Written answers

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Department of Defence

Defence Forces Reorganisation

Photo of Clare DalyClare Daly (Dublin North, United Left)
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106. To ask the Minister for Defence when the White Paper is due; and his views on a merger of the coast guard and customs maritime sections with the Naval Service. [46532/14]

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
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The preparation of a new White Paper on Defence is one of my key priorities and I am determined to ensure that the new White Paper fully addresses the defence response to future security challenges in a comprehensive way. I anticipate receipt of an initial draft of the White Paper by the end of this year. The final draft of the White Paper will be fully considered by Government in due course. The White Paper process underway was intended to provide an opportunity to examine critically future demands and consider how we might best meet associated operational requirements. I am conscious that many of the day to day services delivered by Defence are cross-cutting in nature and I believe that Defence resources and expertise should be leveraged to maximum effect for the benefit of the State. In this context, there are opportunities to consider new and innovative approaches to the delivery of a range of important services. Working groups comprising civil and military representatives from the Department of Defence and the Defence Forces are considering likely future operational demands and the types of defence capabilities required to meet these demands.

In the course of their deliberations, the Working Groups are taking into consideration the inputs received from a wide variety of stakeholders. Discussions have also been held with a range of Government Departments on cross-cutting policy issues and likely future demands from Government bodies and State agencies. These discussions are continuing, as required, throughout the White Paper process. You will appreciate that I do not wish to second guess any recommendations that may arise from the White Paper process by commenting on specific issues at this point.


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