To mark the 20th Anniversary of the Agreement in Belfast on Good Friday, 10 April and the referenda on the Island of Ireland on 22 May
H.E. Ms. Helena Nolan, Ambassador of Ireland to the Kingdom of Belgium
H.E. Ms. Alison Rose, British Ambassador to the Kingdom of Belgium
Mr. Andrew Elliott, the Head of the NI Executive Office in Brussels
invite you to join them
from 5.30pm on Tuesday 29 May
for Selected Readings and a Panel Discussion
moderated by Annelies Beck , Belgian TV journalist and author
on Female Lines: New Writing by Women from Northern Ireland, an anthology of prose, poetry and photographs drawn from the past twenty years
Celia de Freine
Venue: Office of the Northern Ireland Executive Brussels
180 Chaussée d’Etterbeek, 1040 Brussels
This event is kindly supported by EFACIS, the European Federation of Associations and Centres of Irish Studies
Please ensure you have registered.
Only registered guests will be admitted on the day.
As capacity is limited, we will work on a first come, first served basis
Please bring your ticket with you on the day, along with an ID.
We look forward to seeing you!
“The European Week of Regions and Cities is an annual four-day event during which cities and regions showcase their capacity to create growth and jobs, implement European Union cohesion policy, and prove the importance of the local and regional level for good European governance.”
2018 European Week of Regions and Cities will take place from 8 to 11 October.
Northern Ireland, working with partners from Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes (France), Podlaskie (Poland), and Umbria (Italy), hopes to present a workshop on ‘Personalised Medicine: boosting health research at regional level.’
From 16 to 27 April the European Week of Regions and Cities team are holding an online consultation on the design of the four-day event, allowing the public to indicate what workshops and seminars interest them most here.
You can indicate your preference for the Northern Ireland workshop by first selecting the ‘Research and Innovation’ thematic cluster, and then scrolling down to select our event ‘Personalised Medicine: boosting health research at regional level.’
We’ve got that FRY-day feeling! On 16th March, the famous Ulster Fry made its highly anticipated return to Brussels as the Office of the Northern Ireland Executive in Brussels, and Invest NI, jointly hosted the fourth annual Ulster Fry in celebration of St Patrick’s Day. This annual event provides an opportunity to promote Northern Ireland in Europe and to showcase the region’s top produce.
We were delighted to welcome over 100 guests, including European Ambassadors, EU Officials from the European Institutions, members of the Northern Ireland diaspora living and working in Brussels, and other key stakeholders, through the office doors to enjoy a traditional Ulster Fry breakfast. The fry was freshly prepared using Northern Ireland’s finest award-winning ingredients, supplied by Northern Ireland producers Yellow Door Deli and Carnbrooke Meats. Guests also had the chance to sample a range of Belfast-based Suki teas and refreshing AJ apple juice from the Armagh Cider Company.
This year our Ulster Fry Breakfast also featured music from Celticanto – a Brussels-based, three piece a cappella group, specialising in Irish music in the operatic bel canto style. Established by County Down born, Páidí Ó Dubháin, the trio includes bass-baritone Jean Delobel from France and Mark Trigg from the United States of America. In their interpretations of traditional Irish music, the three classically trained baritones impressed our guests with a cappella performances of classical songs such as ‘Star of the County Down’ and ‘Ballynure Ballad’.
The breakfast was a great success enjoyed by all who attended and received particular praise on social media. Information on the Northern Ireland produce showcased at the breakfast can be found on the producers websites linked below, or for further information on Northern Ireland produce in general you can visit FoodNI.
On 19 February a group of 26 Civil Servant representing all NICS Departments travelled to Brussels for a two day study visit. The annual visit is designed to provide participants with an understanding of how the EU works and to increase Northern Ireland’s engagement within the EU. Since last year the study visit has focused on the UK withdrawal from the EU, and this year it coincided with the start of phase two of the negotiations.
The Brussels Office organised an intensive programme for the participants to deepen their understanding of the EU Institutions and its legislative processes, and to develop their insight into the exit negotiations happening in Brussels. The participants heard from representatives of the Article 50 teams from the UK and Irish Permanent Representation to the EU about their respective roles in the negotiations. The participants also heard from the Head of the Welsh office in Brussels about how they engage with the UK Permanent Representation, the EU and others as a Devolved Administration in Brussels. A representative of the Swiss Mission to the EU explained to the group about engagement as a third country, which reflects ongoing work in the Brussels Office to develop understanding of how third country missions engage with the EU.
The programme included a visit to the European Parliament, where the group received a very informative overview of the EU, with a focus on the UK withdrawal. They then met with Northern Ireland’s three MEPs, Jim Nicholson, Diane Dodds, and Martina Anderson, who explained the role of the Parliament in the UK exit negotiations as well as setting out their own views on the current political developments in the EU. Wednesday afternoon was given over to individual meetings where participants met with their counterparts in the European Commission, the UK Permanent Representation or from another Member States to discuss specific policy issues.
(L-R) Andrew Elliott, Danielle Neyts, David Twomey
On Thursday 8 February the Office of the Northern Ireland Executive Brussels was delighted to receive a print of the Game of Thrones tapestry from Tourism Ireland. Danielle Neyts and David Twomey, from Tourism Ireland, presented the print in recognition of the positive collaboration between Tourism Ireland and the Office of the Northern Ireland Executive in Brussels to promote Northern Ireland as a premier tourist destination.
The tapestry is inspired by the Bayeaux Tapestry and made with linen from one of the last historic linen mills in Northern Ireland. It depicts scenes from the world-famous TV series Game of Thrones – much of which is filmed in Northern Ireland. Local volunteers, enlisted by National Museums Northern Ireland, spent more than 1,000 hours hand-finishing the tapestry. Their pain-staking work is evident in the astonishing detail depicted in vibrant colour. The full 77 metre long tapestry is on display to the public in the Ulster Museum in Belfast, and covers the events of the show from seasons 1 to 7, so beware of spoilers!
The print in the Office of the Northern Ireland Executive in Brussels depicts a classic scene between two main characters – Jon Snow and Ygritte. A fantastic addition to the office, the print has found a new home in our aptly-named room ‘Winterfell’.
The full tapestry, and more information about it, is also available online on the Tourism Ireland website. Spot our print at S03E10!
On Wednesday 6 December the Office of the Northern Ireland Executive in Brussels joined countries, regions and tourist offices of Europe to take part in the annual Schuman Lights Up: Specialties from Europe event in the heart of the European Quarter of Brussels.
We were delighted to be joined by popular BBC Radio Ulster resident chef Paula McIntyre, making her return to Brussels, who served up a delicious traditional Northern Irish menu Lough Neagh Eels served on a bed of creamy celery dressing with homemade savoury soda bread, as well as handmade sweet soda bread topped with smooth apple butter. There was also a range of Northern Irish produce on offer from Pop Notch, Eleanor Craig’s Fudge, Armagh Cider Company, Long Meadow Cider, and Irwin’s Howell’s Handmade biscuits.
There was a great reception to the delicious fare from the many attendees passing through the tent at Schuman Square with Northern Ireland receiving particular praise on social media.
In conjunction with the offical European Week of Regions and Cities – EU Open Days programme, ONIEB partnered with six other EU regions to host a workshop on moving ‘Towards a More Effective EU Regional Policy’ on Wednesday 11th October.
The Office of the Northern Ireland Executive in Brussels joined thousands of people across Northern Ireland in celebrating Culture Night, a night of arts and entertainment which took place on 22nd of September.
The Brussels office is now looking for two recent graduates for a full time paid internship.