The long road into Europe
in Ireland, West Germany and the New Europe, 1949– 73
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The Federal Republic of German (FRG) had played a consequential role, in tandem with the Netherlands, in convincing its European Economic Community (EEC) partners to allow the Irish application to proceed that criticism was impossible. In the absence of a breakthrough on the EEC the Irish continued to pursue the German market as the one offering the most opportunities in Western Europe. Bonn understood Dublin viewed progress in trade relations and investment as support for Ireland's EEC aspirations and a sign of German confidence in the Irish reorientation. Irish-German relations were unaffected by Charles de Gaulle's veto of the British application on 14 January 1963, notwithstanding Irish frustration at French unilateralism. In January 1965, the minister for industry and commerce, Jack Lynch, and the minister for agriculture, Charles Haughey, embarked on a trade mission to the FRG and underlined Ireland's devotion to eventual EEC membership.

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