British-Irish Council

The British-Irish Council ( BIC ) is an intergovernmental organization that aims to improve collaboration between its members in a number of areas including transportation, the environment, and energy. [1] Its membership includes Ireland , the United Kingdom , the devolved governments of Northern Ireland , Scotland and Wales , and the governments of the Crown Dependencies of the UK: Guernsey , Jersey and the Isle of Man . England does not have a devolvedadministration, and as a result is not individually represented on the Council. [2]

The British and Irish governments, and political parties in Northern Ireland, agreed to form a Council under the British-Irish Agreement, part of the Good Friday Agreement reached in 1998. The Council was formally established on 2 December 1999, when the Agreement came into effect. The Council is committed to promoting the harmonious and mutually beneficial development of the totality of relationships among the peoples of these islands. The BIC has a standing secretariat, located in Edinburgh , Scotland , and meets in semi-annual and ministerial meetings. [3]

Membership and operation

Membership of the Council consists of the following administrations as of January 2018:

Member Administration Representative (s) title
Guernsey Deputy Gavin St Pier Chief Minister
Isle of Man Howard Quayle , MHK Chief Minister
ireland Leo Varadkar , TD Taoiseach
Jersey Senator Ian Gorst Chief Minister
Northern Ireland [4] vacant, MLA Executive Office
vacant, MLA Executive Office
Scotland Nicola Sturgeon , MSP First Minister
United Kingdom Theresa May , MP Prime Minister
Wales Carwyn Jones , AM First Minister

The nine heads of government meet at summits twice per year. In addition, there are regular meetings that deal with specific sectors and are attended by the corresponding ministers. Representatives of the United States of America in the United States of America.

England, unlike the other countries of the United Kingdom, is not represented separately, as it does not have its own devolved administration. It is also represented on the Council of the United Kingdom.

The work of the Council is financed by mutual agreement as required. [5] At the meeting of the Council, [ when? ] It was Decided That with devolved government returned to Northern Ireland timely That year Existed time „to undertake a strategic review of the Council’s work program, working methods and media arrangements.“ This decision included the potential for a permanent standing secretariat, which was established in Edinburgh , Scotland , on January 4, 2012.

At its June 2010 summit, the Council decided to move forward on recommendations to enhance the relationship between it and the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly (BIPA). The British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly is made up of members of the parliaments and assemblies of the same states and regions of the British-Irish Council. The Council is working with BIPA’s secretariat.

In addition to The Above members Cornwall has-been a full member since 2010 observed due to the Cornish language falling under the Council’s areas of work. [6]

Work areas

The Council agrees to specific work areas. The Belfast Agreement suggests transport links, agriculture, environmental issues, culture, health, education and approaches to the European Union . However, these work areas can be expanded or reduced to the Council decides. It is also open to the Council to make agreements on common policies. These agreements are made through consensus, although individual members may opt out of any of these.

The current list of work areas and the responsible member are:

  • Collaborative spatial planning (Northern Ireland)
  • Demography (Scotland)
  • Digital inclusion (Isle of Man)
  • Early years policy (Wales)
  • Energy (United Kingdom – Electricity Grids, and Scotland – Marine)
  • Environment (United Kingdom)
  • Housing (Northern Ireland)
  • Indigenous, minority and lesser-used languages ​​(Wales)
  • Misuse of Substances (drugs and alcohol) (Ireland)
  • Social inclusion (Scotland and Wales)
  • Transportation (Northern Ireland)
  • Creative Industries (Jersey)

The meeting was adopted at the 2006 meeting of the Council. It was proposed by the Scottish Executive , who also took responsibility for it. During the 2007 meeting of the Council the Scottish Government further Top That Proposed Energy Become a work area of the Council. Past work sector areas included knowledge economy, e-health / telemedicine and tourism.

Name of the Council

Initial suggestions for the council included in the names of the Council of the British Isles [7] or Council of the Isles , [8] and the council has been known by the latter name. However, owing to sensibilities around the term British Isles , particularly in Ireland, the name British-Irish Council was agreed.

