Scotland has successful participated in ETC Programmes for the past 30 years and has felt the multitude of benefits that come from international cooperation in that time. The current programming period alone (2014-2020) has seen Scottish partners be awarded around £70 million in funding from the seven ETC programmes it participates in. These projects range over a number of devolved competencies including health, the environment and SME support.
Respondents to this consultation value ETC Programmes as they are a well-established way to facilitate meaningful and mutually beneficial international collaboration. The projects funded by ETC help to identify new solutions to common challenges in a cost effective way which minimises duplication by enabling the pooling of knowledge and resources. This allows partners to achieve “critical mass to develop, test and pilot specialised/ innovative actions and activities in ways that would not be possible working in isolation”. From the respondents to our consultation, there is a clear preference for participation in the next programming period (2021-2027).
We would like to thank all those who took the time to reply to this consultation for their careful and considered responses. The Scottish Government will now reflect on this exercise and, despite, the recent disappointing decision by the UK Government not to commit to future programmes, we remain committed to ETC. We will work with our European neighbours and build on the successful collaborations we have established with partner countries over successive Interreg programming periods. We will strive to deliver a favourable outcome for the people of Scotland and our European partners.