Cross border co-operation in the East Border Region has always taken place against the backdrop of the European Union.
Cross border co-operation in the East Border Region has always taken place against the backdrop of the European Union. Throughout the last 40 years EBR has displayed a resilience and taken a pragmatic approach to the various challenges which it has faced particularly in respect of the hostile political situation in the 1970’s and 1980’s. The Good Friday Agreement enabled cross border cooperation to become more popular and cross border relationships were formed.
The decision of the United Kingdom to leave the European Union in 2016 therefore represented a substantial challenge to EBR, a genuinely cross border organisation, because for the first time one half of the region would not be part of the European Union. EBR needed to address this issue immediately. The result was the East Border Region Charter.
This innovative Charter outlines the detailed working arrangements for ongoing strategic cross border cooperation between the six EBR member local authorities namely: Ards and North Down Borough Council, Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council
The Charter is elected member led and represents a renewed mandate for East Border Region to be a principal mechanism for cross border cooperation on behalf of the six member local authorities. Each member local authority has endorsed the Charter at full council in the form of a Declaration of Commitment.
The Declaration of Commitment:
‘The member authorities of East Border Region hereby declare our joint commitment to continue to work together to address the issues arising form the Ireland/ N Ireland border in order to protect and improve the prosperity of citizens of the Region and the public and private services they can access.
The authorities re-commit to the established aim of a ‘smart competitive, sustainable and inclusive cross border region.’ This will be implemented by a programme of work covering the three priorities. The principal mechanism by which these priorities will be delivered is East Border Region.’