The official name of the council is represented in the minority and used by the council as

  • Cornish : Konsel Predennek-Iwerdhonek [9]
  • Guernésiais : British Council-Irlàndais
  • Irish : Comhairle na Breataine-na hEireann [10]
  • Jèrriais : British-Irish Council
  • Manx : Coonceil Ghoaldagh-Yernagh
  • Scottish Gaelic : Comhairle Bhreatainn-Èirinn
  • Scots : Brits-Airis Cooncil
  • Ulster-Scots : Britisch-Airisch Cooncil [11]
  • Welsh : Cyngor Prydain-Iwerddon


Dated Host Host leader (s) Location held
1st December 17, 1999  England Tony Blair London [1]
2nd November 30, 2001  ireland Bertie Ahern Dublin [2]
3rd 14 June 2002  Jersey Pierre Horsfall Saint Helier [3]
4th 22 November 2002  Scotland Jack McConnell New Lanark [4]
5th November 28, 2003  Wales Rhodri Morgan St. Fagans National History Museum , Cardiff [5]
6th 28 November 2004  Guernsey Laurie Morgan Castle Cornet [6]
7th May 20, 2005  Isle of Man Donald Gelling Villa Marina, Douglas [7]
8th 2 June 2006  England John Prescott ExCeL Conference Center , London [8]
9th July 16, 2007  Northern Ireland Ian Paisley
Martin McGuinness
Parliament Buildings , Belfast [9]
10th February 14, 2008  ireland Bertie Ahern Royal Hospital Kilmainham , Dublin [10]
11th 26 September 2008  Scotland Alex Salmond Hopetoun House , South Queensferry [11]
12th February 20, 2009  Wales Rhodri Morgan SWALEC Stadium , Cardiff [12]
13th November 13, 2009  Jersey Terry Sweat Radisson Hotel , Saint Helier [13]
14th 25 June 2010  Guernsey Lyndon Trott Fermain Valley Hotel, St. Peter Port [14]
15th December 13, 2010  Isle of Man Tony Brown Sefton Hotel, Douglas [15]
16th 20 June 2011  England Nick Clegg Lancaster House , London [16]
17th 13 January 2012  ireland Enda Kenny Dublin Castle , Dublin [17]
18th 22 June 2012  Scotland Alex Salmond Stirling Castle , Stirling [18]
19th 26 November 2012  Wales Carwyn Jones Cardiff Castle , Cardiff [19]
20th 21 June 2013  Northern Ireland Peter Robinson
Martin McGuinness
Magee College , Derry ~ Londonderry [20]
21st November 15, 2013  Jersey Ian Gorst The Horizon Hotel, Saint Brelade [21]
22nd 13 June 2014  Guernsey Jonathan Le Tocq St. Peter Park Hotel, St. Peter Port [22]
23rd 28 November 2014  Isle of Man Allan Bell Villa Marina Complex, Douglas [23]
24th 19 June 2015  ireland Enda Kenny Dublin Castle , Dublin [24]
25th 27 November 2015  England Theresa Villiers Lancaster House , London [25]
26th 17 June 2016  Scotland Nicola Sturgeon Crowne Plaza Hotel, Glasgow [26]
27th Extraordinary 22 July 2016  Wales Carwyn Jones Cathays Park , Cardiff [27]
28th November 25, 2016  Wales Carwyn Jones Cathays Park , Cardiff [28]
29th November 10, 2017  Jersey Ian Gorst The Horizon Hotel, St. Brelade [29]

See also

  • Council of Ireland
  • North / South Ministerial Council
  • British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference
  • British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly


  1. Jump up^ Jesse, Neal G., Williams, Kristen P .: Identity and institutions: conflict reduction in divided societies .Publisher SUNY Press, 2005, page 107.ISBN 0-7914-6451-2
  2. Jump up^ See Vernon Bogdanor, ‚The British-Irish Council and Devolution‘, in Government and Opposition: An International Journal of Comparative Politics, Volume 34, Issue 3, July 1999, pp.291-295.
  3. Jump up^ „Scottish government website“
  4. Jump up^ TheFirst Minister and deputy First Ministerof Northern Ireland is adiarchy. Northern Ireland is represented by the First Minister and the Deputy Minister of Northern Ireland. TheScottishandWelshDeputy First Minister’s meetings in the past.
  5. Jump up^ Belfast Agreement- Strand Three, Articles 8 and 9.
    British-Irish Council website,Frequently Asked Questions: Who Pays for the British-Irish Council? Archived30 June 2007 at theWayback Machine.
  6. Jump up^ Read, David (2014). Cornish National Minority Advisory Report . Truro: Cornwall Council. p. 22.
  7. Jump up^ UDP Proposed Creation of British Isles Council, Irish Times , May 30, 1996
  8. Jump up^ The British-Irish Council: Nordic Lessons for the Council of the Isles, Mads Qvortrup and Robert Hazell,The Constitution Unit, October 1998
  9. Jump up^ „Menystrans hembronk rag yethow teythyek, minoryta ha le-usys yw an Governans Kembrek“ . British-Irish Council . Retrieved 22 July 2014 .
  11. Jump up^ „Work of the British-Irish Council“ . British-Irish Council. Archived fromthe original on 29 January 2004 . Retrieved 11 April 2017 .