Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Questions (265)

Neale Richmond

Question:

265. Deputy Neale Richmond asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if there are plans to increase Ireland's diplomatic presence within EU member states post Brexit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2519/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Foreign)

Managing the response to Brexit continues to be a priority for my Department. The approach has been to prioritise effective policy and operational measures across the Department to manage Brexit impacts, with additional staff assigned or recruited as required.

In recent years my Department has established new posts in Madrid, Berlin, Paris, Rome, The Hague and Warsaw as well as at the Permanent Representation of Ireland to the European Union in Brussels in preparation for Brexit. Ireland maintains an Embassy in each of the EU Member State capitals and, in recognition of Frankfurt's role as the financial capital of the Euro area, a new Consulate was opened there in 2019.

The 'Global Ireland 2025' initiative will continue to support efforts to grow and diversify export markets, inward investment and tourism and underpin economic recovery. The strategy will ensure that Ireland is better positioned to build the alliances necessary to advance its interests and defend national positions in the post-Brexit EU, while also helping to secure our deep and positive relationship with the UK and its constituent parts into the future.

In addition, my Department has increased staffing in the Embassy in London, opened a Consulate in Cardiff and recently announced the opening of a new Consulate in Manchester later this year.

The Programme for Government provides for further strengthening of the diplomatic and state agency network across the European Union and its neighbourhood.

Further strengthening of staffing in the existing EU Mission network remains under review.

Questions Nos. 266 and 267 answered with Question No. 264.