The President of the European Commission has indicated that funding for cross-border projects will continue after Brexit.
Jean-Claude Juncker was speaking at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Tuesday.
He pledged there can be no more important use of the European budget than maintaining the peace process in Northern Ireland.
Mr Juncker said: "We all know that peace can be fragile.
"I see no more important use of our budget than guaranteeing and financing the peace process in Ireland, this is an unconditional European commitment."
It followed an address by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, who is the first leader to speak in the debate on the European Union's future.
He warned against any rowing back from the agreement reached at the end of last year between the UK and the remaining EU countries.
Mr Varadkar said: "The breakthrough achieved before Christmas means that the UK is guaranteed that, whatever the future relationship with the European Union is, a hard border on the island will be avoided"