The European Union and the Northern Ireland Peace Process [1st ed.] 9783030591168, 9783030591175

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The European Union and the Northern Ireland Peace Process [1st ed.]
 9783030591168, 9783030591175

Table of contents :
Front Matter ....Pages i-xvii
Introduction (Giada Lagana)....Pages 1-23
Metagoverning Peacebuilding in Northern Ireland (Giada Lagana)....Pages 25-48
The Genesis of the First European Union/Northern Ireland Peacebuilding Network (Giada Lagana)....Pages 49-74
The 1984 Haagerup Report on the Situation in Northern Ireland (Giada Lagana)....Pages 75-103
EU Structural Funds Programmes on the Island of Ireland: Interreg and the Cross-Border Dimension (Giada Lagana)....Pages 105-131
The European Union Programme for Peace and Reconciliation in Northern Ireland (Giada Lagana)....Pages 133-158
The Belfast/Good Friday Agreement: Cross-Border Cooperation and Peacebuilding in the Context of the New Institutions (Giada Lagana)....Pages 159-184
Conclusion (Giada Lagana)....Pages 185-202
Back Matter ....Pages 203-211

Citation preview

PALGRAVE STUDIES IN EUROPEAN UNION POLITICS SERIES EDITORS: MICHELLE EGAN · NEILL NUGENT · WILLIAM E. PATERSON

The European Union and the Northern Ireland Peace Process

Giada Lagana

Palgrave Studies in European Union Politics

Series Editors Michelle Egan American University Washington, USA Neill Nugent Manchester Metropolitan University Manchester, UK William E. Paterson Aston University Birmingham, UK

Following on the sustained success of the acclaimed European Union Series, which essentially publishes research-based textbooks, Palgrave Studies in European Union Politics publishes cutting edge research-driven monographs. The remit of the series is broadly defined, both in terms of subject and academic discipline. All topics of significance concerning the nature and operation of the European Union potentially fall within the scope of the series. The series is multidisciplinary to reflect the growing importance of the EU as a political, economic and social phenomenon. To submit a proposal, please contact Senior Editor Ambra Finotello [email protected]. Editorial Board Laurie Buonanno (SUNY Buffalo State, USA) Kenneth Dyson (Cardiff University, UK) Brigid Laffan (European University Institute, Italy) Claudio Radaelli (University College London, UK) Mark Rhinard (Stockholm University, Sweden) Ariadna Ripoll Servent (University of Bamberg, Germany) Frank Schimmelfennig (ETH Zurich, Switzerland) Claudia Sternberg (University College London, UK) Nathalie Tocci (Istituto Affari Internazionali, Italy)

More information about this series at http://www.palgrave.com/gp/series/14629

Giada Lagana

The European Union and the Northern Ireland Peace Process

Giada Lagana Cardiff University Cardiff, UK

ISSN 2662-5873 ISSN 2662-5881 (electronic) Palgrave Studies in European Union Politics ISBN 978-3-030-59116-8 ISBN 978-3-030-59117-5 (eBook) https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-59117-5 © The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021 This work is subject to copyright. All rights are solely and exclusively licensed by the Publisher, whether the whole or part of the material is concerned, specifically the rights of translation, reprinting, reuse of illustrations, recitation, broadcasting, reproduction on microfilms or in any other physical way, and transmission or information storage and retrieval, electronic adaptation, computer software, or by similar or dissimilar methodology now known or hereafter developed. The use of general descriptive names, registered names, trademarks, service marks, etc. in this publication does not imply, even in the absence of a specific statement, that such names are exempt from the relevant protective laws and regulations and therefore free for general use. The publisher, the authors and the editors are safe to assume that the advice and information in this book are believed to be true and accurate at the date of publication. Neither the publisher nor the authors or the editors give a warranty, expressed or implied, with respect to the material contained herein or for any errors or omissions that may have been made. The publisher remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations. This Palgrave Macmillan imprint is published by the registered company Springer Nature Switzerland AG The registered company address is: Gewerbestrasse 11, 6330 Cham, Switzerland

To my parents Ornella and Lino

Foreword

The existing literature, research, and media coverage have tended to neglect the European dimension and the important role of the EU institutions in restoring peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland. Dr. Giada Lagana’s book gives us a detailed insight into the EU involvement, more particularly of the European Parliament and the European Commission. Through in-depth research, she is the first one to determine exactly the structural and political impact of the various actors and institutions in contributing to the Northern Ireland peace process. The role of the European Parliament in putting the Northern Ireland conflict on its agenda is well documented. The early engagement of the European Commission to contribute to conflict resolution through economic development, social inclusion, cross-community contacts, and cross-border cooperation is well defined. On the Parliament side, John Hume (SDLP) was instrumental in pursuing an integral plan to provide economic support to Northern Ireland. On the Commission side, its president Jacques Delors as early as 1989—almost ten years before the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement—committed himself to contribute to peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland. The European Community could not sit on the side-lines while deep divisions in one of its regions undermined social and economic advance, while costing its people their livelihoods and even their lives. That, at least, was his firm belief. As a first step, the Commission decided to become a major contributor to

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the International Fund for Ireland, set up in 1986 following the AngloIrish Agreement. During his visit to Northern Ireland in 1992, Jacques Delors reiterated his commitment to seize every opportunity for peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland. It is to the merit of John Hume who got eventually his MEP colleagues from Northern Ireland, Ian Paisley (DUP), and Jim Nicholson (UUP) on board, notwithstanding their profound disagreements, to pursue an integral social and economic development plan for Northern Ireland. It is to the merit of Jacques Delors who seized the window of opportunity, which arose in the aftermath of the Downing Street Declaration with the August 1994 ceasefires. It opened the way for a joint effort for a comprehensive PEACE programme. Giada Lagana’s analysis of the gradual Europeanisation of the Northern Ireland conflict in the run-up to the ceasefires is well informed. It is a clear testimony of how the EU was able to positively impact on policy processes through cross-border cooperation and economic development. No doubt the PEACE programme constituted a very tangible peace dividend and testimony of European solidarity. As the UK government would later acknowledge: ‘EU support, and especially the PEACE programme, made a vital contribution to securing the Good Friday Agreement’. I had the privilege of chairing the Task Force set up for the preparation of the programme. The preparation was done in close cooperation with the three Northern Ireland MEPs, Ian Paisley, John Hume, and Jim Nicholson who paid a joint visit to this effect to Jacques Delors. In itself, an exceptional demarche! Within the Task Force, I worked closely with their personal representatives who did much of the preparatory work on the ground. We consulted widely with grassroots organisations from both communities and from both sides of the border. The report of the Task Force was the result of widespread consultations including voluntary organisations and a wide range of public and private actors as well as a large number of written submissions. As pointed out by Dr. Lagana, both the subsequent PEACE programme and its implementation were very much a bottom-up process. Indeed, a 1997 report drawn up on behalf of the three Northern Irish MEP’s assessing the programme identified the dialogue among and with local ‘partnerships’ as one of the most positive outcomes of the whole process. Moreover, the principle of additionality was firmly upheld. The PEACE I programme was both substantial and innovative in nature. Together with the three subsequent PEACE programmes 1.5 billion euros

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in funding has been provided. Thus, the EU has provided concrete help in achieving political stability by economic means. Dr. Giada Lagana’s book on The European Union and the Northern Ireland Peace Process offers a unique historical perspective for all those who are interested in present days developments on the Island of Ireland. The Hague, The Netherlands

Carlo Trojan

Acknowledgments

The journey of completing a book necessarily involves many other people. I wish to acknowledge the enormous help and support of Prof. Niall Ó Dochartaigh and Prof. Daniel Wincott, who afforded me the time and space to develop my ideas and produce this body of work. Their patience, their unending assistance, knowledge, trust, and the time they afforded me proved invaluable, and for that I am extremely and eternally grateful. The Galway Doctoral Research Scholarship Scheme first, and then the ‘Between two unions. The Constitutional Future of the Islands after Brexit’ project provided me with the material instruments to accomplish this journey. My warmest thanks go also to the editorial support of Palgrave Macmillan and to the anonymous reviewer: your comments were always aimed to really push me and my writing to the best possible. I hope the effort I made to respond reflexively and positively to the feedback I received are visible in the pages of this book. The Wales Governance Centre at Cardiff University has been my second home in this past year. It is populated by amazing people, who are my ultimate inspiration for everything. Their friendship has been my strength during my lonely days of Covid-19. A special mention to my fellow colleagues Prof. Richard Wyn Jones, Dr. Robert Jones, Dr. Rachel Minto, and Hedydd Phylip who believed and helped me when I needed it most: their coffee breaks and general advice will always be remembered and deeply appreciated.

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Thank you also to my dear friend and colleague at Cardiff University, Dr. Thomas Leahy. I will never forget his always insightful contributions and how instrumental he and his adorable wife, Sarah Williams, were in giving me back the hope and the confidence to pursue my academic dream. Everyone needs, on occasions, an external point of view. Thanks as well to the dearest friend a woman could ever wish for: Anna Tulin-Brett. She always takes the time to read the material I send her, providing valuable additional input and feedback. The feedback of Prof. Timothy J. White was also incredibly helpful to me. To Laurence I say another ‘grazie’ for his optimism, his calm words, and friendship. He probably now knows this material better than I do, having been next to me from the years of my doctoral studies. Everything he did has always been deeply heartening and appreciated. I would like to thank those who have never stopped telling me to publish this book. Gerard Hogan changed my life forever and I hope he is looking at me, saying ‘well done’. To Mark Mullaly I want to say thank you and the much promised: I did it! Finally, Rinaldo La Mattina, love of my life: thank you for supporting me unconditionally. You have reminded me that a dream does not become reality through magic: it takes sweat, determination, and hard work. You gave me the courage to pursue it, when I was afraid. You always reminded me how hard I have worked. You have taught me that it is not about how many times you get rejected or you fall down or you’re beaten up. It’s about how many times you stand up and are brave and you keep on going.

Contents

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Introduction 1 The European Union and the Peace Process in Northern Ireland 2 The Debate on the EU’s Role in the Northern Ireland Peace Process 3 The European Union and Peacebuilding 4 Triangulation of Never-Before-Seen Archives and Oral Sources 5 Towards a More Systematic Historical and Theoretical Analysis 6 Chapters Outline References Metagoverning Peacebuilding in Northern Ireland 1 Introduction 2 Strategic Peacebuilding: An Overview 3 Strategic Peacebuilding in Northern Ireland: Interdependent and Integrated 4 Peacebuilding Policy Networks 5 Metagovernance in the Field of Peacebuilding 6 Metagovernance as a Tool to Exercise Soft Power in a Pluricentric Context in Search for Peace 7 Putting It All Together: A Strategic-Relational Approach

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8 Conclusion References 3

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The Genesis of the First European Union/Northern Ireland Peacebuilding Network 1 Introduction 2 The Interdependency Approach: The Formation of the First EU/Northern Ireland Policy Network 3 The European Union and the European Parliament Institutional Framework 4 The MEPs 5 Lobbying the European Parliament 6 John Hume MEP 7 The 1981 Martin Report 8 Debate Around the Martin Report 9 Conclusion References The 1984 Haagerup Report on the Situation in Northern Ireland 1 Introduction 2 The Haagerup Report: Attitudes and Public Resistance 3 The Haagerup Report: A Brief Historical Outline of the Northern Ireland Conflict 4 Northern Ireland: A Constitutional Oddity 5 Economic and Social Aspects of Northern Ireland 6 Exploring British Responses to the Haagerup Report 7 The Anglo-Irish Agreement and the International Fund for Ireland 8 Conclusion References EU Structural Funds Programmes on the Island of Ireland: Interreg and the Cross-Border Dimension 1 Introduction 2 The Institutional and Historical Background to Cooperation

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49 49 51 53 54 57 59 63 67 70 73

75 75 77 82 86 90 93 96 98 102

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The Single European Act and the European Single Market 4 The Implementation of Interreg I & II 5 Cross-Border Networks 6 Difficulties of Interreg I & II 7 The Cross-Border Dimension of the EU Special Support Programme for Peace and Reconciliation: Lessons from Interreg 8 Conclusion References

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The European Union Programme for Peace and Reconciliation in Northern Ireland 1 Introduction 2 Peace: A Challenging New Era 3 The Efforts of the 1994 Northern Ireland Task Force 4 The PEACE Package 5 The EP Debate on the Special Support Programme for Peace and Reconciliation in Northern Ireland 6 PEACE I and the Partnership Principle 7 Difficulties of PEACE I 8 Conclusion References The Belfast/Good Friday Agreement: Cross-Border Cooperation and Peacebuilding in the Context of the New Institutions 1 Introduction 2 The New Institutional Setting for Cross-Border and Cross-Community Cooperation 3 Cross-Border Networks and Interreg III in the Context of the New Institutions 4 Peacebuilding Networks and PEACE II in the Context of the New Institutions 5 Difficulties of PEACE II and Interreg III 6 The Experience of the Northern Ireland Task Force in 2007

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133 133 135 137 141 144 147 151 153 156

159 159 161 167 170 173 176

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7 Conclusion References

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Conclusion 1 Introduction 2 Overview of the Issues 3 Metagoverning Peacebuilding in Northern Ireland: A Strategic-Relational Heuristic 4 Implications for the Evolution of EU Peacebuilding 5 Conclusion References

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Appendices

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Index

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About the Author

Dr. Giada Lagana is a Research Associate at the Wales Governance Centre, Cardiff University. She is currently working on the ESRC ‘Between Two Unions’ project with Professor Daniel Wincott, examining the impact of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union (EU) on the UK’s internal constitutional and intergovernmental arrangements. Giada was awarded her Ph.D. in political science and sociology, in February 2018. Her thesis was submitted under the supervision of Professor Niall O’Dochartaigh and looked at the role of the EU in the Northern Ireland peace process. Giada started out as an historian, completing her undergraduate studies in modern and contemporary history at the University of Pavia (Italy). She then obtained an M.A. in international relations and history, under the joint supervision of Didier Poton (Université de La Rochelle) and Michel Catala (Université de Nantes).

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CHAPTER 1

Introduction

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The European Union and the Peace Process in Northern Ireland

On 31 August 1994, the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) announced a ceasefire. On 13 October of the same year, the Combined Loyalist Military Command, representing the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), Ulster Defence Association (UDA), and Red Hand Commandos announced a loyalist paramilitary ceasefire. Twenty-five years of violence, endless killings, destruction, and intimidation had ended, at least temporarily. This long cycle of violence had robbed an entire generation of its right to live in peace on the island of Ireland. In 1998, the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement (GFA), and subsequent accords,1 provided governing arrangements acceptable to almost all of the major parties ending the violent conflict in Northern Ireland. The Agreement involved a careful and standardised political accommodation between the main political groups on one side, and the United Kingdom (UK) and Irish governments on the other. The main objective was to provide constitutional mechanisms that allowed nationalists a potential means of fulfilling their aspiration for Irish reunification. This was to be balanced against the recognition that change could only come about with the consent of a majority in Northern Ireland to satisfy the unionist majority who sought to maintain Northern Ireland’s status within the UK. Moreover, the Agreement provided a cross-border dimension that was meant © The Author(s) 2021 G. Lagana, The European Union and the Northern Ireland Peace Process, Palgrave Studies in European Union Politics, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-59117-5_1

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to satisfy nationalists’ goal of policy coordination in Ireland if there was to be no immediate reunification. Scholars (Tannam 1999; Laffan 2005; Hayward 2006; Todd 2011; McCall 2014; Murphy 2014) have argued that the British–Irish improved relations helped to deliver a North/South institutional architecture that reflected the cross-border cooperation thrust of European Integration and prefigured an era of peace and cross-border cooperation focused on the island of Ireland. The impetus for the creation of linkages across the Irish border came from the promise to open the territorial cage of the state to enable the development of intercultural dialogue and inter-communal relations (McCall 2014, pp. 40–42). European Union (EU)2 funds and initiatives played both an economic and a political role in providing the first backdrop and context for challenging the ‘zero-sum’ logic of the Northern Ireland conflict. With this, cross-border cooperation, economic regeneration, and reconciliation were essential components of an EU peacebuilding effort on the island. The existing literature has shed light on controversial and somewhat marginally known issues related to the EU’s influence on the peace process. However, monographic studies of the historical evolution of the EU’s role in Northern Ireland are still sparse (Tannam 1999; McCall 1999; Murphy 2014; Murphy 2018). Authors have provided analyses of the EU’s policies implemented with a conflict transformation objective3 and discussed numerous problems in terms of policy coherence, institutional coordination, implementation, and normative acceptability. This book raises many similar questions but approaches them from a more detailed historical and theoretical analysis than hitherto available. It investigates how the EU contributed to the transformation of Northern Ireland from a site of conflict to a site of peacebuilding and conflict amelioration during the formative period between 1981 and 2007. The year 1981 marked the first period in which the then European Community (EC) held substantial debates regarding the Northern Ireland conflict. The year 2007 constitutes the culmination of the EU attempt to consolidate peace by facilitating regional-level empowerment. In 2007, the European Commission established the Northern Ireland Task Force with the objective of providing a solid basis for the conduct of EU-Northern Ireland and the border region relations. An in-depth investigation of this period provides us with important insights into patterns and legacies of EU peacebuilding strategies which continue up until the present day. Furthermore, an examination of these years reveals the

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shaping of future relationships between not only Northern Ireland and the EU but also between the UK and Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and the UK, and the island of Ireland and the EU. This investigation matters because the 23 June 2016 referendum on the UK’s continuing membership of the EU was a watershed moment in the history of Northern Ireland. It marked a turning point in the history of relations between the region and the EU. Most importantly, Brexit brought the topic to the centre of current political and scholarly debates with academics questioning the profound implications that the UK’s decision to leave the EU could have for Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland as a whole. Scholars (Hayward 2018; Tannam 2018; Murphy 2018) argues that while the ultimate impact will depend on the shape and detail of any new relationship negotiated between the UK and the EU, Brexit can affect nearly all aspects of North-South and British-Irish relations. If some changes appear relatively minor, others raise serious political difficulties for Northern Ireland. Brexit also highlighted a series of unanswered questions: How will the UK withdrawal from the EU disrupt Northern Ireland’s political and economic situation? If the EU has been essential to building peace in Northern Ireland, how will Brexit affect the peace process? This book covers the breadth of the EU’s role in the Northern Ireland peace process, ranging from cross-border cooperation, economic and industrial regeneration, and peace and reconciliation, whereas existing contributions predominantly cover only one of those dimensions. From a more abstract perspective, the EU’s influence on the peace process in Northern Ireland serves as an instructive case with regard to general patterns of international and EU peacebuilding. In recent years, the EU has expanded its role in preventing conflicts and building peace, but its institutional practices remain insufficiently conceptualised. An analysis of EU peacebuilding work has placed EU practices almost entirely within traditional instruments of security governance, such as conflict prevention and mediation, crisis management, post-conflict stabilisation, human rights, human security, and civilian protection (Gëzim and Doyle 2018; Bergmann and Niemann 2018). This is largely because scholars (Tocci 2007; Richmond 2016) have argued that the EU’s peacebuilding framework does not yet represent a coherent intellectual project, relying instead on existing liberal peacebuilding approaches affiliated with restoring security, strengthening the rule of law, supporting democratic processes, delivering humanitarian assistance, and supporting economic

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recovery. This book, however, offers an illustrative example of how the EU’s peace support operations should not only be studied through the lens of liberal peacebuilding but instead should be seen as self-mirroring the internal institutional dynamics of the community, in parallel with the hierarchical governance integration and consolidation of politics within the member states. The effectiveness of the wide range of instruments and resources the EU deploys in preventing conflict and promoting sustainable peace beyond is notoriously difficult to measure. How societies evolve and how and whether EU initiatives develop from knowledge and relationshipbuilding to produce tangible results depends not only on EU policies but on the expectations and desires of local populations. The case of Northern Ireland becomes instructive for other regions of conflict around the world because it shows how positive policy and financial outcomes, deriving from the interactions between the European Commission and local actors and administrations, are highly dependent upon the willingness at a local level to engage with the EU. Second, it shows that the challenge of consolidating peace is, quoting President Barroso himself, a marathon, not a sprint. Peacebuilding is a task most suitable for the nature of the EU’s ‘soft’ power as it seeks to enable, fund, empower, and reform in the long term (Hayward and Murphy 2012). The most important element for sustaining all of these trends, and crucial to their success, remains the EU’s enduring commitment to the task. With these research interests in mind, this introductory chapter illustrates why the existing literature on the EU’s role in the Northern Ireland peace process remains theoretically and empirically underdeveloped. Many analyses are hampered by contentious assumptions about the nature of the EU’s influence or the EU’s legitimate political role in conflict amelioration and peacebuilding. Moreover, there is a lack of a framework through which to analyse systematically new policy processes, the state authority, and the multitude of actors involved. A corresponding theoretical framework that sets out government, governance, and policy networks acting in the shadow of a hierarchy, will be subsequently developed.

2 The Debate on the EU’s Role in the Northern Ireland Peace Process Overall, one cannot identify a well-developed theoretical and historical debate on the EU’s role in the Northern Ireland peace process. Numerous valuable attempts (Teague 1996; Laffan and Payne 2001;

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Murphy 2014) have been made, which have used a number of different theories and explanatory factors to assert the influence of EU policies on conflict transformation and peacebuilding in Northern Ireland. Hypotheses have been advanced to explain certain moments or characteristics of the EU’s involvement in the conflict, but theoretically consistent historical analyses of this complex policy process remain missing. The debate may be summed up in three stylised positions. The first highlights the lack of interest within Northern Ireland regarding membership of the EU. The region was experiencing profound political instability during the early years of the UK and Irish accession to the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1973. Membership coincided with the introduction of direct rule from Westminster in Northern Ireland and the intensification of violence. As a consequence, the prospects of membership were only minimally discussed and the early years of being part of the then EEC were marked by low levels of interest and engagement. In the Stormont debating chambers there was some discussion of European matters prior to the UK accession but these were invariably coloured by domestic political considerations or channelled into more traditional arguments. The Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) was the only Northern Ireland political party to engage positively with the prospects of EEC membership from an early stage (McLoughlin 2009). This was partly because European membership offered the chance to place the conflict on an international platform. In contrast, the then-dominant Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) largely ignored the new European context, making only scant reference to the EEC in their 1973 election manifesto (Murphy 2009, p. 594). This indifference was also apparent beyond party politics. Guelke (1988, p. 155) has concluded that ‘there was a relatively muted reaction in the province to actual entry to the Community’. These outlooks did not engender an open-minded disposition towards Europe, or its potential, because no settlement existed at the institutional level to allow any progress in this sense. The second position mirrors critical interpretations of EU integration and focuses on the impacts of cross-border cooperation for conflict transformation and peacebuilding. The outbreak of communal conflict from 1968 onwards drew attention again to the contested nature of the Irish border as the state authorities on both sides moved to enhance security in an effort to counteract the spread of paramilitary violence (Patterson 2013, p. 495). Overall, this reduced the permeability of the border since

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many roads were closed and military fortifications multiplied. The literature related to the Irish border demonstrates how its establishment is still contested. It was never normalised or fully accepted (Hayward 2011; Hayward et al. 2017; Hayward and Komarova 2016), and it defines the reach and limits of formal Irish and British sovereignty on the island and runs in some places through farms, villages, and towns (O’Dowd et al. 1995, p. 237). Finally, it was drawn in an arbitrary manner depending on pre-established county boundaries (Aughey and Gormley-Heenan 2011, p. 64). The Irish border created not just an international boundary between two states but what political geographers call ‘a frontier zone’ or a ‘border region’ (McCall 2014, p. 43). The Irish border region was— and remains—culturally and ethnically mixed, although it does in some places coincide with lines of cultural and political division (O’Dowd and McCall 2008, p. 82). The border region suffered from economic peripherality, low incomes, little industrial employment, high unemployment, and significant outward migration (O’Dowd et al. 1995, p. 337; Laffan and Payne 2001, p. 46). It depended mainly on agriculture and many factors impeded improvements in this sector such as: poor soil, established patterns of inheritance, marriage, and farm size. The EU peacebuilding role in Northern Ireland, which also facilitated cross-border cooperation on an all-island scale, must be seen against this backdrop (Tannam 1999; Lagana 2017). In 1985, the signing of the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA) institutionalised cross-border cooperation between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. It was the product of transformed British–Irish relations that accorded a role to the Irish government in Northern Ireland public affairs through the Anglo-Irish Intergovernmental Conference (IGC), with meetings to be held regularly to improve cross-border relationships. Thereafter, the agenda for negotiation on the future of Northern Ireland always included the cross-border dimension, which was aided by interpersonal relations between British and Irish premiers at key stages (McCall 2014, p. 43), but also by the transnational organisation of the European Parliament (EP), in which Irish, Northern Irish, and British representatives could sit together in a neutral arena that fostered dialogue and positive cooperation. The EU tried to give an impetus to cross-border cooperation on the island because such measures held out the prospect of positive-sum politics in the North, which were outward-looking and capable of revealing

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existing and new areas of common interest between the two parts of the island (Coakley and O’Dowd 2007, p. 878). The EU’s wide range of powers (particularly those arising from EU regulations and monetary policy) had an impact on the political economy of the border region and the concept of a ‘Europe of the regions’ provided a rallying cry for those political actors who wished to foster European regionalism. In this framework, financial programmes such as Interreg and the EU Special Support Programmes for Peace and Reconciliation (PEACE)4 were introduced to provide financial incentives and a model of cooperation designed with the specific purpose to transform the borders from barriers into bridges. The Commission concretised this intention with the establishment of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) in 1975, which strengthened the development of a stronger EU Regional policy (Tannam 1999, p. 200). The empowerment of the regional level of governance stemmed from bottom-up mobilisation (Laffan and Payne 2001, p. 27) through the promotion of subsidiarity, the creation of consultative fora such as the Committee of the Regions, and the provision of funds directed not at the state as a whole but to specific units within it. Nonetheless, the legacy of the conflict, fractious community relations, and the predominance of nationalist and unionist ideological opinions in discourses on cross-border cooperation mean that the historical nuances, detail, and successes of EU initiatives implemented on the island have tended to be overlooked and even downplayed (Teague 1996; Tannam 1999; Coakley 2017). Too little has been said to interconnect crossborder cooperation and peacebuilding (Lagana 2017). Indeed, issues interconnected with cross-border cooperation initiatives established a niche for bottom-up participation in peacebuilding and underlined at the institutional level the needs the EU had to address in order to foster the peace process. This book will investigate these connections, as they have yet to be fully explored. The third storyline focuses on social and economic development as a tool for conflict transformation and amelioration. The Northern Ireland conflict has often been contextualised in the past by looking at its socioeconomic factors and the statistical data coming from both sides of the border. Accordingly, scholars (Buchanan 2014; Hayward 2016) have been concerned with providing greater conceptual and theoretical clarification of conflict transformation and conflict resolution, specifically investigating Northern Ireland from a social and economic perspective. However,

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while economic development and cross-border cooperation have been a common practice since the signing of the GFA, their role in conflict transformation and resolution and their promotion by the EU are generally under-theorised. The existing literature (Buchanan 2014; McCall 2014; Khan and Byrne 2016) has focused empirically on initiatives such as the International Fund for Ireland (IFI); the PEACE Programmes; and the Interreg programmes. The analysis of these ‘conflict transformation tools’ has been essential in grasping the substantial structure and impact prompted by the EU on peace and reconciliation in the region. Moreover, the economic investigations of these programmes have allowed the literature to highlight the relationship between poverty and structural violence. Information on what was going on behind the scenes of the EU’s decision to design its peacebuilding initiatives in the way it did is still very limited. This book will uncover this side of the story, first, by using a perspective that combines government and governance to crossborder and peacebuilding networks. Second, this book will bring into light masses of unpublished documentary sources and archives, which will be crossed with semi-structured, elite interviews. The following section elaborates on why existing political science theories are a problematic basis for developing adequate explanations and assessments of the EU’s approach to transforming the conflict and building peace in Northern Ireland.

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The European Union and Peacebuilding

The EU’s peacebuilding approach is different from that of other international actors. First, this is due to the contextual factors regarding how it has transformed internally. Secondly, it is due to how its complex institutional and multi-layered governance works and what capacities, norms, and practices the EU invokes when dealing with external situations. New alternative accounts, such as liberal intergovernmentalism, usually dominate the literature that explains how the EU’s peacebuilding approach and its ensuing security policies have overshadowed neofunctionalist spaces. In peacebuilding studies there is a tendency to avoid neo-functionalism because it can be associated with technocracy—the rule of experts and bureaucratic procedures—based on universal blueprints, privileging of external knowledge, and the imposition of frameworks for governing societies. Liberal intergovernmentalism grants more agency to

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the national preferences of member states than the EU institutions in shaping internal and external policies of peace. The dominant objectives of a ‘liberal peace’ (Philpott 2010, p. 4) are to end armed violence and establish human rights, democracy, and market economies. Its intellectual provenance resides in the liberal tradition that arose from the French Enlightenment. ‘Liberal peace’ envisions outside intervening states, state governments and oppositional factions undertaking mediation, military intervention, war settlement, disarmament, election monitoring and the creation of free government institutions, free markets, and a free media. A cardinal virtue of ‘liberal peace’ seems thus to be its finitude: when will the operation end? (Philpott 2010, p. 5) Are all of these efforts truly ones of peacebuilding? Which have been successful? Under what conditions are they successful? Such an approach is far too narrow to frame the EU role in the Northern Ireland peace process. The building of peace in Northern Ireland was wider, deeper, and more encompassing. It involved a greater array of actors, activities, levels of society, links between communities, and time horizons than the dominant thinking recognises. It involved the EU subtly promoting good governance and economic development. It involved coordinating a political process with the need to settle an ethnonational conflict and the efforts of local cultures and leaders to bring peace. It involved educating the children of the next generation so as to transform their hatred into tolerance. It involved non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and civil society. It involved combating inequalities that were embedded in the global structures of power and wealth in the six counties of Northern Ireland. The broad range of these players, practices, and periods was crucial for achieving peace, as each one of them was linked to others through cause and effect, for better or for worse. EU peacebuilding in Northern Ireland, consequently, aimed to strengthen these connexions of interdependence, accenting, deepening, and synchronising them and linking them further with the efforts of the two national governments involved with the broad project of building peace in and between the two Northern Irish communities. This particular effort can be labelled as a strategy of peace and it is not yet concluded. To grasp some specific aspects of this strategy, previous scholarship has employed notions of intergovernmentalism and, in particular, Multi-Level Governance (MLG) (Marks 1996, p. 30) to analyse the role of different actors in the development and implementation of cross-border cooperation on the island of Ireland (Laffan and Payne 2001; Murphy 2014;

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Tannam 1999). This followed a more generalised tendency, started in the 1980s, when scholars advanced hypotheses on how traditional forms of hierarchical governments were being complemented, if not displaced by, network modes of governance (Rhodes 1997; Jessop 1998, p. 32). This came also as a consequence of what might well be called the ‘age of peacebuilding’ (Philpott 2010, p. 4): an intense, diverse, and global wave of efforts to end the violence and colossal injustices of civil war, genocide, dictatorship, and large-scale poverty that required the participation of a far greater array of public and private actors. MLG is defined as ‘a system of continuous negotiation among nested governments at several territorial tiers in which supranational, national, regional, and local governments are enmeshed in territorially overarching policy networks’ (Marks 1993, pp. 402–403). This definition raises some problems of applicability to the peacebuilding effort developed in Northern Ireland by the EU. It neglects Northern Ireland’s socio-spatial structuring principles (Jessop 2016, p. 20), the autonomous role of the Republic of Ireland and the UK governments, and it ignores tangled scalar state and network hierarchies (Piattoni 2009). In addition, MLG downplays the importance of the contrasting logics of territorialisation and the complexities of governing the Northern Ireland geographical space after the signing of the GFA. It also underplays hierarchies and processes of inclusion and exclusions related to policy networks made by public and private actors, eager to take an active role in the peace process. These emerged in Northern Ireland particularly as a consequence of EU involvement in the conflict. To represent a valid alternative able to grasp the comprehensive strategy of the EU in building peace in Northern Ireland, this book investigates theoretically how governments and networks governance have both remained central within the EU strategy of peacebuilding. The analysis focuses on the fact that the community has always been studiously respectful of the independence of the two member states involved in the promotion and support of the peace process on the island. In Northern Ireland, initiatives have first privileged the position of the Irish and UK governments and only subsequently had interactions with state and nonstate actors. From here lies the need to ‘bring government back in’ (Bell and Park 2006, p. 64) when analysing governance, especially in relation to the concept of metagovernance (Sørensen 2006; Sørensen and Torfing 2009; Jessop 2010; Torfing 2012; Torfing and Triantafillou 2016), which

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includes not only government and governance, but policy networks as well (Rhodes 1997). Metagovernance emerged in the field of governance as a new approach which claims that its use, and its performativity, enables modern states and the EU to overcome problems associated with network governance (Jessop 2016). By rethinking the different premises of metagovernance and applying them to the context of peacebuilding, important theoretical insights will emerge from this book. By comprehending metagovernance as a specific type of neo-liberal governmentality in the field of peacebuilding, metagovernance and metagovernance stances can be seen as a way to respond to a networked society in its search for peace. Peacebuilding and cross-border cooperation initiatives implemented by the EU became metagovernance tools to empower public and private actors to participate actively in the peace process from the ‘bottom-up’. The ‘bottom-up’ approach, which inspired the design and implementation of the PEACE programmes, bears all the features of what John Paul Lederach (1997) called ‘peacebuilding from below’. Lederach (2005) argues that peace requires a peace process to be firmly embedded in the ‘grassroots leadership’ of the local community (Lederach 1997, p. 26). One of the key challenges for policy networks in Northern Ireland has been finding adequate and non-violent means for organising decentralised conflict amelioration responses to manage the conflict. This book argues that, to this aim, the EU provided actors and networks with a platform and resources in support of collaborative efforts towards peacebuilding in the region. It was not possible, however, to manage these new challenges simply through dialogue, partnership, or the use of EU funds. A range of knowledge, expertise, and constructive practices were also called upon when dealing with networks involved in cross-border and peace and reconciliation initiatives. Analysing these efforts through the lens of metagovernance reveals which instruments could be provided by the EU to ameliorate conflicts and how important this support can be for decentralised collaborative efforts in building peace in regions of conflict. Contrary to popular opinion, this book argues that the main achievement of the EU in building peace on the island of Ireland was one of empowering marginalised voices towards peace and reconciliation. The EU subsided policy networks and interest groups with tools to circumvent the centrality of the two nation-states involved. Through EU channels and economic initiatives, cross-border and peacebuilding

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networks established social and cultural interactions across the Irish border aimed at inclusion and horizontal connections vis-à-vis national and EU institutions.

4

Triangulation of Never-Before-Seen Archives and Oral Sources

The use of archival evidence is widely understood to be an important research tool. However, the use of archival material is still rare in political science. Archival research has long been associated with the discipline of history but in recent decades it has been growing as a vibrant qualitative research method in the social sciences, with contributions from a range of different disciplinary fields, epistemological standpoints, theoretical insights, and methodological approaches. One of the generic challenges for political science is to explain the behaviour of institutions and actors who have strong incentives to hide their real resources and motivations from outsiders (Lustick 1996, p. 610). Scholars are, in this context, forced to choose between intensively scrutinising the published material that does emerge, questioning those elites who consent to be interviewed (who may or may not be entirely frank), and inferring intentions from behaviour. Against this background, archival information can help to overcome the obstacles created by this pattern of secrecy and obfuscation. Works such as Thompson’s (1978) research on the voices of the past have been insightful not only in showing the wide range of social issues that researchers can explore through archival research but also in shaping new methodological approaches to the study of documents and political discourses (Plummer 2001). In this regard, scholars have at times questioned issues of material and discursive entanglements within archives (Tamboukou 2014), while others have discussed the techniques employed in archival research and fieldwork practice (Grant 1987, p. 27). Examples of the successful combination of these approaches are the works of Evans (1976), Thompson (1973, 1975), and O’Dochartaigh (2005, 2011). The same strategies feature in studies of memory and the legacy of the conflict in Northern Ireland (McBride 2011; McKittrick et al. 2007) and all these works show how first-hand accounts are crucial in circumstances where the written record is sparse. The various attempts to investigate the role of the EU in the Northern Ireland peace process must confront the flawed and partial nature of

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the published sources available. Nonetheless, never-before-seen archival documents exist that allow this book to offer an original and unique narrative on the story. The use of triangulation (Burnham et al. 2008, pp. 125–127) between archives and practices of oral history to complement archival sources, and to fill the gaps and address the weaknesses often featuring in archival research, produced sharp theoretical conclusions relating to EU peacebuilding. Multiple viewpoints allowed for greater accuracy and the analysis behind this book considered different kinds of data bearing on the same phenomenon in a way that was never done before. The majority of the original archival sources analysed as part of this book are held at the ‘Historical Archives of the European Parliament’. This is the official record-keeper of the institution which manages and preserves the parliament’s official public documents and other archival records dating back to 1952. All documents relating to the history of the parliament, on European integration, and on the Northern Ireland conflict are held in Luxembourg. The archival fonds5 consulted were composed of 205 documents, including motions for resolution, EP plenary debates, parliamentary questions, and fifteen reports. In addition, full access was granted to President Simone Veil’s private archives, which are organised into three series: Public Personality, Presidency of the Parliament, and Relations with the General Secretariat. The largest series is that relating to sponsorships and events, media image, assistance to private individuals, and the defence of human rights. More than forty of President Veil’s private documents and correspondence were consulted. Another fruitful source of EU/Northern Ireland-related archival evidence was the UK National Archives. In this instance, it was necessary to understand, first, the structure of the relevant departments of the British state and, second, its internal flow of paper, to identify and locate the relevant fonds. This meant stepping back from viewing the archive as a mass of sources and instead seeing them as their creators saw them— as individual cases flowing from desk to desk, or a pile of letters to be responded to (Lagana 2019, p. 7). Understanding this flow was important in choosing which departments to focus on to find the sources: the Foreign Office and the Cabinet papers. The research eventually created a collection of 342 documents. Those employed in this book are mostly related to the 1984 EP Haagerup Report. The case of the Personal Archives of the former EU Commission President, Jacques Delors, is singular. In February 2017, the Jacques Delors

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Institute in Paris opened the personal archives of its founding president to the consultation of researchers and observers interested in the history of the European Project. The archive holds a never-before-seen collection. Delors left a portion of his personal records to the Jacques Delors Institute, corresponding to his years as president of the European Commission. Among the files, it is possible to find the text of speeches and interventions made by Delors through the years, documents relating to the press and media, and preparatory notes and reports relating to high-level meetings. The material is mostly written in French. Because of past linkages with French academia, the author of this book was able to access all documents relating to president Delors’s work in Northern Ireland one month before the official opening of the archive. This cooperation between the researcher and the archivists of the Delors Institute produced a collection of 75 previously unseen documents and a detailed report of Delors’s visit to Northern Ireland in 1992. Finally, in the course of the research, the author had access to a set of very particular sources; the private archives of Hugh Logue and Roberto Speciale. Although politicians and policymakers are used to sharing details of their work and information about the organisation they work for with researchers, they are sometimes unwilling or unable to provide evidence to support their claims. The research is strengthened when interviewees are willing to support what they are saying by using private sources which are directly related (Lee 2015, p. 8). These private sources can be especially valuable in highlighting a lack of unanimity and the extent of disagreements at higher political levels or can concern private discussions between politicians and other representatives in the form of letters or forgotten newspaper articles. The fact that a senior official or politician considers a newspaper article important enough to keep it, is often an indicator of the importance of the topic the article deals with and can alert us to aspects of an issue whose importance we might not have fully appreciated. However, such precious material does not always exist. Politicians and policymakers do not often keep documents for themselves, preferring to devolve what is in their possession to public institutions and archives after their retirement. Nevertheless, some of them do create an archive of their own that they can decide whether or not to share with researchers (Lagana 2019, p. 9). Both interviewees decided spontaneously to share their evidence with the author of this book. Hugh Logue, who was accustomed to taking part in research projects on Northern Ireland due to his active past within

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the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) and within the European Commission, allowed the author to photograph a set of private letters between himself and the Deputy Secretary-General of the Delors’ Commission I and II, Carlo Trojan, concerning the design of the Special Support Programme for Peace and Reconciliation in Northern Ireland. In addition, he provided the author with copies of reports belonging to the Confederation of British Industry on the economic situation of Northern Ireland after the 1994 ceasefires and special notes made to the report of the 1994 Northern Ireland Task Force in preparation for what would become the EU programme, PEACE I. By contrast, Dr Roberto Speciale had never before been questioned regarding his role as the Head of the EU Committee on Regional Policy, on his involvement as such in Northern Ireland affairs, or on his key role in the presentation of the EU Special Support Programme for Peace and Reconciliation. The author and interviewee shared the same nationality, the same native language, and the same willingness to shed light on this undervalued facet concerning the history of the region. Dr. Speciale spent many days preparing for the interview and gathering material. The value of these sources is inestimable. Among notes related to events and the media image of the EU in Northern Ireland, the author also got access to draft speeches including instructions given by Commission members to Dr. Speciale on how to express himself when publicly addressing Northern Ireland issues (e.g. the importance of using non-contentious phrases such as ‘aggravated social and cultural disaffection’; ‘package to be accountable, democratic and inclusive’, and to avoid by any means the use of the sentence ‘ex-offenders’), and even on how to structure the seating arrangements at formal events or dinners with Northern Ireland representatives. The main accomplishment in gathering the archives and oral history was the creation of a specific narrative, chronologically organised, where material conditions and discourses intertwined. The research apparatus and the structure of this book are consequently inevitably entangled with the succession of experiences in the history of the EU peacebuilding practices in Northern Ireland. This book considers the entanglements between spaces, documents, and subjects, both material and textual. Archival research is fragmented through and through; there is always something missing because not everything found a place in an archive. This often happens because of serendipity, because of intentional selection, as well as because of specific rules and classification that allow

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certain documents of life to be preserved and others to become obscure or marginalised. For this reason, interviews are fundamental to fill the gaps and to illuminate the documentary evidence (or to produce more evidence). Through this triangular experience, this book created an archive of its own which can gradually become part of the wider fields and bodies of knowledge on EU peacebuilding.

5 Towards a More Systematic Historical and Theoretical Analysis This book aims to provide an account of the genesis of the EU’s role in the Northern Ireland peace process. It will discuss how the EU contributed to transforming the region from a site of violent ethnonational conflict to a site of peacebuilding and conflict amelioration. It will describe how the EU attempted to enhance the re-emergence, restructuring, and strategic reorientation of politics from conflict to peace, from a perspective that combines metagovernance with a specific peacebuilding viewpoint. This approach can also be related to a wider academic literature that highlights the complex and often unpredictable political change produced by the implementation of EU peacebuilding efforts in areas of conflict. The research focuses on the significance of the EU’s initiatives and policies implemented in Northern Ireland over the years. It offers insights into the potential for facilitating political change through civil society and local authority. It will historically underline how the EU facilitated this passage from governmental to grassroots levels. The experience of Northern Ireland is representative of an innovative approach on the part of the EU to support a European region in transition, not only from conflict to peace but also from centralised to decentralised status. It will demonstrate that the role of the EU in the Northern Ireland peace process was much more significant than previous studies have suggested. Through economic aid and by providing actors and policymakers from Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, and the UK with a neutral arena in which to foster dialogue and positive cooperation, the EU was able to contribute to peace. This helped to improve Anglo-Irish relations, policy processes, cross-border cooperation, economic and industrial regeneration, and empowered marginalised voices to move towards peace

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and reconciliation. However, the most critical element of the EU’s contribution to peace in Northern Ireland was that of enduring political—and not simply economic—commitment.

6

Chapters Outline

The following theoretical chapter charts the most recent and important theoretical development regarding networks: the emergence of the metagovernance approach. This framework is subsequently adapted to the genesis of the EU’s role in the Northern Ireland peace process. The discussion involves the influence that different actors have within a policy network and the context in which they act. The concept of metagovernance will show how the EU empowered public and private actors and networks to join the system of public policymaking; their number increasing with the signing of the Belfast/GFA and the establishment of the executive in Northern Ireland. These processes had, firstly, an impact upon the structure of networks as the influence that different actors have within a policy network is also dependent on their role in different phases of the policy process and on the context in which they act. Secondly, they had an impact on interactions within the network. Finally, they influenced the relations between the network and the EU. However, these three dimensions are rarely brought together. The chapter will then introduce the strategic-relational approach, with the objective of examining the mutual influence and constant interaction between the three above-described dimensions. By identifying official and ‘behind the scenes’ practices employed by the EU over the years to foster grassroots participation in peacebuilding activities in Northern Ireland, this chapter will describe, theoretically, how the EU helped facilitate substantial improvements in public rule in the region. Subsequent empirical chapters trace the genesis of the EU’s role in the Northern Ireland peace process from 1981 to 2007. Chapter three investigates the genesis of the first EU/Northern Ireland network of public actors lobbying the EC during the Northern Ireland conflict. Initially, this chapter will investigate how the newly formed public network attempted to establish the first vertical relationship between the region and the EC. Subsequently, it will investigate how this network formed its first horizontal relationship between Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to collectively steer the development and implementation of

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specific policies, which would potentially have a positive impact upon the conflict. Chapter 4 will examine a specific attempt by the EU/Northern Ireland public network to overcome the UK government’s centralism. The experience of the Haagerup Report constituted a fundamental step that contributed to shaping, in theory, all the subsequent peacebuilding and cross-border practices and programmes of the EU in Northern Ireland. Chapter 5 charts an in-depth description of the genesis of EU crossborder cooperation on the island of Ireland. Firstly, this chapter focuses on the analysis of the Interreg programme and deals with the economic issues and challenges that confronted public and private policymakers on the island. Secondly, it interconnects the creation of new political institutions within Northern Ireland, and between the North and South, with experiences of regionalism and peacebuilding. These steps are essential to analysing how processes of EU integration and association were related to peacebuilding on the island of Ireland. Chapter 6 charts an in-depth description of how the EU PEACE programmes were structured and implemented as a model for peacebuilding and regional development especially aimed at circumventing the centralism of the UK and Irish governments. Furthermore, this chapter will reflect on how the bottom-up approach, which inspired the whole administrative setting up of PEACE, was put into practice by EU Commission officials, civil servants, and by the EU/Northern Ireland network. Chapter 7 describes how the signing of the Belfast/GFA and the process of power-sharing and devolution in Northern Ireland altered the dynamics of the internal political and policy processes of the region. The re-establishment of an executive in Northern Ireland, the functioning of the North-South Ministerial Council (NSMC), and the creation of the Special European Union Programmes Body (SEUPB)—with its exclusive European remit—all impacted positively on EU cross-border and peacebuilding initiatives in the region. The concluding chapter reviews the main empirical and theoretical insights that can be derived from this extended historical analysis. After a brief review of the strategic approach of EU peacebuilding initiatives in Northern Ireland over the years, the conclusion will embed the empirical analysis into a strategic-relation heuristic. The interest in doing so resides in both, bridging an academic gap and providing an additional theoretical overview of the issues and the results of metagovernance in the field of

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EU peacebuilding. Finally, the conclusion will reiterate the significance of the EU in the Northern Ireland peace process and the significance of the Northern Ireland example for high-level institutional learning in peacebuilding. It will subsequently describe, in-depth, why metagovernance arrangements have been important in shaping EU bottom-up and topdown approaches to peacebuilding in Northern Ireland. Metagovernance included actions such as identifying key stakeholders, setting agendas, and structuring outcomes. The main achievement of the EU in overcoming issues was the subsidising of instruments to the networks to circumvent the centrality of the two nation-states involved. The EU/Northern Ireland public network (initiated by John Hume) and private cross-border and peacebuilding networks remained (and remain) dependent upon EU support. Institutions and ‘high-politics’ also owe in part their long-lasting existence to the economic and political support of the EU, which ensured their comprehensive functioning on the long-term perspective.

