The British government is planning to draw up a package of proposals aimed at ending the political stalemate in the North, according to sources in the Northern Ireland Office.
The sources say Prime Minister Tony Blair is planning to draw up a strategy for pushing forward the peace process next week following talks with Sinn Féin.
Mr Blair has already held discussions with the other Northern parties in recent weeks.
He is then expected to publish his proposals during a visit to Belfast and tell local politicians that they have a choice between agreeing to restore the power-sharing institutions or abandoning them altogether.
If he believes there is potential for agreement, the British Prime Minister is expected to recall the Northern Assembly and arrange intensive talks in the hopes of striking a deal by the summer.