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Taoiseach | European Council Meeting in Prague

To ask the Taoiseach if security issues were discussed at the recent meeting in Prague consisting of the European-wide heads of state.

To ask the Taoiseach the extent to which discussions took place at the recent intergovernmental conference in Prague in relation to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.


The first meeting of the European Political Community on 6 October was a welcome development in wider European political engagement.  It was hosted by the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Petr Fiala, with the support of the President of the European Council, Charles Michel.

44 States were invited to participate, including all 27 EU Member States, the European Free Trade Agreement partner countries – Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Liechtenstein, the UK, Türkiye, the six Western Balkans countries; Serbia, Montenegro, Albania, North Macedonia, Bosnia and Hercegovina and Kosovo; and five of the six Eastern Partnership countries; Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Moldova and Ukraine.  No invitation was extended to Belarus, given its ongoing facilitation of Russia’s aggression.

The meeting achieved its primary aim of bringing together leaders from across the continent of Europe to recognise the considerable degree of common cause among us.  The formal agenda included Ukraine, energy, and the European economy.

It was notable also for the agreement reached in the margins with Armenia and Azerbaijan to accept a civilian EU mission alongside their border.

Whilst at the European Political Community meeting, I participated in a roundtable discussion on energy, climate and the economy. Other Leaders participated in Roundtable discussion of ‘peace and security on the European continent’.

I was very pleased also to have bilateral meetings with Ukraine, Albania and Bosnia while in Prague.

The Prime Minister of Ukraine, Denys Shmyhal expressed his appreciation that Ireland continues to be to the forefront of advocating for Ukraine’s membership of the European Union, for the toughest possible sanctions against Russia and for holding Russia accountable, and that we are hosting over 50,000 Ukrainian people in need of protection.  I assured him of our continued support at this time of terrible need in Ukraine.

As I have said, I also met with two of our partners in the Western Balkans, Prime Minister of Albania Edi Rama and Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Šefik Džaferović.

In both meetings, I expressed my support for them on their EU accession pathway.

The members of the European Council held an informal meeting in Prague on 7 October. Our discussion was a strategic one covering the topics of Ukraine, energy, and economic issues in order to inform and prepare for the regular meeting which subsequently took place on 20/21 October.

We discussed Russia’s war against Ukraine, including the impact it is having on energy prices in Europe. We were joined in this discussion by Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy via video conference.

We welcomed the eighth package of sanctions against Russia adopted on 6 October in response to Russia’s illegitimate referenda and illegal annexations in Ukraine.

We also discussed political, military and financial support to Ukraine as well as the importance of countering Russian narratives.

We confirmed our resolve to work with and support partners across the world in tackling food security issues exacerbated by Russia’s war.

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