British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly (BIPA)
The principal objective of BIPA is to contribute to a mutual understanding between Britain and Ireland through its work and through informal contacts. Members of the Westminster and Dublin Parliaments have gained a greater insight into common areas of concern for the two countries. Several past and present UK and RoI Government Ministers have been Members of the Body when backbenchers.
The NI Assembly’s membership of BIPA is as follows:
Full Members (as of July 2016)
Mr David Ford MLA, Alliance
Ms Brenda Hale MLA, DUP
Mr Barry McElduff MLA, Sinn Fein
Mr Colin McGrath MLA, SDLP
Mr Robin Swann MLA, UUP
Associate Members (as of April 2016)
Mr Sammy Douglas MLA, DUP
Mr Alan Chambers MLA, UUP
Ms Claire Hanna MLA, SDLP
BIPA has two Plenary Sessions each year, alternating between the two countries. The Body normally debates matters of political and general concern, reports from its Committees and Government responses, and a question period with a Minister from the host country.