Notes 1. Revisions to the operation of the Northern Ireland institutions were agreed between the main Northern Ireland political parties and the British and Irish governments at St Andrews in 2006 and at Stormont House in 2014. 2. The terms EU, EEC, and EC will be consistently used in this book to indicate, respectively the ‘European Union’, the ‘European Economic Community’, and the ‘European Community’. The European Economic Community was created by the Treaty of Rome in 1957 and was a regional organisation aimed to bring about economic integration between its member states. Upon the formation of the European Union (EU) in 1993, the EEC was incorporated and renamed as the European Community. Today, the name EC is commonly used to indicate the community as it existed before the 1993 Maastricht Treaty. 3. Concepts of ‘conflict transformation’ and ‘conflict amelioration’ will be used interchangeably in this book. They attempt to capture a peacebuilding effort wherein political violence has reduced, competing ethno-nationalist political elites have entered into policymaking processes, and, crucially, where local private networks have engaged in on-going peacebuilding efforts. 4. Also commonly known as the PEACE founding, the PEACE package or the PEACE programmes. 5. In archival science, a fonds is a group of documents that share the same origin and that have occurred naturally as an outgrowth of the daily workings of an agency, individual, or organisation.

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References Aughey, A., & Gormley-Heenan, C. (2011). The Anglo-Irish agreement: Rethinking its legacy. Manchester: Manchester University Press. Bell, S., & Park, A. (2006). The problematic metagovernance of networks: Water reform in New South Wales. Journal of Public Policy, 26, 63–83. Bergmann, J., & Niemann, A. (2018). From neo-functional peace to a logic of spillover in eu external policy: A response to Visoka and Doyle. JCMS— Journal of Common Market Studies, 56(2), 420–438. Buchanan, S. (2014). Transforming conflict through social and economic development. Manchester: Manchester University Press. Burnham, P., Gilland, K., Grant, W., & Layton-Henry, Z. (2008). Research methods in politics. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Coakley, J. (2017). Resolving international border disputes: The Irish experience. Cooperation and Conflict, 52(3), 377–398. Coakley, J., & O’Dowd, L. (2007). Crossing the border: New relationships between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Naas: Irish Academic Press. Evans, G. E. (1976). From mouths of men. London: Faber & Faber. Gëzim, V., & Doyle, J. (2018). The promise and future of neo-functional peace: A Reply to Bergmann and Niemann. JCMS—Journal of Common Market Studies, 56(2), 439–445. Grant, R. (1987). Archives and interviews: A comment on oral history and fieldwork practice. Geography, 72, 27–35. Guelke, A. (1988). Northern Ireland: The international perspective. Dublin: Gill and Macmillan. Hayward, K. (2006). Reiterating national identities: The European Union conception of conflict resolution in Northern Ireland. Cooperation and Conflict, 41(3), 261–284. Hayward, K. (2011). The EU and the transformation of the Irish border. Accord: An International Review of Peace Initiatives, 22, 31–34. Hayward, K. (2016). Spaces and identities in border regions. Journal of Cross Border Studies in Ireland, 11, 121–123. Hayward, K. (2018). Brexit and Northern Ireland. In Brexit: Local and devolved government (pp. 22–23). London: ESRC UK in a Changing Europe Initiative. Hayward, K., & Murphy, C. M. (2012). The (Soft) power of commitment: The EU and conflict resolution in Northern Ireland. Ethnopolitics, 11(4), 439–452. Hayward K., & Komarova, M. (2016). Securing freedom of movement of persons on the island across an external border of the EU . Written evidence submitted to House of Commons Northern Ireland Affairs Committee: Inquiry into the Future of the Land Border with the Republic of Ireland, Queen’s University, Belfast. Hayward K., Campbell M., & Murphy R. (2017, July 11). The Irish Border as a customs frontier after Brexit. CEPS Commentary—Thinking ahead for Europe.

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Jessop, B. (1998). The rise of governance and risks of failure: The case of economic development. International Social Science, 50, 29–45. Jessop, B. (2010). Metagovernance. In M. Bevir (Ed.), The SAGE handbook of governance (pp. 106–124). London: Sage. Jessop, B. (2016). The state: Past, present, future. Cambridge: Polity. Khan, S., & Byrne, S. (2016). The role of the IFI and the EU Peace III Fund in creating sustainable peace in Northern Ireland and the border counties. Development in Practice, 26(8), 1013–1023. Laffan, B. (2005). The European context: A new political dimension in Ireland, North and South. In J. Coakley, B. Laffan, & J. Todd (Eds.), Renovation or revolution? New territorial politics in Ireland and the United Kingdom (pp. 166–184). Dublin: UCD Press. Laffan B., & Payne D. (2001). Creating living institutions: EU cross-border cooperation after the Good Friday Agreement (A Report for the Centre for Cross Border Studies). Dublin: Institute for British-Irish Studies, UCD. Available at http://www.crossborder.ie/pubs/creatingliving.pdf. (last accessed on the 16/04/2020 at 15.43 p.m). Lagana, G. (2017). A preliminary investigation on the genesis of EU cross-border cooperation on the island of Ireland. Space and Polity, 21(3), 289–302. Lagana, G. (2019). Triangulation of archival and oral sources: When political science meets history on a middle ground. Sage Research Methods Cases. https://doi.org/10.4135/9781526492913. Lederach, J. P. (1997). Building peace: Sustainable reconciliation in divided societies. Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace Press. Lederach, J. P. (2005). The moral imagination: The art and soul of building peace. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Lee, A. (2015). The library of babel problem: Hypothesis testing with archival sources (Working paper). University of Rochester. Retrieved from http://www.rochester.edu/college/faculty/alexander_lee/wp-content/ uploads/2014/07/archives.pdf. Lustick, I. S. (1996). History, historiography, and political science: Multiple historical records and the problem of selection bias. American Political Science Review, 90, 605–618. Marks, G. (1993). Structural policy and multilevel governance in the EC. In A. Cafruny & G. Rosenthal (Eds.), The state of the European community: The Maastricht debate and beyond (pp. 391–411). Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner. Marks, G. (1996). An actor-centred approach to multi-level governance. Regional and Federal Studies, 6(2), 20–38. McBride, I. (2011). The shadow of the gunman: Irish historians and the IRA. Journal of Contemporary History, 46, 686–710. McCall, C. (1999). Identity in Northern Ireland: Communities, politics and change. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

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Tamboukou, M. (2014). Archival research: Unravelling space/time/matter entanglements and fragments. Qualitative Research, 14, 617–633. Tannam, E. (1999). Cross border cooperation in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Basingstoke: MacMillan. Tannam, E. (2018). Intergovernmental and cross-border civil service cooperation: The Good Friday agreement and Brexit. Ethnopolitics (Special Issue: The Twentieth Anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement), 17 (3), 243–263. Teague, P. (1996). The European Union and the Irish peace process. Journal of Common Market Studies, 43(4), 549–570. Tocci, N. (2007). The EU and conflict resolution: Promoting peace in the backyard. London: Routledge. Todd, J. (2011). Institutional change and conflict regulation: The Anglo-Irish agreement (1985) and the mechanisms of change in Northern Ireland. West European Politics, 34(4), 838–858. Thompson, P. (1973). Voices from within. In H. J. Dyos & M. Wolff (Eds.), The victorian city (pp. 59–80). London, England: Routledge and Kegan Paul. Thompson, P. (1975). The Edwardians. London: Weidenfeld and Nicholson. Thompson, P. (1978). The voice of the past. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Torfing, J. (2012). Interactive governance advancing the paradigm. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Torfing, J., & Triantafillou, P. (2016). Enhancing public innovation by transforming public governance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

CHAPTER 2

Metagoverning Peacebuilding in Northern Ireland

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2018 marked the twentieth anniversary of the signing of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement (GFA). Northern Ireland had achieved significant improvements in the economic life and well-being of its people.1 Unemployment was at record lows, employment at an all-time high and the economy was undergoing the process of rebalancing to become led more by the private sector. Political violence had finally dissipated, and tensions generally lowered between the nationalist and unionist communities. The region had successfully overcome the global economic crisis started in 2008 and had managed to maintain peace and stability, despite sporadic political tensions. On the other hand, the political context of Northern Ireland was still volatile. The Irish language, legacy issues, and flags and symbols continued to be a thorn in the side of a never-fully implemented peace process. The Northern Ireland power-sharing Executive had been absent for years under the looming shadow of Brexit. Economic growth had slowed, and this had been attributed, at least in part, to the uncertainty generated by the Brexit referendum. However, it remained unclear whether the slowdown was a Brexit induced effect or the result of Northern Ireland’s legacy of structural economic weaknesses (Grey et al. 2018, pp. 18–19).2

© The Author(s) 2021 G. Lagana, The European Union and the Northern Ireland Peace Process, Palgrave Studies in European Union Politics, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-59117-5_2

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Given the tenuous nature of the local settlement, future peace, prosperity, and stability could be derailed at any moment by unexpected and unanticipated forces. The peace process results are still imperfect and not yet fully achieved, confirming that what Galtung (1990) labelled as a ‘negative peace’3 still prevails in Northern Ireland. The environment is unfortunately still characterised by lingering disagreements, contributing to the ongoing polarisation of the two communities (Murphy 2018, p. 3). Against this background, the most visible aspect of the EU involvement in the peace process has always been the financial support. While all actors and communities recognised and welcomed the EU’s economic commitment, the political dimension of engagement with the EU has been defined as ‘subtle’ because it did not visibly extend to a superficial level of public engagement (Hayward 2011; McCall 2014; Buchanan 2014; Murphy 2018). Instead, contrary to popular opinion, this book argues that such subtlety was one of the most important hallmarks of the EU strategy of peacebuilding to resolve the Northern Ireland conflict. Subtlety was essential for the EU role to be tolerated by the UK and the Irish governments and by the unionist community. The EU approach was aimed at co-existing with differing political perspectives, permitting a functional and pragmatic engagement with EU programmes and resources from the bottom-up, and was eventually filtered through the devolved powersharing institutions and North-South bodies after 1998. The overall objective of this strategy was to achieve a strategic and just peace4 in the region. Accordingly, this chapter aims to theoretically situate the analysis leading this book into a specific EU strategic peacebuilding framework. The examination starts by providing an overview of the meanings and practices of peacebuilding. Changes in goals, relational space, and participating actors (Jessop 2009) involved in EU peacebuilding activities imply a shift in focus from processes to networked connections. Scholars have long recognised the importance of international organisations like the EU in promoting networks of cooperation (Jacobson 1984). One of the most important features of the EU role in the Northern Ireland peace process is that of having encouraged the coming together of people and processes who would not normally come together or head in the same direction. These networks came together in the European arena and collaborated to realise a horizon of possible measures to reduce violence and advance cross-community reconciliation in the region. This feature marks the role of the EU in building peace in Northern Ireland as ‘strategic’.

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Secondly, this chapter will investigate how the EU initiated, developed, and sustained this desired transformation from conflict to peace arguing for the necessity to embed these dimensions in a strategic-relational heuristic to fully grasp their potential. The concept of metagovernance (Jessop 2009) will be then introduced into the analysis.

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Strategic Peacebuilding: An Overview

The aftermath of the Cold War presented international peacebuilding organisations and practitioners with a set of new circumstances. Regional conflicts, civil wars, ethnic cleansings, and the so-called ‘war on terror’ unfolded within the context of the technology-driven expansion of world markets, mass communication, and the rapid transfer of social and intellectual capital that marks the current phase of globalisation (Alimi et al. 2015, pp. 35–37). This new world brought with it a new horizon of possibilities and challenges peacebuilders consequently had to respond to with an ever-greater capacity for strategic thinking and action. Moreover, the proliferation of transnational social movements for global-local justice influenced peace studies scholars and practitioners to think beyond borders and to locate the causes of conflict and potential change agents both within and beyond nation-states (Lederach and Appleby 2010, p. 10). Peacebuilding initiatives consequently had to be re-oriented to adapt fully to the complex and shifting material, geopolitical, economic, and cultural reality of the increasingly globalised and interdependent world in which they were enacted (Hart 2008). Hence, a new type of peacebuilding, which was strategic, emerged. It had to draw intentionally on the overlapping and imperfectly coordinated presences, activities, and resources of various supranational, transnational, national, regional and local institutions, agencies, movements and networks that influenced the causes, expressions, and outcomes of conflict (Alimi et al. 2015, p. 40). Strategic peacebuilders had to, accordingly, take advantage of emerging and established patterns of collaboration and interdependence to reduce violence and alleviate the root causes of deadly conflicts (Schirch 2005, p. 15). They encouraged the deeper and more frequent convergence of mission, resources, expertise, insight, and benevolent self-interest that characterises the most fruitful multilateral collaborations in their cause (Schirch 2005, p. 16).

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The phrase ‘strategic peacebuilding’ requires clarity and precision. The practice of ‘strategic peacebuilding’ develops around critical questions of ‘who’ and ‘what type of processes’ will be needed to initiate, develop and sustain the desired transformation in a particular conflict context (Lederach and Appleby 2010, p. 19). In settings of deep-rooted tensions, pursuing transformation requires an alliance of key people and processes that converge in a more precise and coordinated way on the overall desired change (Lederach 1997, pp. 56–59). It requires recognising that a comprehensive effort to build sustainable peace must draw on the experiences and writings of reflective scholars and practitioners working in diverse fields of study, from Security to International Relations, History, and Sociology (Lederach and Appleby 2010, pp. 20–21). Finally, it requires a confluence of actors, competences, and resources. For the purpose of this book, peacebuilding is consequently defined as a set of complementary theories and practices aimed at transforming societies divided by violent political conflict, inequality, and other systemic forms of injustice, into a reconciled humanity, oriented towards forging a strategic peace. A strategic peace is at the same time comprehensive, interdependent, and sustainable and is defined as a process whereby peace and justice are reached together at the institutional and civil society level. European peacebuilding was built on these premises in the aftermath of the Second World War; the EU itself being one of the most successful peace processes on earth (Laffan 2016, p. 162). The EU’s potential to contribute to conflict prevention and peacebuilding is said to be particularly promising, given the unique mix of instruments that the Community can bring to these situations (Blockmans et al. 2010). One of its main features is to be particularly concerned with nurturing constructive human relationships among conflicted people (Deutsch and Coleman 2000, pp. 64–65). To be relevant, EU-sponsored peacebuilding initiatives have had to be strategically selective (Hay 2014), encompass every level of society, and be implemented across all potentially polarising lines of ethnicity, class, religion, and race (Schirch 2005, p. 12). Strategic EU peacebuilders have had to embrace complexity and be aware of (within any given situation or issue that they practically approached) all the strategically selective (Hay 2014) elements to address in order to reduce violence, change destructive patterns of inclusion and exclusion, and build new healthy relationships and structures to enact them.

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The above-described features translate into practice in at least three distinctive hallmarks, which constitute the tangible marks of EUsponsored peacebuilding practices in conflict and post-conflict contexts. These include, first, the cultivation of interdependence as a social and political background for the effective pursuit of good governance and economic prosperity. Second, the increasing coordination and integration of EU resources, programmes, practices, and processes with national governments, local authorities, and private policy networks. Finally, the promotion of communication across sectors and levels of society in the service, comprising as many voices and actors as possible in the reform of institutions and the repair or creation of partnerships conducive to the common good. These three hallmarks need to be precisely situated into the genesis of the Northern Ireland relationship with the EU in order to fully grasp the entirety of the strategic peacebuilding approach adopted to foster peace and positive cross-community relations.

3 Strategic Peacebuilding in Northern Ireland: Interdependent and Integrated The EU peacebuilding strategy for Northern Ireland needed to envision a form of transformation which would include, respect, and promote the human and cultural resources from within the Northern Irish setting (O’Dowd and McCall 2008, pp. 83–84). At the same time, it had to take into account the fact that the people and the environment could not be seen as the problem and the ‘outsider’ as the answer. Rather, the long-term goal of transformation demanded that EU initiatives, as agents of change, took as the primary task of accompaniment the validation of the people’s identities and the expansion of resources within the setting (McCall and Itçaina 2017, p. 264). The Northern Irish setting was neither stable nor fixed and that situation put the two national governments of the Republic of Ireland and the UK under increasing pressure over the years. From ‘below’, local communities and grassroots movements asked for a change. From ‘across’, demands came from cross-border networks and regional authorities for additional forms of regional autonomy, or for a more certain guarantee that the status of the region, as part of the UK, would not be changed. In addition, the nationalist community was vocal in its demands

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for an all-Ireland dimension to be implemented as it seemed more suitable to represent comprehensively the interests of the community and the specificities of the border region. The EU had to come from ‘above’ to find new channels to connect the multiplicity of actors involved and to initiate original strategies that allowed it to become more involved in Northern Irish affairs. The question that EU peacebuilders asked themselves at this point was; ‘how do we build a movement for reconciliation, while at the same time empowering the voice and capacity of the Northern Ireland nationalist and unionist communities?’ (interview with Carlo Trojan, Former Secretary-General of the Delors’ Commission I and II and Head of the 1994 Northern Ireland Task Force, The Hague, 29/01/2016). It was, accordingly, clear to EU officials and policymakers that any involvement in attempting to resolve or transform the conflict required more than conflict management, reduction of violence, and agreement on political issues. Addressing simultaneously, social justice issues, ending the violent conflict, and building healthy cooperative cross-community relationships in Northern Ireland and between North and South was a complex and massive task. Nonetheless, all these processes were interrelated most fundamentally at the local level. ‘Even when violence originated and occurred at the national, international, and regional levels, its impact was felt most keenly and directly in Belfast and Derry’s neighbourhoods, small towns, and, sometimes, in border villages’ (interview with Carlo Trojan, 29/01/2016). The EU, as agent of peacebuilding, could not move too quickly beyond the most immediate concern of community or regional actors. This would have meant violating the principle of subsidiarity and undermining selective scalar hierarchies. ‘It would have undermined any hope of a genuine resolution and transformation of the conflict’ (interview with Carlo Trojan, 29/01/2016). In addition, EU peacebuilders and regional and private actors could not replace political and public agents who, operating at the local level, would interpret agreements and prepare society for their implementation and the transition called for by the agreements. Hence, the EU peacebuilding strategy needed to call for the active participation of a multiplicity of actors originating from, and working at, all levels of Northern Ireland society (and with different capacities and areas of expertise). None of the actors involved, considered in isolation from the others, was able to provide the conditions for a sustainable and comprehensive peace. Their collective efficacy could, nevertheless,

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increase if they worked together, which was when their operations were interdependent and coordinated to some degree. All relevant public, private, and regional actors had different resources to bring to the design and implementation of these strategies (political power, money, expertise, local knowledge, and information to bear on negotiations). In addition, all these actors needed to be intertwined by networked connections.

4

Peacebuilding Policy Networks

Since the 1980s, there has been a perception that traditional forms of hierarchical government are being complemented, if not displaced, by network modes of governance (Rhodes 1997; Jessop 2009, p. 32). Scholars (Lehmbruch 1984; Van Waarden 1992; Bevir and Richards 2009) applied the term ‘networks’ to describe interconnected actors and organisations, comprising economic associations, governments, the public administration, non-governmental organisations, civil society groups, and the parties in parliament. Interconnections between actors in the network and among different networks have been described as established through ‘junction points’ (Bevir and Richards 2009, p. 135), joint committees or, more durably, through overlapping memberships, in particular at the leadership level. Typical for these types of relations is a more enduring linkage pattern based on the interdependence of the various actors: politicians, bureaucrats, and interest representatives (Klijn and Koppenjan 2012, pp. 590–591). For example, administrators need political support, legitimacy, information, coalition partners in their competition with other sections of the bureaucracy. They also need assistance in the implementation of public policy. Interest groups, on the other hand, desire access to public policy elaboration and implementation, and concessions in their interests or those of their constituency. These different needs motivate and produce exchanges or transactions. When repeated regularly, these exchanges may become institutionalised in network structures (Klijn and Koppenjan 2012, p. 593). Such structures constrain the successive options open to the actors—and in time may even influence the structure of the participating network (Bevir and Richards 2009, p. 140). Hence, the concept of ‘policy network’ designates public and private relations (Van Waarden 1992, p. 31) established among actors within and across the networks in elaborating, participating, and implementing public policy.

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This book will distinguish two dimensions of relations and interdependency intervening within and across the networks in the implementation of cross-border cooperation. Interactions exist ‘front’ and ‘back’ stage (Ayres and al. 2017, p. 861). At front stage, the networks’ actors are visible to the audience and have to stay in role. Public officials are observable and accountable as office holders in elected bodies and are constrained by established bureaucratic rules, codes of conduct, and public scrutiny. ‘Back stage’ describes the world of complex decisionmaking where public officials, actors, and interest groups are hidden from public scrutiny and can engage in negotiations less constrained by formal rules. Backstage, actors can relax from their roles, step out of character, and work within and across their networks to prepare and negotiate strategically in order to gain a more active front stage role. Backstage, the EU provides policy networks with a neutral space in which jointly addressing public problems by informal procedures and within informal structures. The objective is to realise a horizon of possible measures within, across, and above the usual formal channels provided by national governments. In this framework, all relevant actors in the networks can bring different resources to the design and implementation of peace. The EU is generally essential in promoting communication across sectors and levels of society. Policy networks and network analysis have been extensively deployed in the analysis of EU-sponsored peacebuilding initiatives because networks play a central role in the development and implementation of EU programmes (Börzel 1998). Hence, scholars turn to networks to examine the structure of cross-border and peacebuilding arrangements and their influence on policymaking (Blatter 2003; Perkmann 2007). The making (and implementation) of public policy through networks implies interdependence, mutual adjustment, patterned resource exchange, and formal and informal rules of the game. Governance mechanisms resulting from networked connections are regarded as capable of bringing together powerful stakeholders and allowing for a smoother implementation of public policy (or, in this case, peacebuilding initiatives) since they are typically characterised by informality and the pre-empting of legislation (Héritier and Lehmkuhl 2010, p. 133), consensus-orientation and deliberation (Ansell et al. 1997, p. 544), shared interests, and the pooling of resources (Kooiman 2000; Pierre and Peters 2000, p. 25). Networks are not necessarily neutral and empowering structures. They affect the ability of individuals to pursue their interests as the linkages of networks provide a central position and influence for some but at the

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same time disadvantage others (Durand and Nelles 2014; Metzger and Schmitt 2012; Perkmann 2007; Sohn 2014). Studies exist which highlight that, instead of viewing networks as complements to traditional forms of public rule, we should regard them as undermining democratic institutions and the ability of public administration to implement democratic decisions and deliver public goods (Larsson 2013). Networks and individual participants may have an unwarranted influence on public policy, insofar as networks do not live up to the democratic ideals of representation, transparency, and accountability (Weale 2011; Follesdal 2011; Hazenberg 2013). Powerful actors can even halt or distort the implementation of public policies (Marsh 2011), and in this respect, networks threaten to undermine the state and its democratic institutions rather than function as a complement to them. Fostering the participation of multiple actors and networks in peace processes—through specific peacebuilding initiatives—also presents advantages and disadvantages. Scholars have largely investigated the importance of networks in implementing peacekeeping initiatives and in peace-making mechanisms (Galtung 1990; Galtung and Jacobsen 2002). Others have emphasised the importance of the bottom-up approach to decentralise social and economic structures, while fostering grassroots dialogue (Richmond 2016). The ensuing societal shift seems promising in accompanying societies from structures of coercion and violence to a culture of peace (Lederach 1997). However, the fact that peacebuilding policy networks (Delaney et al. 2017; Kilroy and Basini 2018) have a ‘[…] significant autonomy from the state’ (Rhodes 1997, p. 17) and are ‘self-regulating’ (Rhodes 1997, p. 18) poses problems to national governments. Networks are difficult to control, suffer from coordination problems concerning the participating actors (Scharpf 1994), and their participation in processes of public peacebuilding is considerably limited. In Northern Ireland, for example, networks involved in cross-community peacebuilding activities tried sometimes to keep problems related to cross-community reconciliation off the agenda (interview with Patrick Colgan, former chief executive of the Special EU Programmes Body and Senior Adviser for the Government of Ireland in Colombia, Dublin, 10/05/2016). In addition, there were instances where the Irish and British governments refused to support key-networks’ strategies and decisions related to cross-border cooperation (interview with Patrick Colgan, Dublin, 10/05/2016). Instances like those described above produced a

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considerable negative social energy, which impacted on the effectiveness of EU peacebuilding mechanisms. To sum up, in most settings the effort to validate and empower policy networks, even while calling the global community to become a transparent and robust force for peace, requires that strategic peacebuilding efforts pay close and careful attention to the demands for justice, to national sovereignty, and to ensure that peacebuilding operations fulfil their potential by leading societies to the threshold of a strategic peace. The question is; how is this possible and by which means?

5

Metagovernance in the Field of Peacebuilding

The fact that policy networks regularly fail to sustain processes that serve positive public purposes motivated scholars to find new approaches to be able to address the spatial dimension, national sovereignty, and the positive aspects of networks in national and international contexts. The concept of metagovernance—defined as ‘third-order governance’ that involves the art of governing more or less self-regulating governance arenas that are producing concrete acts of governance—emerged in this context at the beginning of the 1990s (Kooiman 1993). Since the beginning of the new millennium, it has become a frequently used term (Jessop 1998, 2002; Kooiman 2003; Sorensen and Torfing 2007; Meuleman 2008; Torfing and Triantafillou 2016; Lagana 2017). Metagovernance has been defined as the ‘government of governance’ (Jessop 2016b, p. 13) as it encompasses all activities in which governments and policy networks are heavily implicated. It offers a decentralised view of government as it can be performed ‘not only by state actors but also by various networks of public and private actors and a whole range of supranational, regional, and local levels in the formal political system’ (Sørensen 2006, p. 102). The definition of metagovernance as the ‘government of governance’ implies that networks, or other forms of governance, do not simply emerge, but that they require reflexive choices, understanding, and management (Torfing et al. 2012, p. 130). Hence, the concept of metagovernance enables us to outline the new and emerging ways of governing interactive forms of governance in order to bring out their inherent potential for enhancing the efficient, effective, and democratic governance of increasingly complex and fragmented societies. Perhaps more importantly, the concept of metagovernance helps to understand the role of the EU in the world of conflict and post-conflict

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interactive governance by providing a linking concept that connects traditional forms of government with new forms of governance (Torfing et al. 2012) in peacebuilding activities. Such an account and applicability of metagovernance to the field of strategic peacebuilding has never been seriously considered before. Networks are presented by the metagovernance approach as necessary and desirable, given the complexity of contemporary public problems, insofar as they offer new ways to incorporate private actors in public rule and thereby lead to a decentring of the political power. The idea in this regard is that metagovernance should be employed by institutions, politicians, and private actors, with the aim of addressing the democratic deficits of networks. From this perspective, metagovernance can provide a ‘democratic anchorage’ for governance networks by reconnecting them to elected politicians and public authorities (Sorensen and Torfing 2007, p. 5). Metagovernance is concerned with managing and ‘harvesting’ the positive aspects of networks (Jessop 2009, p. 55) as well as finding the proper ways in which to steer them without destroying the dynamics of network governance itself. As such, ‘it requires a carefully calibrated combination of different metagovernance tools’ (Sorensen and Torfing 2007, p. 252). It is important to stress that metagovernance is not the only way of ensuring the democratic anchorage of governance networks, but it is an important one since the oversight of elected politicians enhances the democratic legitimacy of interactive governance in peace processes. In this context, it is essential not to paint a picture of two weak and impotent nation-states that were rendered powerless by the advent of new forms of decentred governance and by the role of the EU. The UK and the Republic of Ireland states were not ‘hollowed out’ by the EU since traditional state powers were still in place to counterbalance new powers developing in the face of the challenges from the surge of networks, partnerships, and other kinds of collaborative governance in which the state was merely one among many actors. Hence, rather than seeing ‘government’ and ‘governance’ as partaking in a zero-sum game in which the latter can only expand at the expense of the former, it should be envisaged that, rather than government being marginalised, it is being transformed by the development of new forms of interactive governance. This also applies to the peacebuilding framework.

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The concept of metagovernance is consequently important for understanding this transformation of the nation-state from a sovereign lawmaker and regulator to a semi-sovereign facilitator and enabler of peace. Governments are still in charge of running the large-scale bureaucracies that regulate social and economic life and provide services to the citizens, but they are also helped to facilitate, manage, direct, and institutionalise interactive forms of governance. In a way, metagovernance offers a means for governments to loosen the reins without losing control. In Northern Ireland, metagovernance enabled the EU and EU officials and policymakers to use subtle and indirect means to influence the form, functioning, and outcomes of peacebuilding public processes in a situation where traditional forms of imperative rule through command and imposition would either make the actors leave the network or create fierce resistance. In other words, metagovernance was a tool that the EU used to exercise soft power in a pluricentric context in the search for peace. There are, accordingly, three EU peacebuilding features that are visible in Northern Ireland. These are based on the definition given at the beginning of this chapter. First, through metagovernance strategies and metagovernance tools, the EU was able to cultivate interdependence as a social and political context between the Irish and UK governments on Northern Ireland-related matters. It did so by providing political actors from Ireland, Northern Ireland, and the UK with a neutral arena in which to foster dialogue and positive cooperation—the European Parliament (EP). The EU facilitated bilateral discussions between the UK and Irish governments at key stages of the Northern Ireland peace process, which contributed to the effective pursuit of good governance and economic prosperity. Second, from the late 1980s and through the implementation of cross-border cooperation initiatives, the EU fostered increasing coordination and integration between EU resources, programmes, practices, and processes with national governments, local authorities, and private policy networks. Principles such as partnership, joint management, and the ‘bottom-up approach’ entered the realm of the European integration process and produced effects of conscious mobilisation efforts (McCall 2014) and the intertwining of territorial and scalar orders (Jessop et al. 2008) in Northern Ireland. EU cross-border and peacebuilding initiatives thus became a tool to empower Northern Ireland public and private policy networks’ active participation (Brunet-Jailly 2005; Ernste et al. 2009; Konrad 2015) in the peace process. Finally, through metagovernance, the EU promoted communication across sectors and levels of

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society, comprising as many voices and actors as possible, in the reform of institutions and the repair, or creation of, partnerships conducive to the common good. It did so by being concerned, at the same time, to find a democratic anchorage for peacebuilding networks in order to studiously respect the autonomous role of the two nation-states involved and their national sovereignty. This was not a perfect process and it is not yet concluded. For example, time has been considered a stumbling block for several well-intended EU initiatives and strategies (Buchanan 2008) implemented in Northern Ireland. The robust definition of peacebuilding advocated in this chapter incorporates the lessons of experience learned from interventions (or non-interventions) in major events punctuating the conflict. It is, consequently, important to underline the critical significance of getting the timing and the duration of the interventions right. In some instances, a lack of clarity about goals, or on how to deal with the centrality and centralism of the Irish and UK governments, ‘clouded’ the role of the EU. In addition, everyone needs to be aware that a comprehensive and sustainable approach to ending violence in deeply divided societies takes significantly more time and commitment than governments and intergovernmental agencies typically allot (Lederach and Appleby 2010, p. 8). A critical element of the relationship of Northern Ireland with the EU was that the EU was able to adapt its strategy to the ever-changing context of Northern Ireland, redirecting its policies in order to positively respond to ‘top-down’ and ‘bottom-up’ requests. The power of such enduring commitment offers a great example for lesson-learning in an evolving approach to peacebuilding that may be replicated elsewhere.

6 Metagovernance as a Tool to Exercise Soft Power in a Pluricentric Context in Search for Peace Having demonstrated the analytical and political value of metagovernance, this chapter shall now turn to consider the objectives pursued by metagovernance, the tools that can be used when aiming to metagovern peacebuilding, and the different forms that the exercise of metagovernance to achieve a strategic peace can take. Metagovernance can serve many different purposes and may have different goals. The immediate purpose of metagovernance in the field

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of peacebuilding can be to recruit relevant and affected actors, provide the conditions for stable interaction, enhance collaboration, resolve, or mediate conflicts among relevant actors, ensure goal achievement, and prevent unwarranted cost-shifting. In Northern Ireland, the EU as the metagovernor, sought to influence the form, functioning, and outcomes of governance networks in order to realise a broad range of normative goals such as reconciliation, efficiency, policy innovation, equity, and mobilisation of resources from the private sector. Some of these goals were conflicting and gave rise to serious trade-offs. For example, ensuring equal participation in peacebuilding initiatives for a broad range of actors from both Northern Irish communities sometimes impeded the effective governance and coordination of peacebuilding operations. It slowed down the decision-making process and enhanced the risk of disagreements. When it comes to the tools of metagovernance, the existing literature distinguishes several generic instruments (Torfing 2016, p. 531). The specific tools of metagovernance that the EU employed in its peacebuilding strategy for Northern Ireland were instrumental actions and initiatives aimed at achieving particular results and solving emerging problems in interactive arenas. The barriers to strategic and collaborative peacebuilding involving diverse networks could then be mitigated and the drivers could be enhanced through the deployment of different tools, which fall into four categories (Sorensenand Torfing 2007). Firstly, the EU designed rules, norms, and procedures which determined the scope, character, and composition of networks and their participation in peacebuilding initiatives (described in the elaboration and negotiation phases of Interreg and the PEACE programmes, for example, and improved in different rounds of funds) as well as their governance mechanisms (specified in the implementation phases of the operations). Second, the EU steered the goals and frameworks of peacebuilding which gave direction to the initiatives and facilitated systematic auditing by allocating resources, defining the overall objectives, specifying the legal parameters, and constructing the discursive storyline that framed the problems and the possible solutions. Third, the EU managed the operations aimed at facilitating collaboration and ensuring progress towards goal achievement by means of strengthening the relations of mutual dependence, resolving networks’ internal and external conflicts, building trust, selectively empowering particular actors, and lowering the transaction costs

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from networking. Finally, through direct participation and vertical relations, the EU sought to influence the agenda, the decision-making premises, and the negotiated solutions, mainly through argumentation and coalition-building taking place within the European institutions. These four elements were a mix of ‘hands-off’ and ‘hands-on’ metagovernance (Torfing 2016, p. 532) which brought the role of the EU as the metagovernor into relatively close interaction with the participants in the European and national networked arenas.

7 Putting It All Together: A Strategic-Relational Approach Looking at the EU peacebuilding strategy to address the Northern Ireland conflict from the perspective of metagovernance allows this book to investigate the genesis of EU peacebuilding practices in the region as an ensemble of social relations with differential strategic effects on local institutions and people. This means that the EU will not be considered as a neutral coordinator of different Northern Irish social and peacebuilding interests. Nor will it be examined as a mere autonomous, corporate peacebuilding actor with its own bureaucratic goals. Rather, what the EU is, and what it could achieve in the field of peacebuilding, will be investigated as essentially determined by how strong the Irish and UK governments wanted it to be, and by the nature of the wider social relations among the people of Northern Ireland. The balance of social forces and their engagement at the EU level will be a fundamental factor to be accounted for. EU peacebuilding strategies can thus have various natures, respond to different apparatuses, and respect various boundaries according to their historical and geographical developments—as well as the specific contextual conjunctures in which they are enacted. One of these apparatuses is, as called by Jessop (1990), the nation-state(s)’ structural selectivity. Jessop claims that state structures ‘offer unequal chances to different forces within and outside that state to act for different political purposes’ (Jessop 1982, p. 37). However, there is a strategic limit to this variation in peacebuilding imposed by the given balance of forces in conflict at specific times and spaces. Secondly, it is necessary to consider that EU peacebuilding has differential effects on various political strategies of peace and on different peacebuilding networks empowered by the EU. In a way, some are more privileged than others, but at the same time it is

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the interaction between these strategies and between actors and networks that results in the real exercise of peace fostered by the EU. This approach is called the ‘strategic-relational approach’ (Jessop 1990). The strategic-relational approach will ultimately allow this book to encapsulate all the analysed dimensions and features of strategic peace— and their genesis—into an original and internationally adaptable EU peacebuilding strategy. It provides the final framework to study the impact of the EU on violent conflicts. While it acknowledges that the EU provides opportunities and constraints (Bourne 2003; Fleurke and Willemse 2006), it emphasises that these are not uniform but relate to the realisation of policy networks’ specific interests. While a focus on structures provides a common point with network and governance approaches (Rhodes 1997; Kohler-Koch and Eising 1999), which both investigate how patterns of relationships accommodate and affect policymaking, the strategic-relational approach shifts attention to the interaction between contextual structures and strategies of peace. Therefore, it allows the focus to shift to how peacebuilding actors and networks respond to externally implemented peacebuilding initiatives. Opportunities support the realisation of policy networks’ interests, while constraints hinder it. In this context, structures are ‘strategically selective’ (Hay 2014). They enhance or limit the realisation of different actors’ interests and privilege some interests, resources, and strategies, while they disadvantage others (Jessop 1990, p. 10). Opportunities and constraints also differ over time and space (Jessop 1996, p. 124). Consequently, an EU-specific peacebuilding strategy represents an interest and a strategy-specific constellation of opportunities and constraints at a certain time and a certain place. The strategic-relational approach assumes that peacebuilders act strategically; they conduct conscious actions and strategies that serve the realisation of specific societal interests. This focus on civil society and the role played by it is always central for the EU. Hence, the interests of local populations provide the motivation for the EU to build a strategic peace. As actors and policy networks are aware of acting against a background of opportunities and constraints, they base their interests and strategies on an observation of the material context (Jessop 1990, p. 266). However, this context is extremely complex. No single actor can capture all the rules, resources, institutions, and actions that make it up. Therefore, actors employ ideas which serve as a filter and allow them to select from among the many possible observations and actions (Jessop 2008, pp. 234–235). At the same time, actors define and redefine

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their ideas according to external ideational influences and their experiences with the material context (Jessop 1990, pp. 299–300; Hay 2001). Consequently, it is neither a rational examination of the context nor ideas alone that guide peacebuilding but a dialectical combination of both. As interests and strategies are based on this interplay, both change when ideas and the material context change. The interest represented by a peacebuilding network follows the configuration of ideas and interests among the different forces: for example, interest groups, the electorate, politicians, and civil servants and processes of transnational networks formation. The mutual interaction between structures and actors shapes ideas, interests, and strategies. Not only ideas or strategies but structures too follow this interplay. EU Peacebuilders can design and transform the structure of a peacebuilding initiative to facilitate the realisation of interests. The power to influence structures differs over time and space. The EU may change its spatial focus to shape opportunities and constraints at another scale (Jessop 1996, pp. 125–126) or link territories through cross-border cooperation. It may also mobilise strategic resources that enable networks to exert leverage (Hay 2001). Moreover, power over structures changes with the layer of context structuration. A given structure consists of different layers that are accessible to some and less accessible to others (Hay 2014). The different layers interact with each other but also with the ideas, interests, and strategies (Bartley 2011) of the governments involved. In sum, through the strategic-relational approach, this book provides a comprehensive framework to study the mutual interaction between strategies and structures in the relationship between policy networks and the EU in the field of peacebuilding. It takes into account that opportunities and constraints are differential, interest- and strategy-specific. It investigates and summarises the material and ideational factors that interact in policy networks’ responses to peacebuilding and cross-border initiatives. The emphasis does not lie on a separation between structure and strategy but on the constant interplay of both in producing specific outcomes.

8

Conclusion

This chapter established the theoretical lens through which this book will investigate the role of the EU in the Northern Ireland peace process. It placed the concept of metagovernance at the centre of a strategic peacebuilding approach to describe how the EU attempted to steer, redirect,

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and re-orient policies from conflict to peace. Metagovernance grasped how interests and politics—expressed and represented in the framework of the EU strategic peacebuilding initiatives implemented in Northern Ireland—were linked to the territorial jurisdictions involved. Irish and Northern Irish peacebuilding networks emerged as a consequence of EU involvement in the peace process. They were built on metagovernance arrangements in order to shape EU ‘bottom-up’ and ‘top-down’ approaches as an opportunity structure. They influenced the direction of change and the EU peacebuilding operations in Northern Ireland. They were the representation of clearly demarcated scales and boundaries that they reproduced through different territorial and scalar logics. Against this backdrop, EU-sponsored peacebuilding initiatives implemented in Northern Ireland over the years met with real-life experiences of people. While networks were shaped and limited by territories and ‘borders in the minds’, territories and the interdependence cultivated by the EU followed overlapping and interconnected relations. Relational and territorial aspects of the EU peacebuilding role in the Irish peace process produced a picture of competing, contradicting, and overlapping projects, which have to eventually find ways to cohabit in a new peaceful Northern Irish society. This theoretical analysis—and the following empirical analysis leading this book—illustrates how the EU strategy of peacebuilding in Northern Ireland was comprehensive. The principle committed the EU to develop a lens that would facilitate a view of the overall picture of needs, actions, vision, and design—the architecture of the EU peacebuilding strategy. Second, it demonstrates how EU peacebuilding was interdependent. It was connected to the nature and quality of relationships. It was a system of interconnected people, roles, and activities; no one person, activity, or level was capable of designing and delivering peace on its own. All these elements were linked and mutually affected one another. EU interdependent peacebuilding initiatives sought to build the relationships necessary for pursuing and sustaining the desired change. In specific terms, this meant developing processes and initiatives that linked and related dissimilar concerns and activities, and that attempted to forge relationships between people who were not like-minded. Third, EU peacebuilding in Northern Ireland was architectonic. It paid attention to territory, design, and infrastructures. It included the necessity to provide social spaces, logistical mechanisms, and institutions necessary for supporting the processes of change engendered to pursue a strategic peace through

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cross-border and cross-community cooperation. The foundations were, in this instance, the people of Northern Ireland, their relationships, and the social spaces needed to support the processes of change from division and violence to increased ownership and responsibility for the building of peace. Infrastructure created the platform that enabled processes to weather the immediate intensity of permanently emerging crises while pursuing with patience the slow, long-term desired change. Fourth, the EU strategy for peacebuilding in Northern Ireland was sustainable. The above theoretical analysis—and the chapters six and seven of this book— emphasise the long-term concern of operations and initiatives. Rather than thinking only in terms of immediate effective responses to issues and crises, sustainability required the EU to think in terms of what creates ongoing capacity within the setting for responding to and transforming recurring cycles of conflict and crisis. Finally, EU peacebuilding in Northern Ireland was integrative. This principle pushed beyond the most visible aspect of economic commitment and required situating EU peacebuilding initiatives in terms of how they linked immediate needs with the desired vision of change. Striving for the integration of people divided by political violence and conflict raises analytic inquiries to the level of the strategic ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘where’ and ‘how’ of any peacebuilding initiative implemented by the EU. Chapter three starts the empirical analysis of this book. It will describe the genesis of the first EU/Northern Ireland network of public and private actors. It will explore how this network lobbied the Community at a key stage of the Northern Ireland conflict and will investigate the first strategic response of the EU in this context.

Notes 1. The island of Ireland contains two jurisdictions: Northern Ireland, which is part of the UK, and the Republic of Ireland. For the purpose of clarity, these terms will be used throughout. References to the island of Ireland relate to the entire island and the two jurisdictions. 2. For more information, please visit https://www.community-relations. org.uk (last accessed on 13/02/2020 at 12.02 p.m.). 3. According to Galtung, peace research is research into the conditions for moving closer to peace or at least not drifting closer to violence. Thus a ‘negative peace’ is ‘the absence of violence, the absence of war’, and positive peace is ‘the integration of human society’ (1964, p. 2).

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4. Allan and Keller posit that the concept of ‘Just Peace’ should be defined as a process whereby peace and justice are reached together by two or more parties recognising each other’s identities, each renouncing some central demands, and each accepting to abide by common rules jointly developed (2006, p. 124).

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Lederach, J. P. (1997). Building peace: Sustainable reconciliation in divided societies. Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace Press. Lederach, J. P., & Appleby, S. R. (2010). Strategic peacebuilding: An overview. In D. Philpott & G. Powers (Ed.), Strategies of peace (pp. 1–30). Oxford: Oxford University Press. Lehmbruch, G. (1984). Concertation and the Structure of Corporatist Networks. In J. Goldthorpe (Ed.), Order and Conflict in Contemporary Capitalism (pp. 60–80). Oxford: Clarendon Press. Marsh, D. (2011). The new orthodoxy: The differentiated polity model. Public Administration, 89(1), 32–48. McCall, C. (2014). The European Union and peacebuilding: The cross-border dimension. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Murphy, M. C. (2018). Europe and Northern Ireland’s future: Negotiating Brexit’s unique case. London: Agenda Publishing. McCall, C., & Itçaina, X. (2017). secondary foreign policy activities in third sector cross-border cooperation as conflict transformation in the European Union: The cases of the Basque and Irish borderscapes. Regional and Federal Studies, 27 (3), 261–281. Metzger, J., & Schmitt, P. (2012). ‘When soft spaces harden: The EU strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. Environment and Planning A, 44(2), 263–280. Meuleman, L. (2008). Public management and the metagovernance of hierarchies, networks and markets: The feasibility of designing and managing governance style combinations. The Hague: Physica. O’Dowd, L., & McCall, C. (2008). Escaping the cage of ethno-national conflict in Northern Ireland: The importance of transnational networks. Ethnopolitics, 7 (1), 81–100. Perkmann, M. (2007). Construction of new territorial scales: A framework and case study of the EUREGIO cross-border region. Regional Studies, 41(2), 253–266. Pierre, J., B., & Peters, G. B. (2000). Governance, politics and the state. Basingstoke: Palgrave Mcmillan. Rhodes, R. (1997). The New governance: Governing without government (pp. 652–667). XLIV: Political Studies. Richmond, O. (2016). Peace formation and political order in conflict affected societies. Mediterranean Politics, 22(2), 1–22. Scharpf, F. W. (1994). Games real actors could play: Positive and negative coordination in embedded negotiations. Journal of Theoretical Politics, 6(1), 27–53. Schirch, L. (2005). The little book of strategic peacebuilding—A vision and framework for peace with justice. Brattleboro: Skyhorse Publishing. Sohn, C. (2014). Modelling cross-border integration: The role of borders as a resource. Geopolitics, 19(3), 587–608.

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CHAPTER 3

The Genesis of the First European Union/Northern Ireland Peacebuilding Network

1

Introduction

In the early 1980s, the European Parliament (EP) was the sole forum where elected representatives from both parts of Ireland, and the UK, could sit and work together, thereby taking the edge off their conflicting views about Northern Ireland. Organised in political groups rather than national delegations, the EP established itself as the first political arena where actors could overcome some of the usual obstacles to engagement associated with the Northern Ireland conflict. The evolution of the EP, after its first direct election in 1979, was also influential in generating interdependence, transnational relations, and common goals among political actors. These processes are at the basis of the first EU/Northern Ireland policy networks’ formation. Scholars have always considered the EP’s powers to be too limited (Tsebelis 1994, p. 134; Boyron 1996, p. 301; Crombez 1996, p. 206). The Parliament was born as a forum composed of delegations from national parliaments in 1952. Before 1979 it was merely consulted on a small range of legislative proposals prior to their adoption by the Council, the institution that defines the EU’s overall political direction and priorities. It is the Council that sets the policy agenda, traditionally by adopting ‘conclusions’ during European Council meetings, which identify issues of concern and actions to take. Changes in the Parliament’s dynamics of power came about incrementally. In 1979, the EP was elected by universal © The Author(s) 2021 G. Lagana, The European Union and the Northern Ireland Peace Process, Palgrave Studies in European Union Politics, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-59117-5_3

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suffrage for the first time, with consequent greater democratic legitimacy and greater public debate on European issues. The success it gathered in fighting for its powers brought added value to the scrutiny of EU legislation and policymaking through which it was also possible to subtly impact on EU member states’ domestic issues. The combination of these elements created a positive environment for actors to establish networked connections. The development of such horizontal arrangements between multiple public and private actors was facilitated by the fact that the then European Economic Community (EEC) had already assumed an initial role of metagovernor and thus refrained from applying more traditional forms of hierarchical control to its policy processes and its internal scalar hierarchies. Indeed, metagovernance involved, at this stage, deliberate attempts to facilitate, manage, and direct more or less self-regulating processes of network formation and interactive governance, without reverting to traditional statist styles of government in terms of bureaucratic rule-making and imperative command within the Community (Torfing and Sørensen 2011, p. 860). Accordingly, this chapter’s main undertaking is to analyse the EP’s political milieu and the interactions of European and Northern Irish actors within that space. In this early stage, membership of the EEC produced a need for a governance reform, which amplified uncertainty. Northern Irish and Irish actors, who were ready to positively engage with the Community, started to explore the potential of networking within the EP on the basis of processes of identification and shared experiences. Actors had different backgrounds, interests, and expertise and these differences led to efforts to homogenise requests, motions for resolution, and policy solutions that would be acceptable to everyone. This first EU/Northern Ireland network strategically lobbied the Community to be more actively involved in the search for a solution to the Northern Ireland conflict. In turn, these strategic early efforts shaped the future of subsequent EU peacebuilding operations in the region. After outlining processes of network formation within the EP institutional framework, this chapter focuses on the Parliament’s political configurations and its information-sharing processes to understand how this institution works, its features, and its structure. Here, the chapter will give prominence to the concept of interdependence and transnationalism, which are at the basis of the EP’s organisation and will help explain the ways and means by which Northern Irish politicians—in particular the nationalist MEP John Hume1 —gradually developed their lobbying role.

