I agree, though some EU countries have better knife laws than a lot of US states; been in Poland recently, was able to carry my Bugout around with no problem, though I legally could’ve carried a bowie knife on my hip, or even a sword or dagger if I wanted to, as none of these require any kind of arbitrary “justified reason” bs, and you can carry them pretty much everywhere (though discretion applies, so don’t carry a machete in a pub, not because it’s illegal, but because it’s weird; even still, you wouldn’t be able to do that in Texas pubs with any blade at all because of 51/49); same exact thing for Bulgaria, Austria and Czech Republic (in the latter you can even carry guns for self defense as a regular citizen, just like your average US red state, although CR ranks 6th on the global peace index; might give anti-gunners a bit of a headache); there may be more countries that follow these rules but these are the ones where absolutely anything goes. Then there’s some countries where you can carry knives without a justified reason, though only if such knives have certain features, such as a certain blade length/mechanism. Some of these countries are Germany, Portugal, UK (pre and post brexit), Switzerland and Hungary. And then the remaining countries are those where there are no exceptions of any kind and “lawful excuse” is required for carrying anything from a 2 inch blade SAK to a bowie knife. This is however the case with some US states too afaik, so I wouldn’t say the EU is completely “draconian” in that regard, as laws vary from county to country, going from unregulated, to fairly strict.European knife laws are draconian.
I’ve been to Ireland a number of times though not very recently. I have been to Italy in the last couple years. The laws are much the same all throughout Europe. Still, I packed a small knife roll in my checked luggage without issue. Kitchen knives. Once in country I would carry a folder and use it discreetly. I never had a problem.
On other European vacations I would buy an Opinel or something similar at a street fair once in country. Every town has one.