December 2015
Issue No. 29
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In this month's Border-zine:
Scholars at Risk


Registration Now Open for Annual Conference 2016

The Centre for Cross Border Studies has announced that bookings for our 2016 conference in Dundalk (18th-19th February 2016) are now open.

To view a preliminary edition of the conference programme click here.

To register your place at the 2016 Annual Conference, please return the booking form, which is available here.

If you require further information about the administration of the Conference including registration, access needs, room bookings and stalls, please contact us on: or call 028 3751 1550  (replace 028 with 048 when dialling from Republic of Ireland).

CCBS Submits Evidence to the House of Lords EU Select Committee Inquiry on 'Visions of EU Reform'

The Centre for Cross Border Studies has submitted evidence to the House of Lords EU Select Committee Inquiry on EU reform. The inquiry is exploring the vision for the future of the EU that the UK Government is seeking to realise through its current reform proposals, ahead of the referendum on UK membership to be held by the end of 2017.

CCBS has employed its status as a valued source of research, information and collaboration across borders on the island of Ireland, Europe and beyond, to assist the Committee is assessing the extent to which there is consensus on the long-term direction of the EU, within the UK, the EU institutions and across the 28 EU Member States.

Click here to access our full written response.

CCBS Contributes to ESPON Seminar: "A World Without Borders - Refugees, Cooperation and Territories".

Dr Anthony Soares (Deputy Director of the Centre for Cross Border Studies) contributed to an ESPON seminar entitled "A world without borders - Refugees, cooperation and territories", which was held within the framework of the ESPON 2020 programme, in cooperation with the Luxembourg presidency of the EU Council, on 8-9 December 2015 in Luxembourg.

The discussions focused on the territorial dimension of the refugee issue in Europe, as well as on cross-border cooperation and the EU's macro-regional strategies.

A roundtable bringing together representatives of the Committee of the Regions, the European Commission, the Luxembourg presidency, the ESPON programme, the MOT, the Centre for Cross Border Studies and Eurostat was devoted to future support for the cross-border cooperation programme, notably in the area of observation of cross-border territories.

More info

Ex-Post Evaluation of European Territorial Cooperation (ETC) Programmes

CCBS Director, Ruth Taillon was a participant in a stakeholders’ seminar organized in Brussels on 11 December, within the framework of the ex post evaluation of programmes aiming at promoting European Territorial Cooperation (INTERREG) during the period 2007-2013. The results of the seminar discussion will feed into the final report of the ex post evaluation to be released in March 2016. The INTERREG programmes to co-operation and to economic and social integration between European regions. Ruth Taillon and Jean Peyrony, Director of Mission Opérationnelle Transfrontalière were the panellists responding to the preliminary findings from the evaluation of the cross-border programmes. There were also panels on the transnational and inter-regional programmes. 



Institute of Public Health in Ireland (IPH) Community Profiles Tool

The IPH Community Profiles Tool provides access to health-related data that have been compiled for every local authority area in the Republic of Ireland and every local government district in Northern Ireland. The redeveloped IPH Community Profiles Tool (CPT) has a new attractive interface that uses Instant Atlas software, a Geographical Information System (GIS). Features are more interactive and users can view indicators across a range of geographies and time series. It is possible to create highly-interactive profile reports that include maps and a wide range of charts (from simpler pie and bar charts to more advanced plots such as funnel charts and bubble plots) which change dynamically as the user changes their selections. The newly re-developed Community Profiles Tool (CPT) includes two new themes Healthy Ireland and Making Life Better. These new themes include some of the key overarching indicators from the public health strategies Healthy Ireland and Making Life Better. Users are able to produce customised local health profiles such as data tables, charts and maps

Access the redeveloped IPH Community Profiles Tool here.

Institute of Public Health in Ireland Open Conference 2015 - Presentations and Audio Available

IPH held an all-island Open Conference in Dublin on 13 October providing a platform for participants to explore a wide variety of issues identified by the public health community as being central to their work. Over 250 health professionals, policymakers and academics from across the island of Ireland attended this year’s conference. Twenty four papers were delivered and discussed around the five key themes for this year’s conference: cross sectoral work on the social determinants of health, income equalities and health – closing the gap, research and evidence strengthening policy and practice, excellence in leadership in public health and influencing the teenage years – impact for life.

Click here for more information.


UK and Ireland Health Inequalities Collaboration Event Family Adversity

Reducing family adversity through collaboration was the focus of a recent UK & Ireland Health Inequalities Collaboration event in Edinburgh. The Collaboration, chaired by Professor Sir Michael Marmot, is a partnership between University College London’s Institute of Health Equity, the Institute of Public Health in Ireland and governing bodies for public health in the UK and Ireland. 'Family Adversity: Children, Young People and the Next Generation’ was hosted by NHS Scotland to share best practice across the different nations and understand the role of public health in family adversity. 

For more information click here.

