Scottish Government events in Brussels: 2021 to 2023

A record of the events held at Scotland House Brussels between 2021 and 2023.



Burns Supper at the UK Residence at Rue Ducale, with musicians from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the National Piping Centre: 24 January 2023

We celebrated Burns Night Supper with a number of key contacts from across the EU institutions, member states and third countries. The evening was a celebration of the enduring spirit and legacy of our national bard. Our guests enjoyed an evening of Scottish poetry and culture, and performances from Anna Reid & George Chlad from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Calum Kaye from the National Piping Centre.

Burns Night Concert: 25 January 2023

Scotland House Brussels celebrated Burns Night with live traditional music performances from Anna Reid & George Chlad from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Calum Kaye from the National Piping Centre. The event saw guests and colleagues from across the Brussels community join us.                                                                                                 

Panel discussion led by Chris Stark on Net-Zero ambitions: 14 February 2023

Scotland House Brussels hosted a panel discussion involving the UK Mission to the EU and Welsh Government Office in Brussels led by the Chief Executive of the UK’s Climate Change Committee, Chris Stark. The discussion focussed on the opportunities and challenges for achieving Net Zero ambitions, including with EU partners.

UK Innovation and Tech Show with Professor Brian Cox: 15 March 2023

The UK Innovation and Tech Show at the Square in Brussels, which was headlined by Professor Brian Cox, had an audience of 3-400 policymakers. The show included a main panel event organised by the Scottish Government on “Innovation and Interdisciplinarity: Disruptive Technologies and the Creative Industries”. The panel session included speakers from Codebase (CEO Steven Drost), Creative Informatics/ Edinburgh University (Prof Melissa Terras), Touchlab (VP Laura Garcia-Caberol) and Nvidia (Government Affairs lead, Bea Longworth) and was moderated by Science Business (Simon Pickard). Furthermore, the Scottish Government and Scotland Europa, had a Scottish exhibition space which included co-exhibitors from Creative Informatics, Touchlab Limited, Freeflow Technologies and Jeni Allison.

Scotland’s Economic and Social Forum: 29 March 2023

Scotland House Brussels hosted an evening reception alongside the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (now Prosper), learning about how businesses in Scotland can be purposeful and make a positive impact on the economy, wellbeing, society, and sustainability.

Under2Coalition at Scotland House Brussels to discuss journey to Net Zero: 21 April 2023

Scotland House Brussels hosted a meeting for European members of the Under2Coalition, a coalition of subnational governments that aims to achieve greenhouse gases emissions mitigation, to discuss key shared challenges and opportunities for collaboration on the journey to Net Zero.

VisitScotland event on Delivering Climate Action in Tourism: 17 May 2023

VisitScotland came to Scotland House Brussels for an event on Delivering Climate Action in Tourism. Lord John Thurso, Chairman of Visit Scotland, Lyn Donnelly, Senior Responsible Tourism Manager & Lee McRonald, International Partnerships Manager, spoke about delivering climate action in Tourism. Representatives from VisitFlanders attended the event.

Cabinet Secretary Angus Robertson hosted a round table discussion on the links between hosting major sporting events and economic development: 1 June 2023

Scotland House hosted a round table discussion, which included representatives from the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) World Championships, Visit Flanders, the EU Commission, the German Government, and the French Government. They discussed the economic benefits of hosting major sporting events, and how one can seek to ensure that these benefits can accrue locally. 

Summer Reception highlighting the UCI World Cycling Championships: 1 June 2023

Scotland House Brussels held its annual summer reception hosted by External Affairs Secretary Angus Robertson MSP. We were joined by a wide range of diplomatic and other colleagues in Brussels. The reception highlighted the forthcoming 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships in Scotland, and the Chief Executive Ms Trudy Lindblade joined us for it. The event was also supported by the Scottish Whisky Association, and CEO Mark Kent attended.

Transport Decarbonisation Event: 6 June 2023

Scotland House Brussels, together with UK Transport in Europe (UKTiE) hosted an event on transport decarbonisation & the important role hydrogen will play in achieving this. Hydrogen Vehicle Systems, Transport Scotland , and the UK Civil Aviation Authority were present to showcase Scotland’s work, ambition & desire to work with EU partners.

Greening Sports Event with the Association of Cities and Regions for sustainable Resource management: 8 June 2023

Scotland House Brussels hosted the Association of Cities and Regions for sustainable Resource management (ACR) event on greening sports. Ian Gulland, Chief Executive of Zero Waste Scotland and president of ACR plus gave keynote speech. There was a panel discussion on how to create more circular e-communities through sport and tourism with Raphaelle Moeremans, Head of Sustainability at Royale Union Saint-Gilloise SCRL, Katrina Reuter, Development Coordinator at the European Volleyball Confederation, Jonas Orset, Founder of Green Cycling Nordic Norway, Warren Mcintyre from Zero Waste Scotland, Laska Nenova, Managing Director at BG Be Active and Bruno Van Pottelsberghe, Dean of Solvay Business School.

Under2Coalition meeting with Net Zero Secretary Mairi McAllan: 22 June 2023

Net Zero Secretary Mairi McAllan MSP visited Brussels during European Sustainability Week to chair the European Ministerial meeting of the Under2Coalition. The Under2Coalition is the largest global network of subnational governments driving ambition and action in the face of the global climate emergency. The meeting was attended by a range of Ministers from U2Coalition governments.

Scottish-themed breakfast event at the UK Residence at Rue Ducale: 5 July 2023

We marked the presentation of the Honours of Scotland to His Majesty King Charles and Her Majesty Queen Camilla this morning with a Scottish-themed breakfast for VIP guests, and a presentation on the history of the monarchy in Scotland over the last 1,000 years. The breakfast was co-hosted by Scottish Government EU Director Martin Johnson and UK Ambassador to Belgium, Martin Shearman.