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The investigation will subsequently focus on how Hume built alliances across party lines, while also building links with the two Unionist MEPs, John Taylor,2 and Ian Paisley.3 Finally, in its last section, the chapter will provide a detailed description of the 1981 Martin Report. The Martin report constitutes the beginning of a continuous role for the EU in Northern Ireland. This experience also constitutes the template that was followed in all later efforts by the EU/Northern Ireland network to involve the Community in the conflict. These efforts led to the 1984 Haagerup report, to the support of the EC for the 1985 Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA) (through its funding of the International Fund for Ireland—IFI), and to the lobbying and mobilisation of the Commission to establish the EU PEACE Programmes in support of the 1998 Belfast/Good Friday Agreement (GFA).

2 The Interdependency Approach: The Formation of the First EU/Northern Ireland Policy Network In governance research, the most common explanation justifying the formation of networks focuses on them as a response to functional and organisational fragmentation, following from general processes of globalisation, specialisation, decentralisation, and individualisation (Klijn and Koppenjan 2016). Parallel to fragmentation, policy problems increasingly display a high degree of complexity, especially in the context of violent conflicts. These issues span across sectors and borders and are characterised by a very high level of disagreement about solutions, as well as about the nature of the problems. Taken together, these processes are often described in terms of growing and conflicting societal complexity (Hajer and Wagenaar 2003; Kooiman 2003). The basic premises of this narrative are still widely accepted but, reflecting discussions on metagovernance, this theoretical approach needs to be further refined when talking about the EU. The most central mechanism behind networks formation processes, which follow EU membership and the implementation of peacebuilding operations, is interdependence. In the EU context, interdependence needs to be seen as the inability of single actors to achieve their goals on their own (Kickert et al. 1997; Klijn and Koppenjan 2016). The EU, by providing actors with a neutral arena in which to recognise dependencies and in which to deconstruct or reconstruct them, managed interdependencies and enhanced the problem-solving capacity of single actors by facilitating

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the creation of networked connections among them. Networks-formation becomes, therefore, a mediated response of the EU and its political milieu, performed through strategic metagovernance (Torfing and Sørensen 2011; Doberstein 2016; Klijn and Koppenjan 2016). In practice, this means that, within the EP, Northern Irish, Irish, and British actors were all at the same level. Despite their conflicting views on the root causes of violence in Northern Ireland, when organised in political groups rather than national delegations they became actors with common goals. EU metagovernance enabled them to recognise their interdependencies. Subsequently, network arrangements were created on the basis of organisational complementarity, with John Hume playing a key role in establishing positive networked connections among his colleagues. Finally, the newly formed EU/Northern Ireland network started to work strategically to adapt the policy solutions that were developed in the EP framework in order for them to be acceptable to all actors. It needs to be noted, however, that the EU/Northern Ireland public network was formed on conceptions of identity and identification among actors, rather than assessments about functional interdependence. It resulted in a constellation of public representatives joining the group from within and outside the EU at different stages of the policy process. Some actors had similar, rather than different interests (Powell 1990, p. 326). Some remained active in the network all their lives while others temporarily left, to return at later stages of the conflict. Identity, in this context, refers to the collective identity of the institutionalised political group which shaped processes of adaptation to institutional and national pressures. In addition, actors within the network tended to imitate the work of others and this process of imitation and learning contributed to the EU/Northern Ireland network’s identity construction. It had effects on the type of network activities through which EU peacebuilding occurred, and, as a consequence, adaptation resulted in patterns of increased homogenisation of goals and activities. This explains why, for example, nationalist and unionists actors who had completely different views and positions on the conflict had often a joint demarche within EU institutions. This is another element that makes the peacebuilding role of the EU in the Northern Ireland peace process essential and unique. It should, of course, be noted that there are more elaborate frameworks that can be used for studying these interdependency-driven processes and that this sequence is reduced to its most basic components (political

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change at the European and national level, the resulting type of arrangement, and the outcome). It should also be emphasised that different factors hindered and altered the structure of this policy network over the years. In addition, the establishment of different and numerous smaller cross-border and peacebuilding networks at the local and regional level (all connected to the main, public EU/Northern Ireland network) increased interdependency and contributed to a strong shadow of hierarchy (Huxham and Vangen 2000; Sørensen and Torfing 2007; McGuire and Agranoff 2010).

3

The European Union and the European Parliament Institutional Framework

The EP has three main roles: legislative, supervisory, and budgetary. It is the world’s most far-reaching experiment in transnational democracy (Corbett et al. 2005, p. 2), meaning that this institution serves the widest and largest electorate in the world and that its structure is organised in political groups instead of nationalities. It forms part of a unique and historically unprecedented institutional system, the EU, with its mixture of supranational powers and intergovernmental cooperation (Corbett et al. 2005, p. 4). Its very existence is controversial, with some politicians in some member states opposing its creation and its possible further development, and others arguing the opposite (Abeles 1993, p. 12). However, regardless of being subject to all the above-mentioned political forces and dynamics, the EP is an institution that evolved quickly and that today combines unique characteristics with elements common to international assemblies and traditions originating in democratic national parliaments. Initially, members decided to form transnational groups as they saw such a principle as necessary to avoid the dominance of national perspectives in the establishment of European cooperation (Heidar and Koole 2000, p. 232). The parliament’s Rule 29 clearly states that members ‘may form themselves into groups according to their political affinities’ (Heidar and Koole 2000, p. 233). MEPs are elected from individual member states and are drawn from governing and opposition parties, representing not just capital cities but the regions in their full diversity. They are encouraged by the EP political milieu to establish transnational networked connections among colleagues.

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Three main political groups were formed in 1953: the Christian Democrats, the Liberals, and the Socialists (Corbett et al. 2005, p. 70). Throughout the years, the political groups—in particular, the Party of European Socialists (PES) and the European People’s Party (EPP)— developed their internal organisation and consolidated their position inside the assembly. Currently (2020), the EPP includes 83 parties and is the largest group in the Parliament.4 The PES has 33 full-member parties, 12 associate, and 12 observer-parties.5 However, these groups differ from their counterparts in the national parliaments in terms of their composition, internal division of labour, and their role in the decisionmaking system. The transnational organisation of the EP set the Northern Ireland conflict in both a wider European context and a broader AngloIrish context, with Irish, UK, and Northern Ireland actors all participating as equals within this forum.

4

The MEPs

The direct election process provided the EP with full-time members focused on European matters. The existence of a body of full-time representatives at the heart of the decision-making process in Brussels, asking questions, knocking on doors, bringing the spotlight to shine in dark corners, in addition to dialogue with their constituencies back home, made the European system more open, transparent, and democratic than would otherwise have been the case. Following direct election, the functional efficiency of party groups became significant in two respects: firstly, it enabled the EP to perform its role in the EU’s inter-institutional decision-making system; secondly, it enhanced the credibility and influence of the parliament and its political groups at the nation-state level (Tsebelis 1994, p. 135). The Parliament’s rules state that MEPs ‘shall not be bound by any instructions and shall not receive a binding mandate’ (Corbett et al. 2005, p. 55). They are therefore free from any external constraint as to how they vote, how they organise their work, and what they say. An individual member may put questions to the Commission or the Council (for question time or for a written answer), table a motion for resolution or a written declaration, table and move amendments to any text of the committee, explain their reasons for voting, ask questions related to the parliament’s leadership, and raise points of order. In practice, this

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means that the MEPs control the agenda and focus the issues to debate within the EP. The main constraint on members is time: Parliamentary business takes up one week a month in plenary session in Strasbourg and much of the next three weeks by committee, plenary and Group meetings in Brussels (especially if an MEP is active on two committees), and with occasional meetings in other countries as well. This is compounded by the time it takes to travel between these various locations and Ireland. (Interview with Matt Carthy, member of the EP for Sinn Féin, Carrickmacross, 06/01/2017)

In addition, as stated by the Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson, members are expected to keep in touch with their political base at home: Members of the European Parliament with geographical constituencies, such as the Irish and British members, typically spend a couple of days each week dealing with individual constituents, NGOs, local government leaders and staff, businesses, trade unions, development agencies, MPs, party bodies, etc. in their areas. Moreover, since the Brexit referendum results have raised further issues, meetings related to future special negotiations on the Northern Ireland status have to be taken into account. (Interview with Martina Anderson, member of the EP for Sinn Féin, Derry/Londonderry, 02/12/2016)

All these activities mean that an individual MEP is therefore faced with tough choices. An active member may well gain greater influence within the parliament with prestigious rapporteurships but being in touch with his or her political base at home is equally fundamental to being reelected. While the choice is not usually as stark as this (members who have built up their reputations within the Parliament may well gain domestically as well), a member must select an appropriate balance of priorities. For example, the Northern Ireland MEP John Hume was not interested in pursuing political office goals for himself (in Europe or elsewhere) other than ensuring the advancement of initiatives within the group concerning the Northern Ireland conflict (interview with Hugh Logue, former vice-chairman of the North Derry Civil Rights Association; SDLP Assemblyman, Special adviser to the Office of First and Deputy First Minister from 1998 to 2002 and Senior Official of the European

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Commission, Dublin, 23/04/2015). Nor was he active on a wide range of issues: for much of his time as an MEP (and he stayed in this role from 1979 to 2004) his priority was exclusively Northern Ireland. Hume focused on developing Northern Ireland as a region, channelling his energies into numerous reports in order to shape policy that concerned that area. On the other hand, the other two Northern Ireland MEPs, Ian Paisley and Jim Nicholson, remained more generalists. Nicholson was involved through the years on many issues concerning farming in Northern Ireland and in Europe. His interests always spanned from Northern Ireland to more generic aspects of politics and policymaking within his EP political group. Accordingly, what generally determined the nature of the work of Northern Irish MEPs were their interests and responsibilities. These interests differed based on their different profiles, but they nevertheless became known as ‘men of the House’ (well-regarded MEPs) and were all consistently present in plenary meetings. Hume and the DUP representative, Ian Paisley, both carried a long-standing mandate in the EP. Jim Nicholson, who followed John Taylor in 1994, retained his seat as an Ulster Unionist in the 1994, 1999, and 2004 European elections, making him one of the longest-ever serving MEPs (interview with Jim Nicholson, 27/11/2015). Overall differences in their backgrounds played a role, with different emphasis being put on different aspects of a parliamentarian’s role and even on the importance attached to attendance at meetings. Unionists, following the British tradition, put more emphasis on question time in the plenary (interview with Matt Carthy, 06/01/2017), while Hume ‘never embraced the Westminster style of politics because of its lack of opportunities for creative approaches’ (interview with Patricia Hume, wife of John Hume MEP, Derry/Londonderry, 2/12/2016). On the other hand, from his first election to the EP in 1979, Hume became ‘a passionate advocate and a real activist of the Brussels policy mode’ (interview with Colm Larkin, Brussels-based European Commission economist, a close friend of John Hume and former director of the EU Commission office in Dublin, Dublin, 17/05/2016). These actors all became, at different stages and in different ways, part of the EU/Northern Ireland network.

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Lobbying the European Parliament

Many of the most important initiatives related to Northern Ireland came out of committee decisions. Committees were a central part of the Parliament’s work from its inception and, after the direct election in 1979, sixteen standing-committees were set up. It is in the parliamentary committees that much of the detailed work of the Parliament is carried out and where individual members can play a crucial role, influence the flow of information, lobby interested parties, influence the eventual contents of the policy outcomes (reports, debates, etc.), and establish networked connections (interview with Matt Carthy, 06/01/2017). Individual preferences, personal interests, and expertise play an important role in the process of committee allocation. Despite the balance generally achieved between the political groups, committees do tend to develop a corporate identity and to attract members with a particular sympathy for the sector concerned. This explains, in part, why Irish and Northern Irish MEPs have always shown a strong preference for certain committees. Irish members, for example, have always been keen to sit on the Agricultural Committee (interview with Lynn Boylan, a former member of the EP for Sinn Féin, Dublin, 25/11/2016) because the agricultural sector has always been extremely important on both sides of the border. Irish farmers rely to a great extent on EU subsidies and constitute a much more important part of the electorate than in most EU countries. Consequently, by defending the interests of agriculture within the EP, the Irish MEPs could hope at the same time for better results in their national elections (interview with Lynn Boylan, 25/11/2016). On the other hand, Hume privileged the Committee on regional policy (interview with Patricia Hume, 2/12/2016) since regional policy usually targets EU regions and cities, boosting economic growth, and improving citizens’ quality of life through strategic investment. It is also an active form of solidarity, which focuses support on the less-developed regions. From Hume’s perspective, such strategic priorities could have a greater impact on conflict amelioration and conflict resolution in the Northern Ireland context. The bulk of committee business is concerned with the consideration and adoption of draft reports and opinions in fulfilment of parliament’s legislative, budgetary, and agenda-setting roles. When parliament receives a formal Commission or Council proposal it is referred to the appropriate committee and often to one or more of the other committees for

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their opinion (Corbett et al. 2005, p. 60; interview with Matt Carthy, 06/01/2017). In sum, committees have the task to prepare the legislation that might be passed by vote in plenary and, once the decision to draw up a report or opinion is taken, the next task is to nominate a rapporteur. Rapporteurs and MEPs rely on secretariat officials to provide policy information that is independent of their assigned interests. They require this information to be provided quickly so that lobbyists’ policy claims can be verified ahead of the completion of a draft document. Secretariat officials and MEPs often lack the detailed policy information that they are called upon to supply and this was particularly true for the Northern Ireland situation (interview with Colm Larkin, 17/05/2016). Emblematic, from this point of view, are the instances of the Northern Ireland prison protests. In that context, members of the EP Socialist group officially asked ‘our Irish colleagues’6 to enlighten them as to the origins of the Northern Ireland conflict for lack of personal knowledge and access to information.7 The knowledge that Irish and Northern Irish MEPs could provide in that instance was almost certainly influenced by their individual and party-political backgrounds. This example is not used to claim that the EP secretariat officials play a biased role in the European legislative process or in updating MEPs and rapporteurs on specific issues. They correctly serve as the source of independent policy expertise but deeprooted interests, including the Commission involvement and its duty to fill the voids by providing officials with policy information, indirectly acts in lobbying the rapporteurs and EU policymakers, thus affecting at the same time the content of official texts. This process of lobbying and influencing content and information also applies to the knowledge that the MEPs receive, which can generally be less independent than might have been expected. The strategic practice of indirectly lobbying rapporteurs via their principal source of independent policy information—the committee secretariat—has the result that the information they receive often turns out to be endogenous to the lobbying process and often reflects personal interests of the specific network of MEPs and policymakers. To sum up, EP officials often provide the independent advice sought so as to overcome policy uncertainty, but this process is endogenous to the lobbying behind the EP public face (interview with Matt Carthy, 06/01/2017) and is reflected in the policy outcomes. These policy outcomes always reflect influence exerted by backgrounds, deep-rooted

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interests, and specific expertise. In practice, this means that, through lobbying and through the above-described information processes, once established, the EU/Northern Ireland network had the means to bring topics related to the conflict and the political situation ongoing in the six Northern Ireland counties, onto the EP agenda. These issues could be subsequently debated within the political groups and in plenary. The MEPs could vote on the proposed legislation and the proposed amendments within the committees, thus bringing Northern Ireland effectively under the European spotlight.

6

John Hume MEP

John Hume was always considered the best positioned to work the EC machinery towards his own political ends. A politician from Derry/Londonderry and also a founding member and later leader of the SDLP, Hume was also the only Northern Irish nationalist in the EP. With his election in 1979, Irish nationalism in Northern Ireland got a political position and a powerful voice in Europe for the first time. However, as early as 1971, with the SDLP still at the beginning of its political journey and with Irish and British membership conditions within the EC still to be outlined, Hume had already assessed the relevance of Europe as a context in which the Northern Ireland problem should be easier to manage. As a historian, Hume was passionate about the EU as a model for conflict resolution and from the beginning he saw in Europe a blueprint for a structure capable of accommodating the various sets of relationships that were needed to foster dialogue not only within Northern Ireland but also across the Irish border (Laffan 2015, p. 162). The specific opportunity for experimentation and learning arrived in 1977 when Hume took up a position working as a political advisor to Dick Burke, Ireland’s EC Commissioner for Transport, Trade and Administration. Over those years, Hume built a lot of major contacts in Europe and got to know the European scene inside out, following particularly the operating of the Irish MEPs such as Lalor, Maher, and Blaney (interview with Patricia Hume, 2/12/2016). Hume understood, for example, that Europe was the ideal context in which to forge new links between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. He understood how to use EP motions for resolution as an instrument to draw attention to Northern Ireland issues, often with the support of his Irish colleagues. The fact that he was also perfectly fluent in French constituted an advantage (interview

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with Hugh Logue, 23/04/2015). Public records suggest that during his first eight years in the Parliament, Hume made sixteen speeches, asked four questions, signed at least five motions for a parliamentary resolution, and was associated with two written declarations. These documents are proof of the incredible action and energy Hume devoted to his parliamentary activity in Strasbourg and Brussels and they are evidence of the role played by Hume in building the EU/Northern Ireland network. One of the main principles Hume supported tirelessly within the EP was the argument for a comprehensive solution to the Northern Ireland problem, which included the Republic of Ireland. This position had initially been asserted by Fianna Fáil Irish MEPs during the years of Northern Ireland prison’s protests and hunger strikes.8 In Hume’s opinion, Europe not only represented a model of conflict resolution but also an arena where fostering an agreement on the whole island of Ireland was possible. Consequently, his work has to be considered as the enactment of his core political beliefs, values, and principles: This work began within his family, within his local community and the region in which he lived. His early commitment to this philosophy could be clearly seen in his immersion in the building of the Credit Union movement right across Northern Ireland, specifically aimed at empowering individuals and small communities to better organise their resources and build their family infrastructures. Also, his involvement in the University for Derry campaign reflected his commitment to the advancement of his home city and the development of its resources. (Interview with Patricia Hume, 2/12/2016)

Hume began his work at the local level and later brought these beliefs and strategies into all the theatres of politics that he was engaged with. Particularly, he brought these to Europe, which symbolised the best existing example of how to accommodate differences at a larger scale (McLoughlin 2010, p. 225). Within such a framework, it is important to remember that Hume could also benefit from the advice and friendship of colleagues such as Colm Larkin. Larkin joined the European Commission as an official in 1974. He was part of a small team tasked to make proposals for Structural Fund reform, which led in 1988 to the streamlining and doubling of the funds and their concentration on the least-favoured regions. In the cabinets of Peter Sutherland and Ray Mc Sharry, Larkin worked to

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align structural funds with state aid policy and to introduce the Leader Rural Development programme. He subsequently participated in the 1994 Delors Task Force on Northern Ireland and, with Hugh Logue, he worked to establish the SEUPB. Talking about his early work in the Commission he stated: ‘my years were largely taken up with structural funds. But outside of the office, they were also taken up by working with John Hume on the promotion of an EU role in the settlement of the Northern Ireland problem’ (interview with Colm Larkin, 17/05/2016). Larkin was at first more experienced than Hume on European policymaking and policy processes and he was willing to share his knowledge with Hume (interview with Colm Larkin, 17/05/2016). Hume is described by Larkin as very ‘pragmatic’ about his time within the EU institutions and; He found his time there invaluable in communicating the complexities of the political situation in the North to the various European parties. Hume’s approach to the European Parliament in supporting his stance has always been strategic: he was interested and committed to using the European Parliament as an arena to underline the Northern Ireland situation and a place to strengthen the role that the Community could play in addressing the conflict. The epicentre for this activity was the European Parliament’s strong committee system. He was very well-liked and respected and ended up with a very strong support network throughout Brussels and Strasbourg. Some of this was down to his personality; mostly I believe it was people wanting to somehow help with what was happening in Northern Ireland. (Interview with Colm Larkin, 17/05/2016).

Hume was consistent in employing strategies towards political action within the EP. Firstly, he introduced a specific issue into the European agenda by getting the support of his colleagues and lobbying within the institutions. After having ensured that one of the EP’s committees drafted a report, he used this to influence the Commission’s adoption of the report. Finally, he could move to the next issue, having secured his objective (interview with Colm Larkin, 17/05/2016). He worked in this way, for example, to extend special assistance to the rural parts of Northern Ireland and he was successful in his campaign by embarrassing the British government into applying for a special programme for the less-favoured areas in the region, which massively enhanced the inflow of European resources into deprived rural communities across the

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region, thereby stimulating their development (Laffan 2015, p. 163). Once Hume’s reputation was well-established among the network, these processes became a routine for all the actors involved. Regarding the formation of the EU/Northern Ireland network, it is of great significance that, with the SDLP already a member of the European PES, Hume was able to sit with the largest and therefore the most powerful political bloc in the EP. Upon election to Strasbourg, he was immediately offered a place on the Socialists’ front bench, acting as the group’s treasurer. His wife Patricia set up and ran his office while he remained in his role until 2005. Hume’s election to Strasbourg came about with a record vote for the SDLP and both biographies of Gerry Fitt (Campbell 2015, p. 76) and Paddy Devlin (Devlin 1993, p. 65) have suggested that this undermined Fitt’s position as party leader and thus contributed to his subsequent departure (Mcloughlin 2009, p. 606; Campbell 2015, pp. 272–273). This also meant that the SDLP as a whole had considerable influence because it was represented among one of the biggest EP transnational groups and its views were supported by other socialist parties across Europe. In fact, socialist parties from every other member state usually supported the SDLP line on the Northern Ireland problem. During his time working as an advisor in Brussels, Hume also established close personal relations with senior figures from the Federal Republic of Germany. Further lobbying aided partly by the former German Chancellor, Willy Brandt, helped to win officials’ sympathy from diverse countries whose leaders were more cautious in taking any kind of position on such a sensitive matter for fear of a British reaction (interview with Colm Larkin, 17/05/2016). Given that the SDLP provided only one parliamentary seat to the Socialists, this suggested the high regard in which Hume was already held among leaders of the European left and which he was keen to exploit in his efforts to establish a solid network for Northern Ireland in Europe. Accordingly, his choice of committees echoed his interests and his prevailing strategy towards this end. He also gained a long-standing position within the Regional Policy Committee (which altered its title to include transport and tourism from 1999 onwards) (Laffan 2015, p. 162). Also, Hume acted as a substitute on the Agricultural and Fisheries Committee from 1979 onwards, which reflected the importance of these sectors, particularly agriculture, to Northern Ireland (interview with Patricia Hume, 2/12/2016). He also served briefly on the influential Institutional Affairs Committee (Laffan 2015, p. 162).

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The 1981 Martin Report

It is worth recalling what the scene was like in 1979, the year of Hume’s election to the EP. There were nine member states in the then EEC. There was no mention of European citizenship, or passports, or political values. There was no single market. There were no energy, environmental, or financial services policies. Most decisions in the Council of Ministers required unanimity. The Commission was institutionally weak and the EP had little power. ‘Eurosclerosis’ was the slogan of the day (Barkley and Rosser 2004, p. 240). The Regional Fund had just been established and was a disappointment with its small budget and limited non-quota section (Tannam 1999, p. 25). Margaret Thatcher had just been elected. Violence raged in Northern Ireland and talks were going nowhere. Lord Mountbatten and 18 British soldiers were killed on a single day in August of that year, while the default UK position was: ‘this is an internal British problem, nothing to see, move on please’.9 That autumn Colm Larkin discussed with John Hume what could be done now that Hume was an elected MEP. They talked about various options, such as organising a debate or getting the Irish government to involve the Council of Ministers in the Northern Ireland situation. They also looked at the tools available to MEPs, such as Parliamentary Questions, and they decided that the way forward was to submit a Motion for a Resolution calling on the Commission to involve itself in the Northern Ireland situation. This was a mechanism that had been rarely used before. Henceforth, within months of the first directly elected EP (7–10 June 1979), Northern Ireland was strategically raised in the new agenda as part of a strategy to use the new forum as a way to broaden the context for resolving the conflict. Hume and Larkin agreed on several parameters. The Resolution would have to win the support of the other Northern Ireland MEPs, Ian Paisley, and John Taylor. Hume was always confident that he could carry Paisley, a committed constituency-driven MEP. Taylor, on the other hand, had reservations and was unwilling to alienate London but if Paisley was on board he would be outflanked (interview with Patricia Hume, 2/12/2016). While there was widespread concern about the conflict and a wish to help, the Commission and the EP would have been wary of taking sides (interview with Colm Larkin, 17/05/2016). Many Commission officials and MEPs were unhappy with UK policy but lacked the knowledge and confidence to get engaged (interview with Colm Larkin,

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17/05/2016). The Resolution, therefore, had to be attractive to the Commission, respecting what it could do and couldn’t do. Accordingly, it was decided to set a very general incontrovertible political objective— ‘peace and stability’—and to argue that this was intimately bound up with the achievement of economic progress and decent living conditions— hence a role for the European Commission (interview with Colm Larkin, 17/05/2016). Larkin set out to draft the Resolution. He studied other Resolutions and realised that their structure, like that of all European Legislation, included a preamble and a set of ‘whereas’ referring back to the Treaties and providing a legislative base for what was being proposed. Larkin remembers sitting in his flat in Brussels overlooking the Cinquantenaire Park, looking for and not finding a suitable ‘whereas’ in the Treaty of Rome. Without any great expectation, he then looked at the Coal and Steel Treaty and ‘there was that eureka moment’ (interview with Colm Larkin, 17/05/2016). A wonderful, almost biblical phrase: ‘[…] Resolved to substitute for age-old rivalries the merging of their essential interests; to create, by establishing an economic community, the basis for a broader and deeper community among peoples long divided by bloody conflicts; and to lay the foundations for institutions which will give direction to a destiny henceforward shared […]’10 That phrase, drafted in 1952, seemed to speak directly to the Northern Ireland situation and the role of the EU Commission. It gave a moral grandeur and purpose to seemingly banal decisions about coal and steel production, or structural funds (interview with Colm Larkin, 17/05/2016). That phrase figured in almost every future European initiative that Hume and the EU/Northern Ireland network took over the years. On 15 November 1979 the MEPs, Hume, Balfe (British Labour Party), and Desmond (Irish Labour Party), tabled a motion for resolution on behalf of the Socialist Group on Community Regional Policy and Northern Ireland, calling on the Parliament to present a report on the impact of Community membership on the six northern counties.11 It is highly symbolic that an Irish, a Northern Irish, and a British MEP jointly made the first of such calls. This shows at the same time the power of the EP’s transnational organisation, which was able to bring three different individuals, from three different—sometimes antagonistic—jurisdictions, together to speak on behalf of the same political group. On the other hand, by including an Irish MEP in the motion, Hume was able to

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symbolise the importance of Irish involvement in the Northern Ireland conflict. Motions for resolutions tabled by individual members were (and still are) referred to the relevant committee, which must then decide whether or not (and by which procedure) such resolutions should be considered. In practice, only very few such resolutions are taken up (interview with Colm Larkin, 17/05/2016) and the very fact that the initiative of Hume, Balfe, and Desmond was accepted in April 1980 is evidence of the growing importance the Northern Ireland conflict was gaining in Europe. The 1979 resolution also constitutes the first metagovernance tool used by the EU/Northern Ireland network to strategically involve the EC in the Northern Ireland conflict. Once a committee had decided to draw up a report, its next task was to nominate a rapporteur. Ms Simone Martin was chosen as rapporteur to conduct this inquiry on Northern Ireland. Simone Martin was a French MEP belonging to the Liberal and Democratic group. She was from the same generation as Simone Veil, with whom she did not only share the name, but also the values. Mrs. Martin was known among the MEPs as a strong and serious woman, sensitive to injustices, and particularly to gender inequality issues. Her communication skills were positively acknowledged within the EP and she had already shown a particular interest in Northern Ireland problems since the time of the ongoing prison protests and hunger strikes.12 The ensuing ‘Martin Report on Community Regional Policy and Northern Ireland’13 was published in May 1981 while the Northern Ireland hunger strike was ongoing. The report reviewed the outlook for the economy of Northern Ireland and assessed the policies and resources needed to bring the region up to the Community average as regards living standards and employment. Furthermore, it put forward proposals as to how these necessary resources should be made available. Focusing on these issues—mainly of an economic and social nature—was part of a clear strategy used by Hume and his colleague Larkin. It is visible in the outcome how they had a deep knowledge of the EP policy processes. Most importantly, they knew how to catch the EP’s attention, which was intrinsic to a joint approach by Northern Ireland MEPs to cooperate on the region’s issues. They gained unionist support by strategically drawing up the motion focusing only on the economic issues of Northern Ireland and underlining the benefits that economic aid from the EC could bring to the region. Hence, cooperation and dialogue were essential elements at

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the foundation of any European economic and political support. Without cooperation, conditions of European support did not exist. The Martin Report constituted the beginning of what became an ongoing role for the EU in Northern Ireland. Following its publication, a rule was passed providing special assistance for Belfast, namely the allocation of £63 million for housing development in the deprived inner-city areas. However, almost as important as the extra resources for housing in Belfast was the fact that this initiative established Northern Ireland as an area for special assistance in the European budget. It placed the foundations of the future implementation of the EU’s structural funds in Northern Ireland, and this role, as it was globally recognised, was initiated and catalysed by John Hume and his colleague’s initiative with the full support of the other Northern Ireland MEPs. This support was very explicit in the debate held in the plenary in which the outcomes of the report were presented. Hence, although Northern Ireland’s three MEPs disagreed fundamentally on many things, and the EP elections underlined the depth of political polarisation in the six counties, they worked together in Europe to ensure that Northern Ireland would benefit from the EU budget and programmes. They established an EU/Northern Ireland policy network, the first expression of which dated back to 1981. Looked at with the hindsight of 2020, the Martin report was a modest document with modest results. Nonetheless, these constituted an important marker, recognising how the conflict was, in fact, taking place in a legitimate area of European and of international concern and that discussing those issues within the EP had the potential to advance progress in the region in unimaginable ways (interview with Patricia Hume, 2/12/2016). With the EP being the very arena for providing additional channels of communication in order to start dialogue and networking, it assumed an essential and central role for Northern Ireland. The fact that Hume used these channels exclusively to positively work the European machinery for the benefit of Northern Ireland and that, in doing so, he was able to include Paisley and Taylor, is additional proof of the value of EU metagovernance for the amelioration of the conflict.

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Debate Around the Martin Report

Unlike some national parliaments, the EP is master of its own agenda. It may discuss (or not) what it likes, when it likes, and according to its own priorities. It cooperates, of course, with the other institutions in dealing with proposals for legislation, and they, in turn, have a vested interest in cooperating with parliament to ensure the smooth passage of proposals. As such, the EP blends a wide variety of national parliamentary traditions through its procedures and its style. It also has distinctive features of its own arising from the evolution of its powers in the EU system, the linguistic constraints that it faces, and its treaty obligations such as deadlines. Of course, the debating phase is essential, even if EP debates are not considered as lively or as interesting to the media as those of some other parliaments. Of most interest, is the fact that the EP has developed methods to enhance the role of its members in actually shaping policy outcomes, rather than being a rubber stamp or a simple forum. For these and many other reasons, not least the contents, this section draws heavily on the parliamentary debate discussing the outcomes of the Martin Report. The plenary started with a declaration by the EP President concerning the institutions and the Community as a whole. The member states subsequently acknowledged that their most serious problems of development and growth should be solved jointly—economic convergence being an essential requirement of the European monetary system. Interestingly, the rapporteur Simone Martin, when called to present the outcome of the investigation leading to the Report, started her speech by asserting: Community funds are limited; it is to be hoped that they will have a multiplying effect when combined with national aid. This effect will be achieved by coordination and concentration on priorities within the framework of overall regional development programmes. This presupposes that Community aid is actually combined with national aid; that is to say, that it should supplement it. However, it would seem that such additionality has not been achieved in Northern Ireland.14

In this regard, some clarifications are necessary. Northern Ireland representatives, being legally part of the UK, were not members of the Council of Ministers and were represented from Whitehall by the British government and its civil servants (Murphy 2014, p. 28). The existence

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of separate Northern Ireland economic interests implied that Westminster representation might not always reflect the preferences of Northern Ireland civil servants and citizens. Thus, in the context of a multilateral bargaining framework that drove negotiations on priorities and budgetary issues within the Council, Northern Ireland coalition-building and lobbying was politically tense because of this lack of representation (Tannam 1999, p. 119). Besides, the UK had always involved regional representatives in applications for European funds, with the primary aim of maximising budgetary transfers from the EU. The bargaining, as well as the implementation stages, were administered by London from the outset and renegotiations at the national level often produced considerable ‘cuts’ to the amount of funding destined for the six counties (interviews with Logue 2015 and Larkin 2016). This dispute is extensively explored in the EP debate considered here and its most remarkable feature is that Hume, Paisley, and Taylor expressed themselves jointly for the first time, against the absence of additionality. Hume stated: The three Northern Ireland members of this Parliament - and let us not disguise the fact that we have deep and indeed bitterly divided views on the political situation in Northern Ireland - today make common cause in this parliament. Today we speak with one voice on the issue of economic and social deprivation in Northern Ireland. We appeal to this parliament and to the institutions of this Community for solidarity and for practical help. We appeal to you in the name of the common concern for the future of all our people in Northern Ireland.15

With this short sentence, Hume was able to emphasise his certainty, which was based on the belief that the search for peace in Northern Ireland was intimately linked to better living and working conditions in the region. Violence cost jobs and no one should be asked to build a peaceful political system on the ruins of a shattered economy. For this reason, and based on the principles expressed in the funding treaties, the Commission was called on successively in the debate to carry out a rapid study of the impact of Community membership in Northern Ireland, reviewing the prospects of the Northern Ireland economy. Paisley answered:

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Mr President, this is by far the most important debate held to date in this Assembly on Northern Ireland. We are all, and not least the Northern Ireland Members - Mr Hume, Mr Taylor, and myself - deeply indebted for the diligent way in which she has prepared her report. […] Since Northern Ireland entered this Community at the end of 1980, it is credited to having paid into the EEC budget 166.7 million but received a gross figure of only 141 million. Of this 141 million given to Northern Ireland by the various community funds, the United Kingdom Government admits in parliamentary replies that I have that it has retained 83.44 million to offset its own spending in Northern Ireland and passed on, as additional expenditure, a mere 57.66 million. That, I suggest to this House, is a public scandal, which needs to be publicly examined by this Community because not only is this a fraud by the United Kingdom Government on the people of Northern Ireland, it is equally a fraud on this Community, for the funds given to Northern Ireland by the EEC are intended to be additional to the national governments contribution to the problem of Northern Ireland.16

This highly detailed statement from Ian Paisley was generally welcomed. The Irish MEPs Maher and Blaney expressed their solidarity and their full support regarding any proposal that could come forward. Here the emphasis was placed on Northern Ireland as one of the most troubled areas of the whole Community and, as recognised even by Paisley, this placed the region under a special responsibility of the EC to address in the best way it could. It was key to implementing the request and invitation of the report to get an in-depth study of the problems affecting people to such a degree and to come up with new additional proposals and solutions, particularly on what was called a ‘fraud by the UK Government’. More impressive, was the joint demarche of the three Northern Ireland MEPs, who outside the European framework had a fraught relationship. This was the first example of such an action. The EP sitting ended on the 19 June 1981, with Mr. Taylor concluding: I thank John Hume for his initiative in this respect and I direct everyone’s attention here, and more especially back to Northern Ireland, to the fact that when it comes to the economic and social problems, the three Northern Ireland MEPs, irrespective of their political divisions, have a common love and concern for the future of their province.17

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The reflections, the analysis, and the quotations presented in this section show the importance of political discourse at the core of the Martin Report but also how a parliamentary debate can underline issues and principles that would not otherwise be discussed. The Martin Report constituted the first response of the EC to strategic requests coming from the EU/Northern Ireland network. The parliamentary debate that followed its presentation was the very first instance of the three Northern Ireland MEPs expressing themselves together, in mutual support and agreement, for the good of the region they represented. The last quotation of John Taylor is another valuable example of the above assessment and, in sum, these circumstances constitute the very genesis of the EU role in the Northern Ireland conflict. It was also the first time in which nationalist and unionist politicians agreed publicly that Europe could constitute a force for good in the future of the region.

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Conclusion

This chapter demonstrated how membership of the EEC, political change within European institutions (the 1979 direct election), and, more broadly, the (initial) metagoverning role of the Community, are associated with processes of networks’ engagement based on identification, shared common goals, transnationalism, and interdependency. This finding has implications both for reforms in the area of activation and for the theoretical understanding of networks’ responses to the EU in metagovernance research. The mechanisms presented do not call into question existing theoretical approaches. However, by demonstrating the relevance of EU metagovernance and of the EP in this scenario, the findings call for a broadening of existing perspectives to take into account a more strategic and performative role of the EU in peacebuilding in Northern Ireland. The chapter proceeded with emphasising the EP’s formal committee rules, which created the conditions that enabled strategies of lobbying to initiate change. This was necessary to understand how individual members, such as John Hume, could play an important part in influencing EP policy outcomes and in establishing the first EU/Northern Ireland network of peacebuilding. Under the above-described circumstances, the three Northern Ireland MEPs—particularly John Hume—could play an important part in influencing the direction of the discussions. The committee system of the EP was characterised by the absence of an executive determining the

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outcomes of a committee debate, which resulted instead in the interplay between the positions of the different political groups. The relationship between the groups was marked by a mixture of conflict and cooperation, which meant that, even with profound disagreements between Paisley, Hume, and Nicholson, a strong esprit de corps, positively advanced by the neutral environment of the network and with a strong positive input coming from Hume, enabled them to find a degree of consensus in Europe. Indeed, there was within the EP a level of informality and openness to networked connections within which relations of trust could develop that transcended the original political divisions of the three Northern Ireland representatives. Their priorities being the same, and their interests being closer than they would ever be elsewhere, their cooperation became important in determining the direction and response of the EP on the whole Northern Ireland conflict in subsequent years. To show a concrete example of the above-mentioned cooperation, this chapter subsequently described the 1981 Martin Report. Although the focus of the Report was on social and economic issues, the references it made to the civil unrest within Northern Ireland, and its particular circumstances, underlined for the first time one of the major issues concerning the relationship between the six counties, Brussels, and the British government—additionality—thus creating the first precedent for cooperation among the three Northern Ireland MEPs. Thus, the Martin Report created a precedent, which led to many subsequent special measures for Northern Ireland and at the same time showed that there was room to accommodate diverse points of view from various backgrounds when specifically located within a European framework.

Notes 1. John Humeis an Irish former politician from Derry/Londonderry, in Northern Ireland. He was a founding member of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) and was co-recipient of the 1998 Nobel Peace Prize, with David Trimble. Hume was the only representative from Northern Ireland on behalf of the nationalist community, and he remained the only one until 2004 and the election of the Sinn Féin candidate Bairbre de Brún. 2. John David Taylor is a former Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) Northern Irish MEP. He only retained his seat for one mandate but it is interesting to note that he sat with the European Democratic group. British Conservative MEPs such as Henry Plumb, James Scott-Hopkins, and Baroness

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3.

4. 5. 6.

7. 8.

9.

10. 11.

12.

Lady Elles sat in the same transnational group during the same years as Taylor, which partly explains why, when expressing himself in plenary, he was always aligned to the UK government position. Ian Paisley was a unionist politician and Protestant religious leader from Northern Ireland. Paisley became known for his fiery sermons and regularly preached and protested against Roman Catholicism, ecumenism, and homosexuality. He became involved in Ulster unionist/loyalist politics in the late 1950s. In the mid-late 1960s, he instigated, and led, loyalist opposition to the Catholic civil rights movement in Northern Ireland. This contributed to the outbreak of the conflict. Paisley retained his seat in every European election until he stood down in 2004, receiving the highest popular vote of any British MEP (Patterson and Kaufmann 2007, p. 199). He was less dynamic, and he never positioned himself in any of the EP political groups. See https://www.epp.eu (last accessed on the 18/04/2020 at 12.38 p.m.). See https://www.pes.eu/en/ (last accessed on the 18/04/2020 at 12.38 p.m.). Historical Archives EP, PE 1-755/80, ‘Debates of the European Parliament: hunger strikes of prisoners in the Long Kesh and Armagh prisons’, 18 December 1980, p. 23. Ibid., p. 24. Historical Archives EP, PE 73036/3, ‘Proposition de résolution présentée par M. Lalor au nom du groupe des démocrates européens de progrès avec demande de discussion d’urgence conformément à l’article 48 du Règlement sur la grève de la faim de Bobby SANDS et consorts’, Amendement, 28 April 1981, p. 3. Historical Archives EP, PE 1-755/80, ‘Debates of the European Parliament: hunger strikes of prisoners in the Long Kesh and Armagh prisons’, 18 December 1980, p. 34. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:119 51K:EN:PDF (last accessed on 23/02/2020 at 11.54). Historical Archives EP, PE 1-517/79, ‘Motion for resolution to the European Parliament on behalf of the Socialist Group on Community Regional Policy and Northern Ireland pursuant the rule 25 of the rule of procedure’, 15 November 1979. See for example: Historical Archives EP, PE 1-755/80, ‘Debates of the European Parliament: hunger strikes of prisoners in the Long Kesh and Armagh prisons’, 18 December 1980; Historical Archives EP, PE 1243/81, ‘Hunger strikes at Long Kesh’, EP Sitting of Thursday, 7 May 1981.

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13. Historical Archives EP, PE 81.265, ‘Report drawn up by Simone Martin on behalf of the Committee on Regional Policy and Regional Planning on Community regional policy and Northern Ireland’, European Parliament working document, 4 May 1981. 14. Historical Archives EP, PE 1-165/81, ‘Debates of the European Parliament—Community Regional Policy and Northern Ireland’, 18 June 1981, p. 218. 15. Hume addressing the European Parliament, ‘Debates of the European Parliament—, Community Regional Policy and Northern Ireland’, 1981, p. 234. 16. Paisley addressing the European Parliament, ‘Debates of the European Parliament—, Community Regional Policy and Northern Ireland’, 1981, p. 238. 17. Taylor addressing the European Parliament, ‘Debates of the European Parliament—, Community Regional Policy and Northern Ireland’, 1981, p. 269.

References Abeles, M. (1993). Political anthropology of a transnational institution: The European Parliament. French Politics and Society, 1, 1–19. Barkley, J., & Rosser, M. (2004). Comparative economics in a transforming world economy. Boston, MA: The MIT Press. Boyron, S. (1996). Maastricht and the codecision procedure: A success story. International and Comparative Law Quarterly, 45(2), 293–318. Campbell, S. (2015). Gerry Fitt and the SDLP: ‘In a minority of one’ (p. 272). Manchester: Manchester University Press. Corbett, R., Jacobs, F., & Shackleton, M. (2005). The European Parliament. London: John Harper Publishing. Crombez, C. (1996). Legislative procedures in the European Community. British Journal of Political Science, 26(2), 199–228. Crombez, C. (2002). Information, lobbying and the legislative process in the European Union. European Union Politics, 3(1), 7–32. Devlin, P. (1993). Straight Left: An autobiography. Belfast: Blackstaff. Doberstein, C. (2016). Designing collaborative governance decision-making in search of a ‘collaborative advantage. Public Management Review, 18(6), 819– 841. Hajer, M. A., & Wagenaar, H. (2003). Deliberative policy analysis: Understanding governance in the network society. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Heidar, K., & Koole, R. A. (2000). Parliamentary party groups in European democracies: Political parties behind closed doors. London: Routledge.

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Huxham, C., & Vangen, S. (2000). Ambiguity, complexity and dynamics in the membership of collaboration. Human Relations, 53(6), 771–806. Kickert, W. J. M., Klijn, E. H., & Koppenjan, J. (1997). Managing complex networks: Strategies for the public sector. London: Sage. Klijn, E. H., & Koppenjan, J. (2016). Strategic complexity in governance networks: Strategies, games, rounds, and arenas. In E. H. Klijn & J. Koppenjan (Eds.), Governance networks in the public sector (pp. 26–58). London: Routledge. Kooiman, J. (2003). Governing as governance. London, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Laffan, B. (2015). Hume in Europe. In S. Farren & D. Haughey (Eds.), John Hume Irish peacemaker (pp. 155–167). Dublin: Four Courts Press. Larkin Colm, Brussels-based European Commission economist, close friend of John Hume and former director of the EU Commission office in Dublin, interviewed by Dr. Giada Lagana in Dublin, 17 May 2016. Logue Hugh, former vice-chairman of the North Derry Civil Rights Association; SDLP Assemblyman, Special adviser to the Office of First and Deputy First Minister from 1998 to 2002 and Senior Official of the European Commission, interviewed by Dr. Giada Lagana in Dublin on two occasions, on the 23 April 2015 and on the 29 October 2015. Mcguire, M., & Agranoff, R. (2010). Networking in the shadow of Bureaucracy. Oxford: Oxford University Press. McLoughlin, P. (2009). Horowitz’s theory of ethnic party competition and the case of the Northern Ireland Social Democratic and Labour Party, 1970–79. Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, 14(4), 549–578. McLoughlin, P. (2010). John Hume and the revision of Irish nationalism. Manchester: Manchester University Press. Murphy, M. C. (2014). Northern Ireland and the European Union: The dynamics of a changing relationship. Manchester: Manchester University Press. Patterson, H., & Kaufmann, E. (2007). Unionism and Orangeism in Northern Ireland since 1945: The decline of the loyal family. Manchester: Manchester University Press. Powell, W. W. (1990). Neither market nor hierarchy: Network forms of organization. Research in Organizational Behavior, 12, 295–336. Sørensen, E., & Torfing, J. (2007). Introduction governance network research: Towards a second generation. Basingstoke: Palgrave Mcmillan. Tannam, E. (1999). Cross border cooperation in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Basingstoke: MacMillan. Torfing, J., & Sørensen, E. (2011). Enhancing collaborative innovation in the public sector. Administration & Society, 43(8), 842–868. Tsebelis, G. (1994). The power of the European Parliament as a conditional agenda setter. American Political Science Review, 88(1), 128–142.

CHAPTER 4

The 1984 Haagerup Report on the Situation in Northern Ireland

1

Introduction

The Haagerup report was commissioned in 1983 in response to calls from a solid majority of MEPs. The objective was to ‘explain a terribly complicated situation of conflict and strife, alienation, and sectarianism to non-British and non-Irish members of the Parliament’1 and, through them, maybe to a wider section of the European public at large. The explicit objective of the investigation, reflecting a belief growing in the Community, was to see if and how the institutions of the European Community (EC) could be of additional assistance to the people of Northern Ireland beyond the support already rendered within the framework of the Community’s regional policy and Social Fund. During the preparation of the report, the rapporteur had conversations with government members, political leaders, and other elected representatives from the UK and the Republic of Ireland, and with representatives of all major constitutional political parties in Northern Ireland. In addition, many conversations were conducted in the field with people from industry, agriculture, trade unions, churches, and from educational institutions as well as officials, farmers, and workers, without any distinct political affiliation. The outcome of this investigation, presented in Strasbourg on 2 December 1983 and passed by 124 votes to 3 in March 1984, was balanced and moderate.2 The report called on the EC to create an © The Author(s) 2021 G. Lagana, The European Union and the Northern Ireland Peace Process, Palgrave Studies in European Union Politics, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-59117-5_4

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integrated plan to provide economic support to Northern Ireland. It considered broadly the need to establish a link between constitutional and policy aspects of the conflict. It also strongly condemned all acts of violence and terrorism. Furthermore, the EC aimed to support cooperation between the British and Irish governments in combatting radicalism and suggested the urgency of setting up a joint Anglo-Irish parliamentary body with representatives of the two countries’ parliaments and of ‘any elected body truly representative of Northern Ireland’.3 In this way, the report recommended cross-border cooperation at a time when regional policies were the priority of EU member states. Furthermore, the report proposed that the EC assume greater responsibility for economic and social development and for improved intergovernmental cooperation on security issues. Both suggestions were in areas that related to constitutional affairs and that, some might argue, exceeded the EP’s competencies. Generally, the report was sympathetic to a stronger and more formalised involvement of the Irish state, even before the New Ireland Forum published its report supporting joint authority over Northern Ireland in 1984 (as one of three options).4 It is, therefore, unsurprising that the Haagerup report was met with public resistance among representatives of the unionist community in Northern Ireland, and in the UK. Ian Paisley and other Ulster unionists openly condemned the investigation and the British government insisted that no EC body had a right to meddle in Northern Ireland’s constitution. This produced divergences within the EU/Northern Ireland network even when, eventually, as reported by the newspaper The Guardian, the inquiry was quietly welcomed in London because of the potential deployment of European funds for Northern Ireland’s economy.5 The objective of this chapter is to outline the experience of the 1984 Haagerup Report as part of the strategic peacebuilding effort of the EU in the region. The chapter considers the undertaking of the Haagerup investigation as one of the tangible proofs of the EU commitment to Northern Ireland. The Report needed to develop a comprehensive lens that would permit the Community to see the overall picture of needs, actions, vision, and design needed to achieve a strategic peace in Northern Ireland. In addition, the analysis of the conflict contained in the Report allowed the EU to individuate areas in which increasing coordination and integration of EU resources, programmes, practices, and processes with national governments, local authorities, and policy networks were possible.

