CCBS seeks Research Assistant

The Centre for Cross Border Studies is seeking a Research Assistant.

Closing date for applications is Wednesday 30 April 2014 at 2.00pm and interviews will be held in Armagh on Wednesday 28 May 2014.

Downloads

For further information please contact

Mairéad Hughes Deputy Director (Finance and Administration)
Centre for Cross Border Studies 39 Abbey Street, Armagh BT61 7EB
Tel: (028/048) 3751 5290 (direct line)
Email: m.hughes@qub.ac.uk

Paper: What Shall We Do With the North? Northern Ireland and the Review of Irish Foreign Policy

CCBS’s Research and Policy Manager, Anthony Soares, was invited by the International Consortium for the Study of Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Reconciliation to give a paper on Irish foreign policy and Northern Ireland at an international colloquium that took place in the University of Nottingham from the 21st to 23rd of March. The paper, “What Shall We Do With the North? Northern Ireland and the Review of Irish Foreign Policy”, draws on CCBS’s response to the public consultation on the DFA’s review of its foreign policy.

From its abstract:
“This paper considers the current review on Ireland’s foreign policy being undertaken by the government of Ireland, the first such major re-examination of the country’s external relations since 1996. In the intervening period Ireland has experienced the passing of its “Celtic tiger” phase as it moved into a particularly deep financial and economic crisis, and out of which it appears to be emerging once again. However, the focus is on how the Republic of Ireland has positioned its foreign policy in relation to Northern Ireland, which in the same period has seen the signing of the Good Friday/Belfast Agreement and the devolution of powers to Stormont. It also considers the extent to which Northern Ireland risks being marginalised by the government in Dublin as it pursues economic gains through its foreign policy, and as it looks to reinvigorate its relationship with the government in Westminster in the same pursuit for greater economic competitiveness.”

Download the full paper:

What Shall We Do with the North? (PDF)

2014 CCBS/ICLRD Conference - Audio, PowerPoint presentations & Transcripts

The Annual CCBS/ICLRD Conference was held at the Cavan Crystal Hotel on 30 – 31 January 2014.

The theme of the Conference was Cross Border Economic Development and the Border Development Zone Concept.

The Border Development Zone (BDZ) project investigates ways of tackling the region’s unique double challenge of peripherality and the presence of an international border, and how the whole region can be re-integrated into the Northern Irish, Irish and island-wide economies. The project is centred around five short pieces of follow-up action research, which are as follows:

  1. overall Border Development Zone strategy and structure; [PDF 116Kb]
  2. SME enterprise in goods and services with an export potential; [PDF 28Kb]
  3. tourism and recreation; [PDF 213Kb]
  4. agriculture, food and fish processing; [PDF 137Kb]
  5. low carbon initiatives, energy saving and renewable energy. [PDF 51Kb]

The programme below contains links to some of the speeches made by invited guest speakers and any PowerPoint presentations that accompanied them.

PROGRAMME

Day 1 – 30th January 2014

14.00 Welcome

Mr. John Driscoll, Director, International Centre for Local and Regional Development

Ms. Ruth Taillon, Director, Centre for Cross Border Studies

Session 1: Local Government as Drivers of Territorial Cohesion

14.20 Introduction to Session

Ms. Ruth Taillon, Director, Centre for Cross Border Studies

14.25 Integrating Territorial Cohesion and the Economic Agenda: The Role of Local and Regional Government in Cross-Border Cooperation

Dr. Joachim Beck, Director, Euro-Institute, Kehl, Germany This will focus on the period 2014-2020, considering the application of Territorial Cohesion and its core objectives in the Irish border region. It will consider the role of cross-border cooperation, whether driven by local or regional government, in driving forward an economic agenda.

15.00 Questions and Answers

Session 2: Introduction to the Border Development Zone (BDZ) Concept

15.30 Welcome by Chair and Introduction to the Border Development Zone

Mr. Padraic White, Chair, Border Development Zone Steering Committee

15.50 Border Development Zone: A Strategic Approach

Mr. Philip McDonagh, Independent Economist Overview of the BDZ Overall Strategy and Structure Scoping Paper; with the proposed actions being presented using the three key dimensions advocated by Bradley and Best in their 2012 study on cross-border economic renewal (and from which the idea for the BDZ emanated): spatial, sectoral & institutional.

