Dáil Éireann - Volume 557 - 13 November, 2002

Written Answers. - Partnership for Peace.

  193. Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs his preferred options in respect of Ireland's participation in PfP post-Nice; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21888/02]

  Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Cowen): Ireland's approach to Partnership for Peace is unchanged by the outcome of the recent referendum on the Treaty of Nice. The terms of Ireland's participation in PfP were set out in our Presentation Document, which was approved by Dáil Éireann on 8 November 1999. This document stated, inter alia, that Ireland's participation in PfP is in full accordance with Ireland's policy of military neutrality, which has always been pursued in tandem with full and active support for collective security, based on international law. The Presentation Document also established our priorities for PfP membership including peacekeeping and humanitarian operations.

  Ireland's approach to PfP remains that as set out in the Presentation Document. In accordance with the core PfP principle of self-differentiation, Ireland can decide on the level and extent of its involvement in PfP activities.

  PfP has proved its importance as a framework for co-operation in relation to the areas appropriate to the Petersberg Tasks, that is, humanitarian and rescue activities, peacekeeping and crisis management. This can be seen from the participation in PfP of all our EU partners, including the other neutral and non-aligned States.