East Border Region Delegation travel to Brussels Open Days

9 October 2008

A 25 strong delegation from East Border Region Committee travelled to Brussels earlier this week (Mon 6th October – Wed 8th October 2008) to attend the annual Brussels Open Days and a series of meetings with Organisations such as the Committee of the Regions and a number of MEPs.

The first port of call for the delegation was to meet with President of the UEN-EA division of the Committee of the Regions Mr Paul O’Donoghue, Cllr Patrick McGowan, Member of UEN-EA and Mr Micheal O’Conchuir, Secretariat of UEN-EA. This meeting was extremely successful and informative for both the Committee of the Regions Members and East Border Region delegates.

Many areas in which both Organisations can work together and feed relevant information to one another were discussed, for example EBR Members asked if the CoR could lobby for an extension to the Nitrates Directive which is proving impossible for Irish Farmers to meet due to poor weather conditions.

Chairman of East Border Region Cllr Terry Brennan welcomed more meetings of this nature “we in the East Border Region are delighted to be offered the opportunity to meet with the Committee of the Regions and feel meetings of this nature are vitally important in order to improve connectivity between bodies such as CoR and Local Authorities”.

Concurring with Cllr Brennan Mr O’Donoghue stated “it is important that we meet with Local Representatives on a regular basis and discuss issues of common concern as decisions made in Brussels today become a reality for people on the ground in Ireland in a few years time”.

The delegation was also afforded the opportunity to meet with a number of MEPs who represent the East Border Region, namely Mr Jim Higgins, Ms Bairbre de Brun, Ms Avril Doyle, Ms Marian Harkin, Ms Mairead McGuinness and Mr Sean O’Neachtain. Following a presentation highlighting the successes of EBR an open and frank discussion was held in relation to issues such as the re-opening of the Ulster and Newry/Portadown canals and the importance of promoting tourism potential within the EBR. MEPs present undertook to lobby in relation to these issues at relevant European level.

Colleagues from the other Local Authority Cross Border Groups, ICBAN, North East Partnership and Comet also joined the East Border Region delegation at many of the meetings held during the visit.

Photo caption: Members of the East Border Region Delegation visit the European Parliament during the Brussels Open Days

  • Monaghan
  • LCC
  • MCC
  • Newry, Mourne and Down District Council
  • Ards and North Down Borough Council
  • Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council