The UK Referendum on Membership of the EU: Cross Border Cooperation, Peace Building and Regional Development
Posted On: 19 Jun 2016
The decision that citizens in all parts of the United Kingdom will make on the 23rd of June will determine whether the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland remains an internal European Union border, or whether it becomes an external border between an EU Member State and a UK that has voted to leave. While the ultimate impact would depend on the shape and detail of any new relationship negotiated between the UK and the EU, Brexit has the potential to affect nearly all aspects of North-South and East-West relations.
In the run-up to the referendum, the Centre for Cross Border Studies and Co-operation Ireland are publishing a series of briefing papers which aim to inform debate by exploring the potential impacts on Northern Ireland and North-South relations. The first paper in this series provided an overview of the potential consequences of a ‘leave’ vote for future co-operation and peace building across the island. The second focused in greater depth on possible constitutional and political impacts, particularly what implications a UK departure from the EU may have for key political and legal instruments underlying the Northern Ireland peace settlement.
This third paper in the series considers the role the European Union has played in supporting cross-border cooperation that has contributed to peace-building and regional socio-economic development. It will outline the funding made available by the EU to undertake such cooperation, and how local authorities from both sides of the border have collaborated on joint projects. It concludes by assessing the future of cross-border cooperation in a post-Brexit scenario, and by offering some examples of cross-border cooperation between EU and non-EU countries.Download PDF