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What the Windsor Framework/Protocol will mean in practice for the institutions of government in Northern Ireland: A Response by Michael D’Arcy to Andrew McCormick’s Paper

Posted On: 23 Jun 2023

East-West North-South Northern Ireland

The Windsor Framework retains important provisions that support North/South cooperation and an all-island economy enabled by peace and stability underpinned by the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement. They include ‘specific opportunities’ for the North/South institutions to contribute to the work of its Joint Committee and Specialised Committee on its application and operation. This Response to Andrew McCormick’s Paper explored what these opportunities are in the context of the renewed high level political support given to mark the Agreements 25th Anniversary. The EU and Irish Government having made such commitments should now evolve its spirit principles and commitments to develop this future orientated contribution as partners. Options for doing so include leveraging Stand Two’s North/South Ministerial Council and possibly its cross-border bodies along with the EU capacity expertise and engagement that connects Ireland to all that happens in the EU. This could include the NSMC being a ‘clearing house’ to exchange and consider EU information relevant to pursuing the Framework’s specific N/S opportunities.



Michael D’Arcy has extensive experience in economic and regulatory reform at regional, all-island, EU and international level. He has provided advice, prepared reports, facilitated networking initiatives and served on a number of Boards and consultative committees in the private and public sectors. He is also an experienced facilitator, interlocutor, mentor and lecturer. Michael has been involved in the development of an all-island economy since jointly editing the seminal book ‘Border Crossings; Developing Ireland’s Island Economy’ (1995). He is a subject expert on North/South economic and business interaction on which he has written extensively including for the Esri; the European Economic and Social Committee; InterTradeIreland; Co-Operation Ireland; Chambers of Commerce Ireland; the International Fund for Ireland; University of Ulster; IT Sligo and The Irish Times.

Since the UK voted to Leave the EU this work has increasingly focused on protecting business in the all-island economy, highlighting how it is underpinning peace and the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement. He is currently independent advisor to the Ibec/CBI Joint Business Council, co-authored ‘The Belfast/Good Friday Agreement, the island of Ireland economy and Brexit’ (2018) a Brexit Briefing Note for the BA and RIA and was production coordinator of the joint Ibec/CBI ‘Business on a Connected island’ Report (2018).

For the last five years he has co-presented a Guest Lecture with former CCBS Director Andy Pollak on political violence and the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement to political science students in Trinity College Dublin and was a Panellist at the Thomas D’Arcy Magee Summer School in Carlingford on the operation of N/S Bodies established by that Agreement.

Michael has supported the CCBS since its foundation and produced its Publication: Delivering a Prosperity Process: Opportunities in North/South Public Service Provision (2012). He was a Panellist at its 20th Anniversary Conference where his remarks considered: ‘The all island economy and the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement, past present and future: and contributed an article to their Journal of Cross Border Studies in Ireland Special Edition (Vol 14 2019) to also mark that Anniversary: ‘Sir George Quigley , the island Economy and Brexit’. Most recently Michael presented the 5th Annual Sir George Quigley Memorial Lecture, ‘Re-imagining the island economy in the aftermath of the Covid 19 crisis and the Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol’, which was the first of the series to be delivered online.

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