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Written Answers. - EU-NATO Negotiations.

Wednesday, 27 March 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 551 No. 3

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 89. Mr. Gormley Information on John Gormley Zoom on John Gormley  asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs Information on Brian Cowen Zoom on Brian Cowen  if he will report on recent European Union negotiations with NATO concerning the use of NATO military assets for the European Union's Rapid Reaction Force; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4701/02]

Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Cowen): Information on Brian Cowen Zoom on Brian Cowen As it develops capabilities for the conduct of humanitarian and crisis management tasks, the EU may in some situations need to have recourse to NATO infrastructural and transport capacity, such as airlifts. The arrangements to facilitate this recourse are currently the subject of ongoing negotiation between the two organisations.

A set of guiding principles for EU-NATO relations have been agreed at European Council level and discussions between the two organisations take place in that context. Ireland places particular importance on the principles agreed at the Feira European Council of non-discrimination between member states in relations between the two organisations and autonomy of decision making by each organisation. These principles are being fully upheld in carrying forward co-operation between the two organisations.

Proposals to facilitate access by the EU to NATO infrastructural and transport capacity are contained in the publicly available reports on European Security and Defence Policy made to European Council meetings, especially that submitted to the European Council in December 2000. While efforts have since continued to obtain agreement on this basis, no conclusion to these negotiations has yet been reached.

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