Written Answers. - Departmental Expenditure.

Eamon Ryan

Ceist:

84 Mr. Eamon Ryan asked the Minister for Defence the way in which Ireland's defence spending as a percentage of GDP compares with the other 14 EU states; his views on whether Ireland's defence spending as a percentage of GDP will increase as a result of EU commitments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18870/03]

Average defence expenditure in the EU was 1.85% of GDP in 2000, the most recent year for which figures are available. Defence spending in this country was 0.7% of GDP. The level of expenditure on defence in any particular country is influenced by a variety of factors, including that country's political and security environment, history, demography and economy. Defence expenditure in this country as a percentage of GDP will not increase as a result of our EU commitments.