The leaders of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have reached agreement on a joint policy document, which they hope will lead to the formation of a new coalition government.

Leo Varadkar and Micheál Martin met for talks today.

Their approval of the document means it can now be circulated to the two parliamentary parties for approval - both of whom have meetings scheduled for tomorrow.

It is understood the two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to forming a majority government of three or more parties/groups that will last for five years and the demand for longevity and stability is regarded as key by both Mr Varadkar and Mr Martin.

It is further understood that the document will not be released to TDs, senators and MEPs until tomorrow afternoon.

Earlier, a Fine Gael reference group on government formation, which is chaired by Minister Richard Bruton, specified seven tests which need to be passed before any coalition should be confirmed.

The first point agreed by the group is that "nothing distracts from the central task of protecting our people during the present Covid-19 crisis."

On a possible coalition, the group believes that the next government offers the prospect of a "stable durable government, which has broad based legitimacy."


In a nod to the outcome of the General Election, it states that any coalition must have a "new mission and sense of purpose which demonstrates urgency for doing things differently, and reflects our values and our ability to lead change at critical times."

The document, which is being circulated within the party, also calls for putting "sustainability at the heart of our fiscal policy, our enterprise policy, our innovation policy and our environment policy."

Among the other tests, the document references addressing: key pressure points for the cost of living; implementing a Vibrant Policy Agenda, within key areas; ensuring the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party can ensure the government is responding to emerging concerns.

In his letter, Mr Bruton said he plans to schedule conference calls this week on the proposals.


Read more: Document a 'conversation starter' on govt formation


Drafts of the document suggest it will be divided into a number of so-called missions or objectives.

One would refer to a new social contract, which would include promises around childcare, quality of life and a living wage.

The document is also expected to have a section aimed at addressing the concerns among younger voters  that would reference college fees among other issues.

It is set to have a mission around housing, with a target for more affordable homes as well as offering more security for renters and the constriction of more social housing through the Land Development Agency.

Rebuilding the economy in the aftermath of the Covid-19 crisis will be a significant focus of the document.

It will contain a commitment to develop a National Recovery Plan - something that will be published at a later stage.

The document is to be sent to the smaller parties - the Social Democrats, the Labour Party and the Green Party - in the hope of opening a conversation around government formation.

Additional reporting Mary Regan