Cross border relationship building in the North East

THE North East PEACE III Partnership, as part of its ongoing Partnership Development Project, is continuing to explore some of the more strategic issues which affect peace building work in the North East.

The project is funded under the European Union’s PEACE III Programme and is managed on behalf of the Special EU Programmes Body by the North East PEACE III Partnership.

In its fourth session, Partnership members had the opportunity to obtain a greater understanding of the strategic and local context of cross border working and consider the implications involved. The members agreed that this was important given the resources that have been invested in supporting local communities to develop cross border working relationships.

Speakers on the day included Andy Pollak, Director of the Centre for Cross Border Studies and Breege Lenihan, Co-ordinator of County Monaghan Community Network.

They emphasised the importance of the inclusion of minority faith communities and provided a strategic overview of the role that local authorities and other key agencies and communities have played in developing cross border collaboration.

In welcoming the speakers William Adamson, Chairperson of the North East PEACE III Partnership: “Hearing directly from cross border practitioners has enabled the members to obtain a greater appreciation of the potential learning for us as a group which is at the forefront of peace building. On one hand our discussions today have provided us with good information on the changing context in which we are facilitating peace building; and on the other hand it has given us ideas on how best to support our communities in their cross border peace building work”.

Facilitators of the project, Therese Hogg and Ann McGeeney, said: “Having worked with the North East PEACE III Partnership through this process we recognise that while there is no direct land border with the Republic of Ireland, there is much to be learned about peace building on both sides of the border.”