The common chapter in the national development plan was drafted in agreement with the Northern Ireland authorities. It sets out a range of areas which both sides agree are suitable for cross-Border co-operation. The Community Support Frameworks for Ireland and Northern Ireland currently under negotiation with the European Commission will also contain proposals for North-South co-operation consistent with the common chapter.
In addition, the PEACE Operational Programme 2000-2004 and the North-South Interreg Community Initiative 2000-2006 will also contain significant financial EU co-funded provisions in the area of North-South co-operation. The special EU programmes body will be the managing authority for both the PEACE OP and Interreg.
Overall, therefore, I am confident that over the period to 2006 tangible expression will be given to the proposals for North-South co-operation set out in the common chapter of the national development plan.