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Drawing together a range of organisations from Northern Ireland and Ireland, the Ad-Hoc Group for North-South and East-West Cooperation has been established as the prime contact point for purposes of meaningful consultation between cross-border civil society and regional, national and EU bodies on matters relevant to cooperation between Northern Ireland and Ireland, and between the island of Ireland and Great Britain.

The primary objective of the Ad-Hoc Group is to secure the continued means to cooperate within and between these islands, ensuring that agreements, policies or legislation developed or enacted by relevant regional/devolved and national governments and/or the European Union are conducive of the maintenance of the conditions necessary for cooperation within and between the island of Ireland and with Great Britain.


In November 2022, Steve Baker, Minister of State for Northern Ireland, visited the Centre for Cross Border Studies office in Armagh to meet with the CCBS team and members of the Ad-Hoc Group for North-South and East-West Cooperation. During the meeting they discussed North-South and East-West cooperation, cross-border mobility and rights and equality issues.

We were delighted to have the opportunity to meet with the Minister to discuss these important issues, and will continue to engage with policymakers to ensure the voices of civil society are heard as we seek to ensure the necessary conditions for cross-border cooperation are maintained in the post-Brexit context.

To date the Ad-Hoc Group has engaged with:

  • Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Republic of Ireland
  • Task Force for Relations with the United Kingdom, European Commission
  • Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, UK Labour Party
  • Service for the EU-UK Agreements (UKS), European Commission
  • Specialised Committee on Ireland/Northern Ireland
  • Department of the Taoiseach, Republic of Ireland
  • Portuguese Secretary of State for European Affairs
  • UK Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
  • Northern Ireland Executive Office
  • Northern Ireland Executive Office
  • SDLP, Northern Ireland
  • Fine Gael, Republic of Ireland
  • Irish Minister for European Affairs
  • The Frontem Network

While there have been a broad range of issues discussed with the relevant parties during the course of meetings, there have been largely constant themes raised by the Ad-Hoc Group:

  • A process of engagement with Civil Society, and in particular with the Ad-Hoc Group for North-South and East-West Cooperation in the post-transition period.
  • Consideration be given to the impact of the implementation of the Northern Ireland/Ireland Protocol on cross border cooperation on the island of Ireland.
  • Borderproofing must become a common policy in all relevant jurisdictions on a North/South, East/West basis.
  • Clarity on the Frontier Workers’ Scheme between the UK and EU, provisioned in the Withdrawal Agreement