Dáil Éireann - Volume 668 - 26 November, 2008
Written Answers. - Common Foreign and Security Policy.
Deputy Thomas P. Broughan Deputy Thomas P. Broughan
Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Defence if he will report on Ireland’s involvement with the EU Satellite Centre; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42752/08]
Deputy Willie O’Dea Deputy Willie O’Dea
Deputy Willie O’Dea: The European Union Satellite Centre (EUSC) is an Agency of the Council of the European Union. Formerly operating as the Western European Union Satellite Centre, the EUSC was incorporated as an agency of the EU in 2002 as part of the transfer of functions from the Western European Union (WEU) to the European Union (EU) and more specifically to the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). The Centre’s primary objective is to support the decision-making of the European Union in the  field of Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), in particular of the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP), including European Union crisis management operations.
The Centre is located in Torrejon de Ardoz which is close to Madrid, Spain. Although it is autonomous in its daily operations, Javiar Solana, Secretary General of the Council of the European Union, gives operational direction to the Centre and reports on its activities to the Political and Security Committee. The Satellite Centre provides, as appropriate, geospatial products resulting from the analysis of satellite imagery and collateral data, including aerial imagery, in order to support the operations and missions of the European Union and its Member States. The staff of the Centre consists of experienced image analysts, geospatial specialists and supporting personnel, recruited from EU Member States.
Ireland, along with other EU Member States, is a member of the Board of the Satellite Centre. My Department shares the cost of Ireland’s financial contribution to the Satellite Centre with the Department of Foreign Affairs. In 2008, the cost of the joint contribution is of the order of €158,732.44, of which my Department contributes €79,366.22. The Defence Forces receive and utilise Satellite Centre products and benefit greatly from this capability while deployed on overseas missions.
Question No. 111 answered with Question No. 84.
Question No. 112 answered with Question No. 87.
Dáil Éireann 668 Written Answers. Common Foreign and Security Policy.