Stephen Collins: Summit outcome gives credence to Ireland being 'tiny diplomatic superpower'

The State has left Hanseatic League allies high and dry on bloc’s Covid-19 response

Taoiseach Micheál Martin, Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte and French president Emmanuel Macron at the EU summit in Brussels. Photograph: Stephanie Lecocq/AP

Taoiseach Micheál Martin, Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte and French president Emmanuel Macron at the EU summit in Brussels. Photograph: Stephanie Lecocq/AP

A striking feature of the marathon European Council summit was the way Ireland managed to reposition itself away from the “Frugal Four” northern states led by the Netherlands and strongly support a recovery plan providing the maximum possible grant aid to the southern states worst hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the wake of Brexit the Irish government moved quickly to build new alliances with neighbouring European Union countries that have a similar approach to the market economy and international trade. The so-called Hanseatic League emerged involving Ireland, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden and Finland.

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