The New Decade, New Approach document of January 2020 and associated annexes identified a range of policy priorities with important North/South aspects, in particular in the area of infrastructural investment. These priorities build on A Fresh Start: The Stormont Agreement and Implementation Plan (‘Fresh Start’) of November 2015, which affirmed that targeted investment in cross-border economic infrastructure will be key to the continued growth of the island’s indigenous enterprise base and to driving and sustaining overseas investment levels.
Annex B to New Decade, New Approach sets out commitments by the Irish Government in the context of an agreement being reached in support of greater cooperation, connectivity and opportunity on the island, working in partnership with the Northern Ireland Executive and the UK Government, in line with the Irish Government’s ongoing commitment to the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement. The document indicates the intention of the Irish Government to work with the Northern Ireland Executive, through the NSMC, to help deliver projects that will benefit people across the island.
The Council at its Plenary meeting on 31 July 2020 considered New Decade, New Approach issues and agreed:
“The Council requested that relevant Ministers take forward discussions on these commitments, including where appropriate through the work of relevant NSMC sectors. The Council also noted that senior officials will continue to meet regularly to maintain a strategic overview of the projects and commitments set out in the context of New Decade, New Approach, and agreed that an update on the implementation of New Decade, New Approach commitments will be brought to the next NSMC Plenary meeting.”