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To consider all the nuances and complexities of the Haagerup document, this chapter will focus firstly on the British government’s attitude to the report. It will subsequently examine how the Haagerup investigation analysed the history of Northern Ireland from the ‘rise of the Irish nation’6 to the definition of Northern Ireland as a ‘constitutional oddity in the UK’.7 Findings in the chapter will show how the Haagerup report, as early as 1984, articulated a crucial role for Europe in British-Irish and cross-border cooperation and in shaping new relations between Northern Irish political parties.

2 The Haagerup Report: Attitudes and Public Resistance The EC’s interest in the Northern Ireland situation, which stimulated the Haagerup report, was not new, as discussed in the previous chapter. Committees and discussions had previously considered possible ways of improving cross-border economic cooperation on the whole island of Ireland and, in 1982, the EC had condemned the use of plastic bullets by the British Army.8 Subsequently, the EP tabled several motions for resolutions on human rights issues, which were raised in relation to the 1981 hunger strike.9 The EP warmly welcomed the initiative to hold hearings in London, Belfast, and Dublin, which had been successfully supported by 124 votes to 7 on 24 February 1983.10 The motion had been backed by three of the EP’s largest groups; the Party of European Socialists (PES), the European People’s Party Group, and the liberals,11 whose spokesman on the Committee was the MEP Niels Haagerup, as described by The Morning Star.12 Niels Haagerup was a former Danish journalist with a considerable reputation in the parliament as a moderate and well-informed commentator on international political issues.13 The report needed to be led by someone outside the Socialist or Christian Democratic groups because those were the political denominations to which Hume and the Irish MEPs belonged. A rapporteur too close to a nationalist MEP could potentially alienate Unionists and jeopardise the balance of the report. In addition, the person in charge needed to be accepted not only by the EP as a whole but also by both the British and Irish governments. Sceptics believed that this last element might mean the results of the report could only create limited new ground.14 Haagerup personally

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expressed his goodwill and willingness to conduct the inquiry thoroughly and professionally. Furthermore, his moderate reputation and his previous experience made him a suitable person to carry out this controversial task. By nominating Haagerup the parliament showed care and balance, particularly in trying to avoid any possible deterioration of relationships between Strasbourg and London. The decision to hold hearings on Northern Ireland when drawing up this report was met with fierce resistance in Belfast and London’s public political circles.15 The inquiry was declared ‘unhelpful’16 by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, giving prominence to the view that the affairs of the province were not the business of MEPs in Strasbourg. The suggestion of any external ‘interference’ in the government’s domestic affairs seemed to challenge traditional British supremacy on these issues. It was feared that the reinforcement of the EP’s interest in Northern Ireland could, in time, pave the way for other international and nongovernmental organisations to interfere in Northern Ireland, with the potential for similar condemnation on issues such as the use of plastic bullets and other controversial measures like the Diplock courts.17 The attention that the EP had already devoted to these issues had been defined by one civil servant in public records as ‘mischievous’,18 indicating a concern to keep these EP proceedings as far as possible from the international media. The newspaper, The Guardian, reported that Unionists MEPs suspected a conspiracy hatched in Brussels to provide financial initiatives to encourage Northern Ireland Unionists to accept closer links with Dublin.19 Although certainly no such conspiracy existed, it is a fact that Northern Ireland and the Republic were frequently reported as having similar interests within the EC. Irish and Northern Irish MEPs were part of the same EU/Northern Ireland policy network, whether this involved defending the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), or increasing regional development spending. Moreover, Unionist hostility to any European interference in domestic affairs reflected the belief that Brussels was the antechamber of Rome (Ganiel 2009, p. 3). Furthermore, as shown in public records, the EP’s work was all the more unwelcome because it would involve the Republic of Ireland’s direct participation through the European arena:

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Leaving the Nationalists, from the Irish government (either directly or via the Irish MEPs) to the SDLP with a clear field. […] Blaney, Richard Balfe, and all would no doubt ensure that extremist Republican groups had their say as well. The hearings would become a free and highly publicised forum for anti-British spokesmen against which we could offer no ready defence.20

It is useful to remember that the same network had also served the interests of Unionists MEPs when they had condemned additionality in front of the EP in 1981. The Guardian concluded its discussion on the Haagerup Report on a positive note, stating that ‘the MEPs will tread very carefully in distinguishing “political” from “constitutional” issues when they investigate’.21 This strategy had already been employed in the instance of the Martin Report when the EU/Northern Ireland network had lobbied the EP, calling on the Community to be more involved in the search for a solution to the conflict. The press coverage of attitudes to the controversial EP stance mainly focused on Britain’s unpopularity and isolation in Strasbourg, which had been considered ‘a gift to the cause of John Hume, who had pulled off a stroke by engineering the defeat of the British by eight votes to three’.22 In the same way, The Belfast News Letter—the main unionist leaning daily newspaper in Northern Ireland—reflected on the role of the SDLP leader in this event, which had been apparently instrumental in convincing the EC’s legal and political affairs committee to hold the investigation.23 The Irish Times, in contrast, reflecting a large body of opinion in the Republic of Ireland, described the British government’s decision not to cooperate with the proposed examination as ‘deplorable’.24 On the 10 March 1983, the UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher declared in the House of Commons that ‘the European Assembly has no business discussing the internal affairs of a member state. We are absolutely against it’.25 Geoffrey Martin,26 at the time editor of a pamphlet entitled ‘Europe in Northern Ireland’, which was published by the European Commission office in Belfast, responded to Thatcher’s statement by saying: ‘For the first time in the history of the EEC a member state is unwilling to cooperate with the EP. Why has such an impasse been reached?’.27 The very fact that the EC was making this attempt to outline its responsibilities with regard to the situation in Northern Ireland was highly significant. The EC’s role was encouraged by the Irish government and moderate nationalist politicians but strongly opposed by the

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British government and unionist representatives. The reasons for these stances were varied. Firstly, and in general, the Conservative Party’s position reflected their sceptical attitudes towards Europe. Margaret Thatcher vehemently opposed the idea of any EU attention to the UK internal affairs. However, when some of the British Conservative MEPs welcomed the Haagerup report at the committee stage, they cited positively the prospect of additional funding for Northern Ireland (though Conservative MEPs eventually abstained at the plenary vote because of the UK government’s view).28 Baroness Diana Elles stated the following: Any assistance into the economic and social situation in Northern Ireland can only be proof of the concern of the United Kingdom government for the well-being of people living there. There is nothing to hide. It should be recalled that more than £2000 million was given last year to Northern Ireland in support of its economy. A balanced report on the social situation would also make it quite clear to those people who have been subjected to the IRA propaganda for so long that the vast majority of people in Northern Ireland - Catholic and Protestant - are British, want to stay British, and are sickened by the amount of violence created by terrorists. Anyone trying to use the tragedies of Northern Ireland for mischievous political purposes will have the blood of innocent men, women and children on his hands.29

Diana Louise Elles had been appointed to the British government in 1972 and the following year Prime Minister Heath sent her to the EP where she headed the International Office until 1978. In the 1979 election to the EP she won a Conservative seat, serving from 1982 as the Parliament’s Vice-President, unsuccessfully standing two years later for the presidency.30 In this passionate quotation, Baroness Elles attempted to neutralise any potential criticism of the British government in respect to its attitude towards the Haagerup inquiry. In her opinion, the government had nothing to hide and, consequently, it should not fear any external investigation into the province’s political and social affairs having always been concerned only with the well-being of its people. A tangible sign of this interest had been shown in the generous economic support provided by the Conservative government in 1982 and any balanced and truthful report could only stress this point even more. This view is strongly interconnected with the political context of that time, which saw the government’s position firmly against violence and the IRA campaign. A sensible report, in her view, would undoubtedly make it clear that this

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opinion reflected the majority of Northern Ireland’s citizens who were tired of the instability, exhausted by the questioning of their ‘Britishness’, and against any possible change in the province’s status. In 1983, the possibility that Thatcher might have been open to new thinking about Northern Ireland was inconceivable. However, scholars argue that, peculiarly, Thatcher’s view about the Irish State differed from that of her predecessors in one important way in that she was the first British Prime Minister to really think of Ireland as a proper sovereign state. She was the first to understand the importance of accepting Northern Ireland as a problem that there was a common interest in solving (Guelke 1988, p. 54). Nonetheless, reluctance to accept Irish involvement in the North was still underpinned by traditional and conservative British views on sovereignty. In sum, predictably, both the UUP and DUP refused to cooperate with the Haagerup inquiry. The UUP’s statement was fairly measured and it was left to John Taylor to write a letter of complaint to the Prime Minister about the briefing from officials, which he claimed, represented an abandonment of the British government’s political line.31 Questioning the EP’s nature and role was at the core of Unionist arguments against the EP’s decision. The EP was not recognised as a body empowered to enact legislation, nor an organisation that was able to alter the legal status of any Member State. This view was emphasised in the motion for resolution tabled by the MEPs, Paisley and Taylor, where they argued along the same lines as the British government, that ‘the European Community has no competence to make proposals on the constitutional and political affairs of Northern Ireland and we deplore and repudiate the contrary assertion of the previous motions’.32 In addition, the suspected nationalist conspiracy, hidden behind a possible involvement of the Republic in Northern Ireland affairs through the MEPs, was sufficient on its own to neutralise any possible openness to cooperation with the EP and within the EU/Northern Ireland network led by John Hume. The news media gave publicity to the proposed report long before Haagerup began his work. Consequently, some waited for its publication with great expectations, while others were animated by bitter resentment.

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3 The Haagerup Report: A Brief Historical Outline of the Northern Ireland Conflict The EP motion for a resolution presenting the Haagerup Report started by stating: The Political Affairs Committee hereby submits to the European Parliament the following motion for a resolution: […] recognising that the European Community has no competence to make proposals for changes in the Constitution of Northern Ireland […] aware that improvement in the situation requires the closest possible cooperation between the United Kingdom and Irish governments, taking inspiration from the resolution of conflicts already achieved in other parts of the Community […] aware that the conflict, deeply rooted in British-Irish history, is less one of religious strife than of conflicting national identities in Northern Ireland.33

The explanatory statement outlined the report’s attempt to produce new formulas, new proposals, and new ideas that could help Northern Ireland solve its difficulties. However, there was no thought or plan to impose these new proposals at the time as any improvements would have to come exclusively from within.34 Moreover, the rapporteur stated the importance of considering the people of Northern Ireland as united by a common desire to live in peace and that, despite the distinctive ethnonational identities of the communities in Northern Ireland, its people valued peace as much as anyone else in Europe and their wishes to live an ordinary life had been reinforced by years of violence, killings, and intimidation.35 By emphasising the desire for peace, the preamble of the Haagerup Report was asserting the integrative nature of the document, which was aimed at linking the needs of Northern Irish people with the desired changes. The inquiry and the report did not have the power to impose structural changes in Northern Ireland and they were not attempting to do so. Nonetheless, they could at least produce new formulations aimed at helping the process of peace and reconciliation at the societal and national levels. Haagerup emphasised his goodwill in approaching the situation. In the preamble to the report, the rapporteur expressed his personal scholarly effort to analyse, to understand, and if possible, to improve the situation and help to address ‘the terribly complex problems of Northern Ireland’.36 In doing so, Haagerup placed his work as close as possible

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to civil society, partly to counter the impression of the EC as a supranational actor that was distant and remote from everyday concerns and problems, and partly to minimise the potential for strong reactions, angry responses, and disappointment that the descriptive and analytical parts of the report, together with its conclusions, might evoke. The text suggests a clear will to promote communication across sectors and levels of society in the service, comprising as many voices and actors as possible in the flow of information, which is another hallmark of a strategic peacebuilding effort from the Community. The discussion that follows the preamble focuses on the narrative and historical outlines used by the rapporteur to summarise, or briefly try to explain, the situation in Northern Ireland to outsiders. The inquiry provided an introductory historical outline, including a few of the dates and events which were central to a basic understanding of the sources of the Northern Ireland conflict. Evidence was considered in chronological order, from pre-Christian times, the invasion of the Celts, the battle of the Boyne, the Act of Union, and the Great Famine, as well as specifically the period after 1921 in Northern Ireland. The report noted that Northern Ireland consisted of only six out of the nine counties in the old province of Ulster; ‘If the three other counties had been added to Northern Ireland, in conformity with the original Ulster province, the proportion of Catholics and Protestants would have been 1:1’.37 It is crucial that the history of Northern Ireland is understood as ‘a sequence of interconnected Irish rebellions and British suppressions’38 and the emergence of Northern Ireland is the product of ‘a historical accident’. The report continues by saying: ‘Ulster, as it was then called, did not become what it is today by sheer accident. In fact, it was carefully planned, even if nobody could foresee the consequences’.39 Popular descriptions of the conflict in Northern Ireland as one between Catholics and Protestants were considered both shocking and misleading. Religion was rather a declining force, although Church attendance, especially among the Presbyterians, was significantly higher than in most of Europe. Many people who had little understanding of doctrine and who seldom attended Protestant or Catholic services appropriated the terms ‘Protestant’ and ‘Catholic’ as badges. However, since the establishment of Northern Ireland in 1920, Haagerup argued that the Churches had silently accepted the political opinions of their congregations, rather than form them.40 This argument does not deny the sincerity of religious belief for many people in Northern Ireland but is ‘to say that the conflict is

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one of culture and loyalties, of memories of historic struggles rather than disputes of doctrine’.41 Apart from the period in the mid to late 1960s, relations between Ireland and the UK were presented as always difficult. The analysis of British Direct Rule is very relevant in this section. Haagerup affirms, correctly, that it was meant to be just a temporary measure, preferred by the Catholics to local majority rule and preferred by Protestants to powersharing. Therefore, it was the preferred second choice for most people based on very differing reasons, thus providing an uncertain compromise in a deeply divided society where compromises had often proved to be short-lived, as seen in the example of the Sunningdale experiment. ‘Direct Rule provides no solution to the political problems of Northern Ireland but as a policy reluctantly accepted by most people in Northern Ireland it bars, for the time being, the way to any attempt to implement other policies’, concluded the rapporteur.42 Haagerup’s description is representative of a perspective in which Northern Ireland is the product of an artificial ‘cut’, which contained within its boundaries the seeds of its own devastation. The report underlines the combination of conquest and religious schism, which prevented the emergence of a nation-state to effectively unite all classes. For the conquered Irish, adherence to Roman Catholicism provided consolation (Ruane and Todd 1996, p. 65), while Protestantism served as a mark of superiority for the conquerors, morally justifying their dominance and preventing the dispersal of their privileges (Lustick 1993, p. 85). The democracy that Ulster Unionism came to espouse, as it is described in the report, found its justification primarily in the inability of Catholic Ireland to govern fairly.43 The support for parallel self-determination for both Irish national groups came later but was only half-formed by the time of Partition, enacted by Britain upon this same diversity. Unionism’s antiCatholicism was primarily directed against a large internal minority, fused with an intolerant majoritarian democracy. Northern Ireland’s Catholics meanwhile resented the sacrifice of their identity to political expediency by both Ulster Unionism and Irish separatism and, driven by fears of absorption, they set out to ignore as best they could the structures of the new state (O’Duffy 2007, p. 68). Haagerup subsequently cast Direct Rule in Northern Ireland as a problem. It was seen as a permanent solution by many Unionists who were not eager to admit that problems had continued instead of stopping after Direct Rule came into force. This was not a British intention but

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a product of the entrenched institutional structures that Unionist politics produced (Todd 2014, p. 525). The Sunningdale experiment has to be seen as tangible proof of the British intent to include nationalists in any new form of devolved government.44 Haagerup states that the British government was willing to encourage ‘an Irish dimension’ during Sunningdale, but through Unionist opposition, the initiative was brought down (Patterson and Kaufmann 2007, pp. 16–17). In this analysis, the Haagerup Report expresses a viewpoint very close to the one made by Jennifer Todd in 2014. Todd argues that British government responsibility can be found, first, in a lack of sustained attention to Northern Ireland, followed by routines of British political and territorial management which worked with, instead of modifying, the existing population’s views (Todd 2014, p. 526). Overall, the Haagerup report concluded the investigation of this period in the history of Northern Ireland by saying: The effects of the 1974 collapse were disastrous: ordinary Unionist supporters, who finally proved decisive in bringing down Sunningdale, were left to make up their own minds in a situation where expectations were formed by competing local elites and not by strong state action. This was doubly disastrous because the administration followed the British tradition of confidence in locally recruited officials in the civil service (largely Protestant and Unionist), judiciary, and security forces and thus became heavily dependent on Unionist consent. This, in turn, exacerbated security concerns and led to paralysis.45

At the end of the historical analysis, Haagerup attempted to fairly summarise the position of British political parties. He reported that all— the Conservative party, the Labour party, the Liberal Party, and the Social Democrats—seemed willing to accept Irish unity but with Conservatives insisting on the need for the majority of the Northern Ireland electorate to agree to it, while the Social Democrats had not defined their position.46 On the same point, all four Irish parties represented in the Dáil —Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, the Labour Party, and the Workers Party— were at one in hoping for a united Ireland on the basis of consent. Fianna Fáil had traditionally been the most nationalist in its expression, although its policies in government towards Northern Ireland were not markedly different from those of Fine Gael or Labour coalitions. All the Irish

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parties, as stated in the report, had doubts about anti-terrorist legislation enacted in Northern Ireland but had more widespread doubts about how that legislation was enforced.47 This description of Direct Rule and of Northern Ireland political parties was representative of a very particular view, which led to an essential point characterising EU peacebuilding initiatives implemented in Northern Ireland from the 1980s onwards: the importance of the AngloIrish dimension—and of cross-border cooperation—in the Northern Ireland conflict. This dimension was not discussed within the pages of the Haagerup report as something in need of debate but rather as a taken-forgranted fact. The whole infrastructure of the Community peacebuilding strategy in Northern Ireland needed consequently, as per the pages of the report, to be clearly linked to cross-border dynamics. Peacebuilding needed to address the territory, as well as internal scalar hierarchies and infrastructures. The latter was severely damaged by the violence. Initiatives needed to be integrative of civil society and needed to respond to the recurring cycles of conflict and crisis in the region.48 The report is reflective of the position, firstly, of the rapporteur and, after adoption, of the EP’s point of view, asserting the crucial importance of the historical outline made by Haagerup and its focus on the British–Irish antagonisms, consequently identified as the roots of the Northern Ireland conflict. Past imbalances had only been confirmed by the 1921 partition and the emphasis in the report’s explanatory statement on the need for an improvement coming from within Northern Ireland obscured somewhat the firm belief evident in the report that inputs had to come from the UK and the Irish Republic jointly. In this framework, presentation of even the local political parties’ positions was emblematic, as they were described in light of their views regarding possible Irish reunification.

4

Northern Ireland: A Constitutional Oddity

The report’s section entitled ‘A Constitutional oddity: Northern Ireland as part of the United Kingdom’49 reinforced the emphasis, previously placed in the report, on the Anglo-Irish dimension of the conflict and on the potential role of cross-border cooperation in bringing about a solution. It also provided enlightening information about the origins of Northern Ireland’s legal status and opened up new perspectives by carefully underlining the advantages offered by the EC framework.

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Accordingly, the report sought to extend the EP’s knowledge of Northern Ireland’s constitutional status and of its historical origins. The section starts with a description of Northern Ireland’s legislative status after 1920. Under the 1920 Government of Ireland Act, the British government created two parliaments, one for Northern Ireland and one for Southern Ireland. At the same time, provision was also made for a Council of Ireland, composed of 20 representatives from each parliament, empowered to unify the functions of the two assemblies50 although this body never came into force because of Unionist opposition (Patterson and Kaufmann 2007, p. 73). In fact, the 1920 Act specifically stated that Northern Ireland was, in law, completely under the sovereignty of the Westminster Parliament. However, Northern Irish authorities soon established an autonomy, almost as great as that of the independent part of Ireland, in economic and social matters as well as matters relating to law and order. Haagerup continued by stating that it became an established convention that Northern Irish affairs were not debated at Westminster, thus permitting Stormont to behave effectively like an independent legislature. ‘The vast majority of British legislators and voters simply ignored the unsatisfactory state of affairs in Northern Ireland. Even taxation was different in minor details from that in Great Britain and the local electoral franchise, although not that for the House of Commons, is different too. […] Unionists abolished proportional representation […], which had been part of the settlement in both parts of Ireland, as a way of ensuring an adequate representation of minorities […]. The Ministry of Home Affairs was voted powers of internment without trial under the Special Powers Act, which in theory (although in fact few of the powers were used) would never have been accepted in Great Britain.’51

The report highlighted at this point that only in external affairs was the sovereignty of Westminster actually practised. The inequalities in Northern Ireland, together with the ineffective tackling of the conflict, logically appeared as the result of these institutionalised routines, which were strengthened by the security measures introduced by processes of ‘Ulsterisation’ (Todd 2014, p. 526) of the security forces. British troops were sent to Northern Ireland in 1969 to take over some of the roles which the police could no longer perform, thus ‘rescuing Catholics from attacks by Protestants mobs’,52 even with the government of Northern Ireland still operating by its own laws.53 In 1970, when British troops

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started to operate under the Special Powers Act, they were immediately identified as relating to Stormont rule and this eventually led to the rioting and civil strife which culminated in Bloody Sunday in 1972.54 The report continued by saying that the abolition of Stormont and the imposition of direct rule from Westminster over Northern Ireland was, in law, not an extreme step, since in theory, Stormont was no more sovereign than an English County Council, but in practice, it ended half a century during which the Unionists had operated a virtual monopoly of power. Haagerup stressed the ambiguity of Northern Ireland’s constitutional status. In the previous section, he outlined measures of ‘temporary’ direct rule from Westminster by the British government and here he set out the Northern Ireland constitutional framework by stressing themes such as the small amount of time British-based ministers spent in Northern Ireland and the relative lack of debate on Northern Ireland matters in the Westminster Parliament. The UK had, for hundreds of years, been a centralised country in law; in practice, the position of Northern Ireland was very different. While in law, Westminster ruled, in practice the exercise of legislative and executive powers by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland received little scrutiny from the Parliament and ‘most British MP’s feel perhaps that history affords little encouragement for them to meddle much in the affairs of Ireland’.55 Justices of the Peace do not exist. The Royal Ulster Constabulary is run as one force. To state this is not to decry those responsible for the present arrangements. Given the depth of the antagonism in Northern Ireland, it is hard to see what else they can do. Certainly, to give police powers to local politicians would be a recipe for disaster. But it is clear that Northern Ireland is, and always has been, a constitutional oddity. No less than in its sympathies and its passions, it is administratively and in political practice, a place apart.56

Scholars have discussed the changing British role in Northern Ireland, emphasising its constitutional aspects (O’Duffy 2007; O’Leary 2007) and the processes of Anglo-Irish negotiations (O’Kane 2007) illustrating the propensity of successive British governments towards socio-political stasis in Northern Ireland and against the flexible, attentive, and focused action that alone could have led to alternative outcomes. The Haagerup report stressed the relative ‘autonomy’, which Northern Ireland representatives had benefitted from since 1920, without reproaching successive British

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governments in charge because local hostilities were so profound as to make a different approach impossible. The overall tenor of the report suggested, however, that there was a need for deep changes and that Direct Rule could only be a temporary measure. In sum, the report quietly opened the path towards new political avenues, addressing needs, actions, visions, and the nature of the conflict. Northern Ireland citizens, despite the strong attachment of the majority to the idea of the Union, were aware of practical problems in the way Northern Ireland’s interests were listened to in the UK, not least the inadequate flow of information and insufficient formal representation in Westminster and Brussels. The EU/Northern Ireland network, voluntary bodies, administrators, and other politicians trying to use Community policies to secure tangible socio-economic benefits had faced these political challenges (Bew and Meehan 1994, p. 96). Although other regions of the UK shared many of the adverse consequences of being part of a centralised state, some challenges were uniquely encountered in Northern Ireland. As was the case elsewhere in the UK and other EU countries, local policymakers, partisan and non-partisan, were starting to increasingly see Community regional policies and networks as a means of circumventing the region’s problems of vertical communication. Haagerup seemed well aware of the dynamics in force, especially when he acknowledged the role of third sector volunteer groups: […] Deep admiration and respect for those people and institutions bravely defying the religious, political and social divisions of Northern Ireland. They are unfortunately too numerous to list although they are all worthy of mention. Volunteers carry out most efforts of this nature. The goodwill displayed and the energies spent are equally divided between Protestants and Catholics. The people behind such efforts are to be found in very different areas, from education to politics, from charity to childcare. […] They are not limited to people from Northern Ireland, but they are actively encouraged and supported by individuals and groups in the Republic, in Great Britain and indeed in certain other European countries as well.57

In light of subsequent EU strategies of peacebuilding, this section is crucial in its articulation of interdependence and of new circumstances where Northern Ireland and European policies could interact. On the one hand, the EC had features which might help address the Northern Ireland conflict from the ‘bottom-up’, through the example of the lessons

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in its peace-making origins and the continental tradition of coalitions and alliances (McCall 2014, p. 26). In addition, the idea that interdependence was more significant than impenetrable borders, could lead to a new administrative framework for the development of programmes, such as cross-border ones. The indefinite status of the province, together with the autonomy enjoyed in the past, could leave room for manoeuvre and also not be seen necessarily as a negative factor. On the other hand, the EC could have the potential to contribute to change from the ‘topdown’ through changing the political and institutional balance within the Community itself while transforming national majorities into EU minorities (Bew and Meehan 1994, p. 97; Marks 1996, p. 64). Haagerup was very insightful in this precise articulation of a specific metagovernance role for EU peacebuilding in the region.

5 Economic and Social Aspects of Northern Ireland The assertion that the EC had no competence to make proposals on changing the constitution of Northern Ireland was one of the major criticisms of the decision by the Political Affairs Committee to conduct the Haagerup inquiry. Several British government public records asserted the need to influence and to constantly repeat to the rapporteur the need to focus strictly on economic and social aspects of the conflict. These instructions had been written in a private communication dated 10 July 1983: Mr Prior explained that Haagerup would be visiting Dublin where he would certainly be warmly received. Haagerup had informed Mr Prior that he wished to visit Belfast. Mr Prior has no intention of seeing him himself but thought it important that Haagerup should understand our side of the story and he needs to be constantly reminded to keep his report focused exclusively on economic and social aspects of the situation. In general, he seems to behave responsibly. He would have no contacts with Sinn Féin or Mr Gerry Adams. Following discussion, it was agreed that while officials could receive Mr Haagerup in Belfast, Ministers should not do so.58

These lines are evidence of the dualistic attitude assumed by the UK government towards the inquiry. While it was unwilling to cooperate, public authorities did not want to be in a position where it would be

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impossible to criticise or control the outcomes of the report and they declared themselves pleased with the fact that no space seemed to have been given to Sinn Féin members. In light of their concerns, it is notable that the section in the report analysing the economic and social situation in Northern Ireland occupies only ten pages out of ninety in total. Elsewhere, the report deals with the historical origins, the political parties, the Anglo-Irish dimension of the conflict, and the legal status of Northern Ireland as part of the UK. This demonstrates the freedom Haagerup enjoyed while conducting his inquiry and, subsequently, the autonomy he had in writing the final draft. The report does certainly aim to describe the economic and social conditions of Northern Ireland. It articulates another possible facet of the EU’s impact, which is more interrelated to the economy and to civil society viewed from an all-Ireland perspective. Haagerup implicitly argued that integration across the Irish border could lead to increased wealth and employment, consequently taking people off the streets by altering their preference structures, so that violence and conflict would no longer be a desirable option, This is an argument often found in early EP public records about Northern Ireland, such as in the Martin report. It is worth mentioning that these principles stand as the basis for subsequent EU peacebuilding initiatives implemented in Northern Ireland—the Interreg and PEACE programmes. For Haagerup, economic conditions in the province only exacerbated the other more political issues.59 In the EC, only the Republic of Ireland, Greece, southern Italy, and Sardinia were poorer regions than Northern Ireland; the situation worsening in the last 10 years of the conflict. 40% fewer jobs in the manufacturing industry were registered in the six counties and total unemployment was over 20%, predominantly in Catholic areas. Money from the British Treasury was taken into account in the report, as well as EC contributions made available since 1973, which ‘appears to be very modest compared to the UK funding’60 (Tannam 1999, p. 46). Haagerup subsequently listed three main reasons why it would be hard to find quick and immediate solutions to recover the Northern Irish economy. Firstly, violence made conditions difficult for a large number of young people with no jobs and no hope of jobs, which in itself discouraged investments. The second reason was the geographical remoteness of Northern Ireland; it had often been asserted that peripheral regions were disadvantaged, especially in terms of a presence within the European

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agenda (Bew and Meehan 1994, p. 98). Thirdly, the traditional industries of the province, such as textiles and shipbuilding, were in dire difficulties, as they were in most of the old industrialised world. Ideas about developing new sectors were not flourishing in the region because, again, violence discouraged businesses. Sectors such as education, tourism, and farming were analysed by considering their stronger and weaker elements, focusing on their origins and implementation, and arguing that ‘these are classical examples of how a normal divergence of economic interest reflects a bitter, if distant, past and so reinforces the prejudices of the present’.61 A consistent prominence was given throughout the whole report to the Republic of Ireland’s outlook and it is important to underline this component because of the support it brings to the report’s articulation of the mutual Anglo-Irish approach to Northern Ireland. In the text, for example, the Republic of Ireland is represented as much more affected by terrorism committed by the IRA, or other illegal organisations, than is generally realised.62 It was estimated that the extra costs of security to the Republic had been about £1 billion in 1982 alone, and moreover, the Northern Ireland conflict was seen as having many other adverse effects on the Irish economy—the loss of tourism revenue, for example, which might have been as large as for the North. As such, the topics of security and violence were treated together from a very Anglo-Irish perspective even though troubled Anglo-Irish relationships over the centuries had made the conflict more persistently turbulent and violent in Northern Ireland. Haagerup described mutual efforts by the Republic and the UK to reduce violence and combat terrorism as ‘quite satisfactory’,63 even if the extradition of terrorists from the Republic to the UK remained the subject of a quarrel between the two states. The report repeatedly underlined the continuously problematic aspects of the Northern Ireland conflict which could be more readily addressed through the joint engagement of both the Irish and the British government. Whereas Northern Ireland was part of the UK, there was a pervasive wish on the part of Northern nationalists and many Irish people inside and outside the Republic for a united Ireland, and this was not the only cause of the perceived constitutional instability described in the report. Haagerup found one major reason for the instability in terms of concepts of identity within the two communities which were exacerbated by the diverse economic situation among the two communities and the tradition of violence among extremists. The additional factor was the

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sense of insecurity among Unionists, as well as the medium to long-term indefinite intentions of the UK government, political parties, and voters regarding the future governance of the region. In stating ‘nobody should question the right of nationalists to demand and to hope for Irish unity’,64 the report affirmed the intrinsic importance of hope in Irish history and politics. British withdrawal would not provide a solution, in the view of the rapporteur, because it could simply increase the violence to civil war proportions. In addition, Haagerup addressed the enormous economic cost of incorporating the six counties of Northern Ireland into the Republic. The necessary financial input to realise Irish unity would far exceed what would be considered economically feasible under contemporary circumstances ‘unless a joint Irish-British-EC-US approach to deal with this matter were to be fund[ed]’.65 In light of future improvements in the peace and reconciliation process, these suggestions were exceptionally important in emphasising the belief that any reforms and advances in the overall political situation of Northern Ireland should be planned and executed by responsible UK authorities, with the consent of the people in Northern Ireland and with the fullest possible cooperation from the Republic. This delineates a strategy that goes beyond conflict management, reduction of violence, and agreement on political issues as it addresses at the same time social justice, ending the violent conflict, and building healthy cooperative cross-community relationships in Northern Ireland and between North and South. These were also the pillars of the Anglo-Irish Agreement in 1985 and the consequent institutionalisation of cross-border cooperation. The role of the EC in articulating these principles was to provide inspiration for opposing and rejecting violence as a political instrument.

6

Exploring British Responses to the Haagerup Report

Public records show that the British government and the Northern Ireland Office received the first draft of the report on 6 December 1983.66 The inclusive Anglo-Irish approach advocated in the text pushed the UK administration to be very discreet in their support for Haagerup’s views, not least because of the necessity of maintaining coherence with their initial public position, which had been very critical of the inquiry in the early stages:

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There is a lot of value in the report to us, but equally, we must not be too forthcoming: we will also consider whether others might be approached about their response to the report. We will consider further whether a more formal response is required after publication and, if it is, in what terms, to not contradict the previous press line.67

The government certainly took into account Haagerup’s attempt to explain the situation and to produce a broadly fair survey, which considered all the complexities, strength of feeling, and sense of identity in Northern Ireland, set against the deep historical roots of the conflict. Where the report was unflattering to the UK, as it was in the historical section, ‘the comments are not unfair’,68 it was enough to disappoint many people at the time and to exacerbate DUP dissatisfaction. Jim Nicholson has described Haagerup’s inquiry as ‘a mistake and also the first experience where Europe learned the lesson to not get directly involved and to not take any sides in the Northern Ireland situation’ (interview with Jim Nicholson, 27/11/2015). The MEP further argued that, because of such a long history of deep division in the region, it was absolutely impossible for an outsider such as Niels Haagerup to get the right approach in reporting on the situation and ‘the result is clearly in need of more balance’ (interview with Jim Nicholson, 27/11/2015). The British government, however, was ‘reasonably satisfied’ with how the report turned out ‘considering the fears of something a great deal less comfortable’.69 The nature of some unhelpful statements was recognised as being expressly designed by the rapporteur to encourage support from all sides of the EP and the view of officials was that the UK ‘can live with these few infelicities in the text’.70 In addition, these stances ‘do not stand out71 ’, showing appreciation for the final favourable general message conveyed. Haagerup was described as ‘a man of moderate views who has had an intelligent and informed interest in Northern Ireland for a number of years and who has visited the province as a leader of an informal working group of MEPs’.72 However, much of what the UK government had wished to see was left out. The report concentrated on the conflict and British officials complained that there was little of ‘the positive story’73 that ought to be emphasised, and there was only ‘passing reference to anti-discrimination legislation and little of day-to-day cooperation between the communities’.74 British representatives discussed in private what kind of changes they would have liked to have seen in the text of the report. For example,

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they would have liked the rapporteur to remove ambiguities on whether a political system based on shared responsibility on the whole island of Ireland should be confined to Northern Ireland or cover the Republic’s affairs as well.75 These comments were never sent to Mr. Haagerup. This suggests that the British government had no fundamental objections to the text. The overall impression is of a positive reaction to the inquiry’s outcome and balance was never a subject of discussion. Comments were minor and focused on some of the phrasing in the report rather than on the conceptualisation of the Northern Ireland conflict per se. The public files also point up the dissimilarity of views between unionism, as represented by Jim Nicholson, and the UK government. As British documents indicate, the report was seen as the result of a broadly fair examination of the history of Northern Ireland and where the text was most unflattering it was in regard to Unionism rather than to the UK. From the analysis of Direct Rule, to ‘Ulsterisation’, the narrative points towards Unionism’s responsibility, blaming both civil servants as well as loyalist paramilitaries for the historical consequences of their attitudes and behaviour. Again, these comments are not unfair, but hardly acceptable to the DUP and UUP especially when no historical justifications for these behaviours were conveyed. Unionists felt further threatened by the emphasis placed in the report on the need to find further means of facilitating the expression of nationalist identity in Northern Ireland through a process of working towards devolution. Haagerup’s suggested peacebuilding strategy was aimed at supporting a peaceful and mutual expression of British and Irish identities rather than creating alternatives. The report sought to investigate Northern Ireland’s history, together with finding new ways to promote the welfare of the people of Northern Ireland by peaceful means. In addition, Haagerup suggested that improved Anglo-Irish relations would aid in the taming of the Northern Ireland conflict. The important role of the Irish government in the Northern Ireland situation was also acknowledged in the British government’s reaction to the report ‘that much is broadly acceptable, given our public recognition of the positive impact in Northern Ireland of Irish influence and Anglo-Irish relations’.76

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7 The Anglo-Irish Agreement and the International Fund for Ireland The following year, the Irish and UK governments signed the 1985 Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA), which has been described as arguably the most far-reaching political development since the creation of Northern Ireland in 1920 (McCall 1999, p. 48) and before the 1998 Belfast/Good Friday Agreement (GFA). The AIA created a new set of institutions under the framework of the Anglo-Irish Intergovernmental Conference (IGC). In terms of operation and achievements of the AIA, the most obvious development was the institutionalisation of cross-border cooperation on Northern Ireland matters (McCall 1999, p. 48). Rather than being merely given a voice, the Irish government had the right to put forward views and proposals on the internal affairs of Northern Ireland (Coakley 2004, p. 410), although Article 2 of the agreement stated explicitly that this was not a derogation of sovereignty. The latter unmistakeably reflects what was theorised and suggested by the Haagerup Report. In addition, Haagerup, particularly by bringing national identities centre-stage in the conflict resolution process, designated, defined, and explicated the EU role in approaching peacebuilding strategically in Northern Ireland. It did not presume to create a distinctive European identity but to remove the divisiveness of national identity by means of metagovernance, which would conceive of the European arena as a model of financial and political support to push the parties towards dialogue, cooperation, and potentially joint activity in battling for funds in Brussels. Article 10(a) of the AIA stated that ‘the two governments shall cooperate to promote the economic and social development of those areas of both parts of Ireland which have suffered from the consequences of the instability of recent years and shall consider the possibility of securing international support for this work’.77 This was the first formal recognition of what had been theorised in the 1981 Martin Report and reiterated in the Haagerup Report: a role for social and economic development in finding an alternative to the conflict. Following the signing of the AIA, the International Fund for Ireland (IFI) came into existence on 12 December 1986 (Buchanan 2017, p. 183). The USA, the EU, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand contributed e898 million/£714 million to the IFI (Buchanan 2017, p. 184), with its total cumulative

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funding provision being considerably higher. The EU was the secondlargest contributor to the Fund and continued to be so until the IFI wound up in 2010. Over the years the EU contributed well over 300 million Euros (Lagana et al. 2019, p. 28). The IFI’s activities altered and adapted over the years as the changing circumstances of the region’s peace process necessitated. During its early years, the Fund’s main priority was the economic development of disadvantaged areas. However, it began to increase activities aimed at building community capacities when it restructured its agenda in 1995 to include an overall programme on Communities Initiatives. The Fund’s programmes were administered by a joint Programme Team, which brought together relevant expertise from government departments and specialist agencies, North and South, who acted as administering agents under the direction of Designated Board Members (DBMs). Carlo Trojan was appointed as the Commission’s observer on the IFI Board in 1986 and he served in that capacity for eleven years (Lagana et al. 2019, p. 28). The EC’s contribution to the IFI is worth mentioning as it constituted the first attempt to develop an integrated vertical and horizontal capacity for peacebuilding. This approach was in line with the previously adopted EP reports in 1981 and 1984. Nonetheless, the IFI was created with almost no formal consultation in the early days (interview with Carlo Trojan, 29/01/2016). As a consequence, the Fund had no real social infrastructure which impacted on its capacity to work with communities at all levels. Moreover, since the IFI’s programmes had limited terms, one can question whether the Fund had really taken a long-term view of the peacebuilding process needed in Northern Ireland. However, as stated by Carlo Trojan: The experience of the IFI taught us a lot. The IFI was not dependent on Structural Funds with their expenditure rules so it could take up projects on an ongoing basis […] Such flexibility also meant that there was a weak infrastructure with no background or experience of seeing a project through. Plus, the IFI lacked a more general and long-term strategy. This was something we did not forget in the years to come. (interview with Carlo Trojan, 29/01/2016)

An important lesson can be shared from this first and particular external support for peacebuilding to which the EC contributed. In the case of the IFI, its management structures were pivotal. Its unique set up— an independent cross-border Board that could not be dictated to by

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governments, with funding that was channelled independently and with flexibility—was inspirational. These arrangements were crucial so as to carry out work in a neutral manner and it allowed the IFI to connect stakeholders at all levels of society. Additionally, its work was projectled rather than funding-led. Because of this, a key feature of its work was its ‘first money on the table’ (Buchanan 2017, p. 193)—to place trust in communities to be able to manage substantial amounts of money for the first time. It awoke grassroots organisations and private actors in Northern Ireland, which existence and work had been acknowledged by the Haagerup Report, making them more confident and less dependent on central government. The IFI laid the structural and civic basis for the later EU bottom-up approach.

8

Conclusion

Following the lobbying of the EU/Northern Ireland public policy network, the EC decided to call for a historical investigation into the Northern Ireland conflict. Accordingly, the Haagerup report provided the EC with the comprehensive lens it needed to grasp the overall picture of needs, actions, and vision, to address and eventually resolve the Northern Ireland conflict. The report consequently constitutes the first instance in which the architecture of the EU peacebuilding strategy for Northern Ireland was outlined. This included a territorial dimension, an active and supporting role for civil society, and a respect for the autonomous role of the two national governments involved in full conformity with the metagovernance perspective. This chapter analysed the conceptualisation of the conflict presented in the report, which offered a consensual EC perspective to the people of Europe on issues of conflict and strife in Northern Ireland. Secondly, this chapter investigated how the Haagerup Report, by surveying the conflict through the European prism, recognised that any inputs for reform and social improvements were highly dependent on the willingness of the two national governments of the UK and the Republic of Ireland to cooperate on Northern Ireland domestic matters. Furthermore, the report, by approaching the Northern Ireland situation as a mutual issue between the British and Irish governments, had already identified in 1984 a cross-border dimension suggesting ways and measures for future improvements.

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The indefinite character of Northern Ireland’s political status, due largely on the one hand to the non-acceptance of British rule by the nationalist minority, and, on the other hand, to the temporary nature of Direct Rule as a method of governance, suggested both the reasons for antagonisms and the scope for manoeuvring in a situation where so many had failed before. The fact that the UK government responded positively to the inclusive Anglo-Irish approach advanced by the Haagerup Report, validates the overall analysis. Reactions were different on the unionist side, as illustrated by Jim Nicholson’s statements, and from which it is possible to deduce that a re-evaluation of the report’s value has still today not been completed, especially as the text is still presented as an example of a wrong approach. This chapter considered the Haagerup report as an early but essential contribution to the peace process in Northern Ireland. The report was also, remarkably, the first full picture ever drawn by the EC of Northern Ireland’s political and economic situation. After its adoption in March 1984, the report became the official view of the EP on the Northern Ireland conflict.

Notes 1. Historical Archives EP, PE 1-88.265, ‘Report drawn up on behalf of the Political Affairs Committee on the situation in Northern Ireland’, 19 March 1984, p. 13. 2. Historical Archives EP, PE 1-312/165, ‘Debates of the European Parliament—The situation in Northern Ireland’, 29 March 1984. 3. Historical Archives EP, PE 1-88.265, ‘Report drawn up on behalf of the Political Affairs Committee on the situation in Northern Ireland’, 19 March 1984, p. 71. 4. TNA, CJ4/4293, Hume J., ‘Strategy for a new Ireland’, The Irish Times, 7 March 1984, p. 8. 5. TNA, CJ4/4293, Palmer J., ‘Euro-scrutiny may free cash’, The Guardian, 25 February 1983, p. 13. 6. Historical Archives EP, PE 1-88.265, ‘Report drawn up on behalf of the Political Affairs Committee on the situation in Northern Ireland’, 19 March 1984, p. 17. 7. Historical Archives EP, PE 1-88.265, ‘Report drawn up on behalf of the Political Affairs Committee on the situation in Northern Ireland’, 19 March 1984, p. 37.

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8. TNA, FCO 87/1551, Hennigan A., ‘Plastic bullet death murder’, The Irish Press, October 1982. 9. See Chapter 3 for details. 10. TNA, CJ4/4293, ‘European Parliament and Northern Ireland’, Background note, 7 March 1983. 11. Historical Archives EP, PE 1-630/82, ‘Motion for a resolution tabled by McCartin, O’Donnell, Rayan, Clinton, Penders, Van Aersen, Herman, Estgen, Bersani, Protopapadakis on behalf of the Group of the European people’s Party (CD Group) pursuant to Rule 47 of the Rule of Procedure on Northern Ireland’, 16 May 1983. 12. TNA, CJ4/4293, Myant C., ‘Right erupts in anger at EEC vote on Ulster’, The Morning Star, 26 February 1983, p. 3. 13. TNA, FCO 87/1551, ‘The European Parliament and Northern Ireland: The Haagerup Report’, 12 December 1983. 14. TNA, CJ4/4293, Palmer J., ‘Euro-scrutiny may free cash’, The Guardian, 25 February 1983, p. 14. 15. TNA, CJ4/4291, ‘National Government appearances before European Parliament “hearings”’, 10 November 1982. 16. Ibid., p. 3. 17. TNA, CJ4/4291, ‘European Parliament: Resolution on Human Rights in Northern Ireland’, 8 October 1982. 18. TNA, CJ4/4298, ‘Haagerup—Annex A: Comment to offer to Mr. Haagerup’, 2 December 1983, p. 3. 19. TNA, CJ4/4293, Palmer J., ‘Euro-scrutiny may free cash’, The Guardian, 25 February 1983, p. 14. 20. TNA, FCO 87/1551, Cooney J., ‘EEC body urges joint security cooperation’, The Irish Times, 18 December 1983, p. 3. 21. Ibid. 22. Ibid., p. 4. 23. TNA, CJ4/4298, ‘Britain has nothing to hide over Ulster probe’, The Belfast News Letter, 25 February 1983. 24. TNA, CJ4/4298, ‘European Inquiry on Northern Ireland resisted by Britain’, The Irish Times, 25 February 1983. 25. TNA, CJ4/4293, ‘The modest European proposal’, Europe in Northern Ireland, Belfast, European Commission Office in Northern Ireland, March 1983. 26. Geoffrey Martin joined the Diplomatic Staff of the Commonwealth Secretariat in 1974. A few years later, he headed the office of the European Commission in Northern Ireland. In Dorrill S. (2000), MI6: Inside the Covert World of Her Majesty’s Secret Intelligence Service, London, Fourth Estate Limited, pp. 474–475. 27. TNA, CJ4/4293, ‘European Parliament and Northern Ireland’, Background note, 7 March 1983.

