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Snippet Contents:

I have two questions. Obviously, the main focus in this country in regard to the summit was the Article 50 negotiations, where it was decided that sufficient progress had been made during the first phase of the Brexit negotiations and where guidelines for the second phase of the negotiations were adopted. However, there were other issues discussed at the summit, including security and defence, the EU pillar of social rights, the EU action plan to tackle the gender pay gap, the concept of European universities, issues in regard to European languages, climate change, Jerusalem, the Russia-Ukraine situation, migration and economic and monetary union. Like other speakers, I believe we need to be very conscious of the debate taking place on the future of Europe at this time and I appreciate the work the Minister of State, Deputy McEntee, is doing on that. I note she is briefing Oireachtas Members this week, there is a major conference in DCU in association with European Movement Ireland and, obviously, there are meetings taking place throughout the country as well.
As regards security and defence, PESCO was launched at the summit. Some 17 common projects have been agreed so far and I understand further work is needed in that regard. Will the Minister of State undertake to keep the House briefed on this and assure us that any projects in which we participate will not compromise Ireland's traditional policy of military neutrality?