The Bureau of the Various Interests' Group of the EESC held an extraordinary meeting at Ballymascanlon Hotel in Dundalk, Ireland. This location is of significant importance as it is the place where, in 2011, the "New Cross Border Agreement" was signed between the Louth local authorities and the Newry and Mourne District Council, with both parties taking a major step forward in promoting cross-border partnership in the border region. At the time, the agreement was seen as an example of best practice and an important new instrument for building cooperation between the relevant local authorities. Now, in the wake of the Brexit referendum, the tendency is rather the reverse, with borders closing instead of opening up.
The Bureau of the Various Interests' Group's aim was to engage with, listen to and learn from Irish civil society and openly discuss the direct repercussions of 'Brexit' on Ireland, its border, trade and communities.