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28. Historical Archives EP, PE 1-1526/83, ‘Motion for a Resolution on the situation in Northern Ireland’, 16 March 1983. 29. TNA, CJ4/4296, ‘European Parliament and Northern Ireland: The Haagerup Report’, 16 July 1983. 30. Parliament of the United Kingdom, Official website—Profile of Baroness Elles (Last accessed on 24/02/2020). 31. TNA, CJ4/4296, ‘European Parliament and Northern Ireland: The Haagerup Report’, 18 July 1983. 32. Historical Archives EP, PE 1-883/82, ‘Motion for a resolution pursuant to Rule 47 on the Rules of Procedure on Northern Ireland’, 9 August 1983. 33. Historical Archives EP, PE 1-1526/83, ‘Motion for a Resolution on the situation in Northern Ireland’, 16 March 1983. 34. Historical Archives EP, PE 1-88.265, ‘Report drawn up on behalf of the Political Affairs Committee on the situation in Northern Ireland’, 19 March 1984, p. 15. 35. Ibid., p. 14. 36. Ibid. 37. Ibid., p. 22. 38. Ibid. 39. Ibid. 40. Ibid., p. 28. 41. Ibid. 42. Ibid., p. 31. 43. Ibid., p. 29. 44. Ibid., p. 31. 45. Ibid. 46. Ibid., pp. 33–34. 47. Ibid., pp. 35–36. 48. Ibid., p. 40. 49. Ibid., p. 37. 50. Ibid. 51. Ibid., p. 38. 52. Ibid., p. 40. 53. Ibid., p. 38. 54. Ibid., p. 39. 55. Ibid., p. 40. 56. Ibid., p. 41. 57. Ibid., p. 14. 58. TNA, CJ4/4296, ‘Letter from the Northern Ireland Office to the Private Secretary of State’, 20 July 1983. 59. Historical Archives EP, PE 1-88.265, ‘Report drawn up on behalf of the Political Affairs Committee on the situation in Northern Ireland’, 19 March 1984, p. 44.

102 60. 61. 62. 63. 64. 65. 66. 67. 68. 69. 70. 71. 72. 73. 74. 75. 76. 77.

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Ibid., p. 46. Ibid. Ibid., p. 53. Ibid., p. 60. Ibid., p. 63. Ibid., p. 69. TNA, CJ4/4298, ‘The Haagerup Report—Telegram number 262’, 7 December 1983. TNA, CJ4/4298, ‘Haagerup’, 2 December 1983. TNA, CJ4/4298, ‘Haagerup at Chatham House’, 2 December 1983, p. 3. TNA, CJ4/4298, ‘The Haagerup Report’, 1 December 1983. ‘Haagerup at Chatham House’, 2 December 1983, p. 3. Ibid. Ibid., p. 1. ‘The Haagerup Report’, 1 December 1983, p. 2. Ibid. Ibid., p. 4. TNA, CJ4/4298, ‘Haagerup—Annex A: Comment to offer to Mr. Haagerup’, 2 December 1983. Anglo-Irish Agreement, 1985, available at www.cain.ulst.ac.uk/events/ aia/aiadoc.htm (last accessed on 19/04/2020 at 12.18 p.m.).

References Bew, P., & Meehan, E. (1994). Regions and borders: Controversies in Northern Ireland about the European Union. Journal of European Public Policy, 1(1), 95–113. Buchanan, S. (2017). Assessing external funding supports for the Northern Ireland peace process. In T. J. White (Eds.), Theories of international relations and Northern Ireland. Manchester: Manchester University Press. Coakley, J. (2004). The organisational evolution of political science: The international dimension. International Social Science Journal, 56(179), 5–5. Ganiel, G. (2009). Battling in Brussels: The DUP and the European Union. Irish Political Studies, 24(4), 575–588. Guelke, A. (1988). Northern Ireland: The international perspective. Dublin: Gill and Macmillan. Lagana, G., O’Dochartaigh, N., & Naughton, A. (2019). The European Union and the Northern Ireland peace process. Policy Report—The Whitaker Institute for Research and Innovation.

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Lustick, I. S. (1993). Unsettled States disputed lands: Britain and Ireland, France and Algeria, Israel and the West Bank-Gaza. New York: Cornell University Press. Marks, G. (1996). An actor-centred approach to multi-level governance. Regional and Federal Studies, 6(2), 20–38. McCall, C. (1999). Identity in Northern Ireland: Communities, politics and change. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. McCall, C. (2014). The European Union and peacebuilding: The cross-border dimension. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. O’Duffy, B. (2007). British–Irish relations and Northern Ireland: From violent politics to conflict regulation. Dublin: Irish Academic Press. O’Kane, E. (2007). Britain, Ireland and Northern Ireland since 1980: The totality of relationships. London: Routledge. O’Leary, B. (2007). The IRA. In M. Heiberg, B. O’Leary, & J. Tirman (Eds.), Terror, insurgency and the state (pp. 189–227). Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. Patterson, H., & Kaufmann, E. (2007). Unionism and Orangeism in Northern Ireland since 1945: The decline of the loyal family. Manchester: Manchester University Press. Ruane, J., & Todd, J. (1996). Dynamics of conflict in Northern Ireland: Power, conflict, emancipation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Tannam, E. (1999). Cross border cooperation in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Basingstoke: MacMillan. Todd, J. (2014). Thresholds of state change: Changing British state institutions and practices in Northern Ireland after direct rule. Political Studies, 62, 522– 538.

CHAPTER 5

EU Structural Funds Programmes on the Island of Ireland: Interreg and the Cross-Border Dimension

1

Introduction

European integration emerged from the experience of World War II to prevent further inter-state conflicts and to promote economic and industrial regeneration in a devastated post-1945 Europe. The borders that war had drawn were accepted by the founders of the European Economic Community (EEC), who also recognised the efficacy of violence and victory in war. However, the concept of war as a means for future border changes was rejected. The alternative promoted by the EEC was based on interdependence between states and regional cross-border cooperation.1 Initially, cross-border cooperation between local and regional authorities—such as that which developed in the Rhine Basin between the French, German, Belgian, Swiss, and Dutch regions from the 1950s onwards—was fostered by the European Council, rather than the EEC (O’Dowd 2002, pp. 17–18). Successfully, the 1986 Single European Act (SEA) provided the impetus for the European Commission to realise a support strategy for developing regional cross-border cooperation. The SEA’s Single European Market (SEM) ideology dictated that a reconfiguration of the member state borders—from high tariff barriers to economic bridges—was required to facilitate the continuous flow of goods and services. Hence, the impetus for the creation of linkages between neighbouring border regions was driven by economic considerations as people needed to cross borders to work, shop, and invest. However, common © The Author(s) 2021 G. Lagana, The European Union and the Northern Ireland Peace Process, Palgrave Studies in European Union Politics, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-59117-5_5

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languages or shared histories also constituted key motivations to build cooperation. On the island of Ireland, cross-border cooperation had a clear conflict-amelioration objective as it was motivated by the need for political reconciliation and national concerns coming from policy networks at the local and regional level. The concept of a ‘Europe of the regions’ was introduced during these years and it provided a rallying cry for the EU/Northern Ireland network, led by John Hume. Political actors wished to foster European regionalism, enhancing governance capacity at the regional level with the objective of strengthening the regional governance of Northern Ireland so as to develop political, cultural, and economic autonomy within the wider UK state system. Financial initiatives such as Interreg—the Community initiative specifically designed for Europe’s borderlands—provided resources and a model of cooperation designed to transform physical, cultural, and psychological barriers into bridges. Approximately 10 billion Euros (Laffan and Payne 2001, p. 36) were channelled to cross-border ‘Euroregions’, cross-border city development projects, and other cooperative ventures via this programme.2 Interreg was the main funding instrument for promoting cross-border cooperation on the island of Ireland up until 1995.3 This programme was complemented by other funding from the International Fund for Ireland (IFI), and Cooperation Ireland (Coakley 2017). The cultural interaction initiated by Interreg in the Irish border region has been of important scholarly consideration (Laffan and Payne 2001; McCall 2013; Lagana 2017). Here, the legacy of the conflict engendered lingering suspicion, fear, and resentment. Most importantly, the experience of Interreg represents a fundamental step towards the empowerment of the regional level of government on the island of Ireland, based on bottom-up mobilisation and top-down institutional change. The logic and organisation of this chapter stem from the need to trace the genesis of ideas about cross-border partnership, as envisaged at the European level, and as they were promoted by the European Commission on the island of Ireland. Partnership and the bottom-up approach were the two essential principles inspiring EU metagovernance tools to empower cross-border policy networks in Northern Ireland. First, this chapter will focus on the development and management processes in cross-border cooperation. The examination will encompass a description and analysis of the development of Interreg and the limited results

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achieved by cross-border cooperation through Interreg I and II (1994– 2001). The metagovernance analytical framework will help this chapter to grasp the political and administrative tensions between the demands of the regional community and the centralism of the Irish and UK governments. Policy networks and interest groups in Northern Ireland, under the influence of the EU/Northern Ireland public network, wished to have a greater say vis-à-vis central authorities in the running of their local affairs at the cross-border and regional level. Interreg and its administrative arrangements (to be considered as metagovernance tools) not only empowered networks in their public engagement but also provided a ‘democratic anchorage’ by reconnecting them to national authorities and to the omnipresent hand of the Irish and UK states on Northern Ireland affairs. Finally, this chapter will explore the relationship between cross-border cooperation and peacebuilding in Northern Ireland.

2

The Institutional and Historical Background to Cooperation

The late 1980s saw a renewed vitality to Jean Monnet’s aspiration of realising a political union among European member states because the Council endorsed amendments ensuring the eventual creation of a European Central Bank, a single currency, and a single community-wide monetary policy (Moravcsik 1991, p. 18). Europhiles in Europe, Ireland, and Northern Ireland (interview with Andy Pollak, Journalist, researcher, editor, and former director of the Centre for Cross-Border Studies of Armagh, 28/11/15; interview with Hugh Logue, 29/10/15)4 agreed with the view that, as a result, nationalism would be diminished. The outcome—in the words of the EU/Northern Ireland public network— would be a ‘Europe of regions’ instead of a ‘Europe of States’, where conflicting national interests would not impede cooperation.5 In addition, in this evolving ‘Europe of regions’, the question of whether cross-border cooperation implied ‘Irish unity through the back door’ (Donnan and Wilson 2010, p. 76) would be irrelevant. It is clear that, in such an evolving regional environment, the EU’s institutional framework could efficiently provide increased opportunities for cross-border cooperation. Nevertheless, in order to fully accomplish this task, European institutions needed to grow their powers and responsibilities, and this required a certain degree of renewal and reorganisation.

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In the meantime, at a summit meeting in 1980, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Taoiseach Charles Haughey agreed that special consideration should be given to the totality of relationships between Britain and Ireland. Several studies were commissioned covering possible new institutional structures, citizens’ rights, economic cooperation, and means to encourage mutual understanding. This led to the establishment of the Anglo-Irish Intergovernmental Council to provide an overall framework for cooperation. Shortly after, the 1985 Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA)—as explored in Chapter 4 of this book—gave a major political boost to cross-border cooperation (McCall 2014, p. 43). At that time, many areas with local nationalist majorities were under the UK jurisdiction, being thus excluded from power (even at local authority level) by the Unionist administration. After 1985, local government reforms increased nationalist political influence in the border area and as a result created a demand for more cross-border links (Tannam 1999, p. 118). Moreover, after 1985, the rather different national projects of the British and Irish governments vis-à-vis European integration intersected and converged in the Irish border region. Consecutive Irish governments consistently supported European economic integration and were not excessively concerned about a loss of sovereignty to Brussels (Birnie and Hitchens 1999, p. 96). The fact that this approach was in sharp contrast to the frequently sceptical and reluctant stance of the UK government led to the emergence of a substratum of cross-border agencies on the Irish side of the border (McCall 2014, pp. 45–66). Border-region initiatives developed against a background of increased EU-sponsored cooperation on an all-Ireland level, involving state agencies that were territorially concentrated on the Irish side of the border. The emergence of cross-border agencies in Ireland was supported by the EU Commission. As the sole architect of policies, and as a mediator between EU member states and EU institutions, the Commission found itself in a position to make states more aware of their common interests, expanding the remit of EU policies so that state policymaking was increasingly part of a broader EU framework. Monnet and Schuman had envisaged that the Commission would eventually form the central executive core of a European political federation, but the extent of its executive power remained still to be determined (McCall 1999, p. 59). The Commission retained an important agenda-setting ability, most notably in the area of Structural Funds (Allen 2010, p. 254) and it had a representative role in international relations. While seeking to extend its

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supranational powers further into executive policymaking, the Commission succeeded in combining the administrative and executive functions traditionally reserved for separate institutions. The blurring of demarcations between the above-highlighted tasks of the Commission had implications in Ireland and Northern Ireland, especially regarding accepted bureaucratic procedures. It underlined the unique political and dynamic nature of the Commission in implementing cross-border strategies on the island (Wille 2010, p. 1097) and European commissioners became directly concerned with policy implementation. With the Commission initiating EU common policies, the Irish and UK states were connected in a much stronger way than before. They could increasingly share common policies, thus diminishing the significance of the border as an administrative divide, as interactions with Brussels and bilateral contact with partners in other member states served to internationalise public policymaking on the island of Ireland. Decision-making in many policy sectors dealing with issues such as environment, agricultural policy, health and safety in the workplace, technical standards, and regional policy took place within intergovernmental and trans-governmental policy networks, which reached from Brussels into sub-national government in the member states (Tannam and Laffan 1997, p. 69). Hence, efforts at cross-border cooperation triggered the emergence of a stronger and more involved network of private actors and interest groups in Northern Ireland and the border region of Ireland, empowered by the EU. The Commission and the EU/Northern Ireland public network welcomed the creation of this regional system and created the conditions for new policy experimentation and participation aimed at fostering conflict amelioration and peacebuilding. The Council of Ministers, the European Council (heads of government), and local interest groups all lobbied the Commission, with the Council of Ministers having key decision-making powers in the informal stages of policymaking. A policy proposal made by the Commission was likely to reflect these lobbying interests (Tannam 1999, p. 118). The relevance of the Council of Ministers to the cross-border relationship made it the key institution in which member states could pursue their economic and political interests as well as seek to generally influence EU policies. Moreover, the committee system, which serves the Council of Ministers, provided another forum for cross-border cooperation. It unified various groups, the most important of which was the Permanent Committee of Representatives (COREPER) (Crombez 2002, p. 24).

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However, Northern Ireland, as legally part of the UK, was not directly involved in the lobbying or negotiations within the Council and was not part of the committee system. This constituted a huge issue in terms of representation of interests because the UK administration’s preferences often diverged from those of the region. Irish representatives, on the other hand, shared common interests with Northern Ireland in certain economic areas and were sometimes better disposed than the UK government to protect Northern Ireland interests. This absence of adequate representation of the political interests created an additional impetus for Northern Irish groups to lobby Irish ministers for support. This lobby was facilitated by the EU/Northern Ireland public network within the European Parliament (EP). In December 1991, the European Council at Maastricht indicated that the overwhelming majority of member states held a commitment to continue moving the EU towards economic and monetary union (Dinan 2012, p. 850). The inclusion of ‘co-decision’ in the Maastricht Treaty had the potential to improve cooperation and consent processes, giving additional legislative powers to the EP. Under the co-decision procedure, the EP had a second reading of the Commission’s proposals and had to agree to any final decision (interview with Carlo Trojan, 29/01/2016). The EP had the right to reject a text after three months of attempted compromise, on the basis of a simple majority vote (Tannam 1999, p. 120). These developments increased the powers of the Parliament and further encouraged the EU/Northern Ireland public network to participate more actively in its activities to pursue their national and regional interests within the EU (interview with Andy Pollak, 28/11/2015). In addition, establishing the Committee of the Regions under the Maastricht Treaty6 was of potential benefit particularly for cross-border cooperation on the island of Ireland. It allowed local representatives from the Republic and from Northern Ireland to consult on matters of common interest and to lobby jointly to achieve their policy aims (with Hugh Logue, 29/10/2015). Moreover, the Committee of the Regions allowed members from the border regions of the Republic and Northern Ireland to meet together to pursue their regional interests outside the London/Dublin axis (McCall 1999, p. 65). The ‘non-zero sum’ (Tannam 1999, p. 122) European framework was strengthened by the establishment of this regional body. The nine Irish members and the two representatives from Northern Ireland, who came to be part of the

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Committee, were drawn from local government and appointed by the central administration. All these developments within the EU institutions brought together the Irish and Northern Irish EU representatives in the EU/Northern Ireland network, who now had additional powers and arenas at their disposal. The political talks process initiated in the 1990s developed with North-South relationships as an important strand. A Framework Document agreed by both governments7 gave a more detailed consideration of North-South cooperative arrangements. A rationale for cooperation was given in terms of a mutual North-South advantage of addressing a matter together and a mutual benefit in terms of administration by a North-South body with the avoidance of unnecessary duplication of effort (O’Dowd et al. 1995, p. 276). Detailed discussions led the negotiators to agree on creating six implementation bodies for: tourism, the environment, transport, agriculture (including rural development), education, and health. Each of these had clear implications for local authority involvement.8 However, intergovernmental policy on cross-border cooperation did not present cooperation between local authorities as a major specific area. In addition, up to the 1990s, national politicians and the press in the UK and Ireland had a negative view of networks and local governments. It was only at the beginning of the 1990s that a change within crossborder networks and interest groups was noted (Lagana 2017, p. 299). For long, the activity of these focused exclusively on sectarianism and political abuse. However, through EU programmes and initiatives, the work of local groups became channelled more towards the accommodation of differences and a more inclusive approach for the collective good of local communities in the North and the border regions. This change was part of the strategic peacebuilding approach of the EU.

3 The Single European Act and the European Single Market The SEA’s aim of establishing an SEM came as a consequence of the new European dynamism described above. By including specific policy changes, the SEM had clear implications for the cross-border relationship between Ireland and Northern Ireland. Firstly, it aimed to link the twelve member states of the EC into one unique market. Secondly, it ensured that the SEM was an ever-expanding marketplace and, finally, it

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guaranteed that the resources of people and capital could flow to areas of greatest economic disadvantage. In real terms, the SEM tried to facilitate the removal of physical barriers to trade (custom posts), the elimination of technical barriers such as different technical and safety standards in member states, and the removal of fiscal barriers such as different tax rates in member states. Such linkages, and the issues connected to the peripheral position of the island of Ireland in respect to the other member states, constituted an additional incentive for Irish and Northern Ireland policymakers to cooperate in order to minimise the problems and maximise the benefits of the SEM. In addition, the SEM reflected both the Commission’s and the Council’s support. Indeed, the role of the Commission was vital in harnessing encouragement and in mediating between the representatives of various member states. Its actions were based on the belief that an integrated Europe necessitated an integrated European economy. Thus, the SEM was a vital step towards a united Europe. To facilitate this process, the SEA sought to erode economic barriers between states. The move towards a single market would presumably increase trade and other contacts between member states and the proximity of Northern Ireland to the Republic would provide ample opportunity in this direction. This in itself would, on the other hand, provide common opportunities for crossborder cooperation; the removal of barriers to trade between Northern Ireland and the Republic would create common incentives for actors on both sides of the border. The effects could, therefore, go much deeper than simply increasing trade. Therefore, the SEM constitutes, consequently, an example of how a Commission policy could foster common interests on the island of Ireland. According to Gudgin (2000, p. 68), the most profound effects of the SEM in Northern Ireland occurred during the early years of UK membership when tariffs were initially reduced or removed and resulted in a significant increase in exports. The drive to complete the SEM process by 1993 placed further competitive pressure on Northern Ireland businesses but it represented an incentive for the six counties to upgrade products and processes to meet higher external standards (Birnie and Hitchens 1999, p. 100). Public utilities in Northern Ireland were also affected in terms of their management, funding, and processes of privatisation across the UK and Ireland. Driven by EU state aid and competition rules, all of these measures opened up diversified fields of economic activity, which were once protected. A new emphasis on the development of EU energy

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and environmental policies during this period also prompted economic consequences for member states and regions alike (Murphy 2014, p. 42). Additional observations can be made regarding the impact of the SEM on Northern Ireland’s ability to attract inward investment. Birnie and Hitchens (1999, p. 102) have argued that access to a large European market may have provided the stimulus for firms from outside the EU to locate in the region. It is difficult, however, to assess how decisive the SEM project was in providing this impetus. Certainly, relatively cheap labour, a young, educated and English-speaking workforce, and the embryonic peace process contributed. In addition, the harmonisation of domestic policy had been pursued to create ‘a level playing-field’ (Murphy 2014, p. 43) for all member states and regions, requiring the development of common EU-wide policies and approaches to social legislation and environmental regulation. In Northern Ireland, the evolution of harmonised and regulated EU policy sectors placed a financial burden on the region in its attempt to comply with EU legislative requirements. The expected benefits of the free trade principles of the SEM were based upon certain assumptions, among which was the view that this would benefit all economies equally. In opposition to such a view, it has been argued that a single market would actually harm the economies of poorer regions; the so-called periphery (Haas 1970, as quoted by Tannam 1999). Empirical evidence in support of such a claim has been offered: in regions where industrial production was highly concentrated, a small number of firms produced a relatively large share of total outputs. These same companies had greater access to technology than others, thus enjoying greater economies of scale (Haas 1970, pp. 100–106, as quoted by Tannam 1999). Their advantages were undeniable and the SEM’s aim to create ‘perfect competition’ was simply unrealisable because regions possessing larger corporations and economies of scale, as well as having access to technological innovation, would be even more efficient in a free market. With the free flow of capital and people within the SEM, investments would flow to richer areas and poorer regions would suffer from underinvestment. Moreover, in a free market, cheaper competitive goods from richer regions of the EU would flood poorer high-cost economies. Economic growth would be stunted in these poorer areas, with the result that the SEM, far from benefiting all regions of the EU, would, in fact, give advantage to the richer countries (Smith 2010, p. 942). Both Northern Ireland and the Republic shared common economic problems, as shown by the report on the regional problems of Ireland

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tabled by Hume and published by the EP in 1987.9 The report recognised that the Republic of Ireland was the second most disadvantaged economy in the EU, while Northern Ireland was the fourth. Issues included low economic growth and very high unemployment.10 In 1988, the EC identified both regions as poorer regions of the community, thus giving them the so-called ‘objective one’ status. This marked them both as regions deserving of special treatment in the context of the EC’s regional policy, ranking them as a priority area for structural investment. After the completion of the Channel Tunnel, Northern Ireland and the Republic were the only EU regions separated by sea from continental Europe. They faced higher transport costs, undermining further their competitiveness. In addition, both areas suffered the detrimental effects of the SEM: underinvestment, loss of competitiveness, and increased outside competition on the home market. The problems faced by Northern Ireland were not shared to the same degree by the British government: Britain was nearer to continental Europe and it was wealthier than both Northern Ireland and the Republic. This difference led to the argument presented by Hume in 1987, stating in front of the EP, that Northern Ireland had more in common economically with the Republic of Ireland than it did with Great Britain and, consequently, it should cooperate more closely with the Republic in its economic policies.11 This argument was not simply prescriptive. On the contrary, it was argued that by cooperating, Northern Ireland and the Republic could minimise the economic losses, which might emanate from the SEM and maximise benefits. Businesses on either side of the border would increase their economies of scale, decrease their costs of production, and thus make them more competitive. In sum, the SEM arguably provided strong economic incentives for actors in Northern Ireland to become more integrated with the Republic of Ireland. The implicit objective was to support local efforts to cooperate on both sides of the border, not only by increasing trade but also by incentivising local actors to develop business links to combat the SEM’s risks. In this way, the EU strategically indirectly provided incentives for increased cross-border cooperation, as outlined in the 1984 Haagerup Report. The potential of the SEM to accentuate economic differences between rich and poor regions was used to argue for greater Commission emphasis on EU regional policy and to compensate these poorer regions for their losses. The consequent reform of EU regional policy in 1988 provided another good opportunity to impact on Northern Ireland.

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The Implementation of Interreg I & II

During the negotiations of the SEA in 1985–1986, it was argued that those countries and regions with weaker economic development at the periphery of the Community, would find it hard to compete with the other member states in a single market environment. The focus of this argument was on Greece, Ireland, Portugal, and Spain (the so-called four cohesion countries) and on poorer regions in other member states. The poorer regions would require substantial financial assistance to enable them to compete on a level playing field with the core economies. It was in this context that the Delors I package of structural funding from 1988 to 1992 allocated special cohesion money to Ireland. Politically, the EU tried to give an impetus to cross-border cooperation on the island because such measures held out the prospect of positivesum politics in the North (Coakley and O’Dowd 2007, p. 878). Since the time of the 1984 Haagerup Report, the Community had emphasised its role in supporting an Irish–British understanding on Northern Ireland matters as part of a normative and functional dynamic of European integration, with the Irish government’s support. In addition, in the Report the EP stated the need for greater cross-border cooperation on the island of Ireland. The 1985 AIA additionally enhanced this context. Thereafter, the agenda for negotiation on the future of Northern Ireland always included the cross-border dimension, which was aided by interpersonal relations between British and Irish premiers at key stages (McCall 2014, p. 43) but also by the action of the EU/Northern Ireland public network within the trans-national organisation of the EP. It was, however, not until 1990 that the EU adopted the programme Interreg which was designed to overcome the obstacles to development in the border regions and to promote cross-border cooperation. The first Ireland/Northern Ireland Interreg (1991–1993) built on the possibilities opened up by the AIA to promote cross-border cooperation. The development objectives of the programme stressed the need to tackle specific problems of peripherality and to address ‘the interests of the local population’.12 From this point of view, Interreg constituted the first expression and the first EU initiative specifically focused on the local. This objective was also echoed in the second of the project’s aims; dealing with creating and developing linkages and networks across borders and between communities (Laffan and Payne 2001, p. 47). These were the beginnings of what would later become a specific EU emphasis

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on a ‘bottom-up’ approach. The guidelines also stressed the importance of genuine cross-border cooperation, as illustrated by the following statement: The Commission will accord priority to proposals which are made in cooperation with regional and local authorities in border areas and which include the establishment or development of shared institutional or administrative structures intended to widen and deepen cross-border cooperation between public agencies, private organisations and voluntary bodies. Where possible, these shared institutional and administrative structures should have the competence to implement jointly determined projects.13

Existing scholarship has demonstrated that over the course of Interreg the two tenets of ‘bottom-up’ mobilisation and ‘genuine cross-border’ cooperation evolved. Interreg began to be perceived by the Commission as the Union’s policy instrument to create capacity within border regions for ‘bottom-up’ development (interview with Carlo Trojan, 27/02/2019). The key features of its model of capacity-building encompassed the identification of obstacles and limits, multi-annual programming, local mobilisation, and institutionalisation. Schemas for classifying types of cross-border projects developed and, at one end of the spectrum, was the joint planning of programmes. Each sector of cooperation was developed as a sub-programme and a monitoring committee and a related civil service network in both Dublin and Belfast administrations were responsible for the delivery and management of the programme (Laffan and Payne 2001, p. 53). At the other end, was the creation of lasting institutions shared between the border areas concerned. The purpose of those was to sustain coherence in the approach to development in the European borderlands. Notwithstanding clear difficulties—which will be explored in the next section—the initiative continued during the next round of funding. In many ways, Interreg II (1994–1999) was a continuation of Interreg I. The guidelines were almost a carbon copy of those from 1990. The thematic areas eligible for funding remained the following: development planning, aid to investment, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), tourism, infrastructure, environmental protection, rural development, plant and animal health. One substantial difference was found in the implementation process of the programme. The Commission looked

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for a more decentralised management structure, with development officers whose role was to enhance the capacity of potential beneficiaries on the ground to participate in activities. Both the Department of Finance in Dublin and the Department of Finance and Personnel in Belfast held overall responsibility for the implementation of the programme in their respective jurisdictions. However, as a core part of the management, joint working-groups were established (interview with Andy Pollak, 28/11/2018). They comprised the relevant sectoral government department officials from the Belfast and Dublin administrations. However, such a complex and fragmented organisation required a policy response on several fronts, which, ultimately, was not adequately provided.

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Cross-Border Networks

The analysis of Interreg I and II shows how the cross-border networks began to re-position themselves during the latter half of Interreg II. Local interest groups sought a more significant role in the design and implementation of the programme sub-measures. They learned from their past experiences and in order to take a more active part in the policy-processes related to cross-border cooperation they firstly addressed a number of key issues. They aimed to expand the concept of partnership as part of a specific lobbying process, starting with the EU/Northern Ireland public network within the EP and then down to local councillors and civil servants to support local stances. Such lobbying was facilitated by the new communication channels opened by the EU. Local regional actors sought to strategically approach the plans and sub-programmes on an area-based perspective, as each border county was different and thus had different needs. Finally, they were very specific in articulating what role they could, or wished to, play regarding Interreg (interview with Andy Pollak, 28/11/2015). However, they had to address all of these issues in an unstable and changing political and institutional environment, while maintaining extremely close contact with each other and with the public network within the EP, ‘so that they would have their voice enhanced’ (interview with Patrick Colgan, 10/05/2016). This shows how cross-border networks, whether individually or collaboratively, were active in attempting to make representations to central governments at the time of Interreg I and II. They tried to establish access to the European Commission through lobbying the EU/Northern Ireland network

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and by contributing to the consultation processes on several key Interreg initiatives (interview with Andy Pollak, 28/11/2015). The EU ethos of cross-border cooperation was developed as a consequence of this lobbying process during the years of political difficulty. Its significance was also important in establishing an integrated North/South approach to economic development in the Irish border region where the local cross-border economy was seen, wrongly, as a single entity. The EU was also successful in gaining acceptance of a more regional and strategic approach to the identification of common problems. At the end of Interreg II, the three main regional cross-border networks were established: North West Region Cross Border Group; Irish Central Border Area Network (ICBAN); and the East Border Region Committee. The North West Region network originated in 1975 when cross-border cooperation was far from fashionable. The Derry-Donegal corridor shared a natural hinterland and there were obvious benefits to cooperation. The East Border Region was founded in 1976 after an approach by Monaghan to Newry and Mourne. It started with four councils, with Banbridge joining in 1998, and Craigavon in 1999. ICBAN is the youngest network but it is also the largest. It has grown since its establishment in 1995 to become a cross-border grouping of ten local authorities (Birrell 1993, pp. 95–110). Although each council in the network was always committed to providing funding to run the network, political and economic access to the EU proved to be the key to significant development. The North-West and East Border Regions were able to capitalise on Interreg I to acquire significant funds, which facilitated a secretariat. In 1996, all three networks were funded through the Interreg II Infrastructure/Regional Development Sub-Programme (Economic Development Measure), which supplied 75% funding14 with matching contributions shared by the councils (Birrell and Hayes 2001, p. 26). Hence, Interreg funding underpinned the cross-border networks’ operational programme to build administrative and organisational settings of member councils and develop collaborative projects. EU funding built the capacity and confidence of the networks and the establishment of their administrative and secretarial support helped them to develop. The objectives set by these groups at the time of Interreg II focused on the strategic development of the infrastructure within each region. The North-West Region network had the overall purpose of helping to foster the future development of the local economy and overcome

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peripherality through creating the infrastructure for a sustainable NorthWest Region. Five main targeted economic development themes were set out: marketing for tourism; capacity building; promotion for investment; regional waste management; and a developmental approach to the local river estuary.15 The East Border Region network aimed at taking the role of the lead organisation in the development of its area by tackling barriers to economic growth and inward investment. It also stressed the value of a regional framework that would permit all border areas to work together in developing actions and setting priorities. Furthermore, this group had always been more vocal in asserting networks’ pivotal role in the formation of strategic alliances between the key stakeholders in the border region. The five main themes it developed were: tourism; indigenous business growth; infrastructure and environment; community economic development; and human resource development.16 The ICBAN’s strategy was to forge lasting cooperative links to support economic development by building on the councils’ shared and complementary strengths. The aim was to produce a realistic and innovative economic plan focused on achievable and mutually beneficial outcomes. The areas for development were: transportation, telecommunications, environmental regeneration, tourism, energy, agricultural diversification, and community development. The ICBAN’s approach also stressed the importance of greater cooperation between European elected representatives and collaborative arrangements within the community.17 Outside their local authorities, these three cross-border networks also attempted to develop regional linkages in the form of partnerships involving other agencies across the Irish border. Several of these connections began as contacts between local councils during the second half of Interreg II but in order for them to develop activities it proved necessary to establish links with other related governmental agencies (Birrell and Hayes 2001, p. 34; interview with Andy Pollak, 28/11/2015). This reflects the limitations on the functions of cooperation between the Irish and UK jurisdictions, which will be further explored in the next paragraph. However, it is possible to analyse one example of well-developed partnerships—the Blackwater Catchment Scheme, which secured funding of £207,000 from Interreg II.18 This cross-border partnership involved three local authorities: Dungannon, Armagh District Council, and Monaghan County Council. These organisations had developed a rural strategy since 1995. The scheme was originally developed through links between the Chief Executives of the councils in the early 1990s at a time when cross-border

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communication was very difficult (Birrell 1993, pp. 100–105). This contact led to the commissioning of a rural strategy for the area which formed the basis for the application to Interreg II. The catchment area consisted of the cross-border region of Armagh city and district, north Monaghan, Dungannon and South Tyrone, with the river Blackwater forming the bond.19 The scheme was initiated to address the deficiencies caused by the combined effects of the border and the peripherality of the area. The main objectives were to support communities and other interests within the region towards economic regeneration and a sustainable rural environment. The scheme identified several natural linkages across the border in the areas of economic development, community development, and tourism. The project boasted three main successes: first, it proved to be of considerable assistance to groups and networks in facilitating applications for funding and the organisation of community involvement. Second, it advanced its own development strategy, which subsequently became a model for future Interreg III sub-projects. This approach aimed to implement a programme whose measures included short, medium, and long-term activities simultaneously evolving on several fronts through partnerships with other projects addressing similar objectives. Third, the project constituted an example of an effective management structure. It had a dedicated project manager, who, together with the commitment of the three councils to work together, contributed to the overall success of the scheme.

6

Difficulties of Interreg I & II

All efforts at cross-border cooperation anywhere in the world face institutional and jurisdictional problems. An initial analysis of the Ireland/Northern Ireland Interreg I & II programmes highlights seven main obstacles. Firstly, efforts to design and manage genuine cross-border projects in a delegated and decentralised manner had to contend with the highly centralised nature of the Irish and UK states. Policy was often implemented at the regional level of government. The local electorate may have been given the impression that policy was driven by local actors, actions, and initiatives but the political reality was that since neither the UK nor the Republic of Ireland is a federal state, policymaking power tended to be concentrated at the centre (in London and Dublin). Therefore, it is easy to imagine that the reform of the Structural

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Funds, with its emphasis on partnership and ‘bottom-up’ development, did not fit easily into the dominant style of public policymaking on either side of the border. The authorities in Dublin and Belfast were quick to assert their role as ‘gatekeepers’ in relation to Brussels (interview with Carlo Trojan, 27/02/2019). For example, in Dublin, the Department of Finance dominated the design and implementation of the National Development Plan. It only engaged in limited and largely cosmetic consultation with sub-national actors with the result that the plan reflected national sectoral imperatives rather than regional and local ones (interview with Andy Pollak, 28/11/2018). In Northern Ireland, the Department of Finance and Personnel (DFP) was the key actor in the elaboration of the North’s Community Support Framework. There was limited consultation with local interest groups and the cross-border dimension was apparently minor in the plans submitted for funding under Interreg I & II. The second issue was represented by the high degree of rivalry between agencies across the border, which complicated the effort of the joint working-groups. Lack of joint management at the working-group level was evident and projects tended to be appraised and agreed within the department network and according to the policy priorities for that administration. The involvement with another jurisdiction was at the very least non-standard and was often seen as upsetting long-established procedures and power relationships (Coakley et al. 2005, pp. 120–124). Only occasionally did locally designated representatives from the two administrations exchange information regarding sub-projects, involving very little overall joint planning and management (interview with Andy Pollak, 28/11/2015). With such a system, even the most determined crossborder project was always going to be threatened by the administrative difficulties this lack of cooperation posed. Third, traditionally, cross-border cooperation met with different responses from unionists and nationalists. For unionists, cross-border cooperation represented the Republican ‘Trojan horse’; a device to trap them into a united Ireland by stealth. Agreement on any form of crossborder cooperation could be interpreted as a step towards integration with the Republic, which, of course, was anathema to most unionists (Tannam 1999, p. 6). Unionism’s key concern was that cross-border linkages with the South did not dilute in any way British sovereignty in Northern Ireland. Nationalists, on the other hand, welcomed crossborder cooperation in economic and political terms. For John Hume, EU-generated cooperation would dilute the negative effects of the Irish

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border and would facilitate reconciliation between the two communities and between North and South (McLoughlin 2009, p. 603). Hume became a vocal advocate of the ‘Europe of Regions’; a Europe in which central state power was weak (Laffan 2015, p. 162). Sinn Féin echoed the SDLP’s support for cross-border cooperation but without the same enthusiasm for European integration and European supranationalism. The party initially opposed Irish membership of the EU but later moved to a policy of ‘critically engaging with European matters’ (interview with Martina Anderson, 2/12/2016). All political parties in the Republic supported cross-border cooperation in whatever guise and joined the Commission in all of its efforts to diminish barriers and transform them into bridges (Laffan 2005, p. 179). Fourth, the difference in attitudes towards the EU and its policy regimes on both sides of the border further complicated the context of managing and implementing Interreg. From the accession to the EEC in 1973 onwards, attitudes and policies of successive UK and Irish governments diverged. The Irish political elite was more comfortable than its neighbour with the pooling of sovereignty and the fragmentation of political power associated with EU membership. The EU was not a contentious issue in party politics in Ireland, whereas it caused major splits in both the Labour and Conservative parties at different times (Meehan 2014, pp. 60–61). Moreover, divergent attitudes towards European integration were accompanied by differing attitudes towards some of the EU’s policy regimes. Successive Irish governments played a key part in the design and ongoing improvements to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), prioritising the interests not just of farmers in the ROI but also in Northern Ireland. Successive UK governments, on the other hand, were determined to bring agricultural expenditure under control (Murphy 2014, pp. 78–79). Fifth, different fiscal policies had a major impact upon the economy of cross-border activity (Tannam 1999, p. 45). Also, from 2002, citizens of the Republic shared a common currency with the other member states but not Northern Ireland (as part of the UK). Membership of the Euro has always remained a very divisive issue in UK politics. The Euro, the price of petrol, and all the other aforementioned policies created tangible benefits for economic actors on the Southern side of the border, leaving Northern Ireland in a different position. Also, Northern Ireland, though legally part of the UK, was not directly involved in lobbying or negotiations and was not part of the committee system in the Council of Ministers.

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Sixth, involving another jurisdiction was seen as upsetting longestablished procedures implemented by the Westminster policy-style, impacting negatively on power relationships (interview with Patrick Colgan, 10/05/2016). These dynamics limited, in practice, the space for manoeuvre by Northern Ireland’s political and private representatives whose influence on the policymaking and bargaining processes was minimal. On the opposite side, this also meant that Irish representatives, sharing common interests with Northern Ireland in certain economic areas, might be better disposed than the British government to protect Northern Ireland interests. Thus, the absence of adequate Northern Ireland representation ended up being an additional incentive for Northern Ireland groups, drawn from both communities, to lobby Irish ministers for support for particular stances and create a formal rapprochement of the two administrations. In the end, Interreg was welcomed and interpreted as a positive contribution by both communities: Interreg is still one of the most popular programmes of Europe and it lasts the challenge of time. We - the Unionists - were suspicious of its aim of changing the meaning of the border. We tried to resist, while the programme persisted through the years and I now consider it as one of the best programmes ever delivered in the border regions of the island by the EU. (Interview with Jim Nicholson, 27/01/2015)

This quote shows how an overt focus on potential economic gains prompted support for novel experimentations with cross-border and interregional networks, partnerships, and collaborations. Seventh, the potential to deliver genuine cross-border projects was highly dependent upon the relevant organisations’ capacity to deliver (interview with Ruth Taillon, former director of the Centre for CrossBorder Studies, Armagh, 10/11/2015). At the local level, business interests needed greater access to information about potential opportunities and access to a facilitator who could help them with the administrative challenges in trying to do business in two different jurisdictions (interview with Ruth Taillon, 10/11/2015). Likewise, the local community level was in a similar position, aggravated by a lack of common understanding

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of the administrative structures on the other side of the border. This situation further complicated real joint management and joint planning of the Interreg local initiatives (interview with Andy Pollak, 28/11/2018).

7

The Cross-Border Dimension of the EU Special Support Programme for Peace and Reconciliation: Lessons from Interreg

In 1995, the EU Special Support Programme for Peace and Reconciliation was initiated as a programme unique to Ireland to promote social inclusion and reconciliation. The programme covered Northern Ireland and the six border counties in the Republic of Ireland and several of the sub-measures were specifically cross-border and aimed at public bodies. EU PEACE funding is a reminder of the role of European integration in peacebuilding and the intergovernmental and cross-border dimensions were manifested in all four PEACE programmes. Previous scholarships have observed that the process of EU peacebuilding has only been visibly underway since the implementation of PEACE (Murphy 2014). PEACE will be the subject of the next chapter of this book, but it is worthwhile to mention it here as too little has been said to interconnect the experience of Interreg and any later EU-implemented initiatives in the framework of the PEACE programmes. Interreg, and the issues interconnected to cross-border cooperation, established a niche for bottom-up participation in conflict amelioration and peacebuilding, underlining at an institutional level the necessities the EU had to address to more efficiently foster the peace process. The single most contentious issue not yet accounted for concerning the implementation of Interreg is ‘additionality’; that is, whether or not there was additional public expenditure in the province as a result of receipts from the Structural Funds. This matter has already been discussed in Chapter 3 and we have seen, in this chapter, that Northern Ireland representatives, while legally part of the UK, were not members of the Council of Ministers and were represented from Whitehall by the UK government and its civil servants (Murphy 2014, p. 28). The existence of separate Northern Ireland economic interests implied that Westminster representation might not always reflect the preferences of Northern Ireland civil servants and citizens. Thus, in the context of a multilateral bargaining framework that drove negotiations on priorities and budgetary issues

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within the Council, Northern Ireland coalition-building and lobbying was politically tense because of this lack of representation (Tannam 1999, p. 119). In addition, the UK had always involved regional representatives in applications for European funds, with the primary aim of maximising budgetary transfers from the EU. The bargaining, as well as the implementation stage, were administered by London from the outset and renegotiations at the national level often produced considerable ‘cuts’ to the amount of funding destined for the six counties (interviews with Logue, 2015; Pollak, 2015; Nicholson, 2015; Colgan, 2016 and Larkin, 17/05/2016).20 At a deeper level, additionality was also inextricably bound up with the question of sovereignty, since it is the essence of a sovereign government to have the authority to raise revenue and directly control its expenditures (NIEC 1993, p. 61).21 Thus, additionality joins the other reasons already accounted for as to why Interreg failed to fully attain its objectives. In the absence of additionality, where the money received from the EU is merely substituted for transfers from the national exchequer (which would have come to Northern Ireland anyway), it could be argued that a great deal of effort was expended in negotiating with the Commission for very little positive effect (interview with Hugh Logue, 29/10/2015). Whether, and to what extent, there was additional public expenditure in Northern Ireland as a result of receipts from the EU has always been difficult to ascertain but all the Northern Ireland MEPs, since the publication of the 1981 Martin Report,22 regularly raised the problem of the absence of additionality. In November 1992, Jacques Delors concluded his Belfast speech by saying: Regional development and interregional partnerships are at the base of sound and balanced prosperity in the Community. […] In Northern Ireland, the economic situation has recently been less bad than in the rest of the UK […] Europe, I believe, can add a useful dimension in helping to tackle problems in the future as it has in the past. For this, it will be necessary to at least maintain the level of financial support and expand the funds, improving arrangements for their administration in an effort to match them to their task […]. As you know, the Commission has recently made proposals - the so-called Delors II package - and its purpose is to ensure well-managed budgetary arrangements over the forthcoming 5 years and to give expression to the continuing commitment to economic and social cohesion.23

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The insistence on ‘improving arrangements’ for the administration of financial aids shows the Commission’s awareness of contemporary issues concerning European budget distributions to Northern Ireland through Interreg. The existence of proposals in this regard, at such an early stage, reflected a formal intention of involvement in a more straightforward and prioritised way in regard to Northern Ireland’s necessities. Furthermore, in the same public address, President Delors added ‘there are also a number of principles on which future actions can be based. Among these are partnership, consultation and networks.’24 Peculiarly, these features all figured in the EU PEACE funding, together with additionality, and in sum, this consciousness of existing issues surfaced when historical conditions were the most promising for success. The PEACE package established its own administrative body to circumvent the centralism of the British and Irish states and included Northern Ireland and the border counties of the Republic of Ireland. Funds were characterised by an immediate disposability.

8

Conclusion

Northern Ireland embarked on a process of regionalisation based on the fear that, with the introduction of the SEM, the region would be subsumed into a perceived monolithic and homogeneous trans-national union. This fear prompted both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland to seek greater levels of autonomy and independence. At the beginning of this process, dealing with EU policies was a complex task for Northern Ireland politicians who were unfamiliar with the practical operation of the EU and its institutions, being at the same time often ill-acquainted with the means of accessing and influencing EU policy. Furthermore, they had to face a certain degree of unionist reticence, particularly concerning cross-border cooperation. Nonetheless, the EU institutional framework firmly established itself in this context to underline the common economic interests of the island of Ireland in different policy areas, which would benefit from a common approach. Transforming the border from a barrier into a bridge was an essential part of the functional dynamic of EU integration and, to achieve such cooperation, the Commission was always very supportive of a model based on programming, partnership, institutional linkages, and, particularly, bottom-up mobilisation.

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This chapter supports the view that the new EU dynamism of the late 1980s and early 1990s helped to stimulate greater Ireland and Northern Ireland cross-border initiatives. It has shown how the EU was increasingly essential in fostering this cooperation. The reform of regional policy and the introduction of the SEM for goods increased cross-border cooperation, thus supporting national representatives, civil servants, and private groups in their attempts to gain direct access to the distribution of Structural Funds. Subsequently, the chapter situated Interreg in the context of the Irish border, describing how the EU’s role in the Irish border region evolved from its economic and regional policies. Indeed, from the early 1980s onwards, the Community financed several studies of issues interconnected to the border in Northern Ireland, which led to the establishment of Interreg. The analysis offered here clarifies why the administrative models adopted for Interreg I and II did not achieve satisfactory results due to the highly centralised nature of the Irish and British administrations, together with the political symbolism of cross-border cooperation in the Irish border regions, hindering any real involvement of private actors and interest groups in the initiatives. In addition, the high degree of rivalry between agencies across the border, and the difference of attitudes towards the EU and its policy regimes on both sides of the border, did not help. Nonetheless, a certain degree of institutional learning meant that those involved in previous programmes did gain from that experience and wanted to apply the fruits of that learning to the framing and implementation of future programmes. Finally, this chapter provided preliminary evidence on the originality of EU PEACE funding, which will be later explored in this book. The process of devolving responsibility to the grassroots and building the capacity of the regions through intermediary funding bodies and bottomup consultations was initiated by Interreg but only came effectively into force with the implementation of the PEACE programmes. However, the functioning mechanism evidently bore the features of the ‘peacebuilding from below’ approach advocated by Lederach (1997). Contrary to popular opinion, the evidence presented shows how the programme’s administrative system was deliberately kept separate from the Interreg’s one in order to resolve issues of additionality and to circumvent the centrality of the Irish and British governments in EU programmes implementation. This made the whole Interreg experience a ‘lesson-learning’ model for subsequent conflict amelioration and EU peacebuilding in the

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region. It also constituted tangible proof of the metagoverning role of the EU in strategic peacebuilding initiatives. Cross-border cooperation has been integral to the European integration project because it presents a bottom-up projection for integration that offers some counterbalance to charges of undemocratic top-down Brussels polity-building. It can also advance conflict amelioration because it can provide a means of opening the territorial cage of ethno-national conflict and promote cross-border inter-cultural dialogue for communities amenable to such dialogue. The example of the management and implementation of the EU programme for cross-border cooperation on the island of Ireland provides useful empirical insights into the nature of networks governance and associated metagovernance arrangements. The Interreg experience revealed that metagovernance involves government in the form of an omnipresent ‘hand’ of the state, and, as a result, it directly impacts the outcomes of governance. The Commission, while supporting the networks in their attempts at carving out a role for themselves in the policymaking processes, recognised the importance of the ministerial level in Northern Ireland. It thus always acted through the ‘high-level’ of politics, arguing that an essential part of Interreg was devoted to securing stable institutional structures and decision-making processes to facilitate genuine cross-border cooperation. Metagovernance included actions such as identifying key stakeholders, setting agendas, and structuring outcomes.

