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Centre for Cross Border Studies

1- Legal form

Company limited by guarantee (charitable company under UK law)

2- General aim and the main mission of the institution

The Centre for Cross Border Studies (www.crossborder.ie) researches and develops cooperation between Ireland and Northern Ireland in education, training, health, ICT, the economy, public administration, planning, the environment, citizens information, impact assessment and other practical areas. Founded in 1999, it is a product of the Northern  Irish peace process institutionalised in the 1998 Good Friday/Belfast Agreement. Its head office is in Armagh, 10 miles from the border inNorthern Ireland, with a sub-office inDublin.It also provides management, training and ICT support services to cross-border networks and organisations inIrelandandNorthern Ireland, and develops and manages cross-border information websites.

It is largely financed by grants from the EU INTERREG IVA programme through the EU Special Programmes Body inBelfastand the Irish Department of Education and Skills inDublin. It raises a significant proportion of its income through selling its research and consultancy services to government and other agencies.

3- Description of the role of the institution regarding cross-border issues

The Centre’s activities are completely dedicated to cross-border cooperation.

Among its aims are to identify gaps in cross-border information, research and mutual learning in Ireland and Northern Ireland; provide sources of comprehensive and  accurate information about cross-border cooperation in Ireland; publish research on opportunities for and obstacles to cross-border cooperation in all fields of society and the economy; host events at which research findings can be disseminated and policy formation in cross-border cooperation can be developed; present the findings of such research and development projects to the European Commission and the governments in Dublin and Belfast; and  provide management and training support for cross-border organisations and programmes which have a strong education, research and development dimension.

The Centre offers:

  • 12 years of experience of carrying out cross-border research projects inIrelandandNorthern Ireland
  • Skills in the management of cross-border networks in education and planning
  • Conference organisation skills, particularly in areas of cross-border cooperation
  • Website skills. The Centre operates five cross-border websites: a house website (www.crossborder.ie); an information and research website (www.borderireland.info); a citizens mobility information website (www.borderpeople.info); a universities website (www.universitiesireland.ie); and a teacher education website (www.scotens.org).
  • Training skills. Since 2006 the Centre has trained 140 civil and public servants and 90 local public representatives and officials in cross-border cooperation. Its next training course, in autumn 2011, will train people in cross-border impact assessment inIreland.
  • Publications (Over 50 published reports, journals and books since 2001)
  • Support (partnerships and counselling) for cross-border projects inIrelandandNorthern  Ireland

4- Activities / References regarding cross-border issues

Training
  • 140 central and local government civil and public servants trained in aspects of cross-border cooperation in Ireland (how cross-border training can assist peace and reconciliation; central and local government structures; role of the EU; economic and business cooperation; corporate governance and ethical standards; role of NGOs; cooperation between local authorities)(2005-2009)
  • 90 local public representatives and officials trained in aspects of cross-border spatial planning and economic, social and cultural development in the Irish border region (2010-2011)
  • Three days training for EU programme officials, government officials and project promoters on cross-border impact assessment inIreland(planned for autumn 2011)
Research, conferences and seminars

Over 80 cross-border research projects undertaken since 2001, including studies in the following areas:

  • Cross-border telecoms technologies
  • Health services
  • Lifelong learning/adult education
  • INTERREG II and III funding programmes  inIreland
  • Local government
  • The 2001 foot-and-mouth disease crisis
  • Mental health
  • Local history societies
  • Early years education
  • Citizenship and science in schools
  • Government services to minority ethnic groups
  • Training for public servants (collection of training essays)
  • Hospital services
  • Spatial planning
  • Education with a particular focus on teacher education (60 studies in this area alone)
  • Border region economy (current project)
  • Cross-border hospital services (current project)
  • Cross-border spatial planning and training (current project)
  • Cross-border citizens mobility information (current project)
  • Cross-border impact assessment (current project)

Over 50 cross-border conferences and seminars organised since 2000, including in the following areas:

  • Cross-border cooperation in Europe andIreland
  • Teacher education (eight conferences in areas such as education for inclusion, reflective practice, school leadership, citizenship and diversity, and educational research)
  • Higher education (six conferences in areas such as international education, widening access to higher education, higher education and cross-border cooperation in Europe, university-business collaboration and the role of higher education in the workplace)
  • Agriculture
  • Tourism
  • Information and Communications Technologies
  • Health and hospital services
  • Mental health promotion
  • Telecom technologies
  • Local government links
  • Animal disease
  • European citizenship education
  • School, youth and teacher exchanges
  • Business research
  • Waste management
  • Mobility information inIrelandandEurope
  • Housing and sustainable communities
  • Personal banking
  • Cross-border statistics
  • Cross-border consumer issues
  • The Belfast-Dublin rail service
  • Cross-border impact assessment
Consultancy Studies

Over 20 cross-border consultancy studies undertaken for government and other agencies, including in the following subjects:

  • Cross-border postgraduate student flows
  • Mobility information inIrelandandEurope
  • Educational exchanges
  • Mental health policy and research
  • Doctors out-of-hours services
  • Cross-border trade union cooperation
  • ‘Common Chapter’ of the Irish and Northern Irish Development Plans
  • Education and skills inIreland’s North-West
  • Towards a strategic economic and business research agenda for theislandofIreland
  • University for Industry

www.transfrontier.eu