Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Ceisteanna (137)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh


137. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if Ireland is involved as an observer in PESCO projects; if involvement as an observer was not announced publically alongside the announcement of involvement as a full participant in two PESCO projects; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4959/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Defence)

Ireland's participation in PESCO was agreed by Government and approved by Dáil Éireann prior to the Council Decision establishing PESCO on 11 December 2017. As a participant in PESCO, Ireland is required to participate in one PESCO project.

There are currently 34 PESCO Projects that are being developed covering areas such as training, land, maritime, air, cyber, and joint enabling. The initial list of 17 projects to be developed under PESCO was established in the Council Decision on 6 March 2018 and second list of 17 additional projects to be developed under PESCO was established in the Council Decision on 19 November 2018.

I have previously confirmed Ireland's participation in two PESCO projects - (1) The European Union Training Mission Competence Centre and (2) Upgrade of Maritime Surveillance from the initial list of PESCO Projects, and Ireland's Observer status on a further eight PESCO projects - six from the initial list and two from the second list.

While there was no formal announcement of Ireland's participation as a full participant or observer to the PESCO Projects, the details are no secret and have been the subject of public discourse, media coverage and debate in this House, since PESCO and the PESCO Projects were launched. At every opportunity, most recently in a PQ response reference no. 1966/19 dated 17th January 2019, the details of the PESCO projects Ireland is engaged in, both as an observer and as a participant, have been elaborated.