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Punching Above its Weight: Ireland in the EU

24/05/2021, 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

How did a small country like Ireland achieve such prominence in the European Union?


Ireland joined the European Union in the same year (1973) as the UK but their paths have diverged enormously since then. The UK has left the EU but Ireland has not only stayed but seen its influence in Brussels grow exponentially in recent years, with Irish figures occupying key leadership roles in the Eurogroup of finance ministers, European Commission, EMA, and elsewhere.

How did a small country like Ireland achieve such prominence? What benefits has it drawn from EU membership? Are there any downsides?


  • Pat Cox, now a private/public sector executive focusing on sustainability/green energy issues, is a former President of the European Parliament and a Fine Gael TD in Dublin. He won the prestigious Charlemagne Prize in 2004 for his work in promoting EU enlargement and greater democracy.
  • Brigid Laffan, Irish political scientist, Director of the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies at the European University Institute, Florence
  • Tony Connelly, Europe Editor for RTE since 2011

Chair: David Clarke, EMiS vice-chair, Irish “New Scot”, journalist, consultant, and founder of the Scottish-Irish Finance Initiative


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5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
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European Movement in Scotland
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