Notes 1. For more information, see: http://www.euborderregions.eu. 2. Ibid. 3. This programme is commonly known as PEACE funding, the PEACE package, or the PEACE programmes. 4. Historical Archives EP, PE 111.499/déf., ‘Rapport fait par John Hume au nom de la Commission politique regionale et de l’aménagement du territoire sur le problèmes régionaux de l’Irlande’, 9 Juillet 1987. 5. Ibid. 6. Established by article 198 of the Maastricht Treaty. 7. HMSO (1995), The Framework Document, London. 8. Northern Ireland Economic Council (1994), Economic Assessment, Belfast: NIEC. 9. Historical Archives EP, PE 111.499/déf., ‘Rapport fait par John Hume au nom de la Commission politique regionale et de l’aménagement du territoire sur le problèmes régionaux de l’Irlande’, 9 Juillet 1987.

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10. Ibid., p. 4. 11. Ibid., p. 27. 12. Commission of the European Union (1991), Joint INTERREG programme for Northern Ireland and Ireland, 1991–1993, Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities. 13. Ibid. 14. Commission of the European Union. (1994). Joint INTERREG programme for Northern Ireland and Ireland, 1994–1999, Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities. 15. See: https://www.skillnetireland.ie/region/north-west/ for details (last accessed on 5 November 2019, at 10:30 a.m.). 16. See: http://www.eastborderregion.com/pages/index.asp?title=Clusters_ and_Networks_Enterprise_East_Border_Region for details (last accessed on 4 November 2019, at 15:05 p.m.). 17. See: http://icban.com for details (last accessed on 14 October 2019, at 19:26 p.m.). 18. See: https://www.opw.ie/en/media/OPW%20Maintenance%20Mona ghan%20Blackwater%20AA%20Screening%20(Screened%20Out).pdf for details (last accessed on the 25 September 2019, at 13.27 p.m.). 19. Ibidem. 20. This dispute was extensively explored in Chapter 3. The EP debate, which followed the publication of the 1981 Martin Report, had the remarkable feature of presenting Hume, Paisley, and Taylor expressing themselves jointly for the first time against the absence of additionality in Northern Ireland. 21. Northern Ireland Economic Council (NIEC) (1993), ‘Northern Ireland and the recent recession: cyclical strength or structural weakness?’, Report No. 104, Belfast: NIEC. 22. Historical Archives EP, PE 81.265, ‘Report drawn up by Simone Martin on behalf of the Committee on Regional Policy and Regional Planning on Community regional policy and Northern Ireland, European Parliament working document, 4 May 1981. 23. Delors, J. ‘Allocution du Président’, 3 Novembre 1992, Document JD1456, Historical Archives of the European Union, ‘Notre Europe Institute Jacques Delors’, Paris. 24. Ibid., p. 5.

References Allen, D. (2010). The structural funds and cohesion policy. In H. Wallace, M. A. Pollack, & A. R. Young (Eds.), Policy-making in the European Union (pp. 230–252). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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Birnie, E., & Hitchens, D. (1999). Northern Ireland economy performance, prospects and policy synopsis. London: Routledge. Birrell, D. (1993). Local Government Councillors in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland: Their social background, motivation and role. In T. Gallagher & J. O’Connell (Eds.), Contemporary Irish studies (pp. 95–110). Manchester: Manchester University Press. Birrell, D., & Hayes, A. (2001). The local government system in Northern Ireland. Dublin: Institute of Public Administration. Coakley, J. (2017). Resolving international border disputes: The Irish experience. Cooperation and Conflict, 52(3), 377–398. Coakley, J., Laffan, B., & Todd, J. (2005). Renovation or revolution? New territorial politics in Ireland and the United Kingdom. Dublin: University College Dublin Press. Coakley, J., & O’Dowd, L. (2007). Crossing the border: New relationships between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Naas: Irish Academic Press. Crombez, C. (2002). Information, lobbying and the legislative process in the European Union. European Union Politics, 3(1), 7–32. Dinan, D. (2012). The arc of institutional reform in post-Maastricht Treaty change. Journal of European Integration—The Maastricht Treaty: Second Thoughts after 20 Years, 34(7), 834–858. Donnan, H., & Wilson, T. M. (2010). Borderlands: Ethnographic approaches to security, power and identity. Lanham: UPA. Gudgin, G. (2000). EU membership and the Northern Ireland economy. In D. Kennedy (Ed.), Living with the European Union: The Northern Ireland experience (pp. 38–70). London: Macmillan. Haas, Ernst B. (1970). The study of regional integration: Reflections on the joy and anguish of pretheorizing. International Organization, 24(4), 606–646. Laffan, B. (2005). The European context: A new political dimension in Ireland, North and South. In J. Coakley, B. Laffan, & J. Todd (Eds.), Renovation or Revolution? New Territorial Politics in Ireland and the United Kingdom (pp. 166–184 ). Dublin: UCD Press. Laffan, B. (2015). Hume in Europe. In S. Farren & D. Haughey (Eds.), John Hume: Irish peacemaker (pp. 155–167). Dublin: Four Courts Press. Laffan, B., & Payne, D. (2001). Creating living institutions: EU cross-border co-operation after the Good Friday Agreement (A Report for the Centre for Cross Border Studies). Institute for British-Irish Studies, UCD. Available at http://www.crossborder.ie/pubs/creatingliving.pdf (last accessed on the 16/04/2020 at 15.43 pm). Lagana, G. (2017). A preliminary investigation on the genesis of EU cross-border cooperation on the island of Ireland. Space and Polity, 21(3), 289–302. Lederach, J. P. (1997). Building peace: Sustainable reconciliation in divided societies. Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace Press.

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McCall, C. (1999). Identity in Northern Ireland: Communities, politics and change. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. McCall, C. (2013). European Union cross-border cooperation and conflict amelioration. Space and Polity, 17 (2), 197–216. McCall, C. (2014). The European Union and peacebuilding. The cross-border dimension. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. McLoughlin, P. J. (2009). The SDLP and the Europeanization of the Northern Ireland problem. Irish Political Studies, 24(4), 603–619. Meehan, E. (2014). The changing British-Irish relationship: The sovereignty dimension. Irish Political Studies, 29(1), 58–75. Moravcsik, A. (1991). Negotiating the Single European Act: National interests and conventional statecraft in the European community. International Organization, 45(1), 19–56. Murphy, M. C. (2014). Northern Ireland and the European Union: The dynamics of a changing relationship. Manchester: Manchester University Press. Northern Ireland Economic Council (NIEC). (1993). Northern Ireland and the recent recession: Cyclical strength or structural weakness? (Report No. 104). Belfast: NIEC. O’Dowd, L. (2002). The changing significance of European borders. Regional & Federal Studies, 12(4), 13–36. O’Dowd L., Corrigan J., & Moore, T. (1995). Borders, national sovereignty and European integration: The British—Irish case. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 19(2), 227–285. Smith, M. P. (2010). Single market, global competition: Regulating the European market in a global economy. Journal of European Public Policy, 17 (7), 936–953. Tannam, E. (1999). Cross border cooperation in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Basingstoke: Macmillan Press Ltd. Tannam, E., & Laffan, B. (1997). Ireland: The rewards of pragmatism. In K. Hanf & B. Soetendrop (Eds.), Adapting to European integration: Small states and the European Union (pp. 69–81). Harlow: Longman. Wille, A. (2010). Political—Bureaucratic accountability in the EU Commission: Modernising the executive. West European Politics, 33(5), 1093–1116.

CHAPTER 6

The European Union Programme for Peace and Reconciliation in Northern Ireland

1

Introduction

The window of opportunity for implementing the EU Programme for Peace and Reconciliation in Northern Ireland arose in the aftermath of the Downing Street Declaration (DSD) and the 1994 ceasefires when, after 25 years of violent conflict and uncertainty, the paramilitaries finally called an end to their violent campaign. In 1995, the European Commission approved the allocation of £351 million for the programme, PEACE I.1 PEACE I was conceived as a peacebuilding support programme for Northern Ireland and the border counties of the Republic of Ireland. The strategic objectives of the programme were: to promote the social inclusion of those who were at the margins of social and economic life; and, to exploit the opportunities and address the needs arising from the peace process in order to boost economic growth and advance social and economic regeneration. Hence, by including at the same time economic development, social inclusion and employment, urban and rural regeneration, and cross-border cooperation, the first EU programme for peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland was the first major EU funding initiative aimed at specifically contributing to a political resolution of the Northern Ireland conflict from the bottom-up. The programme was conceived of as a way to complement the mainstream political efforts at peacebuilding undertaken by private actors, supported © The Author(s) 2021 G. Lagana, The European Union and the Northern Ireland Peace Process, Palgrave Studies in European Union Politics, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-59117-5_6

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by the EU/Northern Ireland network. In addition, PEACE I was also a specifically designed metagovernance tool to foster networks’ participation in the peace process. Indeed, crucially, the subsequent peace programmes have all focused on promoting a specific type of third sector (voluntary and community) group participation in cross-border and cross-community peacebuilding initiatives. This objective was evident in the programmes’ guidelines, in the type of sub-initiatives eligible for funding, and in the consequent governance arrangements established for the implementation of the sub-projects. All these activities reflected the metagovernance strategic thrust of EU peacebuilding in the region. If an extensive literature has already dealt with the high politics of the programme (Teague 1996, p. 550; Lynch 2010, p. 24), scholars have also focused on the bottom-up and top-down approaches characterising the initiatives (Byrne and Irvin 2001; McCall and Williamson 2001, p. 364; Buchanan 2008, p. 387; Racioppi and O’Sullivan 2007; Byrne et al. 2009). However, less has been said about the discussions and mechanisms that motivated the EU to design the package in the way it did. An investigation of these arrangements has the power to underline hallmarks of the peacebuilding strategy adopted by the EU and to outline the metagovernance activities behind it. Accordingly, this chapter aims at investigating how a bottom-up networked style of metagovernance inspired the design of the EU peace package for Northern Ireland. In other words, this chapter will clarify how the PEACE programmes—through the empirical example of PEACE I—were designed as a concrete response to Northern Ireland’s specific needs in relation to peacebuilding. This focus allows the analysis to account for the Northern Ireland and European frameworks of the programmes, the motives pushing supranational and local actors to take a step further towards the peace process, the debates taking place within the EU institutions, and the issues that arose during the programme’s implementation. This chapter will first describe the contextual framework of Northern Ireland after the 1994 ceasefires to justify the need to focus on economic development and employment, and to elucidate all the economic implications of a strategic peace in the region from a distinctively European perspective. The following section will focus on how the EU worked to design the new programme. It will explore the work of the 1994 Northern Ireland Task Force whose efforts were specifically conducted with a bottom-up approach and it will subsequently investigate how the

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various EP committees responded. Comments and discussions are all contained in the 1994 EP Hume report on the Delors’ peace package,2 which also represents the position of the EU/Northern Ireland public network towards the initiative. Crucially, the three Northern Ireland MEPs—Hume, Paisley, and Nicholson—worked through these steps in total cooperation within the network. Finally, the chapter will investigate the formation of post-conflict partnerships and networks through PEACE I.

2

Peace: A Challenging New Era

Economic assistance, cross-border cooperation, and the cultivation of interdependence among different actors and networks—and other metagovernance tools—were used by the EU to address the deep structural roots of the Northern Ireland conflict (exclusion, marginalisation, and unemployment) and to build economic development and constructive and beneficial intergroup relations north and south of the Irish border. The importance community groups leaders played in nurturing cross-community contact and encouraging reconciliation and coexistence was a pivotal element of this strategic approach to peacebuilding. It tackled disadvantage, unemployment, political exclusion and unjust structures as a by-product of social and economic regeneration (Lederach 2003). Economically, the main damage suffered by Northern Ireland over more than 25 years of conflict was due to the adverse effects of the perceived image of the province presented in the United Kingdom and abroad, with inauspicious consequences, in particular, in the field of manufacturing. Some of the key issues raised in such a context were, for example, an increase in security costs, a steep fall in inward investment, and an estimated net loss of 25,000 jobs in ten years.3 With international investments becoming increasingly mobile in manufacturing and tradable services, Northern Ireland failed to gain an appreciable share of the market and some economists noted that the region was broadly seen as an unattractive location (Teague 1989, p. 66) for potential foreign funds. In many cases, international investors did not even consider the region as a potential location—in contrast to the Republic of Ireland, which attracted over 1000 multinational corporations, employing almost 100,000 people. Levels of trade with the Republic remained low and very few trade-related linkages developed as a consequence (Harrison 1986,

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p. 56). This decline in manufacturing employment, and manufacturing investments, was largely the result of a general weakening in traditional industries, which was accelerated by the conflict, as well as employmentrelated problems that were aggravated by sectarian harassment (Teague 1989, p. 65). In the years surrounding the ceasefires, Northern Ireland suffered a very high level of unemployment with all its attendant consequences. In the early 1990s, this touched almost 15% of the working population and was predicted to increase. In particular, the need for jobs had more serious political undertones: it was understood by senior EU officials to be at the root of paramilitary recruitment, particularly among young people.4 It was hoped that a permanent cessation of violence and the consequent creation of new activities—resulting also from significant benefits relating to a possible increase in inward investment opportunities, tourism, and industrial development—would help tackle Northern Ireland’s major structural weaknesses; notably poor education and skill levels among the unemployed population. Accordingly, major structural changes had to be endorsed by EU initiatives implemented after the 1994 ceasefires because a consequent significant reduction in funds directed at law and order could have had a measurable impact on both employment levels in security-related activities and in the wider economy. It was essential that those changes were managed in a manner aimed at reinforcing the benefits while reassuring those who feared that such reductions in security-related activities would exacerbate even more the situation of unemployment in the region.5 Accelerated growth required the private sector to be ready to respond positively to the new impetus coming from the achievement of peace and stability. Together with accommodating a greater involvement of external interests, both entrepreneurial and financial, these changes would have the likely result of increasing employment opportunities in the medium to longer term. To make these achievements possible, the government had to refocus public expenditure with the aim of stimulating economic progress and social cohesion throughout Northern Ireland and the border counties of the Republic (interview with Hugh Logue, 29/10/2015), trusting that ‘increased funding or not, […] greater emphasis could be placed on two areas within the EC funding programme which used economic means for political ends. These were the projects set up to improve cross-border and cross-community relations’ (interview with Hugh Logue, 29/10/2015).

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In addition, attention needed to be placed on reversing the decline in infrastructure provisions and public services to finally create conditions for accelerating the development of trade skills by extending local employment opportunities and, at the same time, providing a long-term solution for unemployment in the region (interview with Hugh Logue, 29/10/2015). This description, and these quotations, embody a very clear EU strategic position. By realising Northern Ireland’s full economic potential—which was essentially cross-border focused—it was possible to also provide more opportunities for its citizens: ‘because new political structures and processes could bring greater stability and confidence together with the opportunity of developing a more effective relationship within the EU’ (interview with Hugh Logue, 29/10/2015). This settlement could be accelerated by creating the necessary foundations for a successful economy, ‘finding new ways for the public and private sectors to work together’,6 and bringing an end ‘to all Northern Ireland’s political problems’.7 Although the EU could not interfere at the political level, it had, nonetheless, the means to encourage the groundswell of cooperation, which was growing at the business and grassroots levels. To provide funding to civil society networks and voluntary groups to build grassroots capacity, capabilities, and skills to build a local civil society milieu, was part of a sustainable peacebuilding effort (Byrne 2001). The idea was that getting people to work together on superordinate goals could forge new healthy relationships and networks that were constructive. In parallel with helping to create new, just, political, and economic structures, this could build confidence among people. Positive cross-community relations and economic and industrial regeneration were consequently inextricably linked and constituted two fundamental measures that needed to be addressed by the EU package to sustain a comprehensive and strategic peace process in Northern Ireland (Jeong 2008).

3 The Efforts of the 1994 Northern Ireland Task Force To ensure that opportunities and benefits arising from peace were fully exploited, and in line with the new objective of partnership with the private sector and the grassroots level, President Jacques Delors established a special Northern Ireland Task Force in 1994, headed by Carlo

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Trojan. In 1987 Trojan was appointed Deputy Secretary-General of the European Commission, later to become Secretary-General in 1997. He was described by the Irish Times as ‘a tough fixer’ and ‘a master of the Brussels machine’ who ‘has shirked the limelight and only agrees to be interviewed rarely’.8 Trojan spent ten years as the number two in the Commission, handling some of the most delicate budget negotiations, not least of which was his success as head of a Delors Task Force on German unification and brokering a £2.5 billion package to ease the transition.9 The main undertaking of Trojan, as head of the Delors Task Force in Germany, was to integrate the legislation of the former German Democratic Republic (GDR) into secondary Community law. It can be argued that his appointment as the Head of the Northern Ireland Task Force was not unintentional. He was already acquainted with processes of reconciliation, in addition to having won the trust of Delors over the years. He also had a deep knowledge of Ireland and of the Northern Ireland situation, having been the EU Commission’s observer on the International Fund for Ireland (IFI) Board for eleven years, working closely with its long-time president Willie McCarter (Lagana and all. 2019, p. 28). In the context of the cessation of violence and a developing peace process in Northern Ireland, the Commission Task Force was established to examine ways to assist the region and the border counties of the Republic of Ireland. The outcomes of its work should be seen as the first step in the process of bringing the public and private sector together to form a consensus approach on the way forward, achieving cohesion within Northern Ireland and the border counties, together with accelerating economic growth. This strategy was aimed at maximising the benefits of new EU policies, involving more open consultations about the relative merits of competing priorities, and greater transparency with respect to how priorities were determined. We worked in close cooperation with the three Northern Ireland MEP’s - Ian Paisley, John Hume, and Jim Nicholson - who paid a joint visit to this effect to the President of the Commission. The very fact of this joint demarche of three gentlemen who were hardly on speaking terms was exceptional in itself. Within the Task Force, I worked closely with their personal representatives, including Hugh Logue. We consulted widely with grassroots organisations of both communities and of both sides of the border and produced the proposal entitled ‘A Special Support Programme for Peace and Reconciliation in Northern Ireland’, issued on 14 December

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1994, in time for endorsement by the December European Council at Essen. The member states ratified the programme with a budget of £240 million, with the British and Irish governments agreeing to donate a similar amount. This was also the last European Council of Jacques Delors as President of the European Commission. (Interview with Carlo Trojan, 29/01/2016)

This quote explains how the Northern Ireland Task Force worked. Consultations on the ground were held by a delegation of three EU officials, nominated by the three Northern Ireland MEPs who fully cooperated and were involved in the whole process. The officials hence joined the EU/Northern Ireland public network. The task of the officials—Hugh Logue, Howard McNally, and Robert Ramsey—was to take soundings from a variety of groupings across Northern Ireland and the border regions on the matter of EU assistance for job creation, social inclusion, and economic development.10 They consulted a wide range of public and private actors at the four different locations they visited (Belfast, Armagh, Ballymena, and Derry) and reported back to the Chairman, Carlo Trojan. Subsequently, EU leaders meeting at the summit in Essen approved the £240 million peace dividend for Northern Ireland. On this occasion, the three MEPs, Hume, Paisley, and Nicholson, also voiced their unqualified support for the initiative, despite their vastly differing views on Europe. Ian Paisley said the Province’s three MEPs must have a ‘systematic input to the massive aid package’,11 stating publicly: ‘I must say I am not a fan of Mr Delors, as you know, but he met us very fairly and he was very well briefed. You know my views on Europe, but if you are in Europe you might as well use it’.12 This was an important change in opinion from the man who ‘marched on Maastricht’ in December 1991 (interview with Hugh Logue, 29/10/2015) to warn John Major that the Delors’ European cooperation plan would ‘emasculate the British lion’.13 Jim Nicholson provides further insight into the dynamics of this situation: The three Northern Ireland MEPs may have had differences and differing political views on these matters, but we worked together in the interests of the province, for example, to gain European funds. Delors was extremely receptive and prepared to listen. He asked what he could do to help both the communities in Northern Ireland and the MEPs indicated that an initiative with a ‘bottom-up’ approach would be of benefit. In one of the

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early meetings, we discussed with Delors the peace programme priorities, not long after the declaration of the loyalist ceasefire. Delors made things happen; he didn’t give any excuses as to why things couldn’t be done or accept it when officials said things were not possible. For example, when officials noted the lack of a budget line in the programme, Delors pressed for underspend to be used to this aim. Paisley had his concerns, as Hume and I had, but I did not find any reticence in anyone: we were working for the good of all our people and even Paisley was extremely pleasant and positive. Maybe that’s because it was at the end of his career - I don’t know and I can’t say - but I found him to be a force for good during that time, almost as much as Carlo Trojan, who was instrumental in developing what PEACE became and in driving the project forward. (Interview with Jim Nicholson, 27/11/2015)

With this assessment, Nicholson states not only how instrumental President Delors was positively responding to the new opportunities made possible by the cessation of violence in Northern Ireland but also underlines how Carlo Trojan was the material architect of the EU Programme for Peace and Reconciliation in Northern Ireland. At the same time, Nicholson describes the empowering nature of the whole work of the EU in this sense, which was not restricted to a mere transfer of monies for the sake of transferring monies but was aimed at developing policies which had the objective of closing the gap between economic and social development across the island of Ireland, focusing additionally on the grassroots level. The three Northern Ireland MEPs knew that there was a lot of commitment in voluntary organisations and private actors to cross the religious divide and do things together to further community development. They thus decided to cooperate within the EU/Northern Ireland public network to help the design of the package and to connect with grassroot networks in the group. The report of the 1994 Northern Ireland Task Force argued that to fully exploit the economic and social opportunities created by the end of the violence, and to push the region nearer a permanent peace, the package of EU financial assistance needed to set out the following priorities: employment creation, urban and regional regeneration, cross-border development, social inclusion, investment, and industrial development.14 These categories highlight the emphasis placed in the programme on a twin-tracked economic and social approach, endorsing the Commission’s initial view on priorities and objectives of the package (Teague 1996, p. 551).

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At the grassroots level, work on cross-border and cross-community relations had already been initiated by the EU since the beginning of the 1990s through the IFI, the Interreg programme and other Structural Funds initiatives and community groups were already working to restore normality in the most deprived areas of the region (interview with Hugh Logue, 29/10/2015). In this way, business communities set the wheels in motion for increased cooperation with their southern counterparts and, in relation to the new EU Programme for Peace and Reconciliation: The EC should no longer stand on the side-lines, as regards the economic support it can provide to help achieve political stability. It should be SEEN to promote reconciliation between the two communities. It should be SEEN to encourage cross-border cooperation. It should be SEEN to work with the two governments to bring stability. […] The Community was set up to promote peace in Europe and, by showing a greater commitment at the economic level, it can help to achieve that goal in one of its far-flung regions.15

In this quotation, the Spokesperson for the EU Commission Office in Northern Ireland, Jane Morrice, asserted one of the most important principles driving all future EU initiatives within the framework of the Northern Ireland peace process—that the programmes and proposals should be visible to everyone and as close as possible to the citizens and to Northern Ireland society as a whole. The EU was evidently too often perceived as an institution too distant to play a significant role in the everyday life of people. In addition, the reiteration of the importance for the EU to promote peace in one of its ‘far-flung regions’, pointed to how such support could be provided exclusively by economic means (as had been done in the past) but, as the next section will show, the EU focused more subtly on the political aspects of the situation aimed at promoting reconciliation and cross-border cooperation together with political stability.

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The PEACE Package

The European historical context had changed irreversibly by the time the official communication on the Special Support Programme for Peace and Reconciliation in Northern Ireland was produced following the Task

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Force report. The opening of the Berlin Wall on 9 November 1989 fundamentally and irreversibly changed the relations between the two German states, the Community, and the milestones and practices of European integration. The EU had been involved in a massive change to a member state that concerned a geopolitical conflict and questions of national identity. The integration of the two states included an economic dimension. These international events influenced the direction of policies and discussions regarding the Northern Ireland conflict. At the EP sitting of 16 January 1995, the President announced that he had referred the communication on the special initiative to the EU Committee on Regional Policy, whose president was Roberto Speciale. It was thus decided that the EP needed a detailed and complete overview of the situation and John Hume was accordingly charged with producing a report,16 consulting widely with all the EP committees, and taking into account all the opinions and suggestions for improvement.17 The draft report was considered two months afterwards and was discussed during the following EP sitting. The document produced by Hume in 1995 on behalf of the Committee on Regional Policy involved consultation with the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, the Committee on Budgets, the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and Industrial Policy, and with the Committee on Social Affairs and Employment. Opinions and suggestions focused unanimously on ensuring that the special support programme for peace benefitted all communities in Northern Ireland in an equitable and balanced way.18 The introductory section stated that the programme would have to apply impartially to Northern Ireland and the border areas, guided by the objective of having an immediate and visible impact on the ground. It was structured to last for five years and the allocation of ECU 300 million would be provided for the first three years, the remainder to be subject to a review based on a further Commission report.19 One of the major topics focused on in the document was agriculture and the Northern Ireland MEP Jim Nicholson acted as a draftsman on behalf of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development. Agriculture accounted for 4.2% of GNP (compared to 1.8% in the UK) and 8.2% of employment (compared to 2.1% in the UK) and could cross all the five designated priorities (Bradley 1996, p. 40). Moreover, the border areas, mainly characterised by very small agriculture holdings based on the family-farm principle, suffered the highest levels of poverty and deprivation and wished to develop their enterprise without the inhibitions of

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elements issued by the CAP reforms or the uniform application of quotas (Gudgin 2000, p. 65). In addition, the agri-food business in Northern Ireland was underdeveloped, which exacerbated existing disadvantages suffered from insufficient production of grain and the continuous exodus of farmers.20 To fulfil the objectives of the peace programme and thus improve the sector by investments and creating employment, Nicholson called on the EP to examine more closely how disadvantages associated with Northern Ireland’s peripheral location, as well as the high cost of imported grain, could be reduced and brought more into line with the rest of Europe. This could transform agriculture into an attractive industry. To improve quality and to promote trade and exports could create employment and achieve better opportunities in terms of cross-border cooperation between Northern Ireland and the Republic, especially in the fisheries sector.21 These requests reflected a need to address new priorities, refocusing existing European policies in order to support the ongoing peace process instead of the timeworn strategy of researching common fields of potential agreement between the different Northern Ireland actors. Agriculture was considered the first component in developing the groundwork of a bottom-up action aimed at creating new opportunities in terms of regeneration, employment, social inclusion, investment, and, of course, cross-border cooperation. It was thus a sector that needed to be empowered by investment and the suggestion that agriculture could embody the programme’s entire objective and constitute a real incentive to cross-border cooperation was emblematic, not least when coming from a Northern Ireland MEP, Jim Nicholson, who was from the unionist community. The report continued by reiterating that the new initiative must be matched by additional appropriations within the ceiling of the Community’s own resources in order to add to industrial development. Other propositions stressed the need to focus on the effects of the EU initiative which needed to ensure that the full potential of the region was realised both in terms of grassroots impact and high politics. These contributions concretely reflected the new opportunities and additional needs brought up by the cessation of violence, concluding that the existing policies, as they were proposed in their past and contemporary forms, were not sufficient in themselves to address all the structural changes. Consequently, new approaches needed to take into account the national and institutional levels but particularly the ‘new’ local and grassroots level, which emerged

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in the operationalisation of the Task Force. In doing so, the programme’s structure had to be implemented in close cooperation with local organisations which had already developed and built on the existing solidarity within communities and had already encouraged cross-community cooperation.22 In this regard, the Hume 1995 report had the merit of alerting the EP to an additional Community responsibility in promoting social and economic cohesion both within Northern Ireland, across the island of Ireland, and within the EU. The document was adopted unanimously at the EP session on 23 March 1995.23

5

The EP Debate on the Special Support Programme for Peace and Reconciliation in Northern Ireland At the end of 1994, Jacques Delors was due to step down as President of the European Commission. Jacques Santer, then Prime Minister of Luxembourg, was nominated as his successor and unanimously approved. The Council appointed the newly formed Commission on 23 January 1995 and Santer ensured that momentum was maintained regarding the Special Support Programme for Peace and Reconciliation in Northern Ireland. Jim Nicholson recalls that ‘he [Santer] was accessible and patient throughout the process. He also visited Northern Ireland to underscore the EU’s commitment to the region’ (interview with Jim Nicholson, 27/11/2015). Subsequently, President Santer appointed Monika WulfMathies as the new Commissioner for Regional Policy. Wulf-Mathies, a German politician, showed great sensitivity and understanding of the nature of the Northern Ireland problem and took over the heritage left by Carlo Trojan (interview with Jim Nicholson, 27/11/2015). As a German politician, the new Commissioner, like Trojan, had direct and recent experience of the process of incorporating the GDR into the EU’s acquis communautaire. Discussions about the overall outcomes of what would become the EU programme PEACE I were held over several sessions of the EP and during a special conference, which took place in Belfast in mid-April 1995.24 The event was presided over by the Chairman of the Committee on Regional Policy (Roberto Speciale) and got the full support of the EP and of President Santer.25 The parliamentary debates and the speeches presented during the Belfast seminar had two crucial common elements: firstly, all

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discourses contained a special expression of gratitude for the work of former President Delors. He had the merit to have responded immediately to the opportunity for peace in Northern Ireland by launching the programme and, especially, to have conferred directly with Paisley, Nicholson, and Hume. Secondly, everyone in Europe recognised the joint work carried out by the three Northern Ireland MEPs within the EU/Northern Ireland public network as one of the greatest accomplishments. As such, the EP debate held on 5 April 1995 presented the final structure of the Special Support Programme for Peace and Reconciliation in Northern Ireland. The new Commission and the EP were powerfully encouraged by past accomplishments and proposals to develop and refocus EU policies on Northern Ireland and the border counties, in particular, to assist the regeneration of those communities most affected by the conflict. The most important component of the programme was introduced by the EP and concerned the distinct nature of this initiative from the usual EU regional political machinery, as asserted in the following statement: The EP insists on the need for the special and distinct nature of the programme to be made clear and in particular for the additionality principle to be clearly upheld, thus recognising the advantages of cooperation between the EU and other organisations involved in complementary initiatives in Ireland, calling on the Commission and Council to ensure that existing EU programmes are implemented rapidly.26

This renewed advocacy of additionality underlined the EP’s consciousness that the money spent for peacebuilding in Northern Ireland had to be a supplementary resource for the benefit of ordinary people and not money made available at the expense of others. This view was adopted unanimously by the Parliament, which was exceptional in itself because displaying such unanimity was not common in Europe: ‘this support made a powerful impact on the people of Northern Ireland and strengthened the peace process’ (interview with Jim Nicholson, 27/11/2015). Specifically, the European institutions broadly supported the same emphasis previously placed on the promotion of growth, employment, and social inclusion27 and the EP welcomed the Commission’s rapid response to the cessation of violence in Northern Ireland and the subsequent decision of the Essen European Council to support a special Community initiative to facilitate the establishment of lasting peace in the

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region. This view was expressed in the following quotation from British MEP Arlene McCarthy, speaking on behalf of the European Socialists: I have a personal interest in the success of this programme. I was born and brought up in Belfast as the daughter of a Catholic father and a Protestant mother. I know only too well the problems of divided communities. […] The people of Northern Ireland have vitality, they have creativity, and they have energy and skills crying out to be put in good use. […] This programme will help to develop their skills, to rebuild the communities and help Northern Ireland to grow and prosper. But I would like to make a special plea to ensure that young people benefit and are actively involved in the programme. Northern Ireland’s youth should never have to make the impossible choice between leaving […] or remaining only to face insecurity, violence and the prospect of long-term unemployment.28

This assessment shows that the EP had been widely consulted on drafts and documents concerning the programme during 1995. In addition, McCarthy underlined the need to address the matters of development and employment in order to ensure a future for the next generation in Northern Ireland. In presenting his report on the Special Support Programme for Peace and Reconciliation in Northern Ireland at the EP plenary section on 5 April 1995, Hume stated in front of the EP: Although I am the one delivering this report, I wish to make it clear that what I am presenting is produced together with Jim and Ian. We have consulted very closely and worked in full cooperation in preparing this report. That is very important as well. Unfortunately, Ian Paisley is not here at the moment […] and I want to make clear, as he has made clear to me, his total support for this report today. The fact that Jim, Ian and myself are working so closely together is something very positive and very encouraging for the people at the grassroots throughout Northern Ireland.29

The tribute paid from everyone in Europe to Paisley, Nicholson, and Hume for their coordinated work was aimed at sending a very powerful signal to all the parties concerned within Northern Ireland and to all member states that reconciliation required, among other things, the relearning (and in some cases, learning for the first time) of skills connected to cooperation and regeneration. In addition, these last two

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quotations show how Paisley and Nicholson ended up embracing all EU activities in Northern Ireland as legitimate and to be welcomed since they had positive implications for the overall political settlement on the island. All the parties involved eventually accepted the EU and the EP as legitimate places to discuss the Northern Ireland situation. A celebration of something otherwise considered inconceivable, accomplished in Brussels and by Brussels, was a celebration of the EU itself, which revealed how the Community had an important role in Northern Ireland. The importance of adopting a bottom-up approach and a strategy of social inclusion was central to the design of a very specific peacebuilding approach. Locally, the provision of money would trigger new forms of cooperation between Unionist and Nationalist representatives, involving civil society in new initiatives characterised by a bottom-up approach; and, the EU could derive a high level of institutional learning from local experiences. The latter was a two-way process: Northern Ireland benefitted from experience and knowledge derived elsewhere, and other regions might benefit in the future from what was learned in Northern Ireland regards building peace and fostering reconciliation.

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PEACE I and the Partnership Principle

The programme PEACE I was officially launched in 1995, three months after the EP sitting. The European Commission called specifically for a greater role for local actors. It encouraged community groups to form cross-border and cross-community networks and to develop strategic plans for cross-border policy. Civil society and community groups in Northern Ireland had long sought to participate more actively in peacebuilding. This wish developed substantially within the region and the border areas in the 1970s and 1980s due to the vacuum left by the suspension of the Stormont administration in 1972. However, these networks were heavily dependent on British government funding to help in the governance of a society deeply divided along ethno-national lines (McCall and O’Dowd 2008, p. 33). Community groups were engaged in service provision and delivery, in lobbying for marginalised communities, and in promoting improved community relations (interview with Pat Colgan, 10/05/2016). At a greater distance from the two governments, these private networks, funded by philanthropic organisations working with groups in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, were involved directly in promoting

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peace, reconciliation, and conflict resolution. These groups included Cooperation North (later Co-operation Ireland) (Coakley and O’Dowd 2007) and projects such as Corrymeela and the Peace People movement (McCall and O’Dowd 2008, p. 33). However, these private groups and networks lacked overall coordination and stood at one remove from the evolving peace process. The Commission’s call for a greater role for local actors also served to support and strengthen the already active mobilisation of the existing cross-border networks developed under the aegis of Interreg II (the North West Region Cross Border Group; the East Border Region Committee; and the Irish Central Border Area Network). These three local networks received additional funding from PEACE and got facilitated to develop integrated area plans. PEACE I stimulated an avalanche of applications for funding, with over 1000 cross-border projects being supported eventually (interview with Pat Colgan, 10/05/2016). The influence that different actors could exercise became more systematically organised. Civil society networks seeking to participate in PEACE I were certainly still dependent on their resources and interests but tried to be involved in all the different phases of the policy process. Their objective was to participate and engage in all steering committees, as these were the main decision-making structures of cross-border cooperation and reconciliation (interview with Pat Colgan, 10/05/2016). Private consultations and regular meetings, as those developed during the work of the Task Force, played an important role and facilitated subsequent lobbying. The task of engaging in negotiations with the EU Commission was left to the national representatives, with the participation of the EU/Northern Ireland network. The overall management structures of PEACE were highly complicated. The priorities and sub-measures of Peace I were delivered through a complex mix of centralised government departments, (decentralised) Intermediary Funding Bodies (IFBs), and newly established local delivery mechanisms in the form of District Partnerships in Northern Ireland and County Council-Led Task Forces (CCLTFs) in the Irish border region. A total of sixty-four separate implementing bodies were involved (Buchanan 2017, p. 193). Adding to this complexity, some priorities were shared between multiple agencies. Nevertheless, such delivery structures increased considerably the level of devolved responsibilities. While the programme was jointly managed by the Dublin and Belfast Departments of Finance, it was instrumental

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in pioneering the use of IFBs on a large scale on both sides of the Irish border. These were bodies independent of the state, who were invited to take on the role of delivering certain priorities and/or sub-measures depending on their area of expertise. A further (local) delivery mechanism was the District Partnerships, which emerged as a specific priority for Northern Ireland only under Peace I (Buchanan 2017, p. 194). These new partnership structures were set up in each of the twentysix District Council areas, consisting of one-third each elected Council members, representatives from the networks, and trade union and business representatives. Each one of these was received funding according to their area’s population and relative deprivation (interview with Pat Colgan,10/05/2016). Based on this description, it is clear how the PEACE I programme represented the first shift from centralised to decentralised status in Northern Ireland. The initiative traversed sectoral, communal, and state borders. Multiple agents were involved in it, including the European Commission, which acted as the metagovernor. The government departments from the two states, local authorities, private sector organisations, intermediate-level voluntary actors, and grassroots voluntary and community groups also played an important role. Such networks were predicated on an inclusive and comprehensive principle of bottom-up peacebuilding, with a discursive emphasis on economic growth, innovation, and sustainable and social development as a metagovernance tool to anchor each network’s strategy to the EU agenda. In this way, the participation of networks in peacebuilding activities was more easily acceptable to the two national governments of the Republic of Ireland and the UK. As part of the guidelines governing the programme, a monitoring committee was established. The body was kept separate from the Interreg one and was very representative of all the key social partners, as well as public authorities, thus improving the issue of representation highlighted by the management of Interreg, which was considered too restricted (Laffan and Payne 2001, p. 72). The PEACE Programme’s Monitoring Committee had the task to oversee and monitor the implementation of the programme and to assess the successes of it in reaching its performance indicators. The Department of Finance and Personnel in Belfast chaired the Monitoring Committee and provided it with the Secretariat, together with the Department of Finance in Dublin. Joint workinggroups (‘joint’ at least on paper) prepared regular progress reports on the

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developments of the sub-initiatives they were responsible for. The Monitoring Committee met regularly at six-monthly intervals to discuss the joint working-group reports and any other relevant material (interview with Pat Colgan, 10/05/2016). Overall, PEACE I provided a testing ground for innovation in the role of partnership for civil society networks and community groups, which, rather than remaining confined to areas of implementation and evaluation, demonstrated a real potential and determination to become involved in a variety of roles from the very start of the programme design. Involvement in a cross-community and cross-border transnational framework linked those working through similar goals on the ground, thereby providing ideas and models of best practice for cooperation and reconciliation. The EU promotion of subsidiarity, the access to consultative fora such as the Committee of the Regions (Wallace and Wallace 2000, p. 261) through the EU/Northern Ireland public network and bottom-up consultations, additionally helped other networks to articulate their needs and formally becoming peacebuilding networks. In this process, the Commission’s promotion of the principle of partnership was aimed at metagoverning the territorial paradigm of the UK and Irish politics in Northern Ireland and provided a new and effective approach to transnational EU-wide socio-economic problems (interview with Carlo Trojan, 29/01/2016). During those years, with political violence largely ceased but with political and cultural manifestations of conflict still strongly persisting, ‘partnership’ was interpreted as a means of creating broader frameworks of cooperation and initiating reconciliation between conflicting ethno-national communities. In addition, partnership was also part of the arrangements for the delivery of a more flexible form of governance in peacebuilding which included the Republic of Ireland. The PEACE package, therefore, embodied the EU commitment to a multi-level structured social partnership, which included peacebuilding networks empowered by metagovernance mechanisms. The EU’s promotion of a ‘transnational partnership approach’ in building peace in Northern Ireland occurred without strong resistance from the governments of the two member states involved, as, through metagovernance, they were still the main gatekeepers of the policymaking processes and negotiations with the Commission.

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Difficulties of PEACE I

In the context of the PEACE programmes, the EU acted as a metagovernor facilitating peace and reconciliation. Such assistance was an important contingent of peacebuilding, as, in addition to financial support, Lederach highlighted how the need for ‘the development of new ways of thinking about categories, responsibilities, strategic commitment to peacebuilding, and a new understanding of socio-cultural resources present in a conflict setting’ (Lederach 1997, p. 150) are also essential. Lederach laid particular emphasis on the potential of peacebuilding networks in the pursuit of creating the ‘infrastructure of peace’ (Lederach 1997, p. 151). In this regard, metagovernors must be careful to respect the cultural wisdom and creative peacebuilding processes of local cultures if the parties in conflict are to become empowered agents of social change (Kelliher and Byrne 2017, pp. 38–39). In a similar vein, Lederach cautions against the application of a universal approach to peacebuilding. Instead, he prioritises the everyday understandings of local people as a key resource (Lederach 1995, p. 26). The partnership structure employed to implement PEACE I, being the first experiment in this sense, was far from perfect and several difficulties were identified. First, only one measure—measure 3.4—of PEACE I addressed the question of reconciliation directly, rather than as a byproduct of economic renewal, economic development, or social inclusion (McCall and O’Dowd 2008, p. 31). Consequently, the focus of the programme on the relationship between cross-community links at the local-level and cross-border links between North and South was limited. Projects funded under the cross-border community reconciliation 3.4 measure ranged from those engaged in engendering greater cross-border contact, to those facilitating cross-border training, to those organising cross-border conferences and seminars on reconciliation. These initiatives were very small in number. Second, promoters of PEACE I faced several debilitating practical obstacles once they qualified for funding. These included: currency differentials, different systems of taxation, and little coordination between statutory and voluntary agencies on either side of the border or either side of the cultural divide within Northern Ireland (interview with Andy Pollak, 28/11/2015). Other operational barriers included: poor community infrastructure; a lack of human resources and time to effectively

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implement projects; a lack of project management skills and innovative project design skills; fear of resistance to cross-border community development; and lack of experience in managing relations with a crossborder partner (McCall and Williamson 2001, pp. 402–403). These issues were similar in nature to those encountered by the implementation of the Interreg programme. In addition, the absence of a border-region specific coordinated plan with a multisectoral approach produced further difficulties in attributing the right budget to the various groups. Third, the selection and appraisal procedures of PEACE I lacked common criteria and an effective methodology in use for the targeting of community projects and social groups.30 Similarly, Pollak and Harvey (2013, p. 6) noted slackness in the use of indicators and measures to monitor the programme’s peacebuilding effectiveness. Many of the funded cross-border and cross-community projects were only nominally so because, although specific projects were provided by groups on either side of the border, they were often back-to-back activities that did not traverse the border. Also, Pollak and Harvey found that the number of such groups in the Republic of Ireland involved in promoting north– south dialogue was still relatively small at the time of PEACE I and before the signing of the 1998 Belfast/Good Friday Agreement (GFA) (2013, p. 9). Lastly, the short-term nature of PEACE I made sustainability a critical issue both for projects supported by the programme and for project organisers themselves. Mainstreaming innovation and learning from the programme, both in practical and institutional terms, was judged to provide a means through which actions could be sustained and further developed in subsequent programmes but the future was still too unclear to really focus on the lessons to be learned for this first experience. Overall, based on these evaluations, it remains unclear if PEACE I promoted a new form of partnership spanning North and South and across the two Northern Ireland communities … or if it just promoted the growth of peacebuilding networks, distinct from different sides of the divide. It is certainly true that a large number of the local partnerships formed in Northern Ireland and the border counties of the Republic of Ireland were simply attracted by the opportunity of additional funding. Inevitably, the relationship between cross-border connectivity, partnership, accountability, effectiveness, and sustainability was a secondary concern in these heady early days.

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Conclusion

EU involvement in the Northern Ireland peace process was at its most intense in the mid-1990s. Contributions took many different forms, ranging from high-level political support to grassroots financial intervention. All were specifically aimed at supporting the political progress made as a result of the ceasefires. Based on an analysis of what went on behind the scenes of the EU decision to design the PEACE package, the assertion that EU funding for peacebuilding played a significant role in sustaining the Northern Ireland peace process appears to be justified. The originality of the PEACE funding mechanisms was crucial to its success; intermediary funding bodies and bottom-up consultations were an ingenious metagovernance tool of devolving responsibility to the grassroots and building capacity in the region. The financial impact of the programme was also significant because it was unique and innovative. By providing financial aid to support peace and reconciliation, this programme became, between 1995 and 1999, the single largest EU programme in Northern Ireland. The EU contribution represented 73% of total investment; the remaining funding gap being met by the authorities in both Ireland and the UK and the non-governmental sector. This chapter analysed the economic and political context of Northern Ireland after 1994 and the research supports the view that the EU Programme for Peace and Reconciliation set up specific administrative arrangements to resolve some of the issues already identified by the Interreg experience. The new framework constituted a neutral political background that could potentially provide greater local autonomy for poorer communities and greater participation for peacebuilding policy networks. Indeed, the initiative was designed to make it possible for private actors and interest groups to gain additional financial benefits for maintaining peace, also providing an incentive for paramilitary leaders and their supporters to maintain the ceasefires. For representatives from both Northern Ireland communities and the Irish government, the programme constituted an encouragement to work together on the management of this aid. The cross-border dimension was integral to the partnership approach because it provided the scope for a broader framework of cooperation that could help overcome the claustrophobic zero-sum confines of the Northern Ireland conflict and advance peace and reconciliation efforts

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at the grassroots level. Hence, the PEACE package provided the opportunity for decision-makers to experience directly the consensus-building style of EU law-making in Council and Commission negotiations. The representatives got acquainted with a new style of multilateral dialogue and compromise which became a valuable metagovernance tool to be used in local political talks. From a cross-border cooperation perspective, it brought about a regular coming together of administrations that undoubtedly had a positive impact on the peace process as well as on cross-border relationships in general. The foundations of the EU Special Support Programme for Peace and Reconciliation relied upon a deep understanding of the political and economic problems faced by Northern Ireland’s citizens and its primary aim was to develop and maintain the best possible linkage between the region and the Community, with the prospect of a future based on peace and prosperity. The EU, by implementing the programme, provided concrete help in achieving political stability, by economic means, as part of a strategic peacebuilding effort enacted through performative metagovernance arrangements. The approach of the European Commission to the design of the PEACE programmes for Northern Ireland and the border regions of Ireland, consciously or unconsciously, adopted many of the recommendations made by peacebuilding theorists. The potential of such strategic peacebuilding operations got additionally enhanced following the signing of the Belfast/GFA in 1998.

Notes 1. Originally the initiative was simply called PEACE. With the subsequent extensions of the programme, it became PEACE I, II, III, IV, and the more recent PEACE PLUS. 2. Historical Archives EP, A4-0068/95, ‘Report on the communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on a special support programme for peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland (COM(94)0607—C4-0267/94) and on the draft notice to the Member States laying down guidelines for an initiative in the framework of the special support programme for peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland and the border counties of Ireland (SEC(95)0279— C4-0084/95)’, 24 March 1995. 3. Hugh Logue personal collection, Confederation of British Industry (CBI), 1994, ‘Peace: A challenging new era’, Paper NI 08 94, p. 3.

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4. Notre Europe Institute Jacques Delors, JD-1699, ‘Entretien de Jacques Delors avec Gerald Fitzgerald, ancient Premier ministre de l’Irlande (Bruxelles)’, July 1992. 5. Hugh Logue personal collection, Confederation of British Industry (CBI), 1994, ‘Peace: A challenging new era’, Paper NI 08 94, p. 5. 6. Ibid., p. 4. 7. Ibid., p. 8. 8. https://www.irishtimes.com/news/firm-friend-to-ireland-takes-up-topeu-post-1.99877 (last accessed on the 26/02/2020 at 2.22 p.m.). 9. Ibid. 10. Hugh Logue personal collection, draft press release for issue by MEPS, “Special advisors to Delors Task Force in Northern Ireland for ‘on the ground’ consultation.” 11. Hugh Logue personal collection, European Commission office in Northern Ireland weekly press review, 11 December 1994. 12. Hugh Logue personal collection, Downing, J., & Healy, J., “Paisley praises former hate figure Delors”, The Irish Independent, 8 December 1994. 13. Ibid., p. 3. 14. Commission of the European Communities, “Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on the Special Support Programme for Peace and Reconciliation in Northern Ireland and the Border Counties of Ireland (1995–1999)”, Brussels, 26 November 1997. Available at: http://aei.pitt.edu/3489/1/3489.pdf (last visited 28/02/2017, at 11:31). 15. Notre Europe Institute Jacques Delors, JD1699, ‘Northern Ireland/Europe: An economic summary—Jane Morrice on behalf on the European Commission office in Northern Ireland’, November 1992, p. 6. 16. Historical Archives EP, A4-0068/95, ‘Report on the communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on a special support programme for peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland (COM(94)0607—C4-0267/94) and on the draft notice to the Member States laying down guidelines for an initiative in the framework of the special support programme for peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland and the border counties of Ireland (SEC(95)0279— C4-0084/95)’, 24 March 1995. 17. European Parliament Speech (Draft), Roberto Speciale, ‘The Northern Ireland peace process’, 14 February 1996. 18. Historical Archives EP, A4-0068/95, ‘Debates of the European Parliament: Peace and reconciliation’, 5 April 1995.

