1. Introduction and Policy Context
As part of the joint bilateral review undertaken by the Scottish Government and the Government of Ireland to look at how to increase and improve cooperation between Scotland and Ireland over the next five years (2021-2025), an online questionnaire sought the opinions of those with an interest in the relationship in Ireland, Scotland and beyond. The joint bilateral review was led by the Consulate General of Ireland in Edinburgh and the Scottish Government Office in Dublin, supported by Irish and Scottish Government officials.
In assessing cooperation between Scotland and Ireland in the areas of business and economy, community and diaspora, academic and research links, culture and rural, coastal and island communities, engagement with stakeholders included roundtable discussions, written submissions, one to one conversations, and an online questionnaire.
The online questionnaire was live from 23 December 2019 to 20 March 2020, and was promoted by both governments. It was hosted on the Scottish Government’s Citizen Space service. A data sharing agreement in compliance with the Irish Data Protection Act 2018 and the UK Data Protection Act 2018 is in place.
The questionnaire collected both qualitative and quantitative data from respondents, which are collated and summarised in this document. A number of new areas of cooperation became apparent in the responses. The trends in opinion expressed in this document, the analytical summary of public responses, are also reflected in the report of the Ireland-Scotland joint bilateral review published by both governments (‘Ireland-Scotland Joint Bilateral Review. Report and Recommendations 2021–25’, accessible via www.dfa.ie). Opinions expressed by respondents which fall beyond the scope of the review have also been noted, some of which relate to unilateral domestic policy concerns.
It is important to note that the questionnaire results are not representative of the views of the general public, with very limited personal or demographic data collected.
The purpose of this report is to describe and analyse the responses submitted to the joint bilateral review through the online questionnaire and responses submitted directly via email.