Tuesday, 18 May 2004
Bertie Ahern (Taoiseach; Dublin Central, Fianna Fail)
I refer to Deputy Ó Caoláin's question. He asked whether I was satisfied with the updating of the Petersberg Tasks provided for in the draft constitution and with the issues relating to qualified majority voting in security and defence. The answer is "yes" because the draft treaty now provides for an updating of the Petersberg Tasks to include areas such as conflict prevention, joint disarmament operations and post conflict stabilisation and this updating is consistent with our approach to European security and defence. It is now written into the constitution. It was not there previously and it is now clearly there that it is on that basis that we will participate in the Petersberg Tasks. That makes life clearer. That is clearly written in as of now, unless it changes, but I hope it does not.