September 7, 2018

Strengthening the Partnership Principle in Border Regions: For greater cross-border cooperation

CCBS hosted our third annual Policy Seminar in Brussels at the Northern Ireland Executive Office on 10 October 2018. The seminar was once again well attended – by approximately 50 public officials, elected representatives and others from Ireland North and South, Britain and other EU Member States. On this occasion, we were able to draw upon the contributions of colleagues from a number of European border regions who were in Brussels for the EU Commission’s Open Days.

Following a warm welcome from Andrew Elliott, Director of the Office of the Northern Ireland Executive, and introduction by Dr Anthony Soares, CCBS Deputy Director, Ms Anne Hofmann presented on “The implementation of the Partnership Principle in the Upper Rhine region.” Anne Hofmann is Training Manager at the Euro Institut in Kehl, Germany. The Euro Institut is the coordinating organisation for the Transfrontier Euro Institut Network (TEIN), of which CCBS is also a founding member.  TEIN brings together cross-border practitioners from nine EU border regions. Ms Annika Daisley, Project Manager, Svinesundskommittén, next spoke on the topic, “A Nordic cross-border region: The daily work with obstacles, opportunities and partnerships.” The Svinesund Committee is a political cooperation between Swedish and Norwegian municipalities and the regions of Østfold and Västra Götaland. The committee works on behalf of the members and the Nordic Council of Ministers, focussing on blue and green growth, tourism and border barriers/border opportunities.

The seminar then moved to contributions from the island of Ireland. Ms Pamela Arthurs, Pamela Arthurs, Chief Executive, East Border Region; and Shane Campbell, Chief Executive, Irish Central Border Area Network both spoke about their experience working with Local Authority-led cross-border networks EBR and ICBAN, “Vital partnerships across the Ireland/Northern Ireland border.” Ms Lisa O’Kane, Programmes Manager, Northern Ireland Local Government Association (NILGA) addressed the “Brexit readiness” of Local Government partnerships in Northern Ireland. Anthony Soares then made a presentation on the CCBS project, “Towards a New Common Chapter,” that has been working since 2015 to support citizen engagement to shape and benefit from cross-border –both North-South and East-West – cooperation.  The final speaker was CCBS Director Ruth Taillon, who spoke about research from the EU Commission on “Implementing the EU Partnership Principle in European Territorial Cooperation Programmes.” 

A short question and answer session with all the speakers concluded the session.


All of the presentations from the event are available below.


Anne Hoffmann

Annika Daisley

Anthony Soares

Lisa O’Kane

Pamela Arthurs

Ruth Taillon

Shane Campbell


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