Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Questions (226)

Micheál Martin


226. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Defence his views on the Green Paper on Defence. [31467/13]

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Written answers (Question to Defence)

Ireland’s first White Paper on Defence was published in 2000. In the intervening period there have been significant changes in the defence and security environment with the emergence of new and complex security challenges. In this context, the Government decided that there is a requirement to prepare a new White Paper on Defence. In order to ensure appropriate engagement in the formulation of the new White Paper on Defence, I initiated the preparation of a Green Paper on Defence. Following Government approval, I was very pleased to publish the Green Paper on Defence yesterday (Tuesday 16 July 2013).

The purpose of the Green Paper is to inform and encourage members of the public and other interested parties to consider and submit their views. The Green Paper provides a comprehensive overview of our current defence policy framework and sets out an assessment of the defence and security environment. It does not aim to be prescriptive rather it seeks to encourage active consideration of defence matters and to elicit views as to how we should address domestic, regional and global defence and security challenges in the coming years. In this context there are a range of issues that must be considered including: future capacity requirements, if changes in the roles assigned to the Defence Forces are required and how we should prioritise scarce resources. To assist in this regard, the Green Paper sets out a number of focused policy questions for consideration and to guide submissions. The Green Paper also sets out how members of the public and other interested parties can submit their views and I am confident that this will better inform the development of the new White Paper on Defence.