The Centre for Cross Border Studies, based in Armagh and Dublin, works to be an authoritative advocate for cross-border cooperation and a valued source of research, information and support for collaboration across borders on the island of Ireland, Europe and beyond. The Centre empowers citizens and builds capacity and capability for cooperation across sectors and jurisdictional boundaries on the island of Ireland and further afield. This mission is achieved through research, expertise, partnership and experience in a wide range of cross-border practices and concerns.
The Centre undertakes 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. Policy developed in these places can support or hinder cross-border cooperation and affect those crossing borders, especially policies currently arising in view of the UK’s departure from the EU. The ability to provide independent, evidence-based information and analysis is fundamental to the Centre’s role as an essential resource for policy and decision-makers and cross-border practitioners. Research and analysis work are disseminated through Reports, Briefing Papers and Policy Seminars. It also informs 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, using the results of the Centre’s research to pursue the task of supporting and strengthening relations within and between these islands through improved cross-border cooperation.
By empowering citizens and building capacity, the Centre promotes and supports cooperation across the Irish 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. The Centre’s Border People project also provides practical information and advice for those crossing the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland to live, work, study or retire – information and advice that is increasingly being sought after in the context of Brexit. The project also supports citizen information advisors in both jurisdictions in the provision of cross-border information.
Border People Practitioners Group
Border People Community Workshop
CCBS Community Workshops
Research / Applied research
A diverse and high-quality research portfolio is at the core of the Centre’s activities. This informs and supports the Centre’s advocacy for and promotion of cross-border cooperation on the island of Ireland, in the EU and beyond.
Ad-Hoc Group for North-South and East-West Cooperation: 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.
Collaborating for Common Success: North-South cooperation from 1999 to 2039: In the current context of uncertainty as to how and by whom (in respect of Northern Ireland) the conditions for continued North-South cooperation will be maintained as a result of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, this project seeks to highlight the importance of such cooperation by looking at the practical benefits it has brought about over the last twenty years, as well as identifying key challenges and opportunities it could address in the next two decades.
Towards a New Common Charter: this action research project facilitated the development of what is now the “New Common Charter for Cooperation Within and Between these Islands”, representing grassroots support for collaborative and sustainable North-South and East-West relations. Whereas the “old” Common Chapter represented a high-level policy dimension through its inclusion in Ireland’s National Development Plan and Northern Ireland’s Structural Funds Plan (2000-2006), through this project CCBS worked with a range of civil society organisations from both sides of the Ireland-Northern Ireland border, as well as organisations in Great Britain, to produce a New Common Charter that voices the aspirations and needs of civil society.
Consulting / Studies
Submission to the House of Lords Select Committee on Public Services inquiry, “Public services: Lessons from Coronavirus: This response has been prepared by the Centre for Cross Border Studies as a contribution to the House of Lords Select Committee on Public Services inquiry, “Public services: Lessons from Coronavirus.
Submission to the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee’s Inquiry into the New Decade, New Approach Agreement: This response has been prepared by the Centre for Cross Border Studies as a contribution to the House of Commons Northern Ireland Affairs Committee’s inquiry into the New Decade, New Approach Agreement.
CCBS response to PEACE PLUS consultation
The Centre for Cross Border Studies organises a wide range of activities for a diverse audience including local authorities (officials and elected representatives); members of the Oireachtas and NI Assembly, government departments in both jurisdictions and from the third sector. Conferences are frequently attended by participants from other EU jurisdictions and further afield.
Policy Seminar at EU Regions Week: Learning from different approaches taken by different EU Member States and regions to the Covid-19 pandemic, this workshop brought together experts from the Transfrontier Euro-Institut Network (TEIN) and its partner institutions to discuss the urgent need and methods for measuring the impact of national and regional policies on the cohesion of cross-border territories and on cross-border relations. Coronavirus has shown us how it’s time to really measure impact in border regions!
Centre for Cross Border Studies’ 21st Annual Conference – “Reassessing and Reconfiguring North-South and East-West relations in a changing landscape”: The Conference consisted of two sessions, the first, in the morning, addressed the theme of “Governance, Divergence and Convergence: Implementing the Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol, UK-wide frameworks and future international relations”. The afternoon session explored the theme of “Healthy co-dependencies: Coordination across borders in response to COVID-19 and beyond Brexit”.
Policy Seminar – “Skilling up for a regionally balanced economy: Challenges and opportunities for border counties”: The Centre for Cross Border Studies, in collaboration with InterTradeIreland, held a policy seminar which explored the current provision of skills and the needs of employers on the Island of Ireland. The event considered new and emerging skills sets, and highlighted policies implemented by Government departments in Ireland and Northern Ireland. There was a particular focus on the provision in border counties and the requirements of businesses trading cross-border, with potential areas for future collaboration discussed.
The impact of the Corona crisis on cross-border regions: The (continued) impact of the COVID-19 pandemic can hardly be overstated. As the virus spread (during the ‘first wave’), entire regions and countries were quarantined, and borders were closed overnight. This dossier focuses on what impact early crisis management has had on (cross-)border regions. To gain insights into how that impact was felt in different regions across Europe, the research has been conducted in close collaboration with several TEIN-partners.
Briefing Paper: The Impact of COVID-19 on Cross-Border Movement on the island of Ireland: In light of the current public health crisis relating to Covid-19, and as part of the Centre for Cross Border Studies’ ongoing research into the impact of the virus on the island of Ireland and the connections between the two jurisdictions, this Briefing Paper examines the pandemic’s effect on cross-border traffic flows.
Border People Briefing Paper: COVID-19: Social Security Entitlement for Frontier workers: Due to the emergency pandemic situation many frontier workers have found it necessary to seek
social welfare support. The Border People project has found that Illness Benefit, Unemployment
Benefit and Family Benefits are the payments most likely to be affected by changes in circumstances
due to COVID-19. This Briefing Paper examines the social security supports available to Frontier workers on the island of Ireland.