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Strengthening Bilateral Relations

A key element of our European engagement is developing strong partnerships with like-minded European partners .  Our focus is on delivering real results on investment, innovation and inequalities from our links with leading EU countries and regions, and on deepening diplomatic and cultural ties to provides opportunities to exchange best practice. In our bilateral engagement we seek to promote Scotland as an aspiring, tolerant, outwardly-focused country, and an ideal location in which to live, work, learn, invest, visit, and do business with. The partnerships we develop with individual countries, or groups of countries, both support and benefit from our engagement within the EU and its institutions.

As part of bilateral engagement, the Scottish Government will use cultural diplomacy to articulate Scotland’s distinct national identity, enhance mutual understanding and create an atmosphere of trust and celebration and support opportunities for collaborative working.  We will also offer Scottish expertise and seek to learn from other countries’ policy successes, developing strong relationships with Consulates based in Scotland and Embassies in London to underpin bilateral relationships.  This work will be facilitated by arranging Ministerial overseas visits - enabling them to present Scottish interests directly to decision-makers and key opinion-formers at European level, and welcoming inward delegations to Scotland from European countries.

The EU’s transnational funding programmes provide opportunities for Scottish organisations to develop relationships with organisations in other EU countries, building their international networks and developing their business opportunities.  The Scottish Government will continue to encourage organisations to access these opportunities.