THE governments of Ireland and Wales have revealed a joint action plan outlining their ambitions for their post-Brexit relationship in the years ahead.
Released today, St David’s Day, the Ireland Wales Shared Statement and Joint Action Plan 2021-25 was launched by Ireland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney and First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford.
Designed to “maintain the closest possible relationship between Ireland and Wales, following the UK’s departure from the EU”, it reveals their plan to host a new Ireland Wales Forum later this year, which they hope will “deepen cooperation” between the two nations.
The document also sets out further plans for the Ireland-Wales relationship in the years ahead, as both countries work to increase collaboration, including partnering across the business, arts, sporting and community sectors.
“I am pleased to mark St David’s Day with the publication of the Ireland Wales Shared Statement, which sets out our ambition to deepen cooperation with our Welsh neighbours to 2025 and beyond,” Mr Coveney said.
“I look forward to working closely with Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford to deliver on the Shared Statement and associated Joint Action Plan.”
He added: “I particularly welcome our plan to host an inaugural Ireland Wales Forum later this year to bring together political, economic and broader stakeholders to build relationships, to reflect on ongoing collaboration and to identify opportunities for further cooperation”.
First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford said: “I am delighted, on our national day, to launch this shared statement with Ireland which underpins our joint commitment to strengthening our existing ties at political, economic and cultural level.
“Our shared ambitions are more important than ever as we both look towards recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I look forward to continuing to build on our existing ties and deepen co-operation with our closest European Union neighbour’”
A Joint High Level Action Plan, released alongside the statement, builds on the two countries’ ongoing joint work across six key areas of cooperation.
In it, more than forty actions have been identified across the areas of political and official engagement; climate and sustainability; trade and tourism; education and research; culture, language and heritage; and communities, diaspora and sport.
These include increasing the number of high level visits each year, building on the Taoiseach and Welsh First Minister’s bi-annual meetings at British-Irish Council summits, and creating opportunities for further ministerial engagement.