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EU Meetings

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 27 January 2021

Wednesday, 27 January 2021

Questions (402)

Martin Browne


402. Deputy Martin Browne asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if EU security and defence issues were discussed at the December 2020 EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting. [4209/21]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

At the December meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council, Ministers were briefed by HR/VP Borrell on a number of current affairs items, and there were discussions on Transatlantic Relations and on EU Strategic Autonomy. Security and Defence issues were not the central focus of any of these agenda items, but were touched on in the course of discussions.

Ministers agreed and adopted Conclusions on Transatlantic Relations, which are published on the Council website. The Conclusions address a range of topics including multilateralism, democracy, trade, and the environment, as well as Security and Defence. On Security and Defence, the Conclusions noted the need for continued EU-US cooperation and dialogue, ‘including through enhanced, mutually-reinforcing and beneficial strategic EU-NATO partnership in areas of shared interest in the framework of the 2016 Warsaw and 2018 Brussels Joint Declarations.’ These latter provide for EU-NATO cooperation in compliance with the decision making autonomy and procedures of both organisations, and are without prejudice to the specific character of the security and defence policy of any NATO or EU Member State.

This cooperation and dialogue will enable us to effectively address various traditional and emerging threats and challenges and will contribute to strengthening the rules-based international order with the United Nations at its core.

Ministers separately discussed the concept of Strategic Autonomy, in the context of EU resilience and efforts to strengthen multilateral engagement. Strategic Autonomy proposes the development of the EU’s capacity to act more independently across a variety of policy areas, including in the field of security and defence.

Question No. 403 answered with Question No. 400.