In 2001 the North/South Ministerial Council (NSMC) commissioned PricewaterhouseCoopers and Indecon Economic Consulting to carry out a comprehensive study of Obstacles to Mobility between the two parts of the island of Ireland. At the North South Ministerial Council Plenary Meeting held on 28 June 2002 in Armagh, the Council considered proposals on Obstacles to Cross-Border Mobility on the Island of Ireland.
This study looked at a broad range of obstacles which hinder or constrain people from moving across the border in either direction to live, to work or to study. Among the areas examined were taxation, social security, pensions, health services, childcare, housing, transport, education and training, employment law and recruitment practices, telecoms, banking and insurance.
The study identified two main information problems when trying to deal with the mobility issue:
- The lack of accurate or up-to-date data about the extent of cross-border mobility to work, use services or retire.
- The ‘complexity and difficulty in accessing information on the range of issues affecting North/South labour mobility’.
Fourteen of the 50 recommendations in the final report were related to information issues, and the study proposed the development of both a physical and a virtual service to highlight information on the range of issues affecting North-South mobility.
This was the first time cross-border mobility issues on the island had been studied systematically. In response to the study’s recommendations, supported by a subsequent public consultation study, a plenary NSMC meeting agreed in June 2002 to establish a website to act as a centralised point of entry to cross-border mobility information in both jurisdictions. The cross-border mobility information website is the end result of these developments.
You can download the Study of Obstacles to Mobility in PDF format from the North South Ministerial Council website: