ARCO’s submission in October 2013 informed the consultation process during the elaboration of the White Paper on Defence. ARCO actively participated in a symposium hosted by the Minister for Defence in May 2015.
The White Paper on Defence was approved by Government in July 2015. Paragraph 7.7 of the White Paper on Defence includes the following statement: “there is scope during the currency of the White Paper to further develop the supports available to existing personnel and veterans.”
ARCO remains proactive in ensuring the implementation of the Government’s policy on veterans’ affairs, in particular the White Paper projects 51 and 59.
In order to provide momentum in advancing this process, on 05 December 2018, ARCO, IUNVA and ONE formally submitted a Combined Veterans’ Strategy to the Minister with responsibility for Defence.
In addition to pension related issues, ARCO has strongly recommended the implementation of one of the key recommendations of the Combined Veterans’ Strategy namely the establishment of a joint Office for Veterans’ Affairs, consisting of personnel from the Department of Defence and the Defence Forces.
ARCO continues to advocate the absolute requirement to articulate and institutionalise an inclusive and comprehensive Government’s Veterans’ Policy.
The White Paper on Defence 2015 provides for a three yearly cycle of reviews.
Following Government approval, on 12 December, the Minister with responsibility for Defence, Mr Paul Kehoe TD, has published the first of these reviews titled White Paper on Defence – Update 2019. Section 5.9 (page 63 of 122) relates to veterans.
Since the publication of the White Paper in 2015, a total of 95 separate projects have been identified for completion over a ten-year period, 42 of which have been initiated and 15 have been closed, vide Annex C of the Review.