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North-South Ministerial Council

Article 14(b) of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland provides for the North South Ministerial Council (NSMC) established by the 1998 Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement' to make 'proposals concerning the implementation and application of this Protocol' to the Specialised Committee which in turn 'shall examine' the proposals.

The NSMC comprises representatives of the Northern Ireland Executive and the Irish Government. It meets in a number of formats. The plenary format involves the participation of Northern Ireland's First Minister and deputy First Minister and the Irish Government led by the Taoiseach. The NSMC also meets in Sectoral Format to oversee co-operation in agreed 'areas' or 'sectors'.

The NSMC meeting in plenary format in December 2020 addressed the Protocol's provisions for making proposals to the Specialized Committee:

"Ministers noted the role conferred upon the NSMC in relation to the submission of proposals concerning the implementation and application of the Protocol to the Specialised Committee which has been established to consider issues related to the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland and agreed that officials should work to develop an appropriate mechanism for Ministers to agree for referring proposals to the Specialised Committee is to take an overview of co-operation on the island and of the North South institutions."

The NSMC has yet to make any proposals to the Specialised Committtee.