CCBS featured in European Economic and Social Committee Information Report
Posted On: 31 Jan 2023
The Centre for Cross Border Studies was featured in the European Economic and Social Committee’s (EESC) Information Report into the implementation of the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement, including the Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland.
The EESC is the voice of organised civil society in Europe and is made up of representatives of employers, workers and civil society organisations who act in an advisory capacity to the European Parliament, Council and Commission. The EESC deliberate and research issues that are relevant to the Committee’s membership, affording civil society a voice in EU affairs.
This information report was produced by the Committee based on ‘fact-finding meetings, a targeted survey, and other relevant inputs’ led by Jack O’Connor, who spoke at the CCBS’s Annual Conference last year. The report ‘examines the state of implementation of the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement, as perceived by UK Civil Society Organisations and other relevant stakeholders’ to contribute to the ongoing political dialogue between the EU and UK.
The Centre’s contribution to the report was laid out in Section 5.4 which focused on the views of civil society organisations in Northern Ireland. The Centre highlighted the unique position of Northern Ireland that is not only limited to the Withdrawal Agreement and Protocol, but also due to the provisions of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement. The report drew heavily from the Centre’s Quarterly Surveys on north-south and east-west cooperation and from the views of the Ad Hoc Group for North-South and East-West Cooperation that the Centre convenes.
The Centre has consistently called for the voice of civic society to heard throughout Brexit negotiations on the Withdrawal Agreement and the Protocol. It is essential that these views are taken into account as the ongoing negotiations over the Protocol continue to focus almost exclusively on trade, with less attention on other important areas which have a real impact on civil society.
We are grateful for the EESC’s work in this area and encourage you to read the report in full.Read the Information Report