A visit to modern day Belgium and its central position in a united Europe. Irish immigrant Geri Collins talks about her work in Brussels, her quality of life, and her general feeling of social isolation.

The programme features Irish Minister for External Affairs Patrick John Hillery and soon to be Ireland's European Commissioner (and later President of Ireland) on a visit to Belgium. Hillery views Ireland's accession to the European Union as a psychological escape valve and a release from what he calls "our gate lodge attitude towards England". The clip also features one of the founding fathers of the European community and French Minister of Foreign Affairs, as well as Maurice Shummann, British Convervative politician Geoffrey Rippon.

Reporter Patrick Gallagher makes analogies between Ireland and Belgium in terms of their past and potential futures.

While Dr. Hillery is Ireland's "big fish" in Brussels, Ireland also has its representative "smaller fry".  Gallagher meets Geri Collins who works as a typist in Brussels, and is well paid and independent. She is however very negative about her life in Brussels and does not have much contact with the Belgians. Collins feels somewhat ghettoised from the natives. Also feeling isolated and detached from any Irish community, Collins contemplates the opportunity to move on to Berlin. Collins talks about leaving Dublin and how life is different for her now in terms of quality of life.

An extract from the series 'Neighbours' and an episode where Irish writer Patrick Gallagher gives his personal opinions on Belgium and the Belgians.