Led by the Centre for Cross Border Studies the “Bringing the Agreement Home” project offers an accessible review of the 1998 Belfast/Good Friday Agreement and subsequent related agreements, informing and engaging community organisations in Northern Ireland and Ireland on the provisions of the agreements and the institutions and bodies they created through a series of workshops and an “All-Island Conversation”
The Belfast/Good Friday Agreement has become a core issue in the negotiations over the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, with all the main negotiating parties expressing their desire to avoid undermining it as a result of Brexit.
However, there’s a lack of understanding of the Agreement in all its dimensions – “in all its parts”. For understandable reasons given its origins, the Agreement can often be seen mainly as a solution to a Northern Ireland problem (Strand 1), divorced from its other dimensions. Whereas there’s a level of awareness of the cross-border or all-island dimension of the Agreement, this doesn’t necessarily mean knowledge of the institutions and areas of cooperation under Strand 2. There’s even less understanding of how the Agreement links the island of Ireland and Great Britain under Strand 3. Brexit has brought this situation into focus, with the challenges it poses being seen as potentially affecting the Agreement in general terms.
The views gathered from the community organisations participating in the workshops and “All-Island Conversation” will form part of a report to be brought to the attention of relevant Irish and UK Government Ministers and to the Northern Ireland Executive (dependent on its restoration), political representatives in both jurisdictions on the island of Ireland, as well as a range of Parliamentary Committees.
Workshops will be taking place in a number of locations across the island of Ireland, including Armagh, Belfast, Cork, Dublin, Enniskillen, Galway and L’Derry until the end of March 2019. If you would like to attend a workshop and to have your views included in this process, please contact Anthony Soares, Deputy Director of the Centre for Cross Border Studies, at firstname.lastname@example.org.