Alcohol Licensing Data in Public Health Research and Policy

A recent knowledge exchange forum provided an opportunity to share and discuss research using alcohol licencing data. The forum was hosted by the North South Alcohol Policy Advisory Group (NSAPAG) and included speakers from the UK and Ireland. Professor David Fone (Cardiff University) presented findings from a Welsh study examining change in alcohol outlet density and related harms over time. Dr Niamh Shortt (University of Edinburgh) outlined the approach to mapping alcohol outlets and associated harms across Scotland. Dr James Nicholls (Alcohol Research UK) discussed the use of licensing to protect public health. In addition, Hugh Greaves, Coordinator, Ballymun Local Drugs and Alcohol Task Force highlighted the significant impacts of alcohol harm in communities. 

For more information click here.




Date Definitively Set For The End of Roaming Charges

The removal of roaming charges for mobile phones in Europe is definitively set for 15th June 2017, following the passing of legislation by the European Parliament on 27th October 2015.

These charges represent all the additional costs billed for calls, text messages and internet usage on mobile phones while abroad within the EU. 

In border areas, they significantly hinder the competitiveness of businesses and go against the rights of citizens. Before the outright ban begins, a significant limit on the charges will be introduced from 30th April 2016 onwards. 
“This banning of roaming fees was long awaited by all: ordinary citizens, start-ups, SMEs, or all kinds of organisations” declared the rapporteur Pilar del Castillo (EPP, ES), during the debate before the vote. 

More info available here.

Consolidating Peace and Deepening Reconciliation in Northern Ireland and the Border Region of Ireland

The European Commission adopted the new EU Programme for Peace and Reconciliation (PEACE IV) worth almost €270 million, with €229 million coming from the European Regional Development Fund.

PEACE IV is a unique Cohesion Policy programme aiming to reinforce a peaceful and stable society by fostering reconciliation in Northern Ireland and the Border Region of Ireland.

Despite the significant progress achieved over the last 25 years, the programme area is still affected by the legacy of division, with levels of segregation that limit the potential for the development of positive relationships between individuals and communities.

The PEACE IV Programme will focus on the following priorities:
  • €30 million will be provided for shared education projects that will increase contacts between pupils and teachers from all backgrounds. The programme will encourage schools to engage in shared education actions and provide training for teachers.
  • €57 million will be invested in the future of the next generation who, as research shows, is still negatively affected by the legacy of the conflict. The programme will invest in peer mentoring actions and local community youth initiatives to increase the interaction between children and young people from all backgrounds and promote respect for diversity.
  • €84.5 million have been earmarked for the creation of new shared services and spaces. The programme will support, for example, interventions for victims and survivors of the conflict, to address trauma, assess physical and mental health needs and assist families to engage in historical processes.
  • €44 million will be used to support local projects that will build mutual trust and understanding, involving sports, arts and culture as ways of facilitating interaction and mobility between residents from divided neighbourhoods.
The remainder of the funding will be used for technical assistance measures to ensure efficient implementation, monitoring and control of the programme.

More information available here.

The Conclusions of Luxembourg's Presidency in the Area of Cross-Border Cooperation

Within the framework of its presidency of the EU Council, on 26-27 November 2015, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg brought together the European ministers responsible for territorial cohesion and urban policy for an informal meeting in Luxembourg. The discussions fed into the conclusions of the Luxembourg presidency, which is proposing actions to facilitate cross-border cooperation within the EU.

One of them, formulated with technical assistance from the MOT, consists in putting in place a legal tool based on a European regulation. This tool would enable local authorities that are faced with a legal obstacle regarding a cross border project to propose to their respective governments a legal framework that is specific to the functioning of the project concerned. For example, in the case of the extension of a tramline on the other side of a border, the standards of one of the countries could be applied on both sides. In short, governments could recognise the application of normative provisions from the law of a neighbouring country in order to facilitate the functioning of a specific cross-border project. This new form of mutual recognition would help with the implementation of cross-border projects and thereby benefit border populations.

To consult the study, click here

Commission Proposes to Make Products and Services More Accessible to Persons with Disabilities
The European Commission today proposed a European Accessibility Act, which will set common accessibility requirements for certain key products and services that will help people with disabilities at EU level to participate fully in society.

The proposal covers those products and services, which have been identified as most relevant for citizens with disabilities and for which there are divergent accessibility requirements in different Member States or where there is risk for their divergence. These include:
  • ATMs and banking services,
  • PCs, telephones and TV equipment,
  • telephony and audiovisual services,
  • transport,
  • e-books and e-commerce.
More information available here.

New Student Loans for Master's in France

University graduates who want to do a Master's in France can now qualify for a €12,000 loan for a one-year course, or up to €18,000 for a two-year one. Students will benefit from very favourable terms, no collateral and delayed pay-back.

