Written answers

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Department of Defence

Permanent Structured Co-operation

Photo of Catherine ConnollyCatherine Connolly (Galway West, Independent)
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56. To ask the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the significance for Ireland to be an observer on PESCO projects; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9405/19]

Photo of Paul KehoePaul Kehoe (Wexford, Fine Gael)
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Ireland's participation in PESCO was agreed by Government and approved by Dáil Éireann prior to the Council Decision establishing PESCO on 11 December 2017. The establishment of PESCO represents a further development in EU Cooperation in support of international peace and security under Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). It provides a framework which it is expected will contribute to delivering essential capabilities for CSDP crisis management operations.

In addition to participating in two PESCO projects, Ireland is currently an Observer on eight PESCO projects proposed by other participating Member States. The significance of Observer Status is that it allows our Defence Forces to keep abreast of developments in a particular area. Through participating as an observer at Project level, the Defence Forces can gain access to latest thinking and technology on capabilities of interest to them, in a situation where we may not have the level of resources necessary to participate fully in a project. In addition, participation as an observer allows you to see how a project is evolving and may inform a decision at a later stage as to whether Ireland participates in a particular PESCO project.


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