NATIONAL DECLARATION BY IRELAND
1. Ireland reaffirms its attachment to the
aims and principles of Charter of the United Nations, which confers
primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace
and security upon the United Nations Security Council.
2. Ireland recalls its commitment to the
common foreign and security policy of the European Union as set
out in the Treaty on European Union, adopted at Maastricht, amended
at Amsterdam and approved on each occasion by the Irish people
3. Ireland confirms that its participation
in the European Union's common foreign and security policy does
not prejudice its traditional policy of military neutrality. The
Treaty on European Union makes clear that the Union's security
and defence policy shall not prejudice the specific character
of the security and defence policy of certain Member States.
4. In line with its traditional policy of
military neutrality, Ireland is not bound by any mutual defence
commitment. Nor is Ireland party to any plans to develop a European
army. Indeed, the Nice European Council recognised that the development
of the Union's capacity to conduct humanitarian and crisis management
tasks does not involve the establishment of a European army.
5. The Treaty on European Union specifies
that any decision by the Union to move to a common defence would
have to be taken by unanimous decisions of the Member States and
adopted in accordance with their respective constitutional requirements.
The Government of Ireland have made a firm commitment to the people
of Ireland, solemnized in this Declaration, that a referendum
will be held in Ireland on the adoption of any such decision and
on any future treaty which would involve Ireland departing from
its traditional policy of military neutrality.
6. Ireland reiterates that the participation
of contingents of the Irish Defence Forces in overseas operations,
including those carried out under the European security and defence
policy, requires (a) the authorisation of the operation by the
Security Council or the General Assembly of the United Nations,
(b) the agreement of the Irish Government and (c) the approval
of Dail E«ireann, in accordance with Irish law.
7. The situation set out in this Declaration
would be unaffected by the entry into force of the Treaty of Nice.
In the event of Ireland's ratification of the Treaty of Nice,
this Declaration will be associated with Ireland's instrument