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Here’s Why Ireland must Work Closely with EU Partners

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[Ireland] can and must learn from the work of [other EU members] and, on a case by case basis, take part in joint initiatives in areas like cyber security, threat intelligence, maritime surveillance, drone surveillance, etc.

[John Bruton | Oped Column Syndication]

In his recent confirmation hearing in the European Parliament, the new EU foreign policy chief and Spanish socialist politician, Josep Borrell spoke of the security threats to the EU.

He said that the rules based international order was being threatened by a logic of power politics. He added that recent unilateral moves by the US that “go against decades of cooperation” with Europe.

He said that, collectively, EU states spend more on defence than China does, but do not get value for money from it because of fragmentation and duplication.

There is no sign that the international tensions to which he was referring will ease in the near future. China has become more assertive, the Iran nuclear deal has been undermined and the United States is putting in doubt the security umbrella under which Europe has prospered for the past seventy years.

So inevitably, out of financial and political necessity, the next five years will be marked by increased activity and debate in the European Union about defence and security. This is unavoidable.

Defence is already provided for in the EU Treaties, which say that common security and defence policy shall be an integral part of the common foreign policy of the EU.


© Oped Column