Ireland caught between a rock and a hard place

The Emerald Isle finds itself trapped in the rivalry between the United Kingdom and the European Union, notes this Irish researcher. According to him, the time has come for Dublin to abandon its absolute devotion to Brussels.

Ultimately, it took less than a month for us to discover Ireland’s true place in the new European Union (EU). The choir of “Solidarity with Europe”, which summed up Ireland’s entire strategy in the Brexit negotiations, is already a thing of the past. Indeed, recent events have shown that the EU – in fact, the French and German governments – will act in its own interests when it sees fit to do so. And what can be more essential than preserving the credibility and importance of the European Commission itself?

The political fallout from the vaccine debacle, for which the European Union bears full responsibility, should not be underestimated in Ireland. If Brussels argues that it was able to consider a time to empty the Brexit agreement of its substance [en déclenchant le rétablissement des contrôles à la frontière entre l’Irlande et l’Irlande du Nord, précisément ce que Londres et Bruxelles ont cherché à tout prix à éviter pendant les négociations], but that the option was quickly discarded, the fact that this idea could have been considered should encourage Dublin to reflect on its future engagement in Europe.

Britain, a source of annoyance for the EU

Of course, the vaccine mess in Brussels will pass, but it heralds a much more serious problem for Ireland. Namely that Dublin is now a prisoner of the ungainable battle between Europe and Great Britain.

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Like the evil younger brother who loves nothing more than pulling his siblings’ hair, breaking their toys, Britain now dominates EU strategic thinking. Unable to force London to comply with the constraints of the single market, Great Britain becomes a serious economic threat. And for the decision-makers of


Eoin Drea*

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* Eoin Drea is a researcher for the Wilfried Martens Center for European Studies, a center-right think tank.


Founded by Protestants in 1859, today under the authority of a group of “trustees” responsible for guaranteeing its political and religious independence, The Irish Times relies on a large network of correspondents abroad and


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