation with the Hellenic Ministry of Media and the Fund for American Studies. The 9-day Institute emphasized the value of objective and ethical reporting through panel discussions, guest lectures and site visits. Participants also attended sessions about remaining neutral when reporting from conflict zones.
A fresh beginning - Introducing a new platform “T.I.C.L.S.”
The International Center for Leading Studies is established to systematize and further develop the experience in learning.
2012 has been a milestone. GAAEC decided to systematize on its long experience in education in the vision of the Nelson Mandela quote “Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world”, and incorporated all the related programs under The International Center for Leading Studies (TICLS).
T.I.C.L.S. aims to become the exemplary Center to provide the education, in its primal meaning, enhance the Leadership potential of the participating individuals and promote the idea the ancient Greeks cherished more for a complete personality, “Paideia”.
The G.A.A.E.C. / T.I.C.L.S. Network
The International Center for Leading Studies as developed by G.A.A.E.C. has access to a very broad diverse network, across more than 50 countries.
This network will be enhanced on its own with the support of the International Board of Directors and more than 2.000 dedicated Alumni of our programs.
G.A.A.E.C. participates in many international networks, and is the sole representative of Greece to:
- The Atlantic Treaty Association (ATA), an organization of 37 national chapters that, since 1954 has been conducting analyses, training, education, and information activities on foreign affairs and security issues relevant to the Atlantic Alliance,
- the EuroDefence International network, of 14 European national associations
- The Association of European Parliamentarians with Africa (AWEPA), that works in partnership with African parliaments to strengthen democracy in Africa, keep Africa high on the political agenda in Europe, and facilitate African-European parliamentary dialogue.
- Women In International Security (WIIS), the premier organization in the world dedicated to advancing the leadership and professional development of women in the field of international peace and security.