Tuesday, 18 May 2004
Trevor Sargent (Dublin North, Green Party)
I note the Irish Presidency is trying to soften the mutual defence clause in the EU Constitution by inserting a clause that it will not prejudice the specific character of the security and defence policy of certain member states. Is the Taoiseach reluctant to state this clause does not apply to neutral and non-aligned states? Would it not be simpler to do so? The Danish Government has inserted an opt-out clause into the military dimension of the EU. Would that not be the simplest action for Ireland to take?
Regarding the proposal by the EU Environment Commissioner, Margot Wallström, what are the Taoiseach's views on the protocol in the Constitution on sustainable development? Will the Taoiseach and the Government support such a protocol? Was the issue of the status of the Irish language as an official EU language discussed in the bilateral discussions and was any progress made?