Managing membership : Ireland and the European Economic Community 1973-1979
Title: Managing membership : Ireland and the European Economic Community 1973-1979
Author: KEOGH DAVERI, Aoife
Citation: Florence : European University Institute, 2015
Series/Number: EUI PhD theses; Department of History and Civilization
Managing Ireland's relations with the EEC after accession suffered from several shortcomings which bore direct consequences for its overall handling of membership. Those difficulties were linked firstly to resistence towards administrative reform nationally and secondly to its relations with the EEC prior to accession. Initially, the Department of Finance led negotiations but Lynch decided to nominate Foreign Affairs as official gate-keeper of Ireland's relations with the EEC in 1970. Finance concentrated on readying and gathering information and data for negotiations from departments at home while the DFA concentrated its efforts on actual negotiations in Brussels. While maximising resources in the short-term, this effectively straddled EEC policy between departments and delayed the evolution of a domestic mechanism for filtering Ireland's relations through one body/department. That split did not help enhance co-ordination after membership. This situation was complicated by the fact that officials in the two departments had very different perceptions of what membership was and could become. It is argued that the model which emerged for 'managing membership' had significant repercussions on decision-making and its relations with the EEC. Difficulties and inconsistencies are highlighted relating to specific policies such as ERDF and EMS in the final chapters of this dissertation. The DFA managed to assert its position and central co-ordinating role particularly during Ireland's first Presidency of the European Council in 1975 but it was side-lined once more as negotiations for EMS approached. Finance and the Taoiseach's Office took the lead in these negotiations. But ineffective filtering of Irish policy toward the EEC through the DFA meant that considerable institutional memory in diplomatic relations was under-utilised and this is noted in this research. Despite the DFA's relentless efforts to make its mark and defend its gatekeeping function throughout the 1970s, its role was diminished even further with the arrival of a new government in 1979.
Defence date: 9 February 2015; Examining Board: Professor Kiran Patel, University of Maastricht (Supervisor); Professor Federico Romero, European University Institute; Professor Joe Lee, New York University; Professor Gary Murphy, Dublin City University.
Type of Access: embargoedAccess