Dáil Approval of Defence Forces Participation in New PESCO Projects
The Minister for Defence, Simon Coveney, has welcomed the approval by the Dáil of his proposal for the Defence Forces to join four new Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) projects.
The approval by the Dáil means that Ireland will now become fully participants in 5 PESCO projects, while remaining as observers on a further 5 projects.
Speaking after the Dáil approval was confirmed, Minister Coveney said, “participation in these PESCO projects will enhance the Defence Forces’ military capabilities for participation in UN-mandated peace support operations, enhance interoperability and, working with our EU partners, ensure that our troops are equipped with the latest and best equipment and training.”
The 4 projects in which the Defence Forces’ will now be full participants relate to such issues as cyber threats, disaster relief capability, Special Operations Forces medical training and systems for mine countermeasures. Ireland is already a full participant in a project relating to maritime surveillance.
Ireland has been an avid observer on each of the 4 projects which the Defence Forces will now join as full participants and the proposal to proceed to full participation follows a detailed evaluation of those projects and, reflecting on the experience as observers, an assessment of the added-value of becoming full participants.
Speaking of that process of evaluation, the Minister said, “in each case, the conclusion of the analysis and reflection is that full participation would deliver significant benefits to our Defence Forces to support them in their roles and in particular their contribution to international crisis management operations peacekeeping.”
Following today’s Dáil approval, the Defence Forces and the Department of Defence will continue to assess the value of the other PESCO projects with a view to possible observer status, during which time a further assessment can be made of the added-value of progressing to full participation.