Tuesday, 26 February 2019
Department of Defence
Permanent Structured Co-operation
36. To ask the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the estimated cost in the coming years of participation in PESCO related operations; and the capital costs related to procurement processes under PESCO. [9427/19]
The act of joining PESCO does not involve an additional cost to the Exchequer. Additional costs may arise in respect of participation in specific PESCO projects similar to the case where the Defence Forces participate in European Defence Agency Projects.
Ireland is currently participating in two PESCO projects - (1) The European Union Training Mission Competence Centre and (2) Upgrade of Maritime Surveillance. These projects relate to the ongoing development of Defence Forces capabilities for peace support and crisis management operations. Costs associated with participation on these projects would be incurred in the normal course and will therefore be met from within the Defence Vote.
In 2018 no additional costs were incurred through PESCO related activities other than costs associated with attendance by Defence Forces Subject Matter Experts at PESCO project planning meetings. As the projects where Ireland is a Participant are still in the early stages of development, the budgets and timeline for participant's involvement has not yet been fully determined. This may change as projects progress and capabilities are developed and acquired through the PESCO framework. However, it is expected that sharing the costs of capability development across a number of Member States should prove cost neutral in terms of overall projected defence expenditure.
In relation to the eight PESCO projects where Ireland is an Observer, there will be no financial impact for Ireland other than when a representative from the relevant Directorate or Service within the Defence Forces attends each of the project meetings. Ireland's commitment at this time is through our attendance at meetings as the projects progress.
The establishment of PESCO represents a further development in EU Cooperation in support of international peace and security under CSDP; a development that Ireland welcomes. Security and Defence is a key priority for the European Union in the face of new threats and security challenges which are beyond the capacity of a State acting alone and where Member States must work together to address them – e.g. Cyber, Hybrid, Radicalisation, Uncontrolled Migration etc. PESCO provides a mechanism whereby Member States can work together to address these challenges.