Exploring the origins of EU peacebuilding in Northern Ireland through the role of John Hume and the European Parliament

Giada Lagana, Peter McLoughlin

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Abstract

This article explores the origins of the European Union (EU) peacebuilding approach in Northern Ireland through the role of the long-serving MEP and Nobel Laureate, John Hume. It gives particular emphasis to the part played by the European Parliament (EP) in this endeavour, which has been neglected in existing studies of the EU influence on Northern Ireland. The article shows how Hume helped to create better understanding, interest and ultimately engagement by the EU to support peacebuilding efforts in Northern Ireland. Local political shifts would prove decisive in creating the peace process that emerged in the region in the 1990s, but the article argues that Hume's efforts, stretching as far back as the 1970s, both encouraged these shifts and then provided the basis for much greater EU engagement in support of the peace process. This deepens our understanding of the EU role in aiding political change in Northern Ireland.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalContemporary European History
Early online date19 Apr 2023
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online date - 19 Apr 2023

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