June 22, 2015

CCBS announces three major themes for its upcoming work

Alongside its ongoing work, CCBS’s research and policy team will focus on three main themes over the next twelve to eighteen months: the UK’s referendum on EU membership; wellbeing; and a civic vision for North-South and East-West cooperation.

Whatever the result of the forthcoming UK referendum on membership of the EU, it will have enduring implications for everyone living on the island of Ireland. But while attention has been focused on “In” or “Out”, the negotiations that will precede the Referendum will in themselves have serious consequences in many ways that are as yet not entirely predictable, and will affect those involved in cross-border cooperation. Understanding and communicating these implications will form a central part of our work in the run-up to the referendum, and CCBS will be engaging with other organisations on the island of Ireland, the UK and in Europe to ensure that the debate over the UK’s membership of the EU is informed by evidence.

Having responded to preliminary work undertaken by the Carnegie Roundtable on Measuring Wellbeing in Northern Ireland, where CCBS stressed the need to be informed of concerns over wellbeing in other parts of these islands, the recently launched Towards a Wellbeing Framework notes how “The Centre for Cross Border Studies could have a role here in supporting dissemination of lessons across the island of Ireland. It is important that the Wellbeing Framework is an outward-looking and evidence-informed mechanism for reform”. CCBS will therefore be continuing to work on this important issue, analysing what is being developed regarding wellbeing in Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England, and disseminating best practice.

The third major strand of our work will be to facilitate a grass-roots vision for cross-border cooperation that encompasses both a North-South and an East-West dimension. This work forms part of a project funded by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, entitled Towards a New Common Chapter, and will involve ten community organisations from both sides of the Ireland-Northern Ireland border.

For more information on any of these strands, contact Anthony Soares a.soares@qub.ac.uk