Full text 
Procedure : 2014/2906(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0218/2014

Texts tabled :


Debates :

PV 12/11/2014 - 18
CRE 12/11/2014 - 18

Votes :

PV 13/11/2014 - 8.6
CRE 13/11/2014 - 8.6
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :


Texts adopted
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Thursday, 13 November 2014 - Brussels Final edition
Peace process in Northern Ireland

European Parliament resolution of 13 November 2014 on the Northern Ireland peace process (2014/2906(RSP))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Good Friday Agreement, also known as the Belfast Agreement, reached in multi-party negotiations and signed on 10 April 1998,

–  having regard to the Weston Park Agreement of 2001,

–  having regard to the Agreement reached in the multi-party negotiations held in St Andrews in Fife, Scotland, from 11 to 13 October 2006, between the two governments and all the major parties in Northern Ireland,

–  having regard to the Hillsborough Agreement of 2010,

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 1232/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 December 2010 concerning European Union financial contributions to the International Fund for Ireland (2007 to 2010)(1),

–  having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas an end to all violent conflict within the European Union is essential;

B.  whereas talks between the political parties and the UK and Irish Governments resulted in the 1998 Good Friday Agreement (Belfast Agreement), which provided for the establishment of a devolved administration involving the establishment a power-sharing Assembly and Executive, a North/South Ministerial Council, a North/South Inter‑Parliamentary Association, a North/South Consultative Forum, a British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference, a British-Irish Council and an expanded British-Irish Inter-Parliamentary Body;

C.  whereas the European Union, alongside international partners such as the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, has played an important role in supporting the implementation of the peace process, inter alia through the International Fund for Ireland;

D.  whereas the progress made so far has been a powerful and positive example of conflict resolution, based on partnership, consent and the principles of equality of treatment, parity of esteem and mutual respect, which has had a positive impact on political relationships not only within Northern Ireland but also beyond;

E.  whereas the political institutions established under the Good Friday Agreement have operated successfully for a long period;

F.  whereas in the new political situation significant economic progress has been made, reducing unemployment, attracting inward investment and making Northern Ireland a venue of choice for international conferences, sporting events and cultural activities;

G.  whereas significant regional disparities remain with regard to social and economic development;

H.  whereas the peace process requires continuing efforts and whereas there have, however, been a number of political crises in recent years, including threats from rejectionist groups, which have now resulted in a stalling of the process, albeit with the Assembly and Executive still operational;

I.  whereas all-party talks chaired by former US diplomat and envoy for Northern Ireland Richard Haass, aimed at tackling some of the most divisive issues such as the use of flags and emblems, protests and parading, broke down in December 2013;

J.  whereas negotiations have resumed, aimed at solving outstanding issues;

K.  whereas the EU’s PEACE Programme is aimed at strengthening progress towards a peaceful and stable society and promoting reconciliation by assisting activities and projects which help to reconcile communities and contribute towards a shared society for everyone;

1.  Expresses concern at the fact that the implementation of the peace process has reached an impasse, and urges all parties to the process to work constructively towards a lasting resolution of the conflict and the full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement and subsequent agreements for a long-lasting and enduring peace;

2.  Welcomes the initiative to convene all-party talks to overcome the current impasse, and underlines the necessity of agreement on outstanding issues in order to underpin the functioning and stability of the democratic institutions of Northern Ireland; encourages all parties to engage in these talks positively with a view to resolving all outstanding issues;

3.  Welcomes the appointment of Senator Gary Hart by President Obama’s Secretary of State John Kerry as his personal envoy;

4.  Is concerned that continued violent, criminal and anti-social activity by fringe elements is undermining the peace process; stresses the need to combat such criminal activity by tackling existing economic challenges such as unemployment and low incomes and living standards; stresses that the continuing level of violence and intimidation has to be overcome via the broad participation of respective communities with the support of all relevant agencies;

5.  Underlines, therefore, the urgent need to further encourage reconciliation and improve relationships between communities and also to boost economic and social development in order to consolidate the peace process; highlights, in this regard, support from the EU’s European Regional Development Fund and, in particular, the EUR 150 million for the PEACE Programme to tackle these priority issues in Northern Ireland and the Border Region of Ireland, to the benefit of all, north and south;

6.  Hopes that the Commission’s Northern Ireland Task Force will continue to play an important supportive role in the future;

7.  Emphasises that Parliament stands ready to offer any support that the parties concerned think would be of assistance to the peace process; invites the First Minister and deputy First Minister to address Parliament upon the successful completion of the all-party talks;

8.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Northern Ireland Executive, and the UK and Irish Governments.

(1) OJ L 346, 30.12.2010, p. 1.

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