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International Agreements.

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 2 February 2005

Wednesday, 2 February 2005

Ceisteanna (137)

Dan Boyle

Ceist:

188 Mr. Boyle asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if he will report on his recent visit to Sweden and Finland to discuss EU battlegroups; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2807/05]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Foreign)

My discussions with Swedish foreign minister, Laila Freivalds, and Finnish foreign minister, Erkki Tuomioja in Stockholm and Helsinki last week covered a wide range of issues. These included the ongoing development of the European security and defence policy and the role EU rapid response elements, or battlegroups, can play in enhancing the EU's crisis management capabilities. The visit provided an opportunity to discuss the plans of Finland and Sweden to participate in the initiative, including the establishment of a Swedish-led battlegroup with Finland and Norway. I also briefed Ms Freivalds and Mr. Tuomioja on Ireland's intention to continue to consult with partners over the coming months on possible participation in the initiative as outlined by the Minister of Defence at the military capabilities commitment conference in November 2004. I reiterated our commitment to the triple lock and the need for Government and Dáil approval and UN authorisation to the deployment of Defence Forces personnel for crisis management missions overseas.

Discussion also took place of the continued development of the European Union's civilian crisis response capabilities, especially the enhancement of the EU's capacity to respond to disasters such as the Asian tsunami. We agreed to work closely together to develop the EU's civilian rapid response capabilities.

Question No. 189 answered with QuestionNo. 116.
Question No. 190 answered with QuestionNo. 126.
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