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Specialized Committee

Feeding into the work of the Joint Committee is the Specialised Committee. It is provided for in Article 165 of the Withdrawal Agreement and, like the Joint Committee comprises EU and UK representatives, but at senior civil servant level. Its responsibilities are set out in Article 14 of the Protocol. These include facilitating the implementation and application of this Protocol; examining proposals concerning the Protocol’s implementation and application from the North-South Ministerial Council and North-South Implementation bodies set up under the 1998 Agreement; considering ‘any matter of relevance to Article 2 of this Protocol brought to its attention by the human rights and equality bodies set up pursuant to the 1998 Agreement; discussing any point raised by the Union or the United Kingdom that is of relevance to this Protocol and gives rise to a difficulty; and making recommendations to the Joint Committee as regards the functioning of the Protocol.

The Specialised Committee's rules of procedure are set out in Annex VIII to the Withdrawal Agreement. For discussions of the Specialised Committee roles see Protocol Analysis.

The EU's position in the Specialised Committee is determined in line with Article 2 of Council Decision (EU) 2020/135. The Decision also provides for member state representatives to accompany the Commission at meetings. Ireland is specifically mentioned, although representatives of other members have also attended meetings. 

The UK government is committed to ensuring that representatives from the Northern Ireland Executive are invited to be part of the UK delegation in any meetings of the Specialised Committee discussing Northern Ireland-specific matters which are also being attended by the Irish Government as part of the EU delegation.

 The Specialised Committee meets at least once a year. Details of the meetings are provided below.

DateMeetingIssues Covered
19.07.2021 Eighth Meeting: no agenda; statements - European CommissionUK Government  
25.03.2021 Seventh Meeting: no agenda; statements - European CommissionUK Government  
23.02.2021 Sixth Meeting: no agenda; no statements issued  
17.12.2020 Fifth Meeting: no agenda; no statements issued  
05.11.2020 Fourth Meeting: no agenda; statements - European CommissionUK Government  
09.10.2020 Third Meeting: agenda; statements - European CommissionUK Government  
16.07.2020 Second Meeting: no agenda; statements - European CommissionUK Government  
30.04.2020 First Meeting: no agenda; statements - European CommissionUK Government