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Government Approves Defence Forces’ Participation in EU Battlegroup 2024/2025

The Government today (12 January) approved the participation by the Defence Forces in a German-led EU Battlegroup in 2024/2025. This will be the eighth occasion on which the Defence Forces have been part of an EU Battlegroup and the first since 2020. The EU Battlegroup 2025, with a strength of 2,000 personnel, is a two-year commitment and will commence on 01 January 2024 and conclude on 31 December 2025. The Battlegroup will be on standby for the entirety of 2025.

Speaking after the Government confirmed its approval for the Defence Forces’ participation, the Tánaiste and Minister for Defence, Micheál Martin TD, said;

“Experience has shown that Ireland’s previous participation in EU Battlegroups has enhanced the Defence Forces’ ability to work with other nations in a multinational environment and has served to enhance the Defence Forces reputation as a provider of a credible military capability for peacekeeping operations.  Moreover, the Defence Forces participation in Battlegroups supports Ireland’s efforts in securing partners for UN blue hat operations due to the close civil and military relationships built through our participation.”

It is anticipated that the total number of the proposed Defence Forces contribution to the Battlegroup will be 174 personnel, largely comprised of a Mechanised Infantry Company together with a National Support Element.

In addition to Germany, which will lead the Battlegroup, other participating members will include Austria, Croatia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Sweden.



Notes to the Editor

  • Battlegroups are a key component of the capabilities that the EU can make available in support of UN authorised crisis management operations. Within the EU Battlegroup concept, the purpose of the Battlegroup, as a rapid response capability, includes the role of acting as an initial entry force to stabilise a situation pending the deployment of a follow-on force, to support an established peace support operation which is running into difficulties, and to respond to humanitarian crises.
  • Ireland has previously participated in the Nordic Battlegroups in 2008, 2011 and 2015, the UK-led EU Battlegroup in 2016 and the German-led Battlegroups in 2012, 2016 and in 2020.  The German Battlegroup stands up on a 4 year cycle. 
  • The 2015 White Paper on Defence outlines that Ireland’s participation in the EU Battlegroup demonstrates our commitment to the development of EU capabilities in the area of Crisis Management Operations and contributes to Ireland’s overall commitment to CSDP in the European Union.  Participation in EU Battlegroups supports Ireland’s international security and defence policy by helping to secure essential partners for future UN operations.