Foreign Minister Heiko Maas visit in Dublin

Außenminister Maas und der irische Außenminister Coveney sprechen zu den Medien.

Außenminister Maas und der irische Außenminister Coveney sprechen zu den Medien., © Florian Gaertner/photothek.net


Foreign Minister Heiko Maas visited Dublin on 12 April. Ireland, which is particularly affected by the impact of Brexit, is a key partner for Germany in the EU. Find out more...

Avoiding a hard border

Until 1998, the brutal Northern Ireland conflict raged on the British part of the “Emerald Isle”. The Good Friday Agreement, signed almost exactly 20 years ago, marked the end of that conflict. Reconciliation among the parties to the conflict was made easier not least by the fact that the border between the British and Irish EU partners had lost some of its significance as a result of European integration. The withdrawal of Great Britain from the EU now raises the question of how this border will be regulated in future. Germany supports Ireland’s desire to avoid the return to a hard border on the island.

Tackling EU reform together

Im Gespräch: Außenminister Maas mit seinem irischen Kollegen Coveney
Im Gespräch: Außenminister Maas mit seinem irischen Kollegen Coveney© Florian Gaertner/photothek.net

Support for the EU among the Irish people is extremely strong. That is understandable: when it acceded to the European Community in 1973, Ireland was one of its poorest members. Today, annual income per capita amounts to almost 54,000 euros. Germany is one of Ireland’s most important trading partners. One goal of Foreign Minister Maas’ visit to Dublin was to further intensify cooperation between the two countries. From Germany’s perspective, a particular concern is that Ireland should also be closely involved in the planned reforms in the EU.

Außenminister Maas und sein Amtskollege Coveney wollen künftig auch gemeinsame Auslandsreisen unternehmen.
Außenminister Maas und sein Amtskollege Coveney wollen künftig auch gemeinsame Auslandsreisen unternehmen.© Florian Gaertner/photothek.net

Building on partnership

In a bilateral relations review process, the Irish Government has looked into what practical steps could be taken to build on the German‑Irish partnership. The findings were a central item on the agenda of the talks between Foreign Minister Maas and his Irish counterpart Simon Coveney.

The project rests on a sound historical foundation, for today Germany still has grateful memories of Operation Shamrock, under which Ireland took in 460 German children immediately after the Second World War.

After his visit to Ireland, the German Foreign Minister traveled on to the United Kingdom.

Additional content

On the Occasion of  the visit of Minister Maas, Tánaiste Coveney has published a comprehensive review of German-Irish relations in which you will find many initiatives for the political, economic and cultural sphere.


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