Written answers

Wednesday, 11 May 2022

Photo of Aindrias MoynihanAindrias Moynihan (Cork North West, Fianna Fail)
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158. To ask the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his views on the recent drive by President Macron of France to form a European Union army and deeper European Union military integration in view of the war in Ukraine; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23788/22]

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
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To date, there have been no proposals made in relation to the formation of a European Union army and no discussions have taken place regarding the creation of an EU army.

Defence and security remains a national competence,. Any decision to deepen EU defence cooperation requires unanimity. There is no provision in EU treaties for the creation of an EU army and no proposal has been set out to change this. Any such proposal would require treaty change and no such change has been proposed.

The 'Protocol on the Concerns of the Irish People on the Treaty of Lisbon' expressly states; "The Treaty of Lisbon does not provide for the creation of a European army or for conscription to any military formation", and that "The Treaty of Lisbon does not affect or prejudice Ireland's traditional policy of military neutrality".

The recently approved Strategic Compass includes a proposal for a Rapid Deployment Capacity, this should not be confused with the development of an EU army. While Ireland remains broadly supportive of the proposal for a Rapid Deployment Capacity, framed as it has been to date, as an expansion of the existing EU Battlegroup Concept. Discussions are ongoing and these will go towards informing any development of this new concept.

Cooperation between EU Member States in defence matters continues through established channels including PESCO, EU Battlegroups, and EU Missions and Operations and the institutions of the EU including the External Action Service, the EDA and the Commission.

European Union military integration, in the form of sharing a goal of coherence between equipment, systems and practices and the joint development of capabilities has existed prior to the war in Ukraine, informed and supported by CARD (the Coordinated Annual Review on Defence) and PESCO (Permanent Structured Cooperation) among other schemes, processes and initiatives.


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