The 2015 Journal of Cross Border Studies in Ireland was launched on 19 November by Head of the EU Commission’s Representation in Ireland, Ms Barbara Nolan. Speaking at the launch in the EU Commission’s Dublin premises, Ms Nolan said,
“this Journal pays tribute to the commitment and will of those organisations (and individuals) which have contributed to improving the lives of cross-border communities across the island of Ireland. … This Journal also looks to the future – to the challenges ahead and to the changing political and economic context in which we operate. … This Journal is a worthwhile read and a timely reminder of what has been achieved by so many.”
Professor Keith Shaw of Northumbria University, a contributor to this year’s Journal, spoke about the changing relationships between countries and regions in these islands, in particular the border region between Scotland and England:
Gone are the days when the Anglo-Scottish border was a relatively unimportant internal boundary within the UK, of more interest to tourists and writers of historical novels than to politicians and the public. Last year’s referendum campaign, and its outcome, has particularly reinvigorated debates on the nature of the border and will ensure both greater powers for Scotland and that the future possibility of an independent Scotland remains firmly on the political agenda. Nowhere is the external impact of greater Scottish autonomy more keenly felt than in the North East of England and Cumbria –Scotland’s nearest neighbours.
While many in the North are concerned about the negative economic implications for the region of a more powerful Scottish neighbour, others welcome the opportunity for increasing cross-border collaboration to boost economic growth on both sides of the Border. In this latter context, the five local councils that abut the border, have developed a new Borderland’s Initiative to take forward collaboration across such sectors as Energy, Forestry and Tourism where the Borderlands area has particular strengths and in which joint working can add real value. Rather than George Osborne’s focus on the North West and North East of England, perhaps the real ‘Northern Powerhouse’ should comprise an increasingly collaborative relationship between Scotland and the North East and Cumbria? The success of such an approach will depend heavily on trust, effective networking and political leadership and crucially, on the outcome of any UK referendum on EU membership in 2017.
The evening’s proceedings were concluded by Dr Helen Johnston, chair of the Centre for Cross Border Studies who thanked Barbara Nolan and the staff of the EU Commission Office for their hospitality and assistance with the launch of the Journal; all those who had contributed articles and reviews to the Journal and everyone in attendance at the launch for their support to the work of the Centre over the past year.
Volume 10 of the Journal of Cross Border Studies in Ireland is now available to download here.
This 10th volume of the Journal reflects the fact that even in times of austerity and continuing political tension, interesting and valuable cross-border work continues.
- Pamela Arthurs explains the genesis of the Local Authority-Led Cross-Border Groups, their development over the past four decades and looks to their future role.
- Primrose Wilson reports on the cross-border Summer School of the Ulster Architectural Society and the Irish Georgian Society.
- Paul Doran describes the development of the partnership between the probation services North and South since 1998.
This issue of the Journal draws also on the experiences of our neighbours;
- Duncan Morrow compares policy and practice to address sectarianism by the devolved administrations in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
- Keith Shaw focuses on the changing nature of the relationship between Scotland and the North East of England and highlights new cross-border approaches to economic governance in the ‘Borderlands’.
Two articles focus on the institutions established by the 1998 Agreement:
- Pat Colgan offers his personal reflections on the achievements and challenges for SEUPB in implementing the PEACE and INTERREG programmes.
- Ben Clifford and Janice Morphet report on their research on the British-Irish Council.
Two articles give useful insight and facts to inform the debate on the future of the EU and the forthcoming referendum on UK membership of the European Union.
- Tom Hanney looks at current issues on the EU agenda from a Brussels perspective and examines areas where Ireland, Britain and Northern Ireland cooperate closely.
- Andrew Elliott reports on the work of the Office of the Northern Ireland Executive in Brussels and provides details on various funding streams and initiatives.
Finally, the Review section in this Journal to a number of books that inform and analyse, from a variety of perspectives, a variety of aspects of the relationships between Northern Ireland, Britain and the EU; multi-level governance; and the well-being agenda.
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