Cookies on the DFA website

We use cookies to give the best experience on our site while also complying with Data Protection requirements. Continue without changing your settings, and you'll receive cookies, or change your cookie settings at any time.

Skip to main content

Our Strategy and Guiding Principles

The mission of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is to serve the Irish people, promote their values and advance their prosperity abroad, and to provide the Government with the capabilities, analysis and influence to ensure that Ireland derives the maximum benefit from all areas of its external engagement.

The Department's Strategy Statement focuses on how we implement the commitments assigned to us in the Programme for Government, 2011-16 and in the Statement of Government Priorities (July 2014). We have identified five high-level goals to guide our work from 2015 to 2017 in our Statement of Strategy 2015-2017 which are outlined below.

The preparation of the Statement of Strategy was informed by the core foreign policy statements The Global Island: Ireland’s Foreign Policy for a Changing World  and Irelands Policy for International Development and involved consultation across Government as well as of all staff in the Department.

Our People: To serve our people at home and abroad and to promote reconciliation and cooperation

Maintaining peace and stability on our island and consolidating the achievements of the Good Friday Agreement and subsequent agreements, including the recent Stormont House Agreement, remain central to our work. We shall continue to foster reconciliation and to develop opportunities for North-South cooperation for the benefit of both parts of this island.

The effective delivery of passport and consular services for our citizens at home and abroad is a central component of the Department's work. We will continue to deliver a modern, secure passport service. We constantly strive to improve our response to crises as well as the needs of individual citizens travelling abroad.

Our culture, arts and creative industries are promoted through the Embassy network and the Department also engages with Irish communities abroad to provide support and foster their links with Ireland. Ireland's deepened engagement with it's diaspora is set out in the recently published document Global Irish: Ireland’s Diaspora Policy.

Our Values: To work for a fairer, more just, secure and sustainable world

The Department aims to promote Ireland's values in all areas of its work. Through our development cooperation work and our engagement in multilateral fora we aim to make further progress in eradicating poverty and hunger, promoting inclusive economic growth, and promoting and protecting human rights internationally. We will promote a stable and secure, rules-based international environment through the UN and the EU, and our other multilateral and bilateral partners and NGOs. We will contribute to a new UN-led framework for sustainable development that addresses climate change, food security and interconnected issues.

Our Prosperity: To advance Ireland's prosperity by promoting our economic interests internationally

In line with the strong focus of the Programme for Government and the Statement of Government Priorities on promoting economic growth, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade plays a leading role in fostering the international dimension of Ireland's economic growth, in close cooperation with the State Agencies, Irish business and the Global Irish Network.

Our network of diplomatic missions is actively promoting Ireland as open for business and a destination for inward investment. We build and maintain strong bilateral relations to promote our economic interests abroad, helping us contribute to job creation, the identification of opportunities for exports, and the promotion of tourism and education in Ireland. Our missions also ensure that accurate information about the benefits of doing business in Ireland is communicated to key international decision makers and opinion formers.

Our Place in Europe: To protect and advance Ireland's values and interests in Europe

Our engagement with the EU remains central to Ireland's foreign policy. The Department aims to maximise Ireland's influence in shaping EU outcomes by nurturing strong relationships with the EU institutions and other member States. We will work to ensure that ireland makes a strong contribution to the EU's global engagement and to the promotion of peace and security in Europe.

Our Influence: To strengthen our influence and our capacity to deliver our goals

The Department upholds the highest ethos of public service. We aim to be an open and accountable Department, with a professional and capable workforce in a positive working environment, which delivers best practice in governance, is responsible to national and global changes and challenges, and provides a unified service to the Government and Irish Citizens.

Rather than looking at our high-level goals in isolation, we recognise - as clearly stated in The Global Island - that they are intertwined and support one another. The work of every individual in this department is linked to the delivery of these goals. Further information can be found in the Statement of Strategy.

For more Information

Read our Statement of Strategy 2015-2017‌.