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Delivering Constructive EU Reform


The Scottish Government greatly values Scotland’s position within the EU and is committed to exerting as much influence as possible over the future direction of the EU with the aim of reconnecting the EU with its citizens. Restoring public confidence in the EU institutions and their governance must be a key priority for the European Commission and European Parliament in the months and years ahead, and should inform the strategic work programme of both institutions.


The Scottish Government believes that in order for the EU institutions to re-connect with citizens, there is a clear and present need for reform.

The Scottish Government will therefore continue to work closely with the European Commission with the aim of influencing it to prioritise those policies which will increase economic growth and competitiveness while enhancing enterprise and the lives of all of the people of Scotland. At the same time, the Scottish Government will strive to influence the development of EU regulation so that it is relevant to Scotland and does not impose onerous burdens on enterprise which hinder economic growth and increase unemployment while preserving social justice and the environment.

In addition to working at an international level, the Scottish Government will continue to foster good working relationships with the UK Government and other devolved administrations at both a Ministerial and official level in order to maximise our opportunities for engagement and to strengthen the ‘One Scotland’ approach.


Our Action Plan for EU Engagement sets out our approach to deliver benefit for the people of Scotland through our engagement in the EU.

Scotland’s Agenda for EU Reform

Fiona Hyslop, the Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, has outlined the case for EU Reform. “Scotland’s Agenda for EU Reform” sets out the Scottish Government’s priorities for EU action and reform with a view to making the EU more relevant for its citizens and enterprises.

Read ‘Scotland’s Agenda for EU Reform’.

The ‘Scotland’s Agenda for EU Reform Summary’ booklet provides an overview of the key points.

The Scottish Government's Response to the Europe 2020 Mid-Term Review

Europe 2020 sets out the European Union’s vision for a Europe where economic growth is smarter, more sustainable and more inclusive. In its response to the mid-term review of Europe 2020 strategy, the Scottish Government identifies the aspects of the Europe 2020 strategy that have had a positive impact on Scotland. The response also makes recommendations as to those aspects where the Scottish Government considers that the Commission should place greater emphasis on in order to support Europe 2020 in achieving its stated objectives going forward.

The Response of the Scottish Government to the Public Consultation on the Europe 2020 Strategy.

The Scottish Government’s Responses to the Balance of Competences Review

Scotland’s Agenda for EU Reform follows on from the Scottish Government’s comprehensive review of the impact of EU law and policy on Scotland’s citizens and enterprises as part of a UK wide assessment of the exercise of EU competence also known as the “Balance of Competences Review”.

The Scottish Government’s responses to the Balance of Competences Review.

Scotland’s Priorities for EU Reform sets out the Scottish Government’s considerations on the balance of competences between the UK and the EU and its priorities for reforming EU law and policy within the existing framework of the EU Treaties.

Balance of Competences Review - Scotland's Priorities for EU Reform

Balance of Competences Review - Scotland's Priorities for EU Reform - Summary

The Brugge Speech

In his April 2014 speech to the College of Europe in Brugge, former First Minister Alex Salmond set out the Scottish Government’s view on necessary reforms within the current EU legislative framework. Read the speech here.

Case Studies

See examples of how we are delivering the objectives of our Action Plan for EU Engagement on our Case Studies page. We will continue to update that page with further examples of Scottish activity in Europe.

How Scotland is Performing

Scotland Performs measures and reports on progress of government in Scotland in creating a more successful country, with opportunities for all of Scotland to flourish. View more information on Scotland Performs.