The Scottish Government shares the view of the European Commission that equipping people with the right skills for the jobs of today and tomorrow is vital for ensuring a competitive and dynamic economy. We are therefore investing in education and skills through our schools, colleges and universities, including our Modern Apprenticeships and other training programmes.
The Government considers that learning and training mobility programmes carry significant benefits for students, staff members, institutions, society at large and the wider economy. Scottish employers are increasingly seeking graduates with international experience for their global outlook and enhanced linguistic, academic, social and personal skills. The Government therefore values the range of opportunities offered through the Erasmus + programme.
The Government is implementing an ambitious programme of reform to improve outcomes for people in Scotland who use health and social care services. Innovation and widespread adoption of digital technologies are an essential element of this programme and we fully support European collaboration in this area. Scotland has played an active part in the European Innovation Partnership for Active and Healthy Ageing, being an active participant in all 6 action groups, including taking the lead coordinating role in the integrated care action group.
The Scottish Government is proposing to introduce a Minimum Unit Price (MUP) for alcohol in Scotland, so that the harm caused by the excessive consumption of cheap, strong alcohol is significantly reduced. Following referral to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) of the MUP case, the Government led a successful influencing exercise throughout Summer 2014 to build support for Scotland’s position. We aimed to encourage as many supportive written observations to the CJEU as possible. The Government provided briefing material to, and held discussions with, several Member States and the European Commission. Complementing this direct dialogue, we worked with third sector partners to network with European counterparts, resulting in wider promotional work and presentational opportunities. Our influencing exercise has resulted in a significant turnaround in European positions. Compared to the largely negative submissions during the 2012 Technical Standards process, supportive observations now outnumber opposing positions by a margin of 2:1.