Guinness, beef, U2, the Chieftains and the Dubliners, James Joyce, the renowned pubs.
For a small country, Ireland is known throughout the world. In politico–economic terms, the country has experienced some severe economic crises, famines and a tough struggle for independence from the United Kingdom. Difficult economic times have meant the Irish have emigrated to the rest of the world since time immemorial, especially to other English-speaking countries such as the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and, inevitably, Great Britain.
Flanders, as a small EU country, sees Ireland as an ally at European level. There are also good cultural and academic relations. For example, there is an Irish Institute in Leuven.