THE EUROPEAN UNION AND ‘NORMAL’ POLITICS IN NORTHERN IRELAND

in Europeanisation and Hibernicisation
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Abstract

2008 marked the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Belfast Agreement and followed a momentous year in the recent political history of Northern Ireland. Despite the passage of over a decade, the full operation of the new governance arrangements remains elusive. In 2008 however, it appeared that Northern Ireland had embraced ‘normal’ politics as local political representatives began to address the challenges of everyday political life. One such challenge is structuring and managing an engagement with the European Union (EU) which meets the interests of Northern Ireland. Over ten years after the decision to devolve power to Northern Ireland and despite the sporadic suspension of political institutions, the region has developed a functioning model of engagement with the EU. Using Wolff’s (2002) model of post-Agreement reconstruction, this chapter suggests that when compared with other domestic policy areas, the Europeanizing influence of the EU has produced important political developments in Northern Ireland.

Europeanisation and Hibernicisation

Ireland and Europe

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