Thursday, 11 February 2021

Questions (120)

Catherine Connolly

Question:

120. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the end goal of the commitment in Ireland's civilian CSDP national implementation plan to develop relationship and support training provided by the European Security and Defence College and to develop a more structured relationship with the college, bearing in mind the national policy of neutrality of Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7480/21]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

The European Security and Defence College (ESDC) is a virtual college operating under the European External Action Service. It offers a range of courses to support both civilian and military CSDP. These courses are provided free of charge to participants by institutions from the Member States.

In Ireland, the Edward Kennedy Institute at NUI Maynooth became a participating institute in the ESDC in 2013 and since then has provided ESDC courses focussed on conflict resolution and conflict analysis.

As part of our Civilian CSDP national implementation plan (NIP), Ireland has committed to develop our relationship with the ESDC and to support its provision of training. In practical terms, this involves greater efforts to ensure that our Civilian CSDP deployees can benefit from courses offered by the ESDC and can thereby be better prepared to fulfill their roles in missions . I am pleased to report that we now register all newly selected Irish experts for pre-deployment training facilitated by the ESDC. In addition, we are working to support the provision of more courses by the Edward Kennedy Institute at NUI Maynooth. In 2019, my Department, along with the Department of Defence, agreed funding for the provision of two ESDC-affiliated courses by the Kennedy Institute, on Mediation & Dialogue and Conflict Analysis.

These activities are fully compatible with Ireland’s traditional policy of military neutrality.