Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Wednesday, 6 December 2017
Select Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Defence
Permanent Structured Cooperation: Motion
I highlighted this point before Deputy Ryan came in. This document was finalised in the first week in November. On 13 November we had a Council meeting. I brought it to Government on Tuesday, 21 November and now we are bringing it to the Dáil. The Deputy asked why we have to decide to join up by Friday. The PESCO notification was published in mid-November, as I have highlighted, and remains open to member states to join until PESCO is formally launched scheduled to take place as part of the conclusions of the Foreign Affairs Council, which the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Deputy Coveney, will attend on Monday, 11 December. Notifying our intention to join PESCO before this launch means that Ireland can strongly influence the PESCO agenda and join on its own initiative.
At the moment we know that we are signing up to the minimum commitments, and if we do not sign up, we will not be able to participate in projects that will enhance the abilities of the Defence Forces to contribute to international peacekeeping missions.