Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Questions (75)

Maureen O'Sullivan

Question:

75. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his views on whether many aspects of PESCO are at odds with the centrality of peace and conflict resolution as set out in A Better World, which is the position of Ireland on international development; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53012/19]

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Written answers (Question to Defence)

Ireland's Policy for international development 'A Better World' is a whole of government policy which was launched by the Tánaiste in February, 2019. It provides the framework for Ireland’s expanding development cooperation programme, outlining Ireland’s vision of a more equal, peaceful and sustainable world. Ireland's policy on international security and defence operates in a complimentary manner to this. Peacekeeping and conflict resolution form two elements of Ireland's engagement in the international peace and security sphere alongside political engagement, development cooperation and humanitarian action.

Preventing crises, resolving conflict, arresting climate change, protecting vulnerable populations and saving lives in humanitarian emergencies are in Ireland’s fundamental interest. Ireland's policy for international development also highlights that conflict and fragility, compounded by climate change, are increasing the vulnerability of millions. Globally, the number of major violent conflicts has tripled since 2010 and more countries are experiencing war than at any time in nearly 30 years.

The commitments made by Ireland under Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) do not impinge on or conflict with the goals and ambitions outlined in our policy on international development.

Then EU Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) as part of the Common Foreign Security Policy, provides the basis whereby the EU contributes to international peace and security and regional stability in the face of increasing conflict. PESCO is a capability development mechanism provided for under the EU treaties to deliver capabilities in support of CSDP missions and operations. It represents a further development in EU cooperation in support of international peace and security. PESCO enables member States, including Ireland, to further develop their capabilities in support of peacekeeping through participation in joint projects with like-minded partners. It also has the potential to help reduce the cost of developing and procuring necessary capabilities.

As a committed EU Member State, Ireland supports fully the efforts of EU Member States to improve the Union's capacity to respond to the prevailing challenging security environment, including in the area of defence. Within the framework of CSDP, Ireland has supported the development of recent EU defence initiatives with a view to enhancing the EU’s capacity to engage in peace support and crisis management operations, particularly in support of the UN and to delivering the necessary capabilities, both civil and military to this end.