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Events 2016

2016 Events


The Scottish Government EU Office in Brussels organises a programme of policy and cultural events each year. Our events take place in Scotland House, on Rond Point Schuman, located in the heart of the EU decision making district of Brussels.

List of events; 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007.


Annual Fisheries Reception - 12 December

On the evening of the first day of the December Agriculture and Fisheries Council, the Scottish Government EU Office and the Scottish Fishermen's Federation held their annual Fisheries Reception in Scotland House. The event was hosted by Mr Fergus Ewing, Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity.


Schuman Christmas Market – 7 December

The Scottish Government EU Office hosted a stall at the Schuman Christmas Market on the Schuman Roundabout across from Scotland House. Several different Country and Regional Representations were present with stalls featuring national and regional delicacies. The Scottish Government EU Office ran a very successful stall showcasing a tasty selection of Scottish produce.


St Andrew's Day Concert – 30 November 

The Scottish Government EU Office held its annual St Andrew's Day Concert in Scotland House on 30 November. Guests were piped in to the event before enjoying a fantastic performance by the Glaswegian folk band Barluath, who sang a mixture of traditional songs in English, Scots and Gaelic. The performance was followed by a reception showcasing traditional Scottish produce and hospitality.

Earlier that day, the Scottish Government EU Office dressed the Manneken Pis statue, the emblem of Brussels, in his finest kilt, and attended the opening ceremony with the Manneken Pis Association. The ceremony was attended by Alyn Smith MEP and musical entertainment was provided by a Piper. 


Edinburgh International Festival: Exhibition Launch and Reception – 23 November

The Scottish Government EU Office hosted an event and exhibition launch to celebrate the upcoming 70th Anniversary of the Edinburgh International Festival (EIF) in 2017. Following an introduction by Ms Leslie Evans, Permanent Secretary to the Scottish Government, guests enjoyed a speech from the Director of the Edinburgh International Festival, Mr Fergus Linehan. In his speech, Mr Linehan considered the reasons and principles behind the setting up of the festival in 1947, alongside the 'rollercoaster' year 2016, as well as the importance of young people and how the EIF were looking to the future. Following the speeches, guests were invited to join a reception and view the new exhibition in Scotland House with photographs showcasing the rich history of the Edinburgh International Festival.


EPC 60 Minute Briefing – 21 November

Mr Michael Russell, Minister for UK Negotiations for Scotland’s Place in Europe, gave a 60 minute briefing at the European Policy Centre in Brussels on Monday 21 November entitled ‘Scotland’s Place in Europe.’ The event served to launch the new publication ‘Scotland: A European Nation’. The briefing was followed by a lively Q&A session and a reception.


Standing Council Roundtables on Human Rights and Social Protections – 17 November

On behalf of members of the First Minister's Standing Council on Europe, the Scottish Government EU Office held 'Roundtable' events to discuss the impact of the EU referendum on human rights and social protections, and how to protect Scotland's interests. The events were chaired by Professor Alan Miller and Grahame Smith, members of the Standing Council, a group of experts and academics appointed by the First Minister in order to give advice to the Scottish Government on securing Scotland's relationship with the European Union. 


UK Aquaculture Forum & Reception – 08 November

Scotland House hosted the 2016 annual UK Aquaculture Forum.  Industry representatives heard from a range of EU experts on various aspects of the sector including officials from the European Commission and the Norwegian Government.  The Norwegian representative, Bjorn Tore Erdal provided insight into the future opportunities and challenges for the aquaculture sector acting outside the EU.  The event was signed off with a reception in Scotland House with some excellent Scottish seafood on offer, kindly donated by a range of Scottish companies.


Town Hall Event – 19 October

During a visit to Brussels, the Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotland’s Place in Europe, Mr Michael Russell, hosted an event at Scotland house entitled 'Briefing Session: Scotland's Future in Europe'. The event was attended by over 120 guests including Scots in Brussels, representatives from the EU Institutions, Member State and Regional Representations, Think Tanks, Press and other Brussels-based stakeholders. Mr Russell set out Scotland's vision for its future in Europe. This was followed by a dynamic Q&A discussion and networking reception. 


Networking Reception on the Eve of the 2nd International Network for Government and Science Advice Conference – 28 September

Professor Sheila Rowan MBE, Chief Scientific Adviser for Scotland, visited Brussels to attend the 2nd International Network for Government Science Advice Conference on 29 and 30 September. In advance of the conference, Professor Rowan met with the European Commission and with MEP Catherine Stihler to highlight the continued importance of collaboration with European partners to Scotland and to reinforce the value that the Scottish Government places on the contribution that European students and researchers continue to make.

