The Good Friday Agreement, also known as the Belfast Agreement, is a historic peace agreement signed in 1998 between the British and Irish governments and political parties in Northern Ireland. This agreement brought an end to decades of sectarian violence known as The Troubles.
One of the key points in the Good Friday Agreement was the recognition of the European Union as a guarantor of the agreement. This meant that the EU would provide political and financial support to Northern Ireland, as well as help facilitate cross-border cooperation between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
The Good Friday Agreement specifically mentions the EU in several sections. In the section on “Institutions”, it states that the “European Union and its member states will actively support the achievement of these objectives and will address, in accordance with their respective competences, the issues of reconciliation, including through the enhancement of dialogue between the different traditions.” This recognizes the EU as a key player in promoting reconciliation between different communities in Northern Ireland.
In the section on “Cross-Border Cooperation”, the agreement states that “the relationship between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, reflecting the wish of a greater number of the people of Northern Ireland, must be founded on respect, understanding and cooperation between the two communities and must be based on the principles of equality, parity of esteem, and mutual respect.” The EU is mentioned as a guarantor of this relationship and is expected to provide financial and technical support to help develop cross-border cooperation.
In addition to its role as a guarantor of the Good Friday Agreement, the EU has also been instrumental in providing funding and support for peace and reconciliation efforts in Northern Ireland. The EU has provided funding for a range of initiatives, including community development, reconciliation, and cross-border cooperation programs.
In conclusion, the EU is mentioned in the Good Friday Agreement as a key player in promoting peace, reconciliation, and cross-border cooperation between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The agreement recognizes the EU as a guarantor of the peace process and expects it to provide political and financial support to help build a stable and prosperous future for Northern Ireland. The EU`s continued support for the peace process is vital for ensuring that the gains made in Northern Ireland over the past two decades are not lost.