March 26, 2018

CCBS Policy Seminar: The future of Cohesion Policy

Group discussion at the end of the seminar.

CCBS organised a seminar examining EU Cohesion Policy beyond 2020, which took place on 23rd of March in the European Commission Office in Belfast. Bringing together a number of experts, the object of this event was to reflect on discussions currently taking place in the EU and its Member States on the future shape of Cohesion Policy, its priorities and, crucially, what its budget will be for the post-2020 period. Visiting Professor of EU Regulatory Affairs at Ulster University, Hugh Quigley, began the main part of the seminar by examining past trends in the EU budget, and where Cohesion Policy has fitted within them, before going on to consider the pressures that may exist to reduce the size of the Policy’s budget, which may include the effects of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. Dr Brid Quinn, Lecturer in Public Administration at the University of Limerick, also touched on the possible changes to the EU’s finances, referencing comments from some EU leaders, but also considering the impact Cohesion Policy and its structural funds have had on Ireland’s socio-economic development. Caitlín Conneely, Assistant Director of the North West Regional Assembly, then focused on some specific examples of how Cohesion Policy and its funds had supported cross-border and transnational projects, including a number with partners in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. CCBS Deputy Director, Dr Anthony Soares, then considered how the European Commission has indicated its willingness to support the post-Brexit continuation of the INTERREG and PEACE programmes involving Northern Ireland, but he did so by highlighting some of the views of Cohesion Policy held by UK Governments and how the cross-border dimension the EU has brought needs to be highlighted. The need for such a cross-border perspective was underlined by Paddy Malone of Dundalk Chamber, who ended the seminar by giving an overview of the development of Ireland’s Project 2040, and how its regional dimension includes North-South opportunities. However, in the discussion that followed the presentations, the question that was raised on several occasions was what the mechanism would be for Northern Ireland to exploit those opportunities in the context of Brexit and in the absence of an Assembly or Executive. All of the presentations can be found below.

Programme available here.

 

 

Date / Time Event Details Watch/Listen
23/03/18
10.40am

Developing post-2020 EU Cohesion Policy

Mr Hugh Quigley, Visiting Professor on EU Regulatory Affairs, Ulster University

 

 

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23/03/18
11.00am

Ireland and Cohesion Policy

Dr Bríd Quinn, Lecturer in Public Administration, University of Limerick

 

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23/03/18
11.20am

Regional Cohesion

Ms Caitlín Conneely, Assistant Director, Northern and Western Regional Assembly

 

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23/03/18
11.40am

Cohering across the border

Dr Anthony Soares, Deputy Director, Centre for Cross Border Studies & Mr Paddy Malone, Dundalk Chamber of Commerce

 

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23/03/18
11.40am

Cohering across the border

Dr Anthony Soares, Deputy Director, Centre for Cross Border Studies & Mr Paddy Malone, Dundalk Chamber of Commerce

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