Professor Rowan also hosted an evening reception at Scotland House with relevant Brussels-based stakeholders where she reflected on her experience of working as a scientist in Scotland; her role in providing scientific advice to the Scottish Government and on the development of the Scottish Government's forthcoming Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics strategy.


Scotland House Summer Reception - 12 July

The Scottish Government EU Office, in partnership with Scotland Europa and the Highlands and Islands European Partnership, hosted a Summer Reception at Scotland House on Tuesday, 12 July. The event welcomed around 150 guests who were treated to the very best of local Scottish produce from the Highlands and Islands. To mark the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, the menu showcased innovative and design-led eating and drinking experiences. The reception offered the opportunity to set out the First Minister's position on Scotland's future within the EU and, given the support for remaining in the EU, the Scottish Government is exploring all options to secure Scotland's interests.


European Nature Conservation Agencies (ENCA) Reception - 30 May

The Heads of European Nature Conservation Agencies (ENCA) is an informal network which aims to strengthen nature conservation in Europe by enhancing cooperation and collaboration between its members. ENCA held its 18th plenary meeting in Scotland House on 30 – 31 May. The Scottish Government and Scottish Natural Heritage welcomed them by jointly hosting a reception on 30 May with representatives from the Commission and the wider environment stakeholder community. The reception provided an opportunity to showcase some of Scotland’s best produce in celebration of Scottish natural capital.


2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture & Design Exhibition Launch - 7 April

On Thursday, 7 April, Scotland House welcomed guests to the launch of it's new 2016 exhibition. The exhibition celebrated the Year of Innovation, Architecture & Design with images highlighting the ways in which Scotland is leading in these areas. Images include The Kelpies designed by Andy Scott, the Riverside Museum designed by world famous architect Zaha Hadid, Harris Tweed, the new Queensferry Crossing and many more.

The reception entertained over 50 guest who were captivated by a very interesting presentation on the Scottish Ten project by Chris McGregor from Historic Environment Scotland. The project, a collaboration between Historic Environment Scotland, the Glasgow School of Art and CyArk, set out in 2009 to digitally document Scotland’s five World Heritage sites and five international heritage sites in order to better understand how to conserve and manage them. The project has produced accurate 3D models of several sites including St Kilda in Scotland, the Eastern Qing Tombs in China, Mount Rushmore in the U.S. and the Sydney Opera House in Australia, which was one of the images featured in Scotland House’s 2016 exhibition.


Innovating, Colaborating and Creating - The role of cities in finding solutions to Europe’s societal challenges – 7 April

Scotland House played host to over 50 delegates on Thursday, 7 April who participated in a lively discussion on the role of cities as hubs for innovation as part of Scotland’s year of Innovation, Architecture and Design. The panel, which included speakers from the Scottish Government, Scottish Cities Alliance and Glasgow City of Science as well as the European Commission, European Parliament and the Dutch Presidency, presented examples of innovation in social housing, energy efficiency and smart cities.

A copy of the slides can be found here.


Smart Regulation for Smart Growth Policy Seminar - 10 February

On 10 February, the Scottish Government EU Office hosted a “Smart Regulation for Smart Growth” policy seminar, to showcase the Scottish approach to delivering smarter and better regulation and to share approaches and best practice on better regulation from the European Commission and other Member States and regions.

Experts from the Scottish Government, European Commission, Denmark, the Netherlands and Bavaria covered a diverse range of examples and approaches to delivering better regulation and participated in a panel discussion, facilitated by the chair of Scotland’s independent Regulatory Review Group. The panel, which also included a representative from Business Europe, generated an engaging discussion on a number of key issues.   


Burns Concert - 26 Januaryburnsconcert

The Burns Concert took place on Tuesday, 26 January at Scotland House and featured a concert and performance by talented music and theatre students from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Around 150 guests attended the Burns concert, which included representatives from Member State and regional representations, EU Institutions, and other organisations in Brussels. The event served as an excellent platform to showcase Scotland’s rich culture, tradition and young talent to a Brussels audience. After the concert, guests enjoyed a buffet of traditional haggis, neeps and tatties, as well as some of Scotland's finest whiskies and gins.


Burns Supper - 25 January

burns supperThe ninth Scottish Government Burns Supper, hosted by Humza Yousaf, Minister for Europe and International Development, took place on Monday, 25 January at the UK Permanent Representative’s Residence. This Burns Supper served to welcome the new Presidencies of the Council of the European Union – the Netherlands and Slovakia – and was attended by senior officials from both Permanent Representations, as well as by representatives from the Scottish and UK Governments and from the European Institutions. The evening featured a traditional line up of speeches including the Address to a Haggis performed by a talented acting student from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Guests sampled an array of Scottish delicacies including haggis, neeps and tatties, as well as fine cheeses, shortbread and whiskies.