The scheme comes from the European Commission's Erasmus+ programme, and is the result of an agreement between the Commission and a major French bank, BPCE. It works by having the Erasmus+ scheme go guarantor for the loans, which spreads the risk between the bank and the Commission.

The guarantee agreement was signed on 1 December by the European Investment Fund (EIF) and the French BPCE bank, with the backing of the Erasmus+ programme. The total available is €30 million.

The loans will be open to graduates from any EU country moving to France for a Master's degree (as well as to French students doing a Master's elsewhere in the EU).

More information available here.

Study at the College of Europe in Bruges or Natolin

Scholarship and non-scholarship applications are now being accepted from students who wish to study at the College of Europe in the 2016-2017 academic year. Each year, the College of Europe accepts students who wish to study at post-graduate level at its Bruges or Natolin campuses.

Places at the College are open to students studying politics, law, economics, European studies, etc., and offer an excellent opportunity for graduates to develop their knowledge and skills and to experience education in a truly international environment.

Public Consultation on a Renewed Modernisation Agenda for Higher Education in the EU

The objective of this consultation is to collect the views of stakeholders about the current situation in Europe's higher education systems, as well as on priorities for change. Specifically, the consultation questionnaire focuses on:
  • the current strengths and weaknesses of higher education in the EU
  • the priority areas where those in charge of higher education should focus their attention and
  • how you think the EU should support efforts to improve higher education.
The consultation is open until 29 February 2016.

More information available here.

Action grants to support transnational projects to prevent and combat racism, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance 

The European Commission has launched a calls for proposals for action grants to support transnational projects to prevent and combat racism, xenophobia, homophobia and other forms of intolerance - JUST/2015/RRAC/AG.

The call aims to co-fund transnational projects, which are in line with the specific objective of the programme, to prevent and combat racism, xenophobia, homophobia and other forms of intolerance. Proposals should aim to produce results with EU added value.

The deadline for this call for proposals is 18 February 2016 12:00 (noon) CET.

More information available here.

EU Financing for Broadband Infrastructure Projects 2014-2020

In the EU 2014-2020 programming period, broadband infrastructure projects don’t rely solely on ERDF, EAFRD, EIB or CEF for funding or financing. With the new and powerful European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) opportunity at hand, you can boost the infrastructure development of your project or region.
Find out how to use various financing instruments for your project, how to go through the application process and which State Aid rules apply at an     

Interactive Seminar EU Financing for Broadband Infrastructure 
Projects 2014-2020

21st - 22nd March 2016, Berlin
Please find detailed brochure information here.

Public Consultation on the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights

The European Commission has published a public consultation on the evaluation and modernisation of the legal framework for the enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR).

The consultation aims to help assess the functioning of Directive 2004/48/EC on the enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPRED) in the online environment, with a view to identify the possible need for adapting such provisions and to propose corrective measures. It will gather experience on the use and impact of IPRED and also seek views and opinions from those concerned with the application of the Directive on its functioning and the possible need for amendments. It also aims to gather experience and opinions about the use and impact of so-called 'follow the money' initiatives in the area of IPR enforcement.

The consultation is open until 1 April 2016.

More information available here.

Make Your Voice Heard on Access to EU-Wide Financial Services


Frustrated at not having access to cheaper mortgages in another Member State? Exasperated by not being able to bring your bank account with you when you move to another EU country? If so, the European Commission wants to hear from you.

The Commission wants to open up financial products like mortgages and bank accounts to a cross-border EU market. The Commission also has in its sights "switching" costs, hidden extras in insurance and high fees for credit cards on holiday.

The first step in drafting new rules is an open public consultation. Citizens, consumer groups, businesses and other interested parties have until 18 March 2016 to respond.

More information available here.

Irish Enterprises Top EU for Cross-Border E-Commerce

According to data published by Eurostat, Ireland had the highest share of enterprises selling online, either domestically, to other EU countries or to third countries:

•    30% of Irish enterprises sold online on the domestic market in 2014 compared to an EU average of 18%;
•    17% of Irish enterprises sold online to another EU state compared to an EU average of 8%; and
•    12% of Irish enterprises sold online to third countries compared to an EU average of 5%.

The data also revealed that enterprises in Ireland made 37% of their total turnover from electronic sales to other businesses or consumers, the highest share in the EU and over double the average of 17%.

More information available here.


Carnegie Library Lab Opens for Second Round

Carnegie Library LabThe second round of Carnegie Library Lab, a public library leadership and innovation programme is now open. The programme is open to library staff across the UK and Ireland looking to deliver an innovative idea in their library. The deadline for applications is 29 January 2016. If selected, Carnegie Library Lab participants receive a package of funding, online learning, mentoring and peer support. For more information please contact Jenny Peachey, Policy Officer at




Centre for Cross Border Studies Annual Conference - 18-19 February 2016


Upcoming Events

18 February 2016
Keep the diary free for the upcoming CCBS Annual Conference 2016. Click here for full details.

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