16.10 Questions and Answers

16.30 Breakout Sessions

Four sessions:

  1. SMEs in Goods and Services (with Export Potential): Presentation by Ms. Maureen O’Reilly
    PowerPoint presentation [PDF 155Kb]
  2. Tourism and Recreation: Presentation by Dr. Eileen McGloin
    PowerPoint presentation [PDF 54Kb]
  3. Agriculture, Food and Fish Processing: Presentation by Mr. Tom Moriarty
    PowerPoint presentation [PDF 27Kb]
  4. Low Carbon, Energy Savings and Renewables: Presentation by Dr. Karen Keaveney
    PowerPoint presentation [PDF 234Kb]

17.30 Return to Plenary: Feedback from Breakout Sessions 17.50 Summation of Day 1

Mr. Andy Pollak, Project Manager, Border Development Zone Project

18.00 End Day 1

19.15 Reception With address by Mr. Jack Keyes, County Manager, Cavan County Council

20.00 Conference Dinner With after-dinner address by Mr. Stewart Dickson, MLA & Rapporteur on Interregional Cooperation, Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe

Day 2 – 31st January 2014

Session 3: Local Government Working Across Borders: Learning from Scotland

09.30 Welcome by Chair Prof. Deborah Peel, Chair of Architecture and Planning, University of Dundee

09.45 Facilitated conversation between:

  • Mr. Ross Martin, Chief Executive, Scottish Council for Development and Industry (formerly Director of Centre for Scottish Public Policy)
  • Mr. Gavin Stevenson, Chief Executive, Dumfries and Galloway Council
  • Mr. Keith Winter, Executive Director – Environment, Enterprise & Communities Directorate, Fife Council
  • Mr. Danny McSorley, Chief Executive, Omagh District Council & Interim Chief Executive, Strabane District Council

Drawing from the Scottish experience, with an Island of Ireland respondent, a cross-border, inter-regional debate focusing on dynamic local economic development

10.30 Questions and Answers

Session 4: Progressing the Border Development Zone (BDZ)

10.45 Welcome by Chair Prof. Greg Lloyd, Head of School of the Built Environment, University of Ulster

10.50 Advancing the Spatial, Sectoral and Institutional Dimensions of the BDZ

Mr. Philip McDonagh, Independent Economist Drawing together the original research findings and subsequent discussion points from the breakout sessions on Day 1.

Following this short intervention, delegates will be invited to join one of three parallel sessions centred around key dimensions of the BDZ to propose a way forward for this concept. This should include both short-term and medium-term action points.

11.45 Breakout Sessions

Three sessions:

  1. The Spatial Dimension: Facilitated by Mr. John Driscoll, Director, ICLRD
  2. The Sectoral Dimension: Facilitated by Mr. Andy Pollak, Project Manager, Border Development Zone Concept
  3. The Institutional Dimension: Facilitated by Mr. Padraic White, Chair, Border Development Zone Steering Committee

12.45 Return to Plenary: Feedback from Parallel Sessions

Short summation of each of the sessions, with the emphasis being placed on how to further the development of the BDZ and, where relevant, who will now take a ‘lead’ in driving this objective forward.

13.05 Closing Address: The Role of the EU?

Ms. Marian Harkin, MEP

CCBS/ICLRD Joint Conference 2014: "Towards a Border Development Zone"

7th February 2014

The 2014 Centre for Cross Border Studies  / International Centre for Local and Regional Development  Annual Joint Conference was held in the Cavan Crystal Hotel on the 30th and 31st of January, bringing together policy makers, academics, and practitioners to discuss the latest developments in cross-border cooperation. This year’s conference focused on the concept of a Border Development Zone for the island of Ireland.

This idea, building on the conclusions of the 2009-2012 action research project Cross-Border Economic Renewal: Rethinking Regional Policy in Ireland, envisages a joint strategy for economic development throughout the Irish Border Region; this project is part-financed by the European Union’s INTERREG IVA programme managed by the Special EU Programmes Body.

CCBS Visit Leinster House

Leinster House, Dublin

On 5th February2014, the Centre for Cross Border Studies gave an informal information session in Leinster House to members of the Oireachtas, facilitated by the Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement.

The following Briefing Papers and Presentations from the session are available to download:

Universities Ireland: 2014 Bursary & Scholarships Applications now open

Universities Ireland are now accepting applications for the following awards:

Guidance Notes cover

2014 PhD History Bursary

Universities Ireland is offering one bursary to a student taking a PhD on a topic relating to the 1912-1923 period in Ireland, the decade of the First World War and the division of the island into the states of Ireland (Irish Free State) and Northern Ireland.

Closing date: Friday 30 May 2014, 4pm

Please visit the Universities Ireland website for further information, along with the Guidance notes and an Application Form

2014 North/South Postgraduate Scholarships

Universities Ireland is offering 3 scholarships to students undertaking a recognised Master’s Degree or the first year of a PhD programme (taught or research) in the other Irish jurisdiction.

