The First Minister of Scotland, myself, and my ministerial colleagues have maintained throughout the Brexit process that we remain committed to continued close ties with our European neighbours. One of the many ways that we have worked with partners in Europe is through European Territorial Cooperation Programmes, which have just celebrated 30 years of collaboration. These programmes, also referred to as Interreg, span a number of themes important to Scotland, from promoting greener initiatives to social inclusion and innovation.
The current programming period has seen Scottish partners participate in 198 individual projects with 75 unique organisations being awarded around £70 million in funding across a variety of projects. These include Circular Ocean, a £1.4m project that is developing, sharing and testing new solutions and opportunities for processing, recycling and repurposing of marine plastic waste among Northern European and Arctic regions; Mpower, a £7.9m project, which will help people to live well, safely and independently in their own home, supported by a modernised infrastructure for healthy aging; and Co-Innovate, a £20.4m project, which will provide innovation support to hundreds of SMEs.
As the current period draws to a close, the Scottish Government is looking to the future. To inform our thinking on how we best engage with the future programmes so that we can work together with partner countries in the programmes to design something which meets our shared needs, we undertook a public consultation from 10th January to 24th April 2020. The results of the consultation are detailed in this report. I would like to thank all those who responded to the consultation in what has been a difficult and pressing time due to the current Covid-19 crisis.
Notwithstanding the recent disappointing decision by the UK Government not to commit to future programmes, we remain committed to working with our European neighbours and building on the successful collaborations we have established with partner countries over successive Interreg programming periods. We will therefore reflect carefully on the consultation results as a basis for working with our colleagues so that we can deliver a favourable outcome for the people of Scotland and our European partners.
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