Wednesday, 3 March 2021

Questions (364)

Thomas Pringle

Question:

364. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if Ireland will participate in the proposed video conference at the European Council on 25 and 26 February 2021 at which a discussion will take place regarding EU and NATO cooperation with the General Secretary of NATO; his views on whether such discussions are compatible with the traditional neutrality of Ireland; if he will attend the meeting; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11678/21]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

The Taoiseach participated in the 25 – 26 February video conference meeting, along with the other members of the European Council. On 26 February, there was an exchange of views on EU-NATO relations with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

The basis and scope of EU-NATO cooperation is set out in the 2016 Warsaw Declaration and the 2018 Brussels Declaration. It takes place in compliance with the decision-making autonomy and procedures of the respective organisations and without prejudice to the specific character of the security and defence policy of any of the members of either. This includes compliance with Ireland’s traditional policy of military neutrality. It is not incompatible with our neutrality to participate in a discussion with the Secretary General of NATO about agreed areas of EU-NATO cooperation.