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Department of the Taoiseach; Dept of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Dept of Defence

The Department of the Taoiseach supports the Taoiseach (Ireland’s Prime Minister) in his role as a member of the European Council, the forum in which European Union leaders meet regularly to set strategic direction.

The Department also plays a role in promoting EU Jobs for Irish People.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) works to promote Ireland’s central role in Europe.  Ireland helps to shape the EU through our input into economic and social policies, and uses our EU membership to make a valuable contribution to world affairs.

DFAT promotes and protect Ireland’s interests within the EU through the work of Ireland’s government-wide Permanent Representation to the EU, in cooperation with the Department of the Taoiseach and the various individual Departments, as well through our Embassies in Europe and wider afield.

The Department takes a strategic approach to Ireland’s engagement with the EU, including through bilateral engagement and alliance building. It engages intensively with the Institutions in Brussels, and works with the Oireachtas (Irish Parliament), and to communicate more effectively about EU issues.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, with Responsibility for Brexit, has overall responsibility for the co-ordination of EU affairs.

DFAT also assists the Minister of State for European Affairs, and the Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection.

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EU Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP)

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade works closely with other Irish Departments of Government to manage Ireland’s involvement in Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) activities.  In this regard, the Department of Defence supports measures relating to capability development and the deployment of members of the Permanent Defence Forces in CSDP Missions and Operations such as, for example, EUTM Mali and EUFOR ALTHEA.

The Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) allows the EU to act in a unified way on foreign policy and security issues and increases political co-operation between EU member states. The CFSP allows the EU to adopt external responses to international security or defence situations, in accordance with the UN Charter, including:

  • Peacekeeping, crisis management and reconstruction efforts in troubled regions across the world through the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP).
  • Diplomatic or economic sanctions to promote peace and security.

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