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Letter from Mr Edouard PHILIPPE, Prime Minister, to the Director of the IHEDN, Lt-Gen Patrick DESTREMAU, dated 10 December 2018


On 18 October 2019, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe addressed the national sessions of the IHEDN and INHEJS, which bring together members of parliament, representatives of the senior civil service, the business world, journalists, the military, the police and the judiciary.


The government has entrusted you with the management of the Institut des Hautes Études de Défense Nationale. For more than eighty years, the IHEDN has played a unique role in developing the spirit of defence and the relationship between civilian and military leaders. It has also been able to adapt to changes in our country's strategic situation, to changes in the constitution and to changes in our society, addressing all its components.

It will be up to you to continue this work by following the guidelines set by the President of the Republic, within the broader framework of the renewed European security architecture that he has called for. In this context, I expect the renewal of the Institute to make its action better structured, more open, visible and economical.

Firstly, to shed light on future challenges and threats, your Institute must ensure that the training of decision-makers, opinion multipliers and leaders from all segments of the State and society is fully in line with changes in the strategic, social and economic context and in the role of our armed forces in protecting France and the French people. This is your primary mission.

So, continuing along the path of openness that was at the origin of your Institute, you will ensure that all sections of society can be involved and that the principles of parity, equality and diversity are respected.

You will also endeavour to develop synergies with the Institut National des Hautes Études de la Sécurité et de la Justice, drawing on the consequences of the interconnection of threats and the necessary synergy of responses provided by the aspects of our public action relating to defence, security and justice.

You will also consider how to respond to the desire for commitment of our fellow citizens who go through the IHEDN, particularly the younger ones. You will put forward proposals for bringing together and mobilising auditors within the framework of an appropriate citizens' reserve. It will be up to you to find the best way of enhancing their commitment, while respecting the objectives and values on which you are founded.

As an institute of advanced studies, the IHEDN must be able to draw on the world of research, particularly in the field of strategic thinking. You will be looking at ways of involving the various research centres in the work of the auditors, who must themselves be able to call on some of our best researchers.