Who are we?
Established in 1999, the Centre for Cross Border Studies is an independent organisation with charitable status, based in Armagh, Northern Ireland.
Our work is framed by the commitment to Cross-border Cooperation that is integral to the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement, and we have a specific and unique role in contributing to the increased social, economic and territorial cohesion of the island of Ireland.
What do we do?
By empowering citizens and building capacity, we promote and support cooperation across the Ireland-Northern Ireland border as part of the ongoing peace and reconciliation process, as well as cooperation between the island of Ireland and Great Britain, Europe and beyond to increase mutual understanding, prosperity and wellbeing.
We also provide practical information and advice for those crossing the Irish border to live, work, study or retire – information and advice that is increasingly being sought after in the context of Brexit.
To achieve this – and at the core of what we do – we undertake the continual task of researching and analysing policy and legislation developed by the central Governments in London and Dublin, the devolved administrations in Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh, as well as in Brussels. The ability to provide independent, evidence-based information and analysis is fundamental to our role as an essential resource for policy and decision-makers and cross-border practitioners.
Our research and analysis work isn’t just disseminated through our reports, Briefing Papers and Policy Seminars. It also informs our engagements on the island of Ireland, Great Britain and Europe with political representatives and policy-makers, public bodies, business organisations, civil society organisations and communities, as we use the results of our research to pursue our task of supporting and strengthening relations within and between these islands through improved cross-border cooperation. That strengthening can come through our capacity-building work with local authorities or other bodies and organisations as we help them develop their cross-border projects, or our assistance to legislative committees in their scrutiny of Governments’ policies through our submission of written or oral evidence, or as we support grass-roots community groups as they shape their shared vision for cooperation within and between these islands.
Our work is aimed at and used by legislators and decision-makers, academic institutions, cross-border practitioners, civil society organisations and community groups in both jurisdictions on the island of Ireland, Great Britain and those involved in cross-border cooperation in Europe. However, what we do is ultimately aimed to improve the lives of those living in border regions in the first instance, and to communities living on the island of Ireland and Great Britain more generally. The Centre’s work supports legislators and decision-makers to develop cross-border policies that make the necessary connections to address common challenges and exploit potentials for the benefit of the communities they serve, but it also supports communities to undertake their own cross-border initiatives and to engage with the development of relevant policies to ensure they address their needs.
In pursuit of our aims, we engage and work with central, regional and local governments, cross-border institutions and networks, European institutions, political representatives, policy-makers, business organisations and civil society on the island of Ireland, Great Britain, Europe and beyond.
What inspires us?
We are driven to do more by seeing the practical benefits to communities on both sides of the Irish border when public bodies, business and civil society engage in cross-border cooperation, increasing common understanding and contributing to the ongoing peace and reconciliation process. We are inspired by the desire of others in Great Britain, Europe and beyond to learn from what cross-border cooperation does on the island of Ireland, as well as by what we and others here can learn from the cross-border cooperation undertaken by our European and international partners.