DECLARATION OF THE EUROPEAN COUNCIL
1. The European Council takes cognisance
of the National Declaration of Ireland presented at its meeting
in Seville on 21-22 June 2002. It notes that Ireland intends to
associate its National Declaration with its act of ratification
of the Treaty of Nice, should the people of Ireland in a referendum
decide to accept the Treaty of Nice.
2. The European Council notes that the Treaty
on European Union provides that any decision to move to a common
defence shall be adopted in accordance with the respective constitutional
requirements of the Member States.
3. The European Council recalls that under
the terms of the Treaty on European Union the policy of the Union
shall not prejudice the specific character of the security and
defence policy of certain Member States. Ireland has drawn attention,
in this regard, to its traditional policy of military neutrality.
4. The European Council acknowledges that
the Treaty on European Union does not impose any binding mutual
defence commitments. Nor does the development of the Union's capacity
to conduct humanitarian and crisis management tasks involve the
establishment of a European army.
5. The European Council confirms that the
situation referred to in paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 above would be
unchanged by the entry into force of the Treaty of Nice.
6. The European Council recognises that,
like all Member States of the Union, Ireland would retain the
right, following the entry into force of the Treaty of Nice, to
take its own sovereign decision, in accordance with its Constitution
and its laws, on whether to commit military personnel to participate
in any operation carried out under the European Security and Defence
Policy. Ireland, in its national Declaration, has clearly set
out its position in this regard.