Closing date: Friday 30 May 2014, 5pm

Please visit the Universities Ireland website for further information, along with the Guidance notes and an Application Form

Border Development Zone can deliver on many fronts

Published in the Irish News 4 February 2014

Author: Philip McDonagh, an independent economist based in Northern Ireland.

“It will really require the input of the private sector and its representatives from the region to make things happen. The next task will be to harness some of this energy in support of the initiative.”

It was nearly lunchtime on the second day of the joint annual conference of the Centre for Cross-Border Studies and the International Centre for Local and Regional Government. The conference was exploring the concept of a Border Development Zone as a means of fostering economic recovery in the cross-border region of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

“This Border Development Zone is a great idea, but where’s the beef?” demanded an American planner now based in Ireland, echoing the old lady in the US TV burger advert when she saw a rival burger chain offering bigger, fluffier baps.

The idea for a Border Development Zone originated at a meeting of policy-makers who met in Newry in autumn 2011 to discuss the findings of a major economic study by John Bradley and Michael Best.

The Bradley-Best report had concluded that the region on both sides of the north-south border had been left ‘economically stranded’ as a result of the recession of the last few years and the neglect of central government policies.

The Border Development Zone is broadly defined as the six border counties of the south stretching from Louth round to Donegal and the adjoining 10 or 11 northern district council areas from Newry & Mourne to Derry.

The group agreed that regional development policy in both jurisdictions was in such a weak state that the region along the border could not wait for Belfast and Dublin to solve its problems but would have to build on its own internal strengths to generate economic growth.

Research presented at the conference revealed some unexpected features of the border region economy. For example, firms located in the region are more likely to be exporters than those in other parts of the island.

The region has an unusually strong manufacturing base with clusters of food and drink, engineering and wood processing firms, but also has a number of very successful services businesses. Case studies showed that many of these businesses do not consider their location to be a problem that hinders their development or restricts their ability to export, although firms located in the north west highlight issues of external access both for goods and people.

Experts from Europe and Scotland were on hand to share their experience and expertise. Three key sectors were identified as offering the greatest opportunity for collaborative economic development – the agri-food sector, tourism and the green economy of low carbon, energy savings and renewables.

Lots of ideas were suggested for initiatives in these areas, building on what is already happening and the networks that are already there. The need was identified for a bank of business mentors to support the development of the export capability of local firms.

The debate at the conference was centred on two main areas. The first major question was the spatial issue. Rather than defining the area as a single development zone, it may be more practical to suggest that there is in fact a central corridor along the Armagh/Monaghan/Cavan/Leitrim/Fermanagh/Sligo/Omagh border that is largely rural in character and that joins the two strong urban economic centres at either end – Derry/Donegal in the north west and Newry/Dundalk in the east.

Comparisons were made with the Belfast-Dublin economic corridor that was promoted very successfully in the 1990s by George Quigley and Liam Connellan, representing the CBI and IBEC employer organisations at the time. Perhaps the Border Development Zone needs to have industry champions who will promote it in the same way.

Linked to the issue of champions was the role of the institutions in moving the initiative forward. It is clear that local authorities on both sides of the border are undergoing a period of major structural reform which will be absorbing much of their energy over the next year or two.

‘Putting People First’ in the south and the Review of Public Administration in the north together represent the biggest shake-up in local government in both jurisdictions in many years.

With local elections also coming up this year, cross-border co-operation is probably the very last thing on the minds of local authorities at the present time.

So if the democratically elected authorities for the area are not going to push the idea, who is?

There are three cross-border network bodies in the area – the North West Region Cross Border Group, the Irish Central Border Area Network and the East Border Region Committee – but all are answerable to the councils that have put them in place, although there is a view that a greater degree of collaboration between them might help.

InterTradeIreland is the cross-border body set up with the remit of supporting cross-border economic development and there must surely be a role for them in any proposed Border Development Zone.

However, as a number of delegates to the conference pointed out, it will really require the input of the private sector and its representatives from the region to make things happen. The next task will be to harness some of this energy in support of the initiative.

So, where’s the beef that our American colleague was looking for? Well, it may not offer a special tax-free zone or an enterprise zone with an unregulated approach to planning, but there is enough interest in the concept of a Border Development Zone to suggest that this is an initiative that will attract increasing interest.

The Centre for Cross Border Studies Response to Dept. of Foreign Affairs Foreign Policy Review

In its response to the DFA’s foreign policy review, The Centre for Cross Border Studies considers that the economic prosperity and well-being of the people of the Republic of Ireland can only be assured with the permanent attainment of stability and security of all those living on the island of Ireland.

