The ‘Looking Beyond Our Borders’ Report examines cross-border strategies, models and solutions applicable to the Central Border Region of Ireland / Northern Ireland. Completed by the Association of European Border Regions (AEBR), the report’s release in February 2019 is timely given the impending culmination of decisions around the final shape and form of Brexit and how this might impact on the Ireland / Northern Ireland border region in particular.

As part of the background, AEBR researched a number of comparable areas across Europe, where areas within the EU adjoin those outside of the EU and work together in cooperation. Report author, Martín Guillermo-Ramírez, Secretary-General of AEBR states, “There is uncertainty in Ireland and Northern Ireland about how the future might look, what it might mean and how this can impact on cross-border cooperation and North-South collaboration on the island. We show in this study that this is not the first area in Europe to bring about effective cooperation between EU and non-EU areas, in what may become a non-EU area (UK/Northern Ireland). The identified and analysed case study examples point to successes, solutions, challenges and difficulties encountered. An intention of this paper is to offer some reassurances to those concerns that solutions can be found, if we look at some border areas in Europe facing or having faced comparable circumstances”.

The paper has been completed with the support of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Reconciliation Fund, delivered as part of the ‘Border Compass’ project and can be downloaded from ICBAN’s Library.