This paper provides a comparative examination of Third (non-public, non-profit) sector cross-border cooperation contributing to conflict transformation in the Basque (France/Spain) and Irish (UK/Ireland) borderscapes. The comparison is based on the premise that the European Union (EU) played a different role in both cases. In the Irish case, the EU contributed to the institutionalization of a peace process that included cross-border cooperation between Third sector organizations among its policy instruments contributing to conflict transformation. In the Basque case, the unilateral renunciation of violence by ETA (Euskadi eta Askatasuna) in 2010 did not generate the consistent involvement of the EU in an institutional peace process. However, some Third sector organizations became secondary foreign policy actors using EU instruments for cross-border economic, social, and cultural cooperation between France and Spain in order to reinforce their cross-border networks, which indirectly impacted on conflict transformation.
- borderscapes, cross-border cooperation, identity politics, Third Sector, Ireland, Basque Country