John Hume (1937-2020)
Northern Ireland was affected by inter-community violence for several decades, known as the ‘Troubles’. The ‘Good Friday Agreement’ or Belfast Agreement of 1998 set a path towards peace, where the British and Irish governments and society north and south overwhelmingly agreed upon a power-sharing arrangement that would put an end to violence and segregation.
Following the signing of the ‘Good Friday Agreement’, the European Union has played an increased role in supporting the peace process in Northern Ireland. This support has taken two main forms. Firstly, the European Union forms the general political framework for relations between the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Secondly, the European Union’s cohesion policy has given special attention to Northern Ireland over the years in order to support economic and social development in the context of the peace process.
In 1998, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to John Hume (PES, UK) and to David Trimble who are the architects of the Northern Ireland peace process.