To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the estimated cost of running the embassy and consular service in 2017; his plans to open new embassies or consular services in 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
The Department is responsible for two Votes – Vote 28 (Foreign Affairs and Trade) and Vote 27 (International Cooperation).
The work of our embassy and consulate network around the world continues to be important in Ireland’s economic recovery and the restoration of our international reputation. Our Embassies’ work in support of Ireland’s interests includes:
Promoting Ireland as a source of high-quality exports, a destination for investment, research, study and tourism to targeted audiences and contacts.
Supporting trade missions and other trade-focussed high-level visits, record numbers of which have taken place in the last five years.
Directly assisting Irish companies with advice, introductions and working to resolve regulatory or market access issues, in partnership with Enterprise Ireland.
Providing frontline consular and passport services to Irish citizens overseas.
Influencing and negotiating for Ireland on issues that could impact our interests and priorities.
The estimated cost of running the network of 80 Irish embassies and consulates around the world for 2017 is €70.5 million.
My Department keeps the coverage of Ireland’s mission network under review. Any decision to alter the mission network is a matter for the Government.