In this paper the impact of EC membership on the foreign policy of the coalition government led by Garret FitzGerald between 1982 and 1987 is examined. It is argued that while the EC presented a number of major challenges to the government, notably on the milk super levy and some aspects of the Single European Act, it generally remained true to its communautaire self-image, reassuring its fellow members of the Community and minimising the scale of the problems at home. Nevertheless, the government was unable to resolve a number of foreign policy problems or mobilise public opinion decisively behind its approach to them before it fell from power. Indeed its approach to foreign policy questions may have contributed to its eventual political defeat.
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*The research for this paper was made possible in part by a grant from the Western European Area Studies Centre at the University of Minnesota.