Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Ceisteanna (100)

John McGuinness

Ceist:

100. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if an overseas allowance for Irish citizens who are working with the special monitoring mission with the OSCE will be agreed and put in place; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46254/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Foreign)

Ireland greatly values the vital role that the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine plays in gathering information and reporting on the security situation throughout Ukraine. Since its deployment in 2014, Ireland has continued to provide political, technical, and financial support to the Mission towards the ultimate aim of reducing tensions and facilitating dialogue between all sides.

To date, Ireland has paid assessed contributions totalling €2.725 million to the SMM. In addition, we made a voluntary contribution of €300,000 in 2014. A further contribution of €63,200 was made in 2018 towards the cost of the unmanned drones used by the Mission.

Mission members are seconded to the OSCE and are not employees of my Department. The OSCE advertises vacancies within the SMM on its website. The Irish Mission to the OSCE reviews Irish applications and nominates applicants who meet the minimum criteria. The decision on the selection of successful candidates are a matter for the OSCE.

There are currently 12 Irish civilian monitors seconded to the OSCE. The mission members receive an allowance paid by the OSCE to cover board and lodging. This allowance varies according to the cost of living and degree of hardship at the duty station, but is generally in the region of €125-155 per day.

The question of an additional allowance to be paid by my Department to Irish civilians seconded to the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission will be kept under review.