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The British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly (BIPA) (Irish: Tionól Pharlaiminteach na Breataine agus na hÉireann) (formerly the British Irish Inter Parliamentary Body, BIIPB) was established in 1990 to bring together 25 members of the United Kingdom Parliament and 25 members of the Oireachtas (the Irish parliament) to develop understanding between elected representatives of the UK and Ireland.

History

Strand 3 of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement then established the British-Irish Council which involves the constituent countries of the UK in governmental level dialogue with the Irish Government. Strand 3 stated that, as well as government links, "the elected institutions of the members will be encouraged to develop inter-parliamentary links, perhaps building on the British-Irish Inter-Parliamentary Body".

In 2001, it was enlarged to include representatives of the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh Assembly, the Northern Ireland Assembly, the High Court of Tynwald on the Isle of Man and the States of Guernsey and Jersey.

The BIPA now includes five representatives from the Scottish Parliament, five from the National Assembly for Wales, five from the Northern Ireland Assembly, one from the States of Jersey, one from the States of Guernsey and one from the Isle of Man's Tynwald.

The British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly holds two plenary sessions a year. Its four committees (dealing with sovereign matters between the Irish and Westminster parliaments, European affairs, economic matters, the environment and social matters) meet several times a year. They produce reports which are submitted for comment to governments, and which are discussed in plenary. A steering committee organises the work of the plenary and deals with the Body's institutional matters.

The 40th plenary conference of the BIPA met in Cavan, Ireland 22-23 February 2010.

References

External links

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