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19. Hume on behalf of the Committee on Regional Policy, ‘Report on the special support programme for peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland and the border counties of Ireland’, 1995, p. 7. 20. Nicholson on behalf of the Committee on Regional Policy, ‘Report on the special support programme for peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland and the border counties of Ireland’, 1995, p. 7. 21. Ibid., p. 9. 22. Brian Crowley on behalf of the Committee on Regional Policy, ‘Report on the special support programme for peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland and the border counties of Ireland’, 1995, p. 14. 23. Historical Archives EP, A4-0068/95, ‘Debates of the European Parliament: Peace and reconciliation’, 5 April 1995, p. 3. 24. Roberto Speciale personal collection, Proposal for an Information Conference on the EJJ’s aid package to further peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland, Brussels, 30 January 1995. 25. Ibid. 26. Historical Archives EP, A4-0068/95, ‘Debates of the European Parliament: Peace and reconciliation’, 5 April 1995. 27. Ibid., p. 4. 28. Arlene McCarthy addressing the EP, ‘Debates of the European Parliament: Peace and reconciliation’, 1995, p. 4. 29. Hume addressing the EP, ‘Debates of the European Parliament: Peace and reconciliation’, 1995, pp. 1–2. 30. European Court of Auditors (2000), Information note on special report no. 7/00 of the European Court of Auditors Concerning the International Fund for Ireland and the Special Programme of Support for Peace and Reconciliation in Northern Ireland and the Border Counties of Ireland. Available at: https://www.eca.europa.eu/lists/ecadocuments/ insr00_07/insr00_07_en.pdf (last accessed on 27/02/2020).

References Bradley J. (1996). Exploring the long-term economic and social consequences of peace in Ireland, forum for peace and reconciliation. Consultancy Studies, No. 4. Buchanan, S. (2008). Transforming conflict in Northern Ireland and the border counties: Some lessons from the peace programmes on valuing participative democracy. Irish Political Studies, 23(3), 387–409. Buchanan, S. (2017). Assessing external funding supports for the Northern Ireland peace process. In T. J. White (Ed.), Theories of international relations and Northern Ireland (pp. 180–192). Manchester: Manchester University Press.

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Byrne, S. (2001). Consociational and civic society approaches to peacebuilding in Northern Ireland. Journal of Peace Research, 38(3), 327–352. Byrne, S., & Irvin, C. (2001). Economic aid and policy-making: Building the peace dividend in Northern Ireland. Policy and Politics, 29(4), 413–429. Byrne, S., Skarlato, O., Fissuh, E., & Irvin, C. (2009). Building trust and goodwill in Northern Ireland and the border counties: The impact of economic aid on the peace process. Irish Political Studies, 24(3), 337–363. Coakley, J., & O’Dowd, L. (2007). Crossing the border: New relationships between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Naas: Irish Academic Press. Gudgin, G. (2000). EU membership and the Northern Ireland economy. In D. Kennedy (Ed.), Living with the European Union: The Northern Ireland experience (pp. 38–70). London: Macmillan. Harrison, R. T. (1986). Industrial development policy and the restructuring of the Northern Ireland economy. Environment and Planning: Government and Policy 4(4), 53–70. Jeong, H. W. (2008). Understanding conflict and conflict analysis. Los Angeles; London: Sage. Kelliher, F., & Byrne, S. (2017). The thinking behind the action (learning): Reflections on the design and delivery of an executive management program. Journal of Work-Applied Management, 10(1), 35–49. Laffan, B., & Payne, D. (2001). Creating living institutions: EU cross-border co-operation after the Good Friday Agreement (A Report for the Centre for Cross Border Studies). Institute for British-Irish Studies, UCD. Available at http://www.crossborder.ie/pubs/creatingliving.pdf (last accessed on the 16/04/2020 at 15.43 pm). Lagana, G., O’Dochartaigh, N., & Naughton, A. (2019). The European Union and the Northern Ireland peace process. Policy Report—The Whitaker Institute for Research and Innovation. Lederach, J. P. (1995). Beyond violence: Building sustainable peace. In A. Williamson, Beyond violence: The role of voluntary and community action in building a sustainable peace in Northern Ireland. Belfast: Community Relations Council. Lederach, J. P. (1997). Building peace: Sustainable reconciliation in divided societies. Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace Press. Lederach, J. P. (2003). The little book of conflict transformation. Intercourse, PA: Good Books. Lynch, C. (2010/2007, January). Evaluating the Peace-building impact of structural funds programmes: The EU programme for peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland. Evaluation, 13(1), 8–31. McCall, C., & O’Dowd, L. (2008). Hanging flower baskets, blowing in the wind? Third-sector groups, cross-border partnerships, and the EU peace programs in Ireland. Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, 14(1), 29–54.

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McCall, C., & Williamson, A. (2001). Governance and democracy in Northern Ireland: The role of the voluntary and community sector after the agreement. Governance: An International Journal of Policy, Administration and Institutions, 14(3), 363–383. Pollak A., & Harvey B. (2013). The potential for cross-border exchange and learning about change in the community and voluntary sectors in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Armagh: The Centre for Cross Border Studies. Racioppi, L., & O’Sullivan, K. (2007). Grassroots peacebuilding and third-party intervention: The European Union Special Support Programme for Peace and Reconciliation in Northern Ireland. Peace and Change, 32(3), 361–390. Teague, P. (1989). Economic development in Northern Ireland: Has pathfinder lost his way? Regional Studies, 23, 63–69. Teague, P. (1996). The European Union and the Irish peace process. Journal of Common Market Studies, 43(4), 549–570. Wallace, H., & Wallace, W. (2000). Policy making in the European Union. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

CHAPTER 7

The Belfast/Good Friday Agreement: Cross-Border Cooperation and Peacebuilding in the Context of the New Institutions

1

Introduction

The Belfast/Good Friday Agreement (GFA) of April 1998 led to the creation of a new set of political institutions within Northern Ireland, between North and South, and between the UK and the island of Ireland. The agreement’s constitutional template, with its three interlocking strands, was complex, elaborate, and purposefully ambiguous because it was the outcome of negotiations between a variety of political actors with very different preferences. It accorded considerable salience to the role of institutions and formally institutionalised processes for structuring politics and systems of public policymaking and consciously fragmented political and institutional power by creating interdependent institutional layers. The expectation was that if these new institutions would become embedded, all of the various political actors, regardless of their preferences, would become locked into a cooperative set of institutions in which the costs of exit would be very high. The importance of securing the support of civil society for the GFA, North and South, was evidenced in the holding of a referendum in both jurisdictions. The outcome of the referenda endowed the Agreement with popular legitimacy. However, to transform that popular mandate into a new set of ‘living institutions’ (Laffan and Payne 2001) has ever since remained a challenge. The underlying rationale and hope among the negotiators were that the new political arrangements would contribute to the management © The Author(s) 2021 G. Lagana, The European Union and the Northern Ireland Peace Process, Palgrave Studies in European Union Politics, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-59117-5_7

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of the conflict in the North—and ultimately to the resolution of it—by creating an environment that would allow for the development of ‘normal’ politics within Northern Ireland and between the constituent parts of the UK and the island of Ireland. This principle was in line with what had been theorised by John Paul Lederach (1997). In Lederach’s words, big constitutional conflicts—although not resolved—might in time be tamed within a new set of relationships mediated by institutions and processes, and by fostering grassroots participation in building peace. The agreement was, and remains, a political and institutional experiment involving Northern Ireland and the two sponsoring states of the UK and the Republic of Ireland. Since its signing, scholarly attention has inevitably focused on the ‘high politics’. On the one hand, existing scholarship has looked at the process of institution-building (Hayward 2006; Laffan 2005; Todd 2011) within the agreement. On the other hand, studies have focused on the contentious issues of prisoner release (Linn 2000), decommissioning (Walsh 2013) and demilitarisation, and policing (Cauvet 2011), as these matters could lead to the collapse of the agreement and of its institutional edifice. The objective of this chapter is to outline the key dynamics of political change following the signing of the GFA and to trace the institutional and policy implications of such change. Accordingly, the chapter will focus empirically on the role of the European programme for crossborder cooperation—Interreg III (2000–2006)—and on the role of the EU programme for peacebuilding—PEACE II (2000–2006)—in developing and promoting cross-border cooperation and cross-community reconciliation in the context of the new institutions. This will allow the book to delve beneath the ‘high politics’ of the agreement and analyse the interaction and intersection between the slow and somewhat tortuous creation of radically new political arrangements on the island, and the process of metagoverning peacebuilding performed by the EU in the context of the new institutions. The chapter will argue that the new institutional setting for cross-border and cross-community cooperation—the North/South Ministerial Council (NSMC) and the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB)—impacted positively on the structure and focus of EU cross-border and peacebuilding initiatives on the island. Moreover, a specific process of institutional learning took place behind the scenes. The EU, national politicians, and policy networks learned from past experiences in EU-sponsored Interreg cross-border cooperation. Such institutional learning enhanced the role of the EU Commission

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in animating and encouraging cross-border and civil society networks to develop a more focused peacebuilding strategy to complement the political process that became more effective in the new institutional setting. Successes were, nonetheless, limited and the reasons why EU initiatives—Interreg and PEACE—have had a limited impact on improving cross-community relations will also be explored. This chapter will first sketch the new institutional background initiated by the 1998 GFA. Secondly, it will proceed to a detailed analysis of the EU programmes Interreg III and PEACE II in the context of the new institutions. The analysis will encompass the role of cross-border and peacebuilding networks in framing and shaping the new initiatives, thus highlighting the metagovernance tools employed by the EU to enhance their participation in the peace process. Finally, the chapter will make a preliminary interconnection between experiences of regionalism and strategies of peacebuilding in a changing political and institutional environment.

2 The New Institutional Setting for Cross-Border and Cross-Community Cooperation The GFA sought to tackle communal conflict in Northern Ireland by establishing a complex set of institutions at three levels: within Northern Ireland, between North and South, and between East and West. This institutional model was deliberately multi-layered with consociational and intergovernmental features as it sought, on the one hand, to satisfy unionist demands for the protection of British authority in Northern Ireland, and, on the other hand, to dilute the hard edges of it (Cox et al. 2000). Paradoxically, the agreement re-affirmed the UK sovereignty on Northern Ireland but altered the institutional environment within which it was exercised. Interreg III and Peace II were developed and implemented within this changing environment. Arising from the interaction and intersection of these changes, all actors—public and private—developed their preferences about how European money should be spent, and on what, in an unstable and unpredictable political and institutional milieu. They specifically learned the value of EU metagovernance in this regard as they

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sought to influence how peacebuilding and North/South relations would be framed and managed over the following years. Three different political and institutional processes occurred in 1998 following the GFA. First, the agreement made provision for an Executive within Northern Ireland and, in particular, for cross-border and cross-community implementation bodies. These included the NSMC and the SEUPB. Second, the Commission, through its guidelines, altered the ‘rules of the game’ regarding the Interreg and PEACE initiatives by placing a particular emphasis on cross-border cooperation. Third, the Irish government opted for a regional approach to the implementation of the 2000–2006 National Development Plan with the establishment of the Border Midland and Western Region (BMW region). These three dynamics—but particularly the first two—created ‘top-down’ and ‘bottom-up’ impulses for change. To assess the trajectory of this change all three dimensions are analysed in turn. First, the new institutions, established as a consequence of the GFA, evolved in the context of an unstable political situation. Fostering crossborder cooperation and peacebuilding required ‘change agents’ who were able to persuade others to try new things, especially in regard to Strand Two of the Agreement that dealt with North-South institutions—a particularly sensitive strand for unionists who had reacted angrily to the 1995 Framework Document (Darby and Mac Ginty 2000, pp. 70–73) that included a strong reference to North-South bodies (McCall 2014). The framework that emerged from the talks had at its apex the NSMC. The remit of the council was to: Bring together those with executive responsibilities in Northern Ireland and the Irish government, to develop consultation, cooperation and action within the island of Ireland - including through implementation on an allisland and cross-border basis - on matters of mutual interest within the competence of the Administrations, North and South.1

This quotation shows the duality of the focus of the NSMC: all-island and cross-border. Provision was made for three council formats under the umbrella of the body. First, the NSMC had to meet in plenary twice a year. Second, the council could meet in different sectoral formations depending on the policy area in question. Third, the Agreement made provision for a council format to consider institutional, or what was called ‘cross-format’, matters (Laffan and Payne 2001, p. 88). The GFA

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went on to establish the broad parameters of the work programme as it specified a number of areas of cooperation and implementation with a cross-border and all-island remit. The extent of cross-border cooperation was one of the most sensitive and difficult issues for the Ulster Unionist leader, David Trimble. The first draft of the Agreement named about 100 cross-border bodies. From a unionist perspective, this could represent a united Ireland in all but name (McDonald 2000, p. 203). On 18 December 1998, agreement was reached on the establishment of only six North-South implementation bodies: Waterways Ireland (inland waterways); the Food Safety Promotion Board (food safety); the Trade and Business Development Body (trade and business development); the SEUPB (EU budgetary programmes); the North/South Language Body; and the Foyle, Carlingford, and Irish Lights Commission (aquaculture and marine matters). Clearly, those who designed the NSMC model had in mind an institutional format that would deal with horizontal issues not requiring a full plenary. There is a striking similarity between the Strand Two institutions and the structure of the Council of Ministers in the EU. The plenary could be compared to the European Council; the sectoral formats to the sectoral councils of ministers; and the cross-format council to the General Affairs Council of Foreign Ministers. The significance of the NSMC is that it was meant to provide a formal institutional channel, supported by a secretariat in Armagh, for the office holders in both jurisdictions to develop consultation, cooperation, and action on an all-island basis. Twenty-one plenary meetings were held between 1999 and 2015; one each year from 1999 to 2002, and 2007 to 2008. Meetings alternated between North and South, usually in Armagh and Dublin (Coakley 2017, pp. 384–386). Among the six North-South implementation bodies, the most relevant to this study is certainly the SEUPB. It was given responsibility for the management of cross-border EU Structural Funds programmes in Northern Ireland, the border region of Ireland, and part of Western Scotland. The SEUPB was given the administration of certain subprogrammes under Interreg III and PEACE II. It could also commission studies to identify and alleviate constraints affecting cross-border and cross-community cooperation. In this way, it could develop a role as an analyst and advocate of cross-border, cross-community, and all-island cooperation on behalf of the EU. The SEUPB reported directly to the

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NSMC through its chief executive. Its relationships with the administrations of both jurisdictions and the Commission were mediated by its formal relationship to the NSMC, which also constituted a metagovernance tool to anchor the body to the institutional EU and national frameworks. Given the history of EU programmes in the border region, the establishment of the SEUPB was not unexpected but not universally welcomed. SEUPB was an organisation working beyond the direct control of both the Irish and the Northern Ireland jurisdictions and with direct dealings with the EU Commission (interview with Patrick Colgan, 16/05/2016). Also, the introduction of a new body disturbed the policy cycle in the established bureaucratic apparatus of the finance departments in both jurisdictions. The Departments of Finance in Dublin, and Finance and Personnel in Belfast, had to transfer their joint roles as the central secretariat (monitoring, research, evaluation, technical assistance, and development elements with respect to Interreg and PEACE) to the new body. The two departments adopted a different approach to the Body from the outset. The Irish Department of Finance seconded its key Interreg personnel to SEUPB and felt that this domain was delegated to the new institution. The Interreg initiative had always been considered of secondary importance to the Community Support Framework in Dublin (interview with Patrick Colgan, 16/05/2016), thus the department adopted a ‘hands-off’ delegated approach. Its Northern Ireland counterpart, on the other hand, wished to keep a close eye on the development of the SEUPB and issued it with a large number of guidance notes, which reflected a ‘steering’ rather than ‘hands-off’ model of the relationship (interview with Patrick Colgan, 16/05/2016). Civil servants from different administrative cultures now had to work together in cooperative processes in regard to cross-border projects (interview with Patrick Colgan, 16/05/2016). This was not achieved smoothly, as the conflicting interests and different views about processes of policymaking, North and South of the border, were still present. The differing approaches adopted by the departments led to considerable unease among the beneficiaries of Interreg and PEACE. A number of them formally wrote to the Taoiseach’s Department in Dublin suggesting that the Department of Finance take a more active role to counterbalance what they saw as the weight of the Department of Finance and Personnel in the new body. The beneficiaries were concerned that the Department of Finance and Personnel would try to ensure that nothing

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much changed with the establishment of the new body, whereas they expected a new environment for cross-border cooperation and reconciliation in which their role would be enhanced (interview with Patrick Colgan, 16/05/2016). The second element of political change indicated at the beginning of this section is related to the EU Commission. In April 2000, the Commission issued its guidelines for Interreg III, establishing in a broad outline its preferences about the development, management, and evaluation of the programme (Laffan and Payne 2001, pp. 84–86). In addition to the guidelines, a change in the internal organisation of the Regional Directorate also influenced its decision-making on the programme. A new Interreg division—headed by Mr Esben Poulsen, who had been responsible in the past for the Community Support Frameworks for Ireland—was established. Esben Poulsen was a very experienced Regional Policy official with extensive knowledge of Ireland and of interactions on both sides of the border (interview with Andy Pollak, 28/11/2015). Deliberations on the Interreg III programme now took place in a specialised division which enabled Commission officials to assess Interreg programmes coming from different border regions of the EU. It allowed them to compare the content of programmes and the processes by which they were developed and implemented across the EU. This was a process that also benefitted the PEACE II initiative (interview with Patrick Colgan, 16/05/2016). The Commission set out in clear terms the key principles underpinning Interreg III and PEACE II. Programmes seeking EU finance must be based on a joint strategy, joint priorities, and joint programming. In addition, the operations selected to implement the programmes had to be clearly cross-border and cross-community in nature (EU Commission— Guidelines Interreg III, 2000; PEACE II Annual Implementation Report, 2000).2 Admissibility would be determined by compliance with these principles. In addition, the Commission underlined its well-established preference for partnership and a ‘bottom-up’ approach to developing the programme. It required a ‘wide partnership’ involving not only public partners but economic and social partners and non-governmental organisations.3 In practice, the Commission guidelines for Interreg and PEACE promoted a model of cross-border and cross-community cooperation supported by a capacity for joint planning and implementation of the

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programme following a participative and ‘bottom-up’ approach (interview with Patrick Colgan, 16/05/2016). Reference to the guidelines runs through all deliberations on the initiatives and different actors at national and local levels attempted to use the guidelines to legitimise their preferences about the content and delivery of the programmes (interview with Andy Pollak, 28/11/2015). The three main cross-border networks (the North West Region Cross Border Group; the ICBAN, and the East Border Region Committee), in particular, had clear preferences about the future of Interreg and they were very prepared to use the Commission guidelines to reinforce their demands. The last component of political change to account for in this section is related to the Republic of Ireland. Prior to 1999, all of Ireland was regarded (for the purposes of EU regional funding) as an Objective One area, which meant that its GDP per capita was at—or below—the EU threshold of 75%.4 In the lead-up to the negotiations on Agenda 2000, it became clear that Ireland would lose its Objective One status if all the state was considered as one unit for the purposes of structural funding. Following a heated and vigorous debate, the government decided to adopt a strategy of regionalisation. In opting for this strategy, the government was responding to demands from those regions in the west and border areas that were likely to benefit in financial terms from regionalisation (Boyle 2000, pp. 740–744). In November 1998, the government decided to apply to Eurostat for a change in Ireland’s status as a single region (Laffan and Payne 2001, pp. 81–82). This was eventually granted but only after hard bargaining between the government and Eurostat. Following the conclusion of the negotiations on Agenda 2000, the country was divided into two NUTS II5 regions; the Border Midland and Western Region (BMW), and, the Southern and Eastern Region (Laffan and Payne 2001, p. 101). Two new regional authorities were established. Although prompted by the desire to maintain a high level of EU funding, regionalisation in the Republic responded also to bottom-up demands from the West for more devolved management of the structural funds in Ireland (Boyle 2000, p. 750). Interreg III, on the border, was implemented in the context of the Border Midland and Western Region. These three different processes outlined provide the context within which Interreg III and PEACE II were developed and implemented. The EU Commission preferences and the demands of the networks tended to push the implementation of the initiatives towards a delegated

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and decentralised model rather than the civil service dominated model of the past. However, the establishment of the executive in Northern Ireland re-introduced a political layer of decision-making and influence on the politics of implementation; a layer that was missing from all earlier funding periods. The establishment of the NSMC, but particularly of the SEUPB, modified the political and administrative environment of peacebuilding and cross-border cooperation by providing a joint NorthSouth implementation body for the management of EU’s Community initiatives.

3 Cross-Border Networks and Interreg III in the Context of the New Institutions The launch of the PEACE programme in 1995 was perceived as having strong potential for facilitating a wider partnership, particularly at the local community level (interview with Carlo Trojan, 27/02/2019). The Commission was anxious to see a comparable widening of the policy processes for Interreg and it called for a greater role for local actors by encouraging them to develop strategic plans for cross-border policy. Following the structure and the example provided by PEACE I, the crossborder networks continued in their attempt—started under the aegis of Interreg II—to re-position themselves in the policy process to gain a much more central role in the implementation of Interreg III. The influence that different actors had within the cross-border policy networks was dependent not only on their resources and interests but also on their role in the different phases of the policy process. The first phase in the development and implementation of Interreg III saw the North West Region Cross Border Group, ICBAN, and the East Border Region Committee operating on the basis of a calendar of meetings. Their day-today work included project management, financial management, servicing committees and task forces, preparation of papers and reports, networking with other organisations, developing strategies, and liaising with government departments, the EU Commission, and the media (interview with Andy Pollak, 28/11/2015). Each council was represented by four nominated councillors and the Chief Executive of the different participants. The networks’ secretariats provided better-organised management of the resources, which enabled them to enhance capacity and presence in the respective regions. Each network had a manager who was assisted by an administrator. The managers formed the central node of the partnership

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that linked the councillors and the officers of the participating councils across the border (interview with Andy Pollak, 28/11/2015). The effectiveness of this system relied on the capacity to leverage the political and administrative resources of the participating councils. The councils worked on the basis of encouraging partnership between the bodies responsible for different functions within the participating networks and coordinating statutory agencies within their geographical areas. Moreover, the groups engaged in an extensive, coordinated, and impressive lobbying campaign to ensure a central role in Interreg III (interview with Andy Pollak, 28/11/2015). In October 1998 they even organised an official visit of 40 councillors to Brussels and its region. They engaged in considerable dialogue with the Commission officials and thereafter retained this level of engagement by regularly sending joint delegations to the Commission (interview with Andy Pollak, 28/11/2015). At the end of 1998, the three main networks decided to prepare a report on a ‘Border Corridor Strategy’ (Stutt 1999) to address changes in relationships among the border groups, other local organisations, the two governments, and the EU (Stutt 1999, pp. 30–65). The text touched on issues such as the importance of the communication channel opened by the creation of the SEUPB, which favoured a straightforward approach to the Commission instead of the network voice being represented at the supranational level only by the two administrations (Lagana 2017, p. 300). The ability of the actors to persuade the two governments to give them a greater role depended, in some measure, on their capacity for internal change in the partnerships involving wider civil society interests (interview with Andy Pollak, 28/11/2015). Hence, also following the example provided by the PEACE programme, which exposed local councillors to a partnership model involving civil society groups, the cross-border networks appeared willing to restructure their organisations. The new arrangements were to reflect a 50:50 split of elected members and social partners (interview with Andy Pollak, 28/11/2015), but, despite their commitment, none of the groups actually fully implemented these changes. They argued that until they knew precisely what their role was under Interreg III any transformations would be premature (interview with Patrick Colgan, 10/05/2016). The overall aim of the three cross-border networks under Interreg III was both political and economic. Politically, the lack of influence over public policies in local areas was a major grievance (interview with

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Patrick Colgan, 10/05/2016). It was felt that mutual benefits could flow to both sides of the border if they cooperated within a geographic area that provided a natural hinterland. For each network, the development of their sub-region was the key goal and all three developed integrated area plans for their areas. Economically, for those councils on the northern side of the border with nationalist majorities, cross-border cooperation was always regarded as an advantage (interview with Ruth Taillon, 10/11/2015). Unionist councillors, on the other hand, were willing to embrace functional cooperation that did not have political overtones but that could bring additional funds to their areas of interest. Inevitably, this was an unpredictable process because not all politicians in the border region were committed to the model. Moreover, not all senior officials in local governments gave priority to it or to cross-border cooperation. However, a critical mass of internal support for the networks developed under the aegis of Interreg III (interview with Ruth Taillon, 10/11/2015), fuelled by the changing opportunities in the political environment and following the bottom-up approach introduced by the PEACE programme. The considerable amount of lobbying, the fact that Interreg III was the responsibility of a relatively small cadre of officials assisted by external consultants, the support of the Commission, and the new institutions created by the GFA, all contributed to the positive results of the initiative. Its main achievement was to foster the dynamic nature of cross-border network interactions with the EU through the SEUPB. This underlines the positive effects produced by the combination of EU metagovernance with the institutional change taking place in Northern Ireland after 1998. In sum, the success of the networks in carving out a role for themselves in the implementation of Interreg III reflects their own growing capacity to negotiate and to use their limited resources to the best effect. The role of the SEUPB was one of mediating between the networks and the European institutions. The networks’ eventual success was highly dependent upon the outcome of factors such as the need to re-organise so as to involve a wider societal interest, and the capacity of the SEUPB to establish and organise itself quickly enough to be an effective actor for both the management and the development of the Interreg (and other EU programmes).

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4 Peacebuilding Networks and PEACE II in the Context of the New Institutions The original PEACE II Operational Programme covered the period 2000–2004. However, in 2005 the Programme was extended to cover the years 2005 and 2006.6 PEACE II was essentially the continuation of PEACE I, providing a further e835 million.7 The programme focused on maintaining momentum to peacebuilding in the region, in particular in the context of facing the prevailing economic and social needs of Northern Ireland identified by the ex-ante appraisal.8 It aimed to promote reconciliation and reinforce progress towards a peaceful and stable society,9 thus echoing PEACE I. Its two strategic objectives were to address the legacy of the conflict and take on the opportunities arising from peace.10 Hence, the programme was more strategically addressed to cross-community reconciliation than its predecessor. PEACE II also contained several priorities through which the objectives could be achieved. These were: economic renewal; social integration; inclusion and reconciliation; locally based regeneration and development; outward and forward-looking region development; and, finally, cross-border cooperation. From the perspective of peacebuilding networks, the measure 5.3 of PEACE II was particularly important as it dealt directly with ‘Developing cross-border reconciliation and cultural understanding’.11 It was directly inspired by measure 3.4 of PEACE I on cross-border reconciliation and it brought into focus the relationship between the two communities in Northern Ireland and cross-border cooperation between North and South. With the GFA in the background, it intertwined Strand 1 issues, which dealt with unionist-nationalist relations, with Strand 2, which focused on North/South relationships. The PEACE II progress report estimated that the measure had involved 63,924 participants, the largest number of any measure, and that its 76 funded projects ‘supported’ 558 cross-border projects (over double the target number).12 Measure 5.3 of PEACE II was at the ideological heart of the PEACE Programmes (McCall and O’Dowd 2008, p. 31). Measure 5.3 also highlighted the importance of policy networks in promoting peace and reconciliation at the local grassroots level through cultural activities, education, and training in small groups. The crossborder peacebuilding networks built during the period of PEACE I and Interreg II found the localised dimension of Measure 5.3 of PEACE II

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particularly suitable for creating a niche in which to foster their active participation in the peace process, building—at least in theory—crossborder and cross-community social partnerships that could help prevent and/or ameliorate the Northern Ireland ethno-national conflict (McCall and O’Dowd 2008, p. 31) and promote cross-border metagovernance. The projects funded under Measure 5.3 of PEACE II were predominantly engaged in a variety of cross-border educational and cultural exchanges, community arts training initiatives, multimedia projects, and recreational programmes.13 They were focused directly on increasing mutual understanding and promoting reconciliation, with organisers drawn from both unionist and nationalist communities (McCall and O’Dowd 2008, p. 42). Some unionist project organisers, in fact, stated a preference for crossborder projects rather than cross-community work within Northern Ireland because the cross-border aspect offered the space to explore commonality and diversity outside the theatre of the conflict (interview with Jim Nicholson, 27/01/2015). Primarily, PEACE II developed new ways of working together. The programme established new alliances and partnerships between the statutory, private, and voluntary/community sectors and also facilitated new partnerships between communities and groups at the project level. The new Northern Ireland Executive and its elected politicians had a major input into initial proposals for PEACE II, which could have shifted the emphasis of the programme towards more economic-orientated measures (Harvey 2002a). However, the first proposals were rejected by the EU Commission on the grounds of lack of clarity; insufficient attention to principles and indicators; lack of North-South links; lack of a clearer identification of target groups; and, a failure to learn from PEACE I (Harvey 2003, p. 85). The Commission also insisted on setting more explicit criteria for establishing the distinctiveness of PEACE II and paving the way for peace and reconciliation grounded in civil society (Harvey 2002b, p. 86). These criteria had been developed to improve the selection procedures criticised by the European Court of Auditors during PEACE I. In response to these requests, the Department of Finance and Personnel revised its PEACE II proposal in consultation with social partners ‘following an agenda of meetings and discussions that was very similar to the one used for Interreg III’ (interview with Patrick Colgan, 10/05/2016). The Commission finally adopted the programme in March

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2001. Several changes were also made to the delivery structures of PEACE II. In terms of complexity, the huge number of agencies involved in the programme delivery continued, as did the use of IFBs. The biggest change came with the addition of another (centralised) management layer in the form of the SEUPB. It chaired the programme’s supervisory Monitoring Committee (interview with Patrick Colgan, 10/05/2016). The latter included representatives from the public, private, and third sectors. Moreover, the District Partnerships became the nodal point of exchange between peacebuilding networks, consisting of local government and the main local-level statutory agency and social partners. This increase in the role of the District Councils emanated from the newly established Assembly and the local authorities. The Northern Ireland Partnership Board, which oversaw the work of the District Partnerships under PEACE I, was replaced by the Regional Partnership Board. In the border counties, the work of the networks involved in PEACE II was now overseen by the Border Regional Authority (Buchanan 2017, pp. 186–187). Government administrations that had substantial management responsibility for the delivery of PEACE I were now substituted by new North/South transnational institutions, which included several spots for private organisations’ representation. This suggested considerable innovation in the governance of EU initiatives. In light of the acquisition of management and development authority by the SEUPB the new relationship between the SEUPB and networks was an important development in arrangements for the delivery of PEACE II. Throughout the programme, the SEUPB contracted 56 Implementing Bodies drawn from the public, private, and third sectors to deliver certain measures (interview with Patrick Colgan, 10/05/2016). However, by the time PEACE II had been implemented, the funding gap between PEACE I and PEACE II had greatly disrupted the work of those voluntary and community groups involved in PEACE I. Organisations experienced particular problems during this gap because PEACE I had initiated a growth surge of the sector but with little visible means of sustainability. Some organisations bluntly depended on PEACE money. Political and institutional uncertainty and a shortage of funds hampered efforts to consolidate social partnerships and posed a major challenge to the future role of civil society in cross-border development.

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Difficulties of PEACE II and Interreg III

Developments in the wider political, economic, and social environment of Northern Ireland were not exclusively positive. Political progress was incredibly slow, due in part to the intermittent work of the Northern Ireland Assembly, which remained periodically in suspension. While the wider economies of both North and South jurisdictions had improved after 1998, the Northern Ireland economy still faced major structural challenges and growing levels of economic inactivity. In the border region, the Gross Value Added (GVA) per head was still well below the state average (Birrell and Hayes 2001, pp. 15–16). Negative elements thus created a difficult climate for both programmes—Interreg and PEACE—and their beneficiaries. For example, while some improvements in the security situation had been registered, evidence showed a significant deepening in community divisions in many parts of the region (McGarry 2004, p. 296). Some commentators had even remarked on the emergence of a new ‘thuggishness’ in Northern Irish civil society, with associated unacceptable levels of violence.14 Growing levels of disillusionment were especially felt in parts of the unionist community with the peace process in general (interview with Jim Nicholson, 27/01/2015). These problems reinforced the need for EU programmes—and the long-term nature of the problem which they sought to address—but at the same time minimised the successes of EU cross-border and cross-community initiatives in the region. In this regard, it is interesting to reflect on the time-based approach of EU cross-border and peacebuilding initiatives. PEACE and Interreg had a vision for the long-term. However, while this theoretically existed, it was problematic due to the start/stop nature of the programmes. The worst of this could be seen within the long and confusing period between the end of PEACE I and the effective commencement of PEACE II (2000– 2004) (Buchanan 2017, p. 189). To a lesser extent, the same issues were encountered by the cross-border networks in the period between the end of Interreg II and the Commission’s approval of Interreg III, which was first rejected (Laffan and Payne 2001, p. 116). Some organisations did receive a certain amount of ‘gap funding’ but this was far from being a smooth process, not least because the gains made in the previous round of funding were lost and many groups were threatened with closure as they were wholly dependent on EU funding. This was especially true

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for grassroots organisations that had been created by PEACE I. Difficulties included: high staff turnover; loss of expertise, experience, and knowledge; deviation from the purpose of the project; and, organisational insecurity. In addition, the transition between different rounds of the programmes was characterised by discontinuity with changes being made among many of the personnel on both the European and governmental side. Such a complex context required the EU and the networks to reflect on the long-term sustainability of these initiatives. Within the institutional setting, sustainability required an ongoing capacity to respond to recurring cycles of conflict and crisis (Lederach and Appleby 2010, p. 8) and a mainstream budget line and top-down acknowledgement of the need for specific peacebuilding work at the civil society level. In Northern Ireland, the two central administrations did not easily recognise that community development and innovation were not self-sustainable and cross-community projects, even the most successful, rarely had a mainstream budget line (interview with Patrick Colgan, 10/05/2016). These issues made continuity difficult and, consequently, the successes of the initiatives became questionable. Another problematic element common to PEACE and Interreg was related to the geographical allocation of grants. At first sight, this appeared to have a good geographical spread across Northern Ireland and the border regions of the Republic. Nonetheless, in negotiating the Interreg III programme, one of the issues that arose was the amount of funding that should be allocated to the border region itself, as opposed to the remainder of the North. This position, while favourable to the EU Commission (which was anxious to enhance the genuine cross-border element of the programme), proved difficult to find acceptance by the authorities in Belfast and in particular by the Department of Finance and Personnel (interview with Ruth Taillon, 10/11/2015). This was because the cross-border networks tended to have a majority base of nationalistoriented councillors (interview with Ruth Taillon, 10/11/2015) and the authorities in Belfast feared to see this imbalance being translated in the implementation of the programme.15 The active support of the SDLP for the cross-border networks enhanced this perception (interview with Hugh Logue, 29/10/15). Furthermore, the mid-term evaluation of PEACE II, produced by the SEUPB, found that the catholic share of approved funding accounted for an estimated 51.4% of the total, compared to a protestant share of 48.6%

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(where Catholics made up 45.2% of the population of Northern Ireland and Protestants 54.8%).16 This was attributed to a number of factors including higher levels of deprivation in Catholic areas; a greater tendency by those living in those areas to apply; and higher levels of communitybased activity in the Catholic community. These factors increased the perception, in parts of the Protestant community, that they were not receiving a ‘fair share’ (interview with Jim Nicholson, 27/01/2015) of Interreg or PEACE funding. Hence, for the PEACE II extension and for Interreg III, the SEUPB made a commitment that the programme would particularly welcome applications from groups who had not previously applied, especially those who were under-represented, such as Protestant working-class areas, isolated rural communities and ethnic minority groups (interview with Patrick Colgan, 10/05/2016). Finally, a further difficulty identified, which hindered the success of EU initiatives in Northern Ireland, was the unclear nature, and apparently inappropriate range of responsibility, of the SEUPB. The Commission sought the appropriate technical secretariat to have responsibility for ensuring that programmes were monitored and evaluated, including the auditing of expenditures. The SEUPB was the designated managing authority for the Interreg and the PEACE programmes. However, the two central departments, the Department of Finance and the Department of Finance and Personnel, were still identified as the paying authorities and the relationship between these government departments and the SEUPB was unclear. This inevitably produced inappropriate overlaps in the responsibilities of the SEUPB concerning the implementation and monitoring of the initiatives (interview with Patrick Colgan, 10/05/2016). The cross-border networks were particularly anxious to see the Interreg III programme managed in a much more decentralised manner and an important mechanism in achieving this decentralised approach was the use of the SEUPB as the key ‘paymaster’ (interview with Patrick Colgan, 10/05/2016). However, government officials in the two finance departments, and in particular in Belfast, had consistently expressed their reservations about the role of the SEUPB in this regard (interview with Patrick Colgan, 10/05/2016). The Commission, for its part, pointed out that there was little evidence to suggest that a single funding approach to Interreg and PEACE was being adopted by the two central finance departments. In particular, the Commission criticised the inclusion of financial tables in the draft of both programmes, which distinguished between Northern Ireland and the Republic for all those projects

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which were cross-border in nature. This suggested that the level of cooperation between Dublin and Belfast was weak and that there was little practical support for the work of the SEUPB. A further concern raised by the Commission was the lack of a clearly specified role for cross-border and IFBs in the implementation of PEACE II. This was an issue directly affecting the efforts of the peacebuilding networks as it suggested that their work lacked recognition and support through a genuine delegation of power and joint implementation of the initiatives (Laffan and Payne 2001, p. 126). National authorities argued that grassroots bodies lacked the capacity and credibility to manage the programmes or some substantial parts of them. The Commission answered that networks had demonstrated the capacity to develop a strategic approach for joint cross-border and cross-community action and that they should now be given at least some responsibility to be able to develop their capacity in this respect (interview with Andy Pollak, 28/11/2015). Based on this scenario, a number of elements accordingly hindered the effectiveness of EU cross-border and cross-community initiatives in Northern Ireland. Issues of sustainability, and the enormous pressure on the SEUPB, together with the unclear demarcation of its responsibilities, are only two of them. The unwillingness from the two central administrations to decentralise the policymaking processes leading the implementation of Interreg and PEACE played an important part in limiting the role of networks in the peace process. This shows the lack of recognition by the two administrations of the necessity for community and cross-border peacebuilding initiatives to complement the political process initiated by the GFA. EU metagovernance became, from this perspective, the only tool available for policy networks to play a significant role in improving the everyday life of people in Northern Ireland.

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The Experience of the Northern Ireland Task Force in 2007

In 2007, in anticipation of the devolution of powers to Northern Ireland following a prolonged suspension of almost 5 years, the European Commission President José Manuel Barroso visited the province and announced the creation of another Northern Ireland Task Force. The new task force was aimed at publicly endorsing the Northern Ireland peace process.17 The role of Catherine Day, Secretary-General of the European

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Commission, and Irish economist, is said to have been instrumental in the approval of the initiative (Hayward and Murphy 2012, p. 446), while the then Commissioner for Regional Policy, Danuta Hübner, was delegated responsibility for pioneering and practically facilitating the work (interview with Patrick Colgan, 10/05/2016). Other core members of the task force were officials in the various services of the Commission with a role to play in the region’s economic modernisation. They included officials from agriculture, education and culture, employment, regional policy, enterprise and industry, environment, maritime affairs and fisheries, research and development, transport and energy, and also the European Investment Bank (EIB) (Hayward and Murphy 2012, p. 447). In addition, officials from various Directorates-General in the Commission were designated to act as ‘hand-holders’ to their Northern Ireland counterparts wishing to develop stronger communicative links with the Commission (Hayward and Murphy 2012, p. 448). What made the 2007 initiative different from its 1994 predecessor was that it was intended to consolidate the peace process from the grassroots’ perspective. The task force did not include an additional financial package, nor did it involve an explicit financial incentive. It was simply an attempt to facilitate strategic peacebuilding empowerment by serving as a conduit between Northern Ireland and the EU. As such, it represented: […] A new and closer partnership between Northern Ireland and the Commission services as the region’s long period as [a] major recipient of European regional aid is gradually phased out, and where it will increasingly rely on its own resources.18

The task force was charged with advising the public European/Northern Ireland public network and the private cross-border and peacebuilding networks. Discussions focused on how best to increase and optimise their involvement in key EU initiatives, not least in terms of accessing extra funds by providing the region with the means and capacity to bid successfully for competitive EU funding (interview with Patrick Colgan, 10/05/2016). Moreover, the 2007 Task Force sought to redress the geographical imbalance of the funds’ distribution—the fact that Catholics areas seemed to be more involved in the programmes. Hence, in this instance, the EU was using metagovernance to practically increase the chances of winning support by connecting policy networks to ‘Europe’.

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The Northern Ireland Report of the task force19 was published in April 2008. It was targeted and tailored to respond directly to Northern Ireland interests and to provide a solid basis for the conduct of EU/Northern Ireland relations through two separate exercises. First, it described in detail the achievements of Northern Ireland in terms of different EU policies during the period 2000–2006 (and where appropriate with reference to other parts of the EU).20 This comparative exercise demonstrated that Northern Ireland had performed reasonably well relative to other European regions. Second, the report formulated in each of its section recommendations on how the new Executive, peacebuilding and crossborder networks, and other economic actors could contribute to, and benefit more from, Europe. Each chapter presented an overview of a specific policy area in terms of achievements to date and priorities. Third, the report provided a unique wealth of information and data in relation to the extent and manner of Northern Ireland’s engagement with the Commission in the recent past. Interestingly, the text revealed the level of contact between Northern Ireland government departments, the networks, and the services of the European Commission. This was definitively considered in need of significant improvements,21 advocating that Northern Ireland authorities should forge pro-active stances and participate in a dialogue at national and European levels, together maintaining close contact with the Commission services.22 This demonstrated how Northern Ireland needed friendly advice and support in coming out from behind the UK’s shadow. The general perception from Brussels was that a change in the Northern Ireland civil service could facilitate greater engagement with the EU.23 The 2007 Northern Ireland Task Force undertook to help Northern Ireland boost its involvement in Community policies and programmes as part of efforts to modernise its economy. The emphasis on regional strategic peacebuilding empowerment, as distinct from financial assistance, was purposeful and resolute. It was also aimed at addressing the self-sustainability issues encountered in the past by proposing solutions on how to facilitate Northern Ireland’s adaptation to the rigours, demands, and challenges of its devolved status within the EU. This in turn, it was anticipated, would strengthen and consolidate both the peace and the political process. Hence, the task force itself represented an innovative approach on the part of the EU Commission to metagovern a European region in transition, not only from conflict to peace but also from centralised to decentralised status.

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Conclusion

This chapter illustrated the dynamic nature of cross-border and peacebuilding network interactions and the importance of the juxtaposition of institutional change and individual agency. It focused on the microinstitutional and policy processes related to peacebuilding and crossborder cooperation, which bridged the pre and post-GFA period. It situated the programming and implementation phases of Interreg III and PEACE II in the context of a new Northern Ireland and it clarified why the administrative models adopted for Interreg and PEACE did not achieve the results hoped for by the EU Commission in those years. The re-establishment of an executive in Northern Ireland, the functioning of the NSMC, and the creation of the SEUPB with its exclusive European remit, all impacted positively on the EU initiatives’ outcomes. The level of responsibility given to the cross-border and civil society groups improved but some important issues remained, not least the doubtful capacity of the networks to deliver those parts of the programmes they had committed to. In this regard, the elaboration phase of the Interreg III programme showed clearly how the three cross-border networks paid only limited attention to their internal organisational changes needed to better represent wider societal interests. If there was agreement on the strategic role of the networks in terms of providing a strategic framework for spending decisions, how the networks could use this strategic perspective as leverage to increase their power and influence was less clear. These same dynamics were registered in the context of PEACE II where the situation was further complicated by the enormous amount of IFBs and a very complex bureaucracy. Peacebuilding networks saw their roles ranging from authoritative consultation to direct spending. Again, the perception of central national authorities in both Dublin and Belfast was that the policy networks in Northern Ireland still needed to develop a substantial level of competence, particularly in the financial management of projects. The latter translated in terms of an enormous pressure put on the SEUPB to assume these responsibilities on behalf of the peacebuilding networks. Whether or not the body had sufficient time and capacity to do so was somehow forgotten. Contrary to popular opinion, the evidence presented in this chapter shows that what enabled the EU to have such a deep level of engagement in Northern Ireland was based on a strategic metagovernance approach

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to peacebuilding. A tactic that always centred on the critical role of the British and Irish governments and that always focused on anchoring policy networks to national agendas without destroying the dynamics of network governance itself. The experience of the 2007 Northern Ireland Task Force is emblematic. It saw the EU engaging directly with the networks in Northern Ireland, outside the usual visits to Brussels and hosting visits by European commissioners to Northern Ireland. Much of the context for this type of engagement focused on learning from the past, consolidating peace, and ‘normalising’ the needs of the region. The most interesting fact in this context was certainly the unusual openness of the UK and the Republic of Ireland governments. They ‘allowed’ the EU to steer direct engagements between the Commission, the Northern Ireland administration, and the peacebuilding networks. This needs to be seen as a concrete gesture on the part of the UK government to support Northern Ireland’s regional ‘empowerment’, rather than as a bypassing of the UK state. This chapter confirmed the importance of the political ministerial level in Northern Ireland, with regards to the singularly determined contribution of the EU Commission, and the ongoing leverage facilitated by the NSMC and the SEUPB’s function in underpinning the negotiations for EU funds. In particular, the SEUPB and the networks—both still in relatively embryonic institutional form—remained dependent on ongoing intervention and support at this political level. The success of networks in carving out a role for themselves in the implementation of Interreg III and PEACE II programmes reflected their own growing capacity to negotiate on a multi-level basis and use their limited resources to best effect. However, their eventual success was also dependent on the outcome of other factors, such as the need for the networks to re-organise so as to involve wider societal interests, and the capacity of the SEUPB to establish and organise itself quickly enough to be an effective actor for both the management and the development of EU programmes.

Notes 1. The Belfast/Good Friday Agreement (1998, p. 12). Available online at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/ uploads/attachment_data/file/136652/agreement.pdp (last accessed on the 10/04/2020 at 4:07 p.m.).

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2. Guidelines of Interreg III are available online at: https://eur-lex.europa. eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELEX:32000Y0523(01)& from=en (last accessed on 09/04/2020 at 12:03 p.m.). Guidelines of PEACE II are available on the first implementation report at: https:// www.esf.ie/en/imagelibrary/repository/2000-2006/2000-air1.pdf (last accessed 09/04/2020 at 15:30 p.m.). 3. Ibidem. 4. Historical Archives EP, PE 4-1323/88/rev, ‘Annual Report of the Regions’, September 1988. 5. NUTS (Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics) is a harmonised, hierarchical, and nested classification of European territory at six levels (NUTS 0 to NUTS 6). Level 0 corresponds to the territories of the Member States and the EFTA member states associated with this classification. The regional level is divided into three parts: NUTS 1 corresponds to the most extensive regional level; NUTS 3 is an intermediate level. For several countries, particularly the smaller ones, certain levels do not exist (Wassemberg and Reitel 2015, p. 30). 6. SEUPB (2005), ‘Mid Term Update of PEACE II Programme’, available online at: https://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/archive/country/ commu/2000-2006/docoutils/midtermupdatereport.pdf (last accessed on 10/04/2020 at 10:19 a.m.). 7. Ibid. 8. EU Programme for Peace and Reconciliation in Northern Ireland and the Border Region of Ireland 2000–2004, Operational Programme, p. 14. Available online at: https://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/en/atlas/pro grammes/2000-2006/interregional/eu-programme-for-peace-and-reconc iliation-in-northern-ireland-and-the-border-region-of-ireland-2000-2004peace-ii (last accessed on 10/04/2020 at 10:28 a.m.). 9. Ibid. 10. Ibid. 11. Ibid. 12. SEUPB (2005), ‘Mid Term Update of PEACE II Programme’, pp. 7–8. 13. Here are few examples of initiatives funded by PEACE II: Coiste na n-Iarchimí —‘Processes of Nation Building’; Healing Through Remembering—‘Whatever you say, say something’; The Wave Trauma Centre— ‘Armagh—A shared Heritage’. The list has been provided by Mr. Pat Colgan, former Chief Executive of the SEUBP. 14. SEUPB (2005), ‘Mid Term Update of PEACE II Programme’, p. 3. 15. See also: Special EU Programmes Body (2000), ‘Report on INTERREG Conference’, 21 June 2000. 16. SEUPB (2005), ‘Mid Term Update of PEACE II Programme’, p. 6.

