Ireland needs to have ‘Pan-European Defence Conversation’ – MacNeill

Ireland needs to have ‘pan-European defence conversation’

Ireland needs to have a conversation ‘nobody particularly wants’ about European defence, the newly-appointed European Affairs Minister has said.

Jennifer Carroll MacNeill was moved into the role from Financial Services in yesterday’s Cabinet reshuffle by Taoiseach Simon Harris.

That came after her predecessor in the role, Peter Burke was promoted to the position of Minister for Enterprise.

She told Newstalk Breakfast it is a challenging time.

“I think it’s a very serious time in Europe, there are a lot of different challenges with Palestine most importantly – what Ireland is trying to do to recognise the State of Palestine,” she said.

“What we’re doing in relation to Ukraine and trying to rearm Ukraine and the support for Ukraine and the concerns that our friends in Nordic-Baltic countries have around further Russian aggression”.

During his final speech as Taoiseach yesterday, Leo Varadkar raised the question of Irish neutrality – and warned that Ireland must be prepared for a military attack on the EU.

Asked what Ireland’s position would be if another EU state was attacked, Minister MacNeill said we have existing support roles with NATO and the EU.

“There’s a broader pan-European conversation about how to coordinate defence spending, how to coordinate defence operations and procurement and what that’s going to look like over time,” she said.

“Nobody particularly wants to have that conversation but there is a different geopolitical reality on the European continent, as there is a different geo-political instability between Israel-Palestine, the Straits of Taiwan.

“It is something that we are going to have consider in more detail here and probably have… a more ongoing conversation about watching what’s happening in the rest of Europe”.

Credit to : Newstalk

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