Written answers

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Department of An Taoiseach

Departmental Functions

Photo of Michael MoynihanMichael Moynihan (Cork North West, Fianna Fail)
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126. To ask the Taoiseach if he will report on the EU policy coherence unit in his Department; the number of staff allocated to same; and if this has increased in the past two years. [16358/19]

Photo of Michael MoynihanMichael Moynihan (Cork North West, Fianna Fail)
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127. To ask the Taoiseach the way in which the EU policy coherence unit provides a whole-of-Government approach in EU policies. [16359/19]

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Dublin West, Fine Gael)
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I propose to take Questions Nos. 126 and 127 together.

The EU Policy Coherence Unit in my Department works to ensure whole-of-government coherence in cross-cutting EU policies, providing overview and strategic focus in areas including the Union’s budget (MFF), eurozone matters, the internal market, trade and the European Semester.

It is part of the EU Section which assists me in my role as a member of the European Council and in my other EU engagements, working closely with other relevant Departments including the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

It comprises three posts and draws on the work of a small team that provides shared administrative support for the EU Section. Staffing resources are kept under ongoing review in line with business needs.

There are 26 posts in the International, EU and Northern Ireland Division of my Department, of which EU Policy Coherence is part. This Division covers work on all international, EU and British-Irish and Northern Ireland affairs within the Department, including Brexit issues.

Augmenting the ongoing work the International, EU and Northern Ireland division on Brexit, is the Brexit preparedness and contingency planning unit, which assists the secretaries general group, overseeing ongoing work on national Brexit preparedness and contingency planning. The unit has a current staffing complement of 11. The unit works closely with other divisions in my Department, including the economic division, and with colleagues in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, which has overall responsibility for Brexit.

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