Office of the Northern Ireland Executive in Brussels
The Office of the Northern Ireland Executive in Brussels (Office of the NI Executive in Brussels) is part of the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister and is the focus of Northern Ireland's relations with the institutions of the European Union . As a dynamic European region, Northern Ireland has an interest in developments at Union level. Many laws and policies of the European Union have a direct effect on the lives of people in Northern Ireland. The European Union has contributed significantly to economic development in Northern Ireland and, through the PEACE Programme, to the process of reconciliation.
Many regions of Europe have established official representations in Brussels. This process has been accelerated by the development of EU regional policy and by the trend to devolution in countries like Spain and the United Kingdom. The Scottish Government, and the Welsh Assembly Government have opened offices since devolution. Like the Office of the Northern Ireland Executive, they operate under the umbrella of the UK Permanent Representation to the European Union.
"The Office of the Northern Ireland Executive in Brussels is located in a prestigious new building at 50 Rue Wiertz, close to the European Parliament . The office has been specifically designed to provide full facilities for Northern Ireland Ministers and officials visiting the European institutions and is well placed to serve all Northern Ireland's interests in Brussels. It has state-of-the-art communications with Northern Ireland, a Ministerial suite and conference facilities. Receptions can also be hosted."
The Head of Office is Dr Gerry Mulligan
"The Office has six main functions:
- Monitoring EU policy developments relevant to Northern Ireland
- Ensuring that Northern Ireland's interests are taken into account in the work of the EU Institutions
- Facilitating contacts and links between EU Institutions and NI Ministers and officials
- Raising the positive profile of Northern Ireland among European policy makers and opinion formers
- Pursuing co-operation of practical benefit to Northern Ireland with other European regions
- Facilitating improved contacts with the EU by Northern Ireland non-governmental and local government sectors
The staff are committed to ensuring that the Office's facilities are made available to a broad range of interests including the non-government, local government, academic and private sectors. Many Northern Ireland-based organisations have used the facilities to hold meetings and events. The activities of the Office also assist in promoting knowledge and understanding of the European Union in Northern Ireland and staff have developed a strong relationship with the European Commission representation in Belfast.
As part of the development of inter-regional co-operation with the other European regions, the Northern Ireland administration has joined the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR). This organisation brings together representatives of most regions outside central Europe to discuss issues of mutual interest."
- http://www.ofmdfmni.gov.uk/index/promoting-ni/onieb/about-the-onieb.htm Office of the NI Executive in Brussels
- http://www.ofmdfmni.gov.uk/index/promoting-ni/onieb/about-the-onieb/function-onieb.htm Office of the NI Executive in Brussels
- Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister
- Northern Ireland Executive
- First Minister and deputy First Minister
- Northern Ireland Bureau