Tuesday, 18 May 2004
Bertie Ahern (Taoiseach; Dublin Central, Fianna Fail)
Yes, I will insist that is not changed because the position now is totally satisfactory. It remains the case that Petersberg Tasks operations will be decided in unanimity by the Council so that one cannot be forced into a position in which one does not want to be. Participation by Ireland or other member states in Petersberg Tasks operations is a matter for sovereign national decision. We have ourselves absolutely protected in the debate.
With regard to the Deputy's other question on QMV, we have held our position on taxation. Other countries have made arguments on social security and other issues. I agree QMV should be used as much as possible to make decision making efficient, effective and simple but there are areas in which that cannot be done and, in those cases, one must stick to unanimity.