The Taoiseach Micheál Martin has denied the new shared island unit in his Department is a stalking horse for a referendum on a united Ireland.
Mr Martin has said it will be aimed at ensuring there are better relationships between the two governments on the island.
Speaking at the North South Ministerial Council meeting at Dublin Castle on Friday, the Fianna Fáil leader said it is not about a border poll, but rather improving relations.
The Taoiseach said: "We need to do a bit more work on that as well, in terms of nurturing that relationship, understanding on how we can more proactively share and cooperate on the island.
"That's the agenda and there is no hidden, stalking horse-type approach to this at all and I think we will do important work."
The North's First Minister Arlene Foster had earlier said she is not threatened by the new shared island unit.
The DUP leader said if a border poll was called, people in Northern Ireland would vote to remain in the UK.
She added: “There is nothing to fear from having these discussions about the island.”