This novel collection draws together a European field of expertise and resources. It reveals how Belgian, French, Italian, Luxembourg, Dutch, and West German politicians, policymakers and commentators perceived independent Ireland from the end of the Second World War until Irish accession to the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1973. These six West European states initiated and sustained the integration process from the debris of the Second World War. They offered Ireland a developmental and international alternative to small nation state obscurity and vulnerability. Together with the EEC institutions of the Commission and the Council of Ministers principally, these states both transformed European relations and determined the fate of Ireland's application to enter the EEC after 1961. The findings of this revelatory investigation of the Six's attitudes to, perceptions of, and interests in Ireland offer fascinating insights and conclusions that are unsettling and provocative. The collection serves as a critical but sympathetic external commentary on the evolution of modern Ireland. European attitudes to Irish nationalism, partition, politics, economics, neutrality, culture and Anglo-Irish relations are divulged. Nonetheless, the study is as revealing about the Six and the EEC institutions as it is about Ireland. It explores the bilateral cultural, economic, political and diplomatic relations between the Six and Ireland. The evolving attitudes and policies of the individual six member states of the EEC and the EEC institutions to the Irish application for membership are disclosed in some detail for the first time. Personal and cultural bias and perceptions shape international relations as much as political and economic calculation. The state of bilateral relations between Ireland and each member state of the EEC frequently influenced the Six's attitudes towards Irish suitability for membership. This highly original and topical collection is based on the completely untapped archival sources of the Six and the EEC, in addition to Irish archives. It includes an international panel of authors chosen for their knowledge of the relevant archives, states and institutions. Its accessible style and contemporary relevance promises to interest many in the field of current affairs, modern Ireland and modern Europe. The study will appeal to policymakers, popular audiences and academics from many different disciplines. It is topical yet perennial. In a decade when the reputedly pro-European Irish electorate initially rejected two EU treaties (Nice and Lisbon) and many continental Europeans are wondering why, this book helps to explain the origins of present-day attitudes.