Ministerial visits within Europe: 2019
- External Affairs Directorate
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- Constitution and democracy, International
Records of all visits made within Europe by Scottish Ministers in 2019.
View ministerial visits made in other years
Fergus Ewing, Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and the Scottish Fisherman’s Federation Visit: Brussels, 16 December
Fergus Ewing, Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy visited Brussels to attend the December Agriculture and Fisheries Council at which catch limits for 2020 were agreed. Mr Ewing also co-hosted, along with the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, the Annual Fisheries Reception in Scotland House Brussels.
Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs: Brussels, 28 November
Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, visited Brussels on 27 November 2019 to host the annual Scotland House Brussels St Andrew’s Day Concert. During her visit, the Cabinet Secretary also hosted a VIP Reception, and delivered a short opening speech at the concert. She also had a meeting with Julian King, Commissioner for the Security Union.
Ivan McKee, Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation: Brussels, November 21
Mr McKee, Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation, visited Brussels to represent Scotland at the Vanguard Initiative’s Annual Political Meeting. Mr McKee had the opportunity to address the meeting and highlight Scotland’s continued commitment to regional collaboration. The meeting was attended by 36 EU regions and offered the chance to directly engage with European partners and to show Scotland’s commitment to continue working with this crucial collaborative network. Mr McKee also had a number of productive meetings with the EU Commission and Baden-Württemberg whilst in Brussels.
Roseanna Cunningham, Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform: Luxembourg, 4 October 10, 2019
Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, Roseanna Cunningham, was in Luxembourg on Friday 5 October for EU Environment Council. Environment ministers adopted Council Conclusions setting out the EU’s position for COP25, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meetings in Santiago de Chile (2-13 December 2019), and held a policy debate on the EU's long-term climate strategy, which sets EU targets for greenhouse gas emissions reductions by 2050 (see press release). Colleagues will be aware that COP 26 will be held in Glasgow in late 2020 – a critical year under the Paris Agreement process. On environment items, alongside a lengthy list of AOB items, Ministers adopted a set of Council Conclusions calling on the incoming Commission to take forward an ambitious long-term strategic framework for the Circular Economy, including setting out targeted actions to stimulate a systemic transition to a sustainable society. Council Ministers also discussed, and adopted, a set of Council Conclusions calling for an 8th Environment Action Programme to be brought forward by the new Commission. With the conclusion of the 7th EU Environment Action Programme in December 2020, the Conclusions call for the 8th EAP to set the strategic direction for EU environment and climate policy 2020-2027. Alongside main Council business, Ms Cunningham had a number of bilateral engagements on the margins of Council, including with Irish Minister, Richard Bruton, UK Minister Lord Duncan, German State Secretary, Jochen Flasbarth and Finnish State Secretary Terhi Lehtonen.
Ivan McKee, Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation: Brussels, 26 September 2019
Minister McKee was in Brussels on 26 September to attend the final day of the EU Research and Innovation Days Conference, where he delivered a speech on the Scottish Government’s approach to the wellbeing economy. The Minister was invited to respond to the widespread interest in the National Performance Framework and the idea of redefining prosperity, moving away from using GDP as the single indicator for national wellbeing. Mr McKee shared the stage with authors, academics and senior commission stakeholders. The Minister also took the opportunity to meet with several additional stakeholders whilst in Brussels, including MEP’s, Research and Innovation network representatives, SNIB and representatives from other countries and regions.
Mike Russell, Cabinet Secretary for Government Business and Constitutional Relations: Strasbourg, 17-18 September 2019
Mike Russell, Cabinet Secretary for Government Business and Constitutional Relations, was in Strasbourg this week, carrying out a series of meetings with senior MEPs on the Parliament’s view on Brexit, and the Scottish Government position on the negotiations.
