Ireland’s relations with NATO are set within the framework of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) and Partnership for Peace (PfP), including its Planning and Review Process (PARP). Ireland joined EAPC and Partnership for Peace (PfP) on 1 December 1999.
The primary aim of Ireland's PfP participation is to enhance the Defence Forces’ interoperability with other professional military forces for the purpose of engaging in UN authorised peacekeeping and peace support operations led by the UN, EU or NATO. Participation in PfP is fundamental to Ireland being able to meet its obligations in providing professional peacekeepers for international crisis management and peacekeeping operations mandated by the UN.
Membership of PfP has allowed the Defence Forces to gain access to NATO standards - which are internationally-recognised as representing best practice for the development of military capabilities.
In relation to Ireland’s participation in the Partnership for Peace, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade meets the running costs of the office in Brussels which is staffed by the Department of Defence, the Defence Forces and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade with average Defence staff costs totalling €216,330 annually.