Defence | Discussions with the EU in regard to defence and security
To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Defence the extent of any recent discussions with his EU colleagues in regard to defence and security.
Since my appointment as Minister for Defence, I have corresponded with a number of my EU colleagues and I look forward to engaging with them in-person in the future, both bilaterally and in the format of formal and informal meetings of EU Defence Ministers.
I recently attended the 59th Munich Security Conference which was attended by a large number of Defence Ministers from the EU and beyond, where the focus was very much on the international response to the war in Ukraine.
Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the recent informal meeting of EU Defence Ministers in Stockholm.
EU Defence Ministers can ordinarily be expected to meet on four occasions annually – two informal meetings hosted by the respective presidencies and two meetings of the Foreign Affairs Council in Defence Ministers’ format in Brussels, one in each half of the year. I look forward to engaging directly with EU colleagues at the upcoming Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Defence configuration, which is due to take place in May.
I also intend to take such opportunities as I can to meet my defence colleagues bilaterally, whether in the course of bilateral visits or in the margins of ministerial meetings. Ireland is determined to continue playing a full part in the evolution of the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy and, given particular interests and concerns we have, it is important that Ireland’s position is well understood and I regard bilateral engagements as a key element in ensuring that this is the case.
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