For more, please download the full report [PDF 343Kb]

CCBS/ICLRD Conference 2014: Programme & Registration

Concept Cross Border Economic Development and the Border Development Zone

Joint Conference by the Centre for Cross Border Studies and the International Centre for Local and Regional Development

Venue: Cavan Crystal Hotel, Cavan

Date: 30-31 January 2014

Registration closed

The Centre for Cross Border Studies (CCBS) and the International Centre for Local and Regional Development (ICLRD) will be holding a joint conference on 30-31st January 2014 in Cavan Crystal Hotel, Cavan. The theme of this two-day event is Cross-Border Economic Development and the Border Development Zone (BDZ) Concept.

While there is no longer an all-island Common Chapter, the Irish Government’s 2007-2013 National Development Plan (NDP) notes that the border “causes natural markets to fragment along territorial lines, reducing economic interaction and the opportunity to develop economies of scale and strong indigenous industries is lost. Firms tend to shun border regions and infrastructural links are not developed, resulting in unbalanced economic growth. Taking an all-island approach will help deliver more balanced regional development and address the negative effects of the border” (p.96).

The Towards a Border Development Zone (BDZ) action research project explores the potential of a joint economic development approach across the whole Irish and Northern Irish cross-border region. This project is funded by the European Union’s INTERREG IVA programme managed by the Special EU Programmes Body.

The idea for the BDZ originated in a meeting of policy makers (including representatives of InterTradeIreland, Invest NI, Forfás, Enterprise Ireland and IBEC) in Newry in September 2011 to discuss the emerging findings of the Bradley & Best report, Cross-Border Economic Renewal: Rethinking Regional Policy in Ireland, which was commissioned by the Centre for Cross Border Studies (CCBS). Previous research by CCBS and the International Centre for Local and Regional Development (ICLRD)has shown that this region has been cut off from the organic links that exist between more centralised regions in both Irish jurisdictions.

The BDZ project investigates ways of tackling the region’s unique double challenge of peripherality and the presence of an international border, and how the whole region can be re-integrated into the Northern Irish, Irish and island-wide economies. The project is centred around five short pieces of follow-up action research, the findings of which will be presented and discussed at this major conference.

The five action research studies are as follows:

  1. overall Border Development Zone strategy and structure; [PDF 116Kb]
  2. SME enterprise in goods and services with an export potential; [PDF 28Kb]
  3. tourism and recreation; [PDF 213Kb]
  4. agriculture, food and fish processing; [PDF 137Kb]
  5. low carbon initiatives, energy saving and renewable energy. [PDF 51Kb]

This 2-day conference will bring together leading figures from the border region, including representatives from local authorities, local enterprise agencies and business organisations, along with individual entrepreneurs and business leaders from the cross-border region and interested central government officials. It will identify a different and innovative way of mobilising existing resources and structures in the cross-border region and consider how key regional actors can drive this new strategy to revive and energise the region from the ‘bottom up’.

Confirmed speakers to date include:

  • Dr. Joachim Beck, Director of Euro-Institute;
  • Mr. Ross Martin, Chief Executive of Scottish Council for Development and Industry;
  • Mr. Philip McDonagh, Independent Economist;
  • Mr. Keith Winters, Executive Director – Environment, Enterprise and Communities Directorate at Fife Council;
  • Mr. Stewart Dickson, MLA and Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe; and
  • Ms. Marian Harkin, MEP.

Download the Programme [PDF 1570Kb]

We look forward to seeing you in Cavan. In the meantime, if you have any questions regarding this event, or the registration process, please contact Ms. Eimear Donnelly, Centre for Cross Border Studies at eimear.donnelly@qub.ac.uk or on 028 3751 5292 (048 from the Republic).

CCBS responds to UK Govt. review of EU Competences

The Centre for Cross Border Studies has submitted a response to the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills in relation to the UK Government’s review of the balance of EU Competences in the area of Social Cohesion. The response is available to download in PDF format below.

Summary:

In the view of The Centre for Cross Border Studies, EU structural funds have been extremely successful in addressing the tasks given to them under the treaties. The effect that funding from theses sources has toward increasing social and economic cohesion across Europe is particularly evident in the case of Northern Ireland.

European funding has proved pivotal in addressing Northern Ireland’s particular social and economic needs.

In the absence of EU structural funds, we feel it highly likely that many cornerstone schemes of Northern Ireland’s continuing economic and social development would be placed in jeopardy.

It is highly unlikely that funding of this nature could or would be prioritised in spending plans formulated on a national level.

EU funding promotes competitiveness and innovation in the the cross-border economy as well as transfrontier cooperation in the public and private sectors. This programme is of particular bene t to Northern Ireland; its position as the only region of the UK to share a land border with another EU member state, as well as its geographical discontiguity with Great Britain, makes the successful development and maintenance of cross-border economic and social relationships of utmost importance.

Download the full response [PDF 162Kb]

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