February 22, 2016

CCBS Annual Conference 2016

‘Bordering Between Unions: What Does the UK Referendum on Europe Mean for Us?’

This year’s annual conference was held in the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Dundalk on Thursday 18th and Friday 19th of February 2016. It facilitated wide-ranging and informed discussions on the likely economic, social and political implications of a UK withdrawal or the possible reforms leading to its continuing membership upon these islands and upon the wider future direction of Europe. The Centre was delighted to welcome speakers and attendees from across Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, England and beyond for what was a thoroughly successful and informative event.


To view the full conference programme click here.

To view the full delegate list click here.

To help us gauge your views on how the conference was delivered, for those who attended the conference, please let us know your feedback by completing this short survey.

For those who were unfortunately unable to attend the conference or those who would like to re-live the experience, we have included below the full audio clips of the individual contributions from our guest speakers, as well as the question and answer sessions.

Thursday 18th February

WELCOME – Dr Helen Johnston, Chair, Centre for Cross Border Studies

KEYNOTE: How the European Union has changed Ireland: North & South
Mr Dáithí O’Ceallaigh, Former Irish Ambassador to the UK

PANEL DISCUSSION –  How the European Union has changed Ireland: North and South

(CHAIR) Dr Katy Hayward, Senior Lecturer at Queen’s University, Belfast

Dr Martin Mansergh, Former Minister of State at the Department of Finance (Transcript)

Dr Mary C Murphy, Lecturer, University College Cork



KEYNOTE: Constitutional & Political Implications of Withdrawal from the EU –
Humza Yousaf MSP, Minister for Europe and International Development, Scottish Government

PANEL DISCUSSION: Constitutional & Political Implications of Withdrawal from the EU

(CHAIR) Andy Pollak, Former Director, Centre for Cross Border Studies

Dr Adam Lazowski, Professor of Law, University of Westminster

Dr Lee McGowan, Senior Lecturer, Queen’s University Belfast (Presentation)

Mr Paul Brannen MEP, Labour Party Member of the European Parliament



KEYNOTE: Free Movement of People – Mr Jeremy Harding, Author of Border Vigils and Refugees at the Rich Man’s Gate

PANEL DISCUSSION: Free Movement of People

(CHAIR) Ms Annmarie O’Kane, Information Manager, Centre for Cross Border Studies

Mr Jerome Mullen, Honorary Consul of the Republic of Poland in Northern Ireland (Transcript)

Mr Yasen Georgiev, Executive Director, Economic Policy Institute, Bulgaria (Transcript)

Ms Bernadette McAliskey, Director, South Tyrone Empowerment Programme


END OF DAY 1 SUMMARY – Dr Anthony Soares, Deputy Director, Centre for Cross Border Studies


Friday 19th February

KEYNOTE: What Europe Do We Want? – Ms Mairead McGuinness MEP, Vice-President of the European Parliament

PANEL DISCUSSION: What Europe Do We Want?
(CHAIR) Philip McDonagh, Independent Economist

Dr Edgar Morgenroth, Associate Research Professor, Economic & Social Research Institute (ESRI) (Presentation)

Mr Ross Martin, CEO, Scottish Council for Development and Industry

Mr Nigel Smyth, Director, CBI Northern Ireland (Presentation)

Mr Ivor Ferguson, Deputy President, Ulster Farmers Union (Presentation)

TABLE DISCUSSIONS: What Europe Do We Want?


PANEL DISCUSSION: The Institutional Reform Agenda
(CHAIR) Ms Jane Morrice, Former Vice President European Economic & Social Committee

Professor Hugh Quigley, Visiting Professor on EU Regulatory Affairs, University of Ulster (Transcript)

Mr Pat Colgan, Former CEO Special EU Programmes Body

Ms Colette Fitzgerald, Head of the EU Commission Regional Office in Northern Ireland



PANEL DISCUSSION: The Political Reform Agenda

(CHAIR) Dr Helen Johnston, Chair, Centre for Cross Border Studies

Stewart Dickson MLA, Alliance Party

Jennifer McCann MLA, Junior Minister, Sinn Féin

Ms Jill Evans MEP, Plaid Cymru

Ms Marian Harkin MEP, Independent Member of the European Parliament

Mr Patsy McGlone MLA, SDLP

Mr Mike Nesbitt MLA, Leader of the Ulster Unionist Party



 CLOSING REMARKSMs Ruth Taillon, Director, Centre for Cross Border Studies