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Dáil Éireann debate -
Wednesday, 30 Jun 1999

Vol. 507 No. 3

Written Answers. - Petersberg Tasks.

Dinny McGinley


69 Mr. McGinley asked the Minister for Defence if the Defence Forces are equipped to undertake the Petersberg Tasks outlined in the Amsterdam Treaty. [9237/99]

The Amsterdam Treaty brings within the remit of the common foreign and security policy the Petersberg Tasks of humanitarian and rescue tasks, peacekeeping and crisis management. The treaty provides that it will be for the Western European Union to carry out such tasks, at the instigation of the EU. Ireland will be entitled to participate in such tasks, and has indicated its willingness to do so on a case by case basis. Ireland considers it important that the EU should seek to ensure the effective functioning of these new provisions on peacekeeping and crisis management now that the Amsterdam Treaty has come into force.

Any involvement by the Defence Forces in the Petersberg Tasks under the auspices of the Amsterdam Treaty would most likely be in the areas of peacekeeping and humanitarian tasks on a voluntary and case by case basis. It is the policy of the Government to ensure that the Defence Forces are adequately trained, equipped and resourced to undertake whatever overseas operations with which they are tasked from time to time.