Thursday, 11 February 2021

Questions (121, 122)

Catherine Connolly

Question:

121. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the reason the Department of Defence, as per Ireland's national implementation plan for civilian CSDP, will be consulted on national or multinational structures and facilities that will help support the strengthening of civilian CSDP; if the plan to involve the Department of Defence in civilian CSDP is part of the broader EU strategy to alter the scope of civilian CSDP to include a strong military dimension; if there are risks for Irish neutrality in this approach; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7481/21]

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Catherine Connolly

Question:

122. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the reason Ireland is engaging in supporting the civilian CSDP compact goal of fostering synergies and complementarity between the civilian and military dimensions of the CSDP through a commitment to liaise with the Department of Defence and the Defence Forces to explore options in this regard, as per the national implementation plan for civilian CSDP, in view of Ireland's long-standing policy of neutrality; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7482/21]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 121 and 122 together.

EU Member States, including Ireland, have committed to strengthening synergies and complementarity between the civilian and military dimensions of CSDP, in line with the EU’s integrated approach and the Civilian CSDP Compact. Synergies relate primarily to common interests of Civilian and Military CSDP missions deployed in the same geographical area. The experience of the Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated that strengthened cooperation in areas such as supplies, medical resources, and communications is of mutual benefit to Civilian and Military missions.

Civilian CSDP engages with partners to support them in building capacity around Rule of Law, policing and civil administration, which are vital to establishing and maintaining security and stability. There is no EU strategy in place to alter the scope of civilian CSDP to include a strong military dimension. As the December 2020 Council Conclusions on the Civilian CSDP Compact state, work to strengthen cooperation in these areas will respect the ‘distinctive roles and lines of command’ of the two dimensions of CSDP. Ireland will continue to work to ensure that this distinction is upheld.

Under Ireland’s National Implementation Plan, my officials are committed to working with the Department of Defence and the Defence Forces on areas of complementarity between Civilian and Military CSDP. Cooperation between the Departments has focused on coordinated policy approaches to issues that cover the whole scope of CSDP. Work with the Defence Forces has allowed for practical improvements to our support for Civilian CSDP Deployees.

The Department of Defence and Defence Forces have no involvement in the planning or execution of Ireland’s contribution to Civilian CSDP. Our support for CSDP missions entails no risks for Irish neutrality.