The European Union's Strategic Agenda 2020-2024: Scotland's Perspective

Document setting out how Scotland sees the EU's priorities for the period ahead and explaining why these are of vital importance to Scotland and how Scotland can contribute to their delivery.

Our Approach

The Scottish Government is clear that our shared ambitions must live up to the scale of the challenges we face, and that our actions must live up to our ambitions. Whatever the years ahead may bring, Scotland will do everything it can to be an active, competent and constructive participant on EU matters.

That will mean different things at different times and on different issues. It will involve:

  • proactive and constructive engagement with the EU institutions and other multilateral organisations. We will engage with the European Commission and the other EU Institutions on the many areas set out in the Commission's work programme where we have expertise to share. We will remain engaged as constructive contributors to EU debates on issues of shared concern.

    We will systematically enter into dialogue with each Presidency country on their plans for their term of office and on areas for potential collaboration.

    We will maintain close links with members of the European Parliament, whether as members of a formal grouping or simply as allies on the key issues we all need to address.

    Much of this activity will be driven by Scotland House Brussels – our window to the EU and wider European and international partners in Brussels, representing Scotland's economic and diplomatic interests at the EU level. We will also continue to build our relationships with other international bodies, working closely with the EU and other partners to tackle global challenges.
  • active bilateral collaboration with member states.

    This may take the form of country to country dialogue or of links with groups of like-minded countries. It will build on the step change in Scotland's activity in this area in recent years, with the creation of a network of offices in priority locations around the world and the conscious development of deeper bilateral links with e.g. Ireland.

    Our new offices in Berlin, Dublin, Paris and London, in addition to Scotland House Brussels, will be central to these bilateral efforts.

    Our involvement in less formal groupings will build on for example the warm reaction to our leadership on wellbeing economies and to our work with the Nordic and Baltic countries. The latter may well open the way for productive collaboration in future with what is being described informally as the new Hanseatic league.
  • robust and constructive engagement with the UK Government and the other devolved governments to protect Scotland's interests and shape the UK Government's approach to influencing the EU and future international activity.

    As long as the current constitutional arrangements persist, there are many areas where Scotland's interests need to be pursued by or through the UK Government.

    We will be energetic in engaging with the UK Government on these issues, seeking to improve the structures in place so as to give all parts of the UK their voice and articulating vigorously and constructively Scotland's interests.
  • making Team Scotland a reality.

    Scotland may not be the biggest of nations, but we are fortunate in many ways, not least in the abilities of our people – wherever they have come from – and in the number of allies and like-minded friends we have around the world.

    We will draw wisely on those riches in the years ahead.

    That means encouraging people from all walks of life in Scotland to remain internationalist, open to people – and ideas – from elsewhere and alive to opportunities and challenges outside Scotland, especially in the EU.

    It means bringing to bear the skills and expertise of others, such as our world class universities or our strong civic structures, in promoting the issues we hold dear.

    And it means being ambitious in working closely with all those around the world – whether or not formally part of our growing network of Global Scots – who are keen to support the values and priorities Scotland stands for.



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