Mervyn O’Driscoll
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Ireland, German reunification and remaking Europe
in Ireland, West Germany and the New Europe, 1949– 73
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Ireland's relationship with West Germany was an essential component in its embrace of economic modernisation and European integration. Ireland interpreted integration as a declaration and not as a threat to national identity and independence; it had the potential to equalise the unequal relationship between Ireland and Britain. Irish-East German trade was minuscule and was dwarfed by Irish-West German trade. German banks did come into the Irish Financial Services Centre in Dublin and a few German 'high-tech' and services companies have invested in Ireland since 2004. From that perspective, the Irish-German business relationship is relatively static. From his accession as Taoiseach in 1987, Charles J. Haughey identified Ireland's relations with the European Communities (EC) as a strategic priority to extricate the Irish economy from a severe slump. Haughey was preparing for the Irish Presidency of the EC in the first six months of 1990 long before German reunification became an issue.

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