Written Answers. - EU Presidency.

Seamus Brennan

Ceist:

665 Mr. S. Brennan asked the Minister for Defence the estimated total cost to his Department of all bulletins, pamphlets, newsletters, circulars arising from Ireland's Presidency of the EU; and the estimated total additional cost to his Department of Ireland's Presidency, indicating the major items of expense. [16391/96]

The Department of Defence has not incurred any costs in respect of bulletins, pamphlets, newsletters or circulars arising from Ireland's Presidency of the EU.

During our EU Presidency Ireland is responsible for the control and management of the European Community Monitor Mission to the Former Yugoslavia (ECMM). There is currently a total of 88 Irish personnel serving with the ECMM of whom 79 are members of the Permanent Defence Force. The additional costs, payable from the Defence Vote, are estimated to be slightly in excess of £1.5 million.

Additional costs are also being incurred by the Department of Defence during Ireland's Presidency of the EU in the area of security and in the use of an air taxi service to meet additional transport requirements of Ministers during the period. The cost of the air taxi service will be dependent on the number of flying hours involved. It is not possible to cost the elements in the area of security which is directly attributable to our Presidency of the EU.