The Scottish Government remains a committed European actor, making the case for our place in Europe. We will continue to facilitate Ministerial visits and government-to government engagement across Europe, particularly in Brussels.
Council of Ministers – Scottish Ministers will seek to attend these meetings where Scottish interests are at stake and ensure that the UK line reflects Scottish-specific concerns. Attendance at Council offers the opportunity to engage bilaterally with other Member States and to undertake wider programmes with EU stakeholders in Brussels. At technical level, officials in the Scottish Government EU office - and where appropriate, Scotland-based experts - will attend selective EU Working Groups to monitor the progress of discussions of relevance to Scotland.
The Scottish Government will also continue to establish and foster links with the Member State holding the Presidency of the Council of the EU, by hosting tailored engagement events and sharing knowledge and expertise at official level through secondments. This approach builds capacity in understanding the practicalities of a working presidency and creates additional networking platforms that provide for Scottish influence in Brussels in the run up to and at the start of new common EU agenda cycles, demonstrating that Scotland is a constructive and engaged partner.
European Commission – Ensuring Scottish specific-concerns are fully considered at the earliest stage of policy development at EU level offers the most effective route to outcomes that are acceptable and beneficial to the people of Scotland. Engagement with the Commission also focuses on promoting Scotland as an effective European partner where sharing of best practice, knowledge exchange and civic participation is actively encouraged. Scottish Ministers will therefore continue to engage directly with European Commissioners, in both Brussels and when they are on inward visits to Scotland. In addition, officials will engage directly with Commission staff on a regular basis through meetings, workshops and other events across a range of policy interests, in Brussels and in Scotland.
At a more detailed level officials will analyse each Commission Work Programme to identify key interests for Scotland and plan accordingly for engagement on specific files with a view to influencing or contributing to positive outcomes.
European Parliament – As part of the UK, Scotland is one constituency within the European Parliament (EP) with six MEPs. The EP is an important player in decision making in Europe and therefore an important partner for Scotland to engage with in the course of the formulation of EU law and policy. Scottish Ministers will therefore meet with MEPs (Scottish and others) on a case by case basis as part of focused EU engagement. The particulars of the issue of interest, the stage of proposals, the variance of positions and the lead Committee and MEPs all have a bearing on when meetings take place, with whom and where. At official level, the EU office will maintain regular contact with the offices of Scottish MEPs through a dedicated European Parliamentary Liaison officer role.
By working with our partners across the EU and in the EU Institutions, we can play our part positively and constructively in delivering social and economic prosperity for all EU citizens.