Written answers

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Department of Defence

International Agreements

Photo of Seán CroweSeán Crowe (Dublin South West, Sinn Fein)
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355. To ask the Minister for Defence the specific details of the defence agreement that he has signed with the British Defence Secretary; if he will attend before the Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality to explain and debate the agreement; and if it will come before Dáil Éireann for ratification. [4818/15]

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Minister, Department of Agriculture, the Marine and Food; Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
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The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) provides a framework for developing and furthering bilateral co-operation and relations between the Department of Defence and the UK Ministry of Defence. The MOU takes into account matters such as military forces training; exercises and military education; exchange of views on EU Common Security and Defence Policy; potential for joint contributions to UN Crisis Management Operations; joint procurement initiatives; pooling and sharing resources; general sharing of reform in defence services; potential for staff exchanges; sharing of information, and joint contribution to Security Sector Reform and capacity building in crisis locations. It envisages cooperation and exchanges involving both civil and military personnel. The signing of the MoU places already existing co-operation arrangements in the Defence area between Ireland and the UK on a more formal and transparent footing, while fully respecting the differing policy positions and security arrangements of both States.

To date, I have not been requested to appear before the Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality to discuss the Agreement. However, I would welcome the opportunity to brief the Committee should the opportunity arise.

Dáil approval was not required for the Memorandum of Understanding. However, in the interests of transparency and good administrative practices, the Document has been laid before Dáil Éireann by lodging it to the Dáil Library on 21 January 2015.

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