I propose to take Questions Nos. 9 and 30 together.
Two invitations have been received by Ireland to participate in future EU battle groups. One invitation has been received to participate in the Nordic battle group 2015, together with Sweden acting as framework nation, Finland, Norway and Estonia. The second force generation conference was held in Sweden in early December 2012. The proposed contribution to this battle group will be a reconnaissance company with associated HQ staff appointments and supporting elements. The model envisaged for the battle group gives command of a multinational reconnaissance group HQ to Ireland, resulting in a raised profile.
The second invitation received is to participate in the EU battle group 2016, with Germany acting as framework nation, Luxembourg, Austria, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands. Discussions are ongoing with the participants on Ireland's potential contribution to this battle group. Any participation by Ireland in the Nordic and EU battle groups in 2015 and 2016 will be subject to formal Government approval at the appropriate time.
Separate from battle group participation, Ireland has received an invitation to participate in the European Union training mission in Mali, EUTM Mali, which will provide military training and advice to the Malian armed forces to improve their military capacity and their effectiveness in guaranteeing the country's territorial integrity. I have already addressed the question of possible Defence Force participation in EUTM Mali. While Ireland is positively disposed towards this mission, no decision has yet been made. Any decision on participation will be a matter ultimately to be determined by government.