Tuesday, 12 October 2021
Department of An Taoiseach
I propose to take Questions Nos. 16, 17 and 18 together.
There is a welcome increased focus and ambition for cross-border cooperation at local authority and regional levels, including through the North West City Region initiative, the Irish Central Border Area Network, the East Border Region and the Dublin Belfast Economic Corridor, with each initiative setting out an agreed statement of updated regional priorities this year.
I and a number of Government Ministers have engaged directly with these cross-border local authority initiatives in recent months to affirm the Government’s support for their work and readiness to collaborate with them, taking account of their regional development strategies and the Government’s commitments and objectives on a Shared Island as set out in Programme for Government.
The Shared Island investment priorities, as set out in the reviewed National Development Plan announced by the Government on 4 October, were developed taking account of consultation with the North West Strategic Growth Partnership, Irish Central Border Area Network, East Border Region and Dublin Belfast Economic Corridor initiative.
The Government will continue to support fully the work of cross-border local authority partnerships and pursue opportunities for collaborative investment and work in implementing the Shared Island NDP investment priorities.
The Shared Island unit in my Department is engaging with local authorities and the cross-border local authority forums on an ongoing basis. The unit is working in cooperation with Government Departments and Agencies which have the policy responsibility and resource management functions in respect of sectoral and thematic areas that pertain to cross-border cooperation by local authorities.
19. To ask the Taoiseach the funding and strategic supports his Department and the shared island unit will provide to Working for a Healthier Ireland as committed to in the National Development Plan 2021-2030. [49902/21]
The National Development Plan affirms the Government’s commitment, set out in the Programme for Government to deepen and strengthen North-South health links, and sets related investment objectives for 2021-30 to deliver better health care and outcomes for people on the island, working with the Executive and through the North South Ministerial Council Health sector, which is a responsibility of the Minister for Health.
Available funding streams include the Shared Island Fund, the Government’s funding for North/South cooperation in the area of Health, and the PEACE PLUS programme.
The Shared Island unit in my Department acts as a driver and coordinator of a whole of Government initiative, including to support delivery of commitments on Shared Island set out in the Programme for Government. The unit engages with Government Departments and Agencies which have the policy responsibility and resource management functions in respect of sectoral and thematic areas of cross-border cooperation, including the Department of Health.