Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 15 June 2022

Joint Oireachtas Committee on European Union Affairs

Engagement with the French Ambassador

Photo of Neale RichmondNeale Richmond (Dublin Rathdown, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

I have two brief questions because we are more or less out of time. The ambassador has been very kind and generous in giving full answers and I will not ask anything new. I just wanted to pick up on two matters and ask two supplementary questions to the comments already made by the ambassador.

In his first intervention the ambassador referred to the strategic compass, the 72 projects and 48 of those in the short term. There was a huge discussion during the course of the French Presidency at Versailles on the future of security arrangements in the Union. That issue is becoming ever more apparent as a result of the war in Ukraine and everything else. Beyond the strategic compass and in the longer term, what is the ambition of France as we go through the next decade of greater European co-operation? Where could Ireland play a role, taking into account our constraints?

Senator Chambers referred to the understandable reaction to the nonsense, for want of a better word, going on in London currently. The response of the European Commission is to be expected if it potentially unpauses legal action and commences new legal action, depending on how this legislation progresses. What is the feeling of the French Government, with the ambassador as its representative, about this Commission action? How supportive of it will the French Government be and how fast should it occur?


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