Ivan McKee, Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation: Brussels, 9 September 2019
Ivan McKee, Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation, visited Brussels on Monday 9 September for a series of positive engagements with key stakeholders. The visit was supported by the Scottish Government, Scotland Europa and Scottish Development International. While in Brussels, Mr McKee met with Martin Shearman, UK Ambassador to Belgium, to discuss the Scottish Government’s export growth strategy and also held constructive discussion with DIT representatives from the UK Embassy to explore potential opportunities in the Benelux countries. He also met with Flanders Investment and Trade, the trade promotion body for the Flanders region, EIT Digital and trade associations SpiritsEurope and AmCham to discuss common interests and possibilities for collaboration. Mr McKee also used his visit as an opportunity to strengthen Scotland’s dialogue with the EU institutions, meeting with officials from the European Commission and MEPs from the INTA Committee at the European Parliament. Mr McKee concluded his bilateral discussions with a constructive meeting with S Iswaran, Minister for Trade Relations in Singapore - an emerging priority market for Scottish exports. As his final engagement, Mr McKee delivered the welcome address at an evening reception in celebration of EU-Singapore Relations hosted at Scotland House which was attended by over 100 stakeholders from industry and the EU institutions. See the Singapore Trade Reception photo gallery.
Ben Macpherson Minister for Europe, Migration and International Development: Brussels, 4 September 2019
Ben Macpherson, Minister for Europe, Migration and International Development, made use of a brief stopover in Brussels to visit Scotland House and meet the staff. While in Brussels, the Minister also received a briefing on Migration and Citizens’ Rights from officials from the UK Permanent Representation.
Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs: 9 July 2019
Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, visited Brussels on Tuesday 9 July for a series of positive engagements with key stakeholders across the EU institutions. This included a meeting with Phil Hogan, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, fortuitously timed with the announcement the following day that 'Ayrshire Earlies' new potatoes had attained Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status. Ms Hyslop also met with First Vice-President of the European Parliament, Mairead McGuinness MEP and with several Scottish MEPs. Finally, Ms Hyslop attended the annual Scotland House Summer Reception where Ms Hyslop delivered a speech to the 120 attendees on this year’s anniversaries of 20 years of Devolution and 20 years of the Scottish Government in Brussels.
Leslie Evans, Permanent Secretary of the Scottish Government: 12 June 2019
Permanent Secretary Leslie Evans visited Brussels for two days of engagements which saw her meet with diplomatic contacts including Declan Kelleher, Irish Permanent Representative to the EU and Urs Bucher, Swiss Ambassador to the EU. The Permanent Secretary also met with Guntram Wolff and Maria Demertzis, the Director and Deputy-Director of think-tank Bruegel.
While in Brussels, the Permanent Secretary also opened the second evening of the Made in Scotland Festival at the Beursschouwburg theatre in the centre of Brussels.
Nicola Sturgeon MSP, First Minister of Scotland: 11 June 2019
The First Minister visited Brussels for a full programme of meetings with diplomatic stakeholders to discuss Scotland’s Place in Europe. She met with Brussels-based stakeholders across the EU institutions and Member States including: Michel Barnier, Chief Brexit Negotiator for the EU; the Permanent Representatives to the EU for the UK and for France; and with Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission. The First Minister’s visit concluded with the launch of the Made in Scotland Festival at the De Kriekelaar theatre.
Mike Russell, Cabinet Secretary for Government Business and Constitutional Relations: 21-22 January 2019
Mike Russell, Cabinet Secretary for Government Business and Constitutional Relations, visited Brussels to meet with key contacts and stakeholders. As part of his programme, Mr Russell visited the Port of Zeebrugge to see first-hand the infrastructure and technology the port uses.
Mr Russell also hosted a lunch for Scottish MEPs at Scotland House in order to thank them for the work they have done throughout their time at the European Parliament. The Cabinet Secretary also met with Danuta Huebner MEP and Sir Tim Barrow, the UK’s Permanent Representative to the European Union. He also met with Herman Van Rompuy, the former Belgian Prime Minister and ex-President of the European Council.
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