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17. NIAR 015-13, ‘Barroso Northern Ireland Task Force - Research and Information Service Briefing Note’, 16 January 2013, p. 1. Available online at: http://www.niassembly.gov.uk/globalassets/documents/raise/ publications/2013/ofmdfm/1613.pdf (last accessed on the 11/04/2020 at 11:13 p.m.). 18. European Commission (2008), Northern Ireland Report of the Task Force, Brussels, European Commission, p. 1. Available at: https://ec. europa.eu/regional_policy/sources/activity/ireland/report2008.pdf (last accessed on the 11/04/2020 at 11:15 p.m.). 19. Ibid., p. 58. 20. Ibid., p. 19. 21. Ibid., p. 31. 22. Ibidem. 23. Ibid., p. 66.

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Harvey, B. (2003). Report on the programme for peace and reconciliation. York: Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust. Hayward, K. (2006). Reiterating national identities: The European Union conception of conflict resolution in Northern Ireland. Cooperation and Conflict, 41(3), 261–284. Hayward, K., & Murphy, C. M. (2012). The (soft) power of commitment: The EU and conflict resolution in Northern Ireland. Ethnopolitics, 11(4), 439–452. Laffan, B. (2005). The European context: A new political dimension in Ireland, North and South. In J. Coakley, B. Laffan, & J. Todd (Eds.), Renovation or revolution? New territorial politics in Ireland and the United Kingdom (pp. 166–184). Dublin: UCD Press. Laffan, B., & Payne, D. (2001). Creating living institutions: EU cross-border co-operation after the Good Friday Agreement (A Report for the Centre for Cross Border Studies). Institute for British-Irish Studies, UCD. Available at http://www.crossborder.ie/pubs/creatingliving.pdf (last accessed on the 16/04/2020 at 15.43 pm). Lagana, G. (2017). A preliminary investigation on the genesis of EU cross-border cooperation on the island of Ireland. Space and Polity, 21(3), 289–302. Lederach, J. P. (1997). Building peace: Sustainable reconciliation in divided societies. Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace Press. Lederach, J. P., & Appleby, S. R. (2010). Strategic peacebuilding: An overview. In D. Philpott & G. Powers (Eds.), Strategies of peace (pp. 1–30). Oxford: Oxford University Press. Linn, A. C. (2000). Reconciliation of the penitent: Sectarian violence, prisoner release, and justice under the Good Friday peace accord. Journal of Legislation, 26(1), 163–184. McCall, C. (2014). The European Union and peacebuilding. The cross-border dimension. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. McCall, C., & O’Dowd, L. (2008). Hanging flower baskets, blowing in the wind? Third-sector groups, cross-border partnerships, and the EU peace programs in Ireland. Journal Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, 14(1), 29–54. McDonald, H. (2000). Trimble. London: Bloomsbury Publications. McGarry J. (2004). Globalization, European integration, and the Northern Ireland conflict. In J. McGarry & B. O’Leary, The Northern Ireland conflict: Consociational engagements (pp. 295–315). Oxford: Oxford University Press. Stutt, C. (1999). Border corridor strategy and integrated area plans for border corridor groups. Belfast: KPMG. The Belfast/Good Friday Agreement. (1998). Available online at https://ass ets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attach ment_data/file/136652/agreement.pdp (last accessed on the 10/04/2020 at 4:07 p.m.).

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Todd, J. (2011). Institutional change and conflict regulation: The Anglo-Irish Agreement (1985) and the mechanisms of change in Northern Ireland. West European Politics, 34(4), 838–858. Walsh, D. (2013). The Irish government and decommissioning in Northern Ireland: Exercising best practice for external ethnonational guarantors? Irish Studies in International Affairs, 24, 311–329. Wassemberg, B., & Reitel, B. (2015). Territorial cooperation in Europe. A historical perspective. Brussels: Publications office of the European Union.

CHAPTER 8

Conclusion

1

Introduction

The historical analysis of the genesis of the European Union (EU) engagement in Northern Ireland is indicative of a much needed and radical attempt to reframe the role of the EU in the Irish peace process. This book is based on new documentary and oral evidence and it advanced original theoretical ideas on how to metagovern peacebuilding effectively. It investigated how the EU performed a strategic role of metagovernor in the Northern Ireland peace process, helping to reorient policies from conflict to peace and from centralised to decentralised status. It explored the genesis of how the EU went beyond security-focused approaches and economic support in helping to create a strategic and comprehensive peace at all levels of society. The empirical analysis of the Northern Ireland case, with all its specificities, can contribute to broader new conceptualisations and new knowledge of EU conflict prevention, peacebuilding, and mediation strategies. The EU has indeed a long history and experience of peacebuilding, ranging from its recent high-level work regarding Kosovo and Serbia, to supporting grassroots work in the Philippines.1 However, despite the EU experience illustrating a ‘glass half-full’,2 the breadth and depth of these engagements are not entirely recognised and successes are sometimes questionable and face many challenges.

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This book represents the latest stage of a more general and ongoing trend in academic literature on the topic. Ground-breaking works on identities (McCall 1999) and EU cross-border cooperation (Tannam 1999; McCall 2014; Lagana 2017; Coakley 2016) were followed by research on the EU soft power of commitment (Hayward and Murphy 2012) and on post-conflict, multi levelled economic development (Murphy 2014). There are various interpretations of the EU peacebuilding role in Northern Ireland ranging from those of a conservative nature, focusing on institutions (Laffan and Payne 2001; Laffan 2005), to those that incorporate many of the attributes of more emancipatory thinking, focusing on civil society and issues related to social justice (Buchanan 2014). Existing scholarship shares indispensable assumptions about the EU (Hayward 2011; 2018), the UK, and the Republic of Ireland governments (Coakley and all. 2005); state sovereignty (O’Dowd and all. 1995); territoriality (Laffan 2005); governance (Teague 1996); self-determination (Guelke 1988); and, societal development and reconciliation (Buchanan 2017). The relative emphasis on these components depends on which version of peacebuilding is being pursued (Doyle and Connolly 2010). Hence, in general, existing scholarship has usually presented EU peacebuilding in Northern Ireland as a multi-level process based on norms of a mixture of legal regulation and freedoms, as well as on self-determination and sovereignty, subject to internal inconsistencies and criticisms, external and internal resistance, and increasingly obvious shortcomings (Lynch 2010; Stephenson 2013; Skarlato and all. 2016). Moreover, the dominant impulse, at least until the Brexit process diverted attention and resources, has been to analyse separately the wide-ranging responses that have emerged across institutions and actors in the conflict. The aim was to try to produce a number of universal blueprints to characterise the role of the EU in building peace in the region. Such thinking about peace and conflict represents a more general rational trend that sees processes of democratisation, development, the rule of law, and human rights forming the basis for building a post-conflict environment, guided by external experts, institutions, and conditions (Richmond 2002, pp. 145–146). However, the EU has rarely been represented as a significant actor among these external influences in the Irish peace process (Dixon 2006, p. 410). In this conclusion, the range of key-themes and issues discussed throughout the book will be outlined. Final reflexions will focus on how

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metagovernance endorsed policy networks in Northern Ireland to historically overcome the principle of separation that underlined the Irish border and the principle of subordination within scalar and political hierarchies. This process was facilitated when peacebuilding came to merge with the new institutional context inaugurated by the 1998 Belfast/Good Friday Agreement (GFA) and processes of regionalisation in the UK and the Republic of Ireland. At the same time, patterns and boundaries established at the EU and at national level showed how networks remain limited by, and closely linked to, democratic processes established at the national and European levels. The experiences of Interreg and the PEACE programmes illustrate processes of network emancipation but also the fact that governments remained key actors in EU peacebuilding. Networks neither replaced hierarchies nor threatened state boundaries. The concept of metagovernance allowed this research to emphasise the specific role of the EU in aiding mixing different modes of interaction. For all these reasons, this book argues that metagovernance deserves a space in the field of peacebuilding. It also suggests that the relationship between Northern Ireland and the EU has been much more significant and much more positive than it is often recognised.

2

Overview of the Issues

The critical and strategic agenda for EU peacebuilding in Northern Ireland that emerged in this volume was developed in increasing detail as the work progressed. The book began with a conceptual discussion, followed by an examination of institutional forms of peacebuilding from above and below. Chapter 2 developed a concept of strategic metagovernance in the field of peacebuilding, to which the subsequent chapters refer. Such a theoretical approach is innovative as it attempts to conceptualise a broad horizontal, vertical, and temporal dynamic that takes into account the interrelationship between theory, policy, and practice. It introduces diversity into policy debates concerning peace in Northern Ireland and it moves beyond the more usual investigations based on issues of efficiency, coordination, and lack of visibility of the EU role as an external actor in the conflict. The final conceptual framework presented is aimed at contributing to the basic EU philosophy of peacebuilding at its most robust and to provide a guideline for examining historically the strategic weight of specific EU initiatives implemented in Northern Ireland over the years.

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In the subsequent conceptual chapter, the book described how the EU has helped, mainly through the European Parliament (EP), to nudge elite and public actors to negotiations by providing both a context and a rationale for cross-border, intergovernmental discussion and compromise. The UK and Irish membership of the EU broadened the context within which possible resolutions of the Northern Ireland conflict might be framed and implemented. John Hume used his profile as newly elected Member of the European Parliament (MEP) to campaign for the then European Economic Community (EEC) to take a stance in relation to the conflict in Northern Ireland, thus initiating what has been defined as the EU/Northern Ireland public network. Hence, based on these findings, the origins of the EU’s engagement in Northern Ireland lies in the direct actions of public political actors working within this public network in Brussels. This extensive dialogue, cooperation, communication, and lobbying taking place within the EP, had the objective of fostering a European dimension to peacebuilding in Northern Ireland. Chapter 4 investigated how the then European Community (EC) conceptualised historically the Northern Ireland conflict in the pages of the 1984 Haagerup Report. Contrary to popular opinion, which had always only marginally mentioned the Report, this book considered the document as an essential stage in the EU peacebuilding strategy for Northern Ireland. The Haagerup Report, for the first time ever, clearly outlined the necessary steps that the then EC had to accomplish to build peace in the region. It also attributed a pivotal meaning to the ‘Irish dimension’ of the conflict, stating a need for cross-border cooperation at a time when this did not appear among European priorities. This, in turn, brought international recognition to an aspect of the conflict that the unionist community largely disputed (as seen in the collapse of the Sunningdale Agreement in 1974). However, cross-border cooperation was fostered by the 1985 Anglo Irish Agreement (AIA). Indeed, the AIA demonstrated growing recognition of the importance of a ‘European’ dimension in approaching the problem. The 1985 Agreement noted the importance of common membership of the EC in its preamble and drew heavily on the findings, recommendations, language, and spirit of the Haagerup Report. Both the Council of the EU and the EP formally welcomed the AIA and, in 1989, the EU paid 15 million ECUs (European currency unit, precursor to the euro) into the International Fund for Ireland (IFI). The EEC’s support legitimised British policy in an unprecedented way, made it extremely

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difficult for either Britain or Ireland to renounce the pact unilaterally, and helped to maintain the Agreement in the face of fierce unionist opposition (Moxon-Browne 1992, p. 52). British and unionist politicians, in particular, have always been reluctant to present the EU as an ‘external player’ in the game of peace but it is a fact that, from the 1990s onwards, references to Europe were more plentiful and more substantive. Chapter 5 illustrated how the EU’s explicit concern to improve Northern Ireland’s socio-economic situation was implicitly accompanied by the belief that the resulting political and social benefits would help to support the developing peace process. In this context, the EU Commission’s incipient role in peacebuilding appeared to centre on a link between prosperity and stability and saw economic aid as being a tool by which to lever community relations. The manner of programme delivery designed for Interreg I and II, advocated and supported by the Commission, involved an array of private actors. A strong emphasis on modes of partnership—cross-border, cross-sector, and cross-community—facilitated networked connections among private actors and incentivised the formation of cross-border networks. In this way, EU financial support was an economic means of promoting novel forms of public participation for policy networks, capable of delivering economic, but most importantly, political benefits by representing all layers of society. Relations with the EU Commission were left to national governments, in an attempt to anchor networks to local democratic processes and hence effectively metagovern peacebuilding by including the widest possible array of public and private actors. The EU deliberately and strategically tied economic growth together with the challenge of embedding peace. Chapter 6 demonstrated how the most direct manifestation of this was at the core of the Special EU Programme for Peace and Reconciliation in Northern Ireland (PEACE). The first round of PEACE funding was specifically designed with a ‘bottom-up’ approach and the delivery mechanisms attempted to encourage a maximum level of support for civil society initiatives and local and regional partnership arrangements. A strategic use of metagovernance empowered peacebuilding networks to grow and to access funding and make the difference. However, it is still believed that the package was a victim of its own success in many ways. The merging of institutional and peacebuilding mechanisms was the object of Chapter 7. The North/South Strand of the GFA and the establishment of intermediary bodies such as the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB), with its exclusive European remit and the lessons learnt

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from past experiences of Interreg and PEACE I, facilitated improvements in the peacebuilding process. Additionality was not an issue anymore. The extremely complicated bureaucratic mechanisms guiding the implementation of the PEACE initiatives became less convoluted. The EU strategically adapted politics, financial instruments, and the exercise of power on the basis of the new context in which it was acting. It facilitated a move from conflict to peace and from a divided society to a shared society. The emphasis that the EU placed, since the restoration of devolution in 2007, on consolidating simultaneously the peace and the political processes have seen it, in effect, ‘normalise’ the needs of the region. Unfortunately, due to the long-term nature of peacebuilding, the path ahead was still long and not without complications.

3

Metagoverning Peacebuilding in Northern Ireland: A Strategic-Relational Heuristic

The significance of embedding the theoretical and empirical analysis leading this book in a strategic-relational heuristic (Jessop 1990, 2008), resides in ultimately investigating the interplay between strategies and structures of EU peacebuilding in Northern Ireland. The strategicrelational approach focuses on the interaction of the effects of hierarchies and the impact of strategies on the organisation of structural spaces and on the role of networks in their construction. Taking up the dimension of structures, the strategic-relational heuristic does not only assume that spaces or modes of interaction affect actors through excluding, including, subordinating, or connecting them. It also posits that these effects touch different actors and networks in different ways. In this regard, the role of European integration and European programmes in building peace through metagovernance has rarely been included in existing investigations. Consequently, concepts outlined in this section contribute to the existing literature and fill a scientific gap. Existing theories and previous applications of the strategic-relational approach have focused mainly on the interaction between spaces and structures in which territories, spaces, places, and networks intertwine. Analysis usually relegated the EU to a marginal role (MacKinnon 2011; Jessop 2016; Plangger 2019), whereas, the strategies enacted by the EU with the aim of building peace in Northern Ireland shed light on the specific metagoverning role played by the Community. The EU

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targeted emerging Northern Irish policy network constellations, crossborder, cross-community, and peacebuilding strategies through economic and public initiatives with the aim of empowering cross-border and peacebuilding networks to shape the peace process as an opportunity structure.3 This produced effects of inclusion and exclusion, subordination and connection, and horizontal relations, empowering policy networks to take a more active role in the peacebuilding process. The example of Northern Ireland is explanatory in terms of how the EU provided cross-border and peacebuilding networks with ‘strategically selective’ (Hay 2002) structures, which empowered and disentangled them from the processes that had formed and shaped them. The EU privileged some networks, resources, and strategies, while disadvantaging others (Jessop 1990, p. 10) on the basis of reciprocity. Only those actors ready to engage with and within the EU arena truly benefited from this dimension. Some actors profited from territorial borders, scalar hierarchies, sectoral differentiation, and vertical relationships. Others, more reticent, remained marginalised. Nevertheless, the bottom-up approach adopted by the EU after the reform of the Structural Funds in 1988 (Wallace and Wallace 2002, p. 205), and its interplay with major institutional changes at the national level in the Republic of Ireland and the UK, were crucial in enhancing the centrality of the networks in influencing and shaping the peace process. Therefore, the differential effect of EU structures is even more important as structures do not only impact upon the success of actors’ efforts, but also on their interests and strategies. An historical strategic-relational analysis of the EU role in the Northern Ireland peace process demonstrates how interests constituted the beginning of the EU and networks peacebuilding strategy. A small number of actors between 1981 and 1988—as described in Chapters 3 and 4—perceived the neutral framework of the EU as a suitable context in which to foster interests and gain additional political and economic support. This initial EU/Northern Ireland public policy network had at its core the will to find a solution to end the conflict, which consequently served as a starting point. In addition, the chance to exploit financial or political opportunities to create new functional spaces (Plangger 2019, p. 167) constituted an advantage. The first public network saw the chance to enhance its say in the public policymaking processes through EU programmes, or the possibility to destabilise or undermine existing scalar hierarchies (Jessop 2003), which tended to privilege the unionist majority. It was in this context, that the EU produced the first very interesting

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political analysis of the Northern Ireland conflict. The 1984 Haagerup Report was drawn up by the EP’s Political Affairs Committee and named after its rapporteur, the Danish MEP Niels Haagerup. Following the signing of the AIA in 1985, the EU publicly pledged both economic and political support to resolve the conflict in Northern Ireland. The first EU/Northern Ireland public network was mainly composed of Irish and Northern Irish nationalist representatives. Unionists feared that, in this context, their interests would fall behind and wanted to build a counterweight. Their collaborative participation in experiences and debates within the EP is evidence of this spirit. It is also true that unionists’ interests changed over time, in parallel with changes within the two national governments of Ireland and the UK. As asserted by the former MEP Jim Nicholson, unionists learned a number of key lessons from the period of the Haagerup inquiry and the signing of the AIA (interview with Jim Nicholson, Belfast, 27/11/2015). Their exclusion from both these experiences significantly influenced their approach to the EU. One lesson was the confirmation that unionists could not depend anymore on a government in London to look after their own interests. They would have to positively engage in the administration of Northern Ireland by themselves and, to obtain the most, this also meant positively engaging with the European framework (interview with Jim Nicholson, 27/11/2015). This change in unionists’ attitude shows how nationalists and unionists adapted their interests on the basis of an observation of the material context, even if they perceived this context through different lenses (Jessop 1990, pp. 299–300). The signing of the 1985 AIA institutionalised a cross-border dimension on the island of Ireland (McCall 1999). Cross-border cooperation emerged in Northern Ireland as a result of the EU’s strategic action and with a peacebuilding objective. The outcome provided not just uniform opportunities for both the unionist and the nationalist communities but also differential opportunities and constraints for different actors at the Irish and UK level. Public actors and representatives did not just seize these opportunities but actively interacted with them, attempting to change them and impose their own logic upon them. The dialogue, cooperation, and grassroots mechanisms enacted by different actors at the European level, at different times of the conflict and in different places, institutionalised a cross-border, territorial, and functional life in Northern Ireland within which a strategic and sustainable peace would be eventually possible.

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Implementing EU cross-border cooperation was, nonetheless, a contested process in which actors and national governments with different visions, perceptions, and priorities participated. No one was able to impose their particular version of a peaceful Northern Ireland unconditionally. Moreover, the realisation of specific strategies was dependent on the strategies and strategic responses of others (Hay 2002, pp. 210–211). The fact that there were benefits for all involved proves how EU peacebuilding initiatives, while never producing perfect outcomes for Northern Ireland, always formed a compromise between the feasible and the desirable. The outcomes were highly contextual, and they posed opportunities and constraints that were partly intended and also partly unintended and contradictory. In addition, even if, through the bottom-up approach, the EU attempted to empower policy networks to guide the elaboration process of EU peacebuilding initiatives in their desired direction, the Commission’s rule established that the two national governments were the only recognised legal authority in the negotiation phase. The UK and the Irish governments remained the final gatekeepers of any cross-border or peacebuilding initiative. While national governments might at least employ hierarchical means in their relationship to policy networks, private actors and interest groups had no possibility to revert to legal authority. They could not impose order upon a framework that consisted of institutions beyond their territorial and legal control (Harguindéguy and Bray 2009). As Jessop (2016, p. 14) points out, governance ‘removes issues from the formal purview of a territorial state…and moves them into an ill-defined political sphere where diverse interests may contest how to define and govern them’. Consequently, no one was able to impose a specific version of a peaceful Northern Ireland unconditionally. Furthermore, the realisation of strategies depended on the strategies and strategic responses of others (Hay 2002, pp. 210–211), which shows how peacebuilding did not only serve as a simple strategic instrument but, once created, offered opportunities and constraints that were not the same for all. In this regard, the notion of ‘strategic selectivity’ grasps the actor-specific effects on diverse contexts. The term implies that a certain structure will give different opportunities to actors who want to access it, influence it, or transform it (Jessop 2001, p. 9). Structures; ‘privilege some strategies over others, privilege the access of some forces over others, some interests over others,

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sometimes horizons over others, some coalition possibilities over others’ (Jessop 1990, p. 10). The fact that the EU always acted through the administrations of the two national governments posed substantial challenges for sub-state or civil society action. Typically, these civil society groups and private actors were less experienced in acting on a European scale, were rarely present in the European institutions, and faced difficulties in mobilising across borders. As a consequence, private cross-border and peacebuilding networks in Northern Ireland and the border region required years to fully grasp the opportunities provided by the EU. State authorities were provided with the necessary instruments to assert their competences and they were better placed to represent their interests at all levels of governance. Networks, which were less experienced and unprepared, required more time to better define their roles and defend their interests. The re-establishment of executive politics in Northern Ireland and the North-South strand of the GFA provided an instance of such a governance realm that exceeded the formal control of the Irish and British governments. The support shown by the Irish and UK governments did not demonstrate a clear sense of a shared purpose, however, as both governments maintained a hold over the dynamics of the experiments in cross-border governance, making the ‘hand of the state’ an omnipresent element. The role of the EU as a metagovernor was crucial in all the abovedescribed steps. The EU/Northern Ireland public network led by Hume and the successive cross-border and peacebuilding networks that could not directly steer and command policymaking processes could, nevertheless, seek new instruments to shape, steer, and frame peacebuilding initiatives and their governance mechanisms (Gualini 2005; Jessop 2003). They could not shape processes, but the environment of the processes (Sørensen and Torfing 2009). They reflected upon the context and strived to change the contextual elements to optimise the realisation of their strategies. These metagovernance activities affected the goal-attainment of different networks in Northern Ireland and changed the context in which EU peacebuilding operated. Hierarchies did not vanish and, in this regard, the concept of ‘shadow of hierarchy’, introduced by Scharpf (1994), is suitable to describe the relationship between hierarchy and governance arrangements (Sørensen and Torfing 2009; Jessop 2010) in peacebuilding. Governments determine priorities, objectives, and rules, thus limiting the autonomy and

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flexibility of the governance mechanisms established in the implementation phase (Van Bortel and Mullins 2009) of peacebuilding initiatives. Mechanisms rely on ‘the underlying threat of government interventions’ (Van Bortel and Mullins 2009, p. 208) or even on hierarchy and coercion as an omnipresent practice in conflicted spaces (Davies and Spicer 2015), which makes of Northern Ireland just another arena in a polyarchic European political system. The EU, through operations and programmes as metagovernance tools, did not simply frame certain governance mechanisms of cooperation and peacebuilding. It mixed, ordered, and altered different modes of governance, spatial dimensions, and discursive forms. It attempted to place policy networks made by public and private actors in this context, empowering them to actively participate in the peace process through metagovernance This confirms the statement asserting that metagovernors respond to complexity and failure (Jessop 2010), but it places the EU in an active metagovernance performative role.

4

Implications for the Evolution of EU Peacebuilding

This book has shown that there is a need to consolidate the existing knowledge on the role of the EU in the Northern Ireland peace process and move beyond the dominant paradigm which generally views it mainly as providing financial packages. New approaches need to include the goal of locally owned forms of strategic peace endorsed by a comprehensive, interdependent, architectonic, and sustainable EU strategy in peacebuilding. However, it is also true that while the Community has subscribed to this more comprehensive approach on the theoretical level, it seems to struggle to fully apply this metagovernance toolbox and substantial resources coherently. Hence, numerous political actors, in Northern Ireland but around the world as well, have called for a more defined EU peacebuilding strategy to delineate and prioritise the Union’s objective and to improve the coordination and effectiveness of its instruments across peacebuilding activities. The empirical example of Northern Ireland presents a number of positive hallmarks which could be effectively generalised. Taken all together, they could constitute a preliminary blueprint for a potentially successful EU peacebuilding strategy.

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One of the major strengths of the PEACE package was the clarity of its objective. Every single one of the PEACE programmes dealt with specific issues, such as economic regeneration, reconciliation, education, and memory. These objectives were raised from the bottom-up and the PEACE sub-projects received funding accordingly. The same clarity should be made more evident in general EU peacebuilding strategies. This would facilitate vertical and horizontal cooperation among the member states, reinforcing the strategic role of the Community as a peace builder around the world. First, in Northern Ireland, the EU has showed a significant level of adaptability to the strategically selective context of the peace process. The evolution over the years of many contextual elements linked to the political environment highlighted the need for EU peacebuilding to respond theoretically and reflexively to the challenges of change and also to its own failings. It meant modifying and simultaneously reinventing peacebuilding initiatives through the many networks and institutions that grew up around it. This suggests that, through a wider metagovernance, including methodological, ontological, and epistemological reflections, a strategic peace can be achieved. Secondly, one of the most important features of the role of the EU as a metagovernor of peacebuilding in Northern Ireland was of adopting the state as its vehicle for peacebuilding. However, in many conflicts— as was the case in Northern Ireland, but also, for example, in Bosnia— the state can be the source or root of contention. In Northern Ireland, the EU showed a high level of understanding of the ethno-national and territorial root causes of the conflict. Such knowledge was manifest in the EU support for a joint UK and Irish approach to peacebuilding and in the funding of cross-border cooperation. This shows the necessity for the EU (in any future peacebuilding role it may assume) to question what type of state will filter metagovernance arrangements and what type of state is envisaged by all stakeholders, with an emphasis on the views of the least powerful. It should not be assumed that the state represents a pre-existing package of tried-and-tested values, norms, institutions, and processes, simply to be transferred through peacebuilding initiatives. Thirdly, the strategic approach adopted by the EU in Northern Ireland offered an engagement with the shifting and complex, geopolitical, economic, and cultural realities via a range of networks and institutions. These were formal and informal and built across an interdisciplinary and interdependent spectrum of knowledge and issues but they all shared

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in common a will to directly deal with the root causes of the conflict. Consequently, EU peacebuilding initiatives, and the PEACE programmes in particular, focused on the creation and nurturing of multi-level and constructive human relationships rather than merely instrumental and technical responses to the conflict. The PEACE programmes are a unique instrument that has engaged reflexively with the most, as well as the least, marginalised people in a post-violent Northern Ireland. This shows how EU peacebuilding requires a normative position and an engagement with difference rather than a reliance on universal blueprints. A strategic peace offers the opportunity to connect the localised conditions and contexts of specific conflicts with the international and institutional designs of strategies that are still being developed. Lastly and most importantly, the example of the EU’s engagement in Northern Ireland shows how peacebuilding, like ethics, is an on-going historical practice that needs to be incorporated into any renewed agenda for peace (Richmond 2010, p. 346). As with the search for a sustainable peace in Bosnia, Timor-Leste, or Colombia, this is a reason not to announce the failure of peacebuilding after so much effort but to try even harder for its renewal and success. Success should be defined as a locally sustainable peace and not merely a grand narrative of geopolitical practices, institutions, or markets that benefit international political, economic, and peacebuilding elites. In this regard, the approach of metagovernance fits very well as metagovernance is highly contextspecific. It is complex and changes over time and space. It can only be effectively performed through observation, investigation, and assumptions on the fact that it has to remain provisional. This flexible nature could serve the EU, but particularly local peacebuilding networks, in their work to help peace survive the challenge of time.

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Conclusion

The evolution, reform, and refinement of the EU role in the Northern Ireland peace process discussed in this book retain the importance of metagovernance, metagovernance arrangements, and metagovernance tools in implementing strategies of peacebuilding. In addition, this chapter advocates the importance of a localised approach, which must be culturally and socially just, representative of all levels of society, and aimed at a participatory and open political system. This process was far from perfect in Northern Ireland but its main achievement was essential:

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the EU provided policy networks with an additional arena in which to articulate demands, in which to functionally represent all levels of society, and in which the voice of all actors could be heard. This book has drawn on different theoretical approaches to ultimately combine metagovernance with the emergence of policy networks in the field of peacebuilding. By ultimately embedding the empirical analysis into a strategic-relation heuristic, this book contributes to the existing theoretical literature on the EU and on peacebuilding. From a strategicrelation perspective, the example of the Northern Ireland peace process is illustrative of how policy networks promise to overcome the principle of separation that underlies territories and the principle of subordination within scalar and political hierarchies. At the same time, patterns and boundaries established by national governments show how networks remain limited by, while closely linked to, democratic processes established at the European and national levels. Governments remained key actors in the peace process, the EU and the networks neither replacing hierarchies nor threatening state boundaries. The concept of metagovernance emphasised, nonetheless, the specific role the EU played in aiding the mixing of different modes of interaction. While policy networks were important to link interdependent public and private actors, they formed only one element of the EU peacebuilding toolbox. The EU performed metagovernance in mixing networks and hierarchies, using different techniques and programmes to control outcomes, and cast a ‘shadow of hierarchy’ over processes encompassing different government and governance levels. For all these reasons, metagovernance deserves a space within the EU peacebuilding strategy. Finally, the case of the EU role in the Northern Ireland peace process shows that any attempt to develop a strategic paradigm of peacebuilding must remember that its roots lie in the lives and the consent of real people and societies who have the capacity to make choices within their own context and aspire to it. To maintain its integrity, any EU approach to peacebuilding on their behalf must be able to offer a form of strategic peace that is rhetorically defensible across the range of platforms. Far from pursuing a utopian agenda, this book offers a realistic and pragmatic terrain, based on a historical analysis and never before seen archival sources, into which EU peacebuilding must evolve as it practically responds to the problems that have emerged in the current worldwide political context.

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Notes 1. Sherriff et al. (2013) Glas s half full: Study on EU lessons learnt in mediation and dialogue, Study submitted to the European External Action Service by ECDPM through the AETS Consortium—Cardno, Maastricht, ECDPM. Available online at https://ecdpm.org//publications/glass-half-full-studyeu-lessons-learnt-mediation-dialogue/ (last accessed on the 24/04/2020 at 12:32 p.m.). 2. Ibidem. 3. The concept of ‘political opportunity structure’ was coined in the literature on social movements and ‘political contention’ (Kollman 1998; McAdam et al. 2001). It has been broadly defined as ‘a set of characteristics of a given institution that determines the relative ability of (outside) groups to influence decision-making within that institution’ (Princen and Kerremans 2009, p. 1130). As employed in this book, the EU political opportunity structure involves a comparison between political opportunities at the domestic and EU levels. It comprises the structure and openness of the political systems involved, as this will allow an understanding of the ease of access for political actors to decision-making processes. Secondly, it is concerned with the receptivity of the political systems to the claims of political actors. This latter aspect includes a range of ‘contingent’ factors, such as public opinion trends, preferences of government officials, divisions among political elites, focusing events, and other types of occurrences that can shift the political mood. Together, these two aspects define the ‘boundaries of the possible’ (Princen and Kerremans 2009, p. 1131) with which policy networks had to cope when engaging in political action prompted by the EU in Northern Ireland.

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Appendices

Appendix A List of Archival Documents Quoted in the Text The Historical Archives of the European Parliament—Luxembourg (Historical Archives EP) Historical Archives EP, PE 1-517/79, ‘Motion for resolution to the European Parliament on behalf of the Socialist Group on Community Regional Policy and Northern Ireland pursuant the rule 25 of the rule of procedure’, 15 November 1979. Historical Archives EP, PE 1-17/80, ‘European Parliament motion for a Resolution tabled by Blaney, Castellina and Coppieters pursuant to Rule 25 of the Rules of Procedure on the violation of human rights in the Community’, 14 March 1980. Historical Archives EP, PE 1-532/81, ‘Motion for a Resolution tabled by Mr. Vandemeulebroucke pursuant to Rule 47 of the Rules of Procedure on abolition of the “Diplock” courts in Northern Ireland’, 24 September 1980. Historical Archives EP, PE 1-755/80, ‘Debates of the European Parliament: Hunger strikes of prisoners in the Long Kesh and Armagh prisons’, 18 December 1980. Historical Archives EP, PE 1-756/80, ‘Motion for a Resolution tabled by Mr. Hume, Mr. Kavanagh, Mr. Desmond, Mr. O’Leary, Mr. O’Connel © The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021 G. Lagana, The European Union and the Northern Ireland Peace Process, Palgrave Studies in European Union Politics, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-59117-5

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and Mr. Balfe pursuant to Rule 25 of the Rules of Procedure on the situation in Northern Ireland’, 18 December 1980. Historical Archives EP, PE 81.265, ‘Report drawn up by Simone Martin on behalf of the Committee on Regional Policy and Regional Planning on Community regional policy and Northern Ireland, European Parliament working document’, 4 May 1981. Historical Archives EP, PE 1-243/81, ‘Hunger strikes at Long Kesh’, EP Sitting of Thursday, 7 May 1981. Historical Archives EP, PE 1-245/81, ‘Motion for a Resolution tabled by Mr. Kappos pursuant to Rule 47 of the Rules of Procedure on the violation of Human Rights in Northern Ireland’, 22 May 1981. Historical Archives EP, PE 1-165/81, ‘Debates of the European Parliament—Community Regional Policy and Northern Ireland’, 18 June 1981. Historical Archives EP, PE 1-630/82, ‘Motion for a resolution tabled by McCartin, O’Donnell, Rayan, Clinton, Penders, Van Aersen, Herman, Estgen, Bersani, Protopapadakis on behalf of the Group of the European people’s Party (CD Group) pursuant to Rule 47 of the Rule of Procedure on Northern Ireland’, 16 May 1983. Historical Archives EP, PE 1-1526/83, ‘Motion for a Resolution on the situation in Northern Ireland’, 16 March 1983. Historical Archives EP, PE 1-883/82, ‘Motion for a resolution pursuant to Rule 47 on the Rules of Procedure on Northern Ireland’, 9 August 1983. Historical Archives EP, PE 1-88.265, ‘Report drawn up on behalf of the Political Affairs Committee on the situation in Northern Ireland’, 19 March 1984. Historical Archives EP, PE 1-312/165, ‘Debates of the European Parliament—The situation in Northern Ireland’, 29 March 1984. Historical Archives EP, RD-PhJ-97, ‘Question écrite de Mme Dury au Conseil des Ministres des Communeautés Éuropéennes’, 18 Novembre 1985. Historical Archives EP, PE 285/285949, ‘Working document on the Community proposal in relation to the allocation of the reserve for Community initiatives—Committee on Regional Policy’, 4 December 1985. Historical Archives EP, NO C 352/84, ‘Resolution on the Anglo-Irish Agreement’, 12 December 1985.

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Historical Archives EP, No 2-333/221, ‘Anglo-Irish Agreement’, 12 December 1985. Historical Archives EP, A4-0067/86, ‘Working document on the Community proposal in relation to the allocation of the reserve for Community initiatives—Committee on Regional Policy’, 6 January 1986. Historical Archives EP, PE 111.499/déf., ‘Rapport fait par John Hume au nom de la Commission politique regionale et de l’aménagement du territoire sur le problèmes régionaux de l’Irlande’, 9 Juillet 1987. Historical Archives EP, PE 4-1323/88/rev, ‘Annual Report of the Regions’, September 1988. Historical Archives EP, PE B3-467/90, ‘Proposition de resolution faite par Maher, Vandemeulebroucke, Waechter conformément à l’article 63 du règlement sur l’élaboration par la Commission d’un programme d’action régionale concernant des mesures visant à favoriser une coopération plus étroite entre les régions transfrontalières’, 5 March 1990. Historical Archives EP, A4-0068/95, ‘Report on the communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on a special support programme for peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland (COM(94)0607–C4-0267/94) and on the draft notice to the Member States laying down guidelines for an initiative in the framework of the special support programme for peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland and the border counties of Ireland (SEC(95)0279–C40084/95)’, 24 March 1995. Historical Archives EP, A4-0068/95, ‘Debates of the European Parliament: Peace and reconciliation’, 5 April 1995. The National Archives of the UK (TNA) Cabinet Papers (CJ) TNA, CJ4/3630, ‘Protests and Second Hunger Strike’, Weekly Bulletin NO 8-0900, 16 April–23 April 1981. TNA, CJ4/3627, ‘Northern Ireland: Reply to the three TDs’, 22 April 1981. TNA, CJ4/4291, ‘European Parliament: Resolution on Human Rights in Northern Ireland’, 8 October 1982. TNA, CJ4/4291, ‘National Government appearances before European Parliament “hearings”’, 10 November 1982. TNA, CJ4/4293, ‘European Parliament and Northern Ireland’, Background note, 7 March 1983.

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TNA, CJ4/4293, ‘The modest European proposal’, Europe in Northern Ireland, Belfast, European Commission Office in Northern Ireland, March 1983. TNA, CJ4/4296, ‘European Parliament and Northern Ireland: The Haagerup Report’, 18 July 1983. TNA, CJ4/4296, ‘Letter from the Northern Ireland to the Private Secretary of State’, 20 July 1983. TNA, CJ4 /4298, ‘The Haagerup Report’, 1 December 1983. TNA, CJ4 /4298, ‘European Parliament and Northern Ireland’, 1 December 1983. TNA, CJ4 /4298, ‘Haagerup—Annex A: Comment to offer to Mr. Haagerup’, 2 December 1983. TNA, CJ4/4298, ‘Haagerup’, 2 December 1983. TNA, CJ4/4298, ‘The Haagerup Report—Telegram number 262’, 7 December 1983. Foreign Office Records (FCO) TNA, FCO30/5259, ‘Motion for a resolution tabled by Mr. Kappos pursuant to rule 47 of the Rules of procedure on the violation of human rights in Northern Ireland’, 22 May 1981. TNA, FCO 30/4931, ‘Letter from the Northern Ireland Office to William Marsden’, 13 December 1981. TNA, FCO30/5259, ‘European Parliament and Northern Ireland’, 15 November 1982. TNA, FCO 30/5259, ‘Letter addressed to the British government by William Marsden, Assistant Head, European Community Department’, 25 November 1982. TNA, FCO 87/1551, ‘The European Parliament and Northern Ireland: The Haagerup Report’, 12 December 1983. Hugh Logue Personal Collection Confederation of British Industry (CBI), (1994), ‘Peace: A challenging new era’, Paper NI 08 94. Draft press release for issue by MEPs, ‘Special advisors to Delors Task Force in Northern Ireland for “on the ground” consultation’. European Commission office in Northern Ireland weekly press review, 11 December 1994.

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207

Northern Ireland Economic Council (NIEC), (1993), ‘Northern Ireland and the recent recession: Cyclical strength or structural weakness?’, Report No. 104, NIEC, Belfast. Roberto Speciale Personal Collection European Parliament Speech (Draft), Roberto Speciale, ‘The Northern Ireland peace process’, 14 February 1996. European Parliament Speech (Draft), Monica Wulf Mathies, ‘The Northern Ireland peace process’, 14 February 1996. Finance and personnel committee of Northern Ireland, ‘Report to Northern Ireland Assembly on Additionality of European Receipts of European Funds’, 5 October 1983. Notre Europe Institute Jacques Delors Notre Europe Institute Jacques Delors, JD-1456, ‘European Community Structural Funds in Northern Ireland—Report 94’, April 1992. Notre Europe Institute Jacques Delors, JD-1699, ‘Entretien de Jacques Delors avec Gerald Fitzgerald, ancient Premier ministre de l’Irlande (Bruxelles)’, July 1992. Notre Europe Institute Jacques Delors, JD-1699, ‘Note to the attention of the President. Subject: Visit of G. Fitzgerald’, 2 July 1992. Notre Europe Institute Jacques Delors, JD-1699, ‘Note to the file: The Irish situation’, 1 July 1992. Notre Europe Institute Jacques Delors, JD-1456, ‘Visite du Président Jacques Delors en Irlande du Nord’, November 1992. Notre Europe Institute Jacques Delors, JD-1456, ‘Allocution du Président’, 3 Novembre 1992. Notre Europe Institute Jacques Delors, JD-1456, ‘Northern Ireland/Europe: An economic summary—Jane Morrice on behalf on the European Commission office in Northern Ireland’, November 1992.

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Appendix B List of Interviews Anderson Martina, Member of the EP for Sinn Féin, interviewed by Dr. Giada Lagana in Derry/Londonderry, 2 December 2016. Boylan Lynn, Former Member of the EP for Sinn Féin, interviewed by Dr. Giada Lagana in Dublin, 25 November 2016. Carthy Matt, Member of the EP for Sinn Féin, interviewed by Dr. Giada Lagana in Carrickmacross, 6 January 2017. Colgan Patrick, Former chief executive of the Special EU Programmes Body and Senior Adviser for the Government of Ireland in Colombia, interviewed by Dr. Giada Lagana in Dublin, 10 May 2016. Hume Patricia, Wife of John Hume MEP, interviewed by Dr. Giada Lagana in Derry/Londonderry, 2 December 2016. Larkin Colm, Brussels-based European Commission economist, close friend of John Hume and former director of the EU Commission office in Dublin, interviewed by Dr. Giada Lagana in Dublin, 17 May 2016. Logue Hugh, former vice-chairman of the North Derry Civil Rights Association; SDLP Assemblyman, Special adviser to the Office of First and Deputy First Minister from 1998 to 2002 and Senior Official of the European Commission, interviewed by Dr. Giada Lagana in Dublin on two occasions, on the 23 April 2015 and on the 29 October 2015. Nicholson James, Member of the EP for the Ulster Unionist Party, interviewed by Dr. Giada Lagana in Belfast, 27 November 2015. Pollak Andy, Journalist, researcher, editor and former director of the Centre for Cross-Border Studies of Armagh, interviewed by Dr. Giada Lagana in Dublin, 28 November 2015. Speciale Roberto, Former head of the EU Committee on Regional Policy, interviewed by Dr. Giada Lagana in Genova (Italy), 27 February 2017. Taillon Ruth, Former Director of the Centre for Cross-Border Studies Armagh, interviewed by Dr. Giada Lagana in Belfast, 10 November 2015. Trojan Carlo, Former Deputy Secretary General of the Delors’ Commission I and II and Head of the 1994 Northern Ireland Task Force, interviewed by Dr. Giada Lagana in The Hague (Holland), 29 January 2016.

Index

A Additionality, 67, 68, 71, 79, 124–127, 129, 145, 190 Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA), 6, 51, 93, 96, 108, 115, 188, 192 Anglo-Irish relations, 16, 95

160, 162, 163, 165, 167, 169, 170, 179, 186, 188, 192, 193, 196 Cross-community relations, 29, 30, 93, 136, 137, 141, 161

B Belfast/Good Friday Agreement (GFA), 1, 8, 10, 17, 18, 25, 30, 51, 66, 77–79, 90, 96, 116, 117, 121, 125, 139, 144, 146, 148, 149, 152, 154, 159–162, 164, 169, 170, 174–176, 179, 187, 189, 192, 194

E Economic regeneration, 2, 120, 133, 135, 196 EU/Northern Ireland public network, 18, 19, 52, 107, 109, 110, 115, 117, 135, 139, 140, 145, 150, 188, 192, 194 European Commission, 2, 4, 14, 15, 56, 60, 64, 79, 105, 106, 117, 133, 138, 139, 144, 147, 149, 154, 155, 176–178 European Parliament (EP), 6, 13, 36, 49, 50, 52–56, 58–73, 76–82, 86, 87, 91, 94, 97, 99, 110, 114, 115, 117, 129, 135, 142–147, 155, 188, 192

C Cross-border cooperation, 2, 3, 5–9, 11, 16, 18, 32, 33, 36, 41, 76, 77, 86, 93, 96, 105–112, 114– 118, 120–122, 124, 126–128, 133, 135, 141, 143, 148, 154,

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021 G. Lagana, The European Union and the Northern Ireland Peace Process, Palgrave Studies in European Union Politics, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-59117-5

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H Haagerup report, 13, 18, 51, 75–77, 79, 80, 82, 85, 86, 88, 96, 98, 99, 114, 115, 188, 192 Hume, John, 19, 50, 52, 55, 56, 59–66, 68–71, 77, 79, 81, 106, 114, 121, 135, 138, 139, 142, 145, 146, 188, 194, 205

I Interdependence, 9, 27, 29, 31, 32, 36, 42, 49–52, 89, 90, 105, 135 Interreg, 7, 8, 18, 38, 91, 106, 107, 115–118, 122–128, 141, 149, 152, 153, 160, 162, 164–167, 169, 173–176, 187, 190 Interreg I, 107, 116–118, 120, 121, 127, 189 Interreg II, 107, 116–120, 127, 148, 167, 170, 173, 189 Interreg III, 120, 160, 161, 163, 165–169, 171, 173–175, 179–181

M Martin Report, 51, 65–67, 70, 71, 79, 91, 96, 125, 129 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), 17, 51, 53–60, 63–66, 69–72, 75, 77–81, 94, 125, 135, 138–140, 142, 143, 145, 146, 155, 188, 192 Metagovernance, 11, 16–19, 34–39, 42, 50–52, 65, 66, 70, 90, 96, 98, 106, 107, 128, 134, 135, 149, 150, 153, 154, 161, 164, 169, 171, 176, 177, 179, 187, 189, 190, 194–198

N Nationalist, 1, 7, 25, 29, 30, 50, 52, 59, 70, 71, 77, 79, 81, 85, 92, 93, 95, 99, 108, 121, 147, 169–171, 174, 192 North-South Ministerial Council (NSMC), 18, 160, 162–164, 167, 179, 180

P Paisley, Ian, 51, 56, 63, 69, 72, 76, 138, 139, 146 Partnership, 11, 29, 35–37, 106, 117, 119–121, 123, 125, 126, 135, 137, 148–153, 165, 167, 168, 171, 172, 177, 189 PEACE, 7, 8, 11, 18, 19, 38, 51, 91, 124, 126–128, 134, 140, 148–151, 153, 154, 161, 162, 164, 165, 167–170, 172–176, 179, 189, 190, 196, 197 PEACE I, 133–135, 144, 147–152, 154, 167, 170–173, 190 PEACE II, 160, 161, 163, 165, 166, 170–173, 175, 176, 179–181 Private networks, 19, 147 Public networks, 17, 117, 177, 188, 191

R Reconciliation, 2, 3, 8, 11, 15, 17, 26, 30, 33, 38, 82, 93, 106, 122, 124, 133, 135, 138, 140, 141, 144–148, 150, 151, 153–155, 160, 165, 170, 171, 186, 196

S Special European Union Programmes Body (SEUPB), 18, 61, 160,

INDEX

162–164, 167–169, 172, 174–176, 179, 180, 189 Strategic peace, 28, 34, 37, 40, 42, 76, 134, 137, 195–198 Strategic-relational approach, 17, 40, 41, 190

211

U Unionists, 1, 7, 25, 26, 30, 51, 52, 56, 65, 70, 72, 76–81, 84, 85, 87, 88, 93, 95, 99, 108, 121, 123, 126, 143, 147, 161–163, 169, 171, 173, 188, 189, 192