Ireland gearing up for service in German-led EU battle group

Key objective ‘development of EUs Common Security and Defence Policy.’

Sligo News File Online.

IrishThe Taoiseach and Minister for Defence Enda Kenny has tabled a motion that “Dáil Éireann approves Ireland’s accession to the Memorandum of Understanding concerning the principles for the establishment and operation of a Battlegroup to be made available to the European Union in the second half of the year 2016.”

TankDeputy Simon Coveney told the Dail in October that the ambition of the EU is to be able to respond rapidly to emerging crises.

“This is a key objective in the continued development of the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy.”

He said, “In the Headline Goal 2010, the EU set itself the objective of being able “to respond with rapid and decisive action applying a fully coherent approach to the whole spectrum of crisis management operations covered by the Treaty on the European Union. This is a mouthful but it is eurospeak for saying that we need to have the capacity to respond to a crisis if and when it happens.

Ambulance“A key element of the Headline Goal 2010 is the capability to deploy forces at high readiness, broadly based on the battle groups concept.”

Sinn Féin and Independent TDs opposed the State signing a memorandum of understanding on the principles surrounding the start-up and operation of the battle group, contending that it compromised Ireland’s neutrality.

It understood upwards of 200 Irish military personnel are to be deployed in the German-led battlegroup in which Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Luxembourg and the Netherlands are involved.

Croatia

Sean Ó Fearghaíl for Fianna Fail said his party supported the battle group and rejected “any assertion that taking part in battle groups undermines our neutrality.”