Adam Smith’s Tercentenary Event: 21 September 2023

Scotland House Brussels hosted the University of Glasgow for an event on net zero, wellbeing and equalities to celebrate Adam Smith’s tercentenary. During a panel discussion Professor Kezia Dugdale, Director at the John Smith Centre, Professor Graeme Roy, Dean of External Engagement and Deputy Head of College at the University of Glasgow, Dr Fabian Zuleeg, Chief Executive at European Policy Centre, Elizabeth Dirth, Managing Director at ZOE and Rachel Lancry Beaumont, Head of Unit at the Committee of the Regions discussed what makes a wealthy nation.

TRANSPOESIE 2023: 28 September 2023

Scottish poet Imogen Stirling represented Scotland at the annual Transpoesie festival, presenting her poetry at the Italian Institute and the Pianofabriek in Brussels.

Documentary screening with the Mission of Ukraine to the EU: 7 November 2023

Scotland House Brussels, in cooperation with the Mission of Ukraine to the EU, hosted a documentary screening and photo exhibition. The evening included film, and images showcasing the Ukrainian ‘Culture vs War’ arts initiative. The event was co-hosted by Scottish Government EU Director Martin Johnson and Ukrainian Deputy Ambassador to the EU Iryna Yefremova.

Panel discussion led by ZeroWasteScotland on circularity and recycling: 16 November 2023

ZeroWasteScotland organised a panel discussion at Scotland House on packaging waste with Aline Maigret, Head of Policy at Zero Waste Scotland, Alison McKinnie Policy Analyst at Zero Waste Scotland, Stuart Chidley, Co-founder of Beauty Kitchen, and Sarah Risch, Policy Advisor at the Public Waste Agency of Flanders (OVAM). The panel focussed on circularity, recycling, and reuse as complimentary forces to support Scotland’s transition to a circular economy.

St Andrew’s Day Concert with Energy Minister Gillian Martin: 21 November 2023

The Scottish Government EU Office celebrated St Andrew’s Day at Scotland House Brussels with an evening of Scottish culture and music by the fantastic artists Mairi McGillivray and Katie Allen, in collaboration with Live Music Now.  The event was hosted by Scotland’s Energy Minister Gillian Martin MSP.

St Andrew’s Day Lecture with keynote speaker Isabel Davis: 30 November 2023

To celebrate St Andrew’s Day, Scotland House Brussels hosted a lecture held by Screen Scotland’s Executive Director, Isabel Davis. She spoke about Screen Scotland’s ambitions and the extraordinary recent growth of Scotland’s film and TV sectors.



Burns Night Celebrations: January 2022

Scotland House Brussels’ annual Burns Night events were cancelled due to COVID-19 measures in Belgium.

Spring Reception: 27 April 2022

Scotland House welcomed a wide range of friends and colleagues for its annual Spring Reception – the first since the COVID-19 pandemic. The theme around this year’s event was ‘Scotland’s Year of Stories’, with performances from storyteller and participatory artist, Shona Cowie.

EU Vocational Skills Week: The Road to Green Skills. Session discussing upskilling and reskilling for a just transition to net zero: 17 May 2022

The panel discussion hosted online gave speakers a platform to speak of the challenges that actors across the EU are facing relating to the green transition. The discussion provided strategic insight and practical examples on how to rise to the skills challenge and deliver on the Green Deal. Panelists included Laura Rayner (European Policy Centre), Felix Rohn (EU Social), Fabienne Goyeneche (Michelin), Yoann Dhome (Hall 32) and Jim Brown (Michelin Scotland Innovation Partnership).

Minister Lorna Slater roundtable discussion on the Edinburgh Declaration on biodiversity: 1 June 2022

Scotland House Brussels welcomed participants in-person and online including representatives from the European Committee of the Regions and International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) Europe to discuss how different actors and combine their efforts to prevent biodiversity loss. The discussion involved the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Declaration for nature and how the Scottish Government is mobilising sub-state, regional, local governments and cities to come together to tackle nature loss ahead of COP15 and the new global biodiversity framework.

Ukraine Fundraising event at North-Rhine Westphalia office, featuring Mariana Sadowska, Jarry Singla: Eastern Flowers: 16 June 2022

Scottish Government EU Office jointly hosted a fundraising event in support of Ukraine with the Representation of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia to the EU, Welsh Government EU Office, and the Northern Ireland Executive Office. The event involved a concert showcasing music from Jarry Singles EASTERN FLOWERS and Mariana Sadovska, and a fund-raising auction run by staff from Scotland House. The concert reaffirmed the continued support from Scotland to the people of Ukraine and raised around €3000 for Ukrainian related causes.

TRANSPOESIE 2022: 27 September 2022

Scottish Government EU Office celebrated Scotland’s Year of Books sharing poetry and culture with talented poets from Lithuania, Slovenia, Wales, the Basque Country, Northern Ireland & Scotland. Iona Lee represented Scotland at the Italian Cultural Institute.

NICE Network at Scotland House Brussels: 28 September 2022

Scotland House Brussels hosted a meeting of the Net-Zero Industrial Cluster Exchange (NICE) Network – a new Michelin & Scottish Government funded European partnership to share knowledge and experience on regional industrial decarbonisations strategies.

St Andrew’s Day Lecture with Umza Khan, Vice-Principal Economic Development and Innovation, University of Glasgow: 29 November 2022

Europe Minister Neil Gray MSP hosted the St. Andrews lecture and welcomed guest speaker Umza Khan, Vice-Principal Economic Development and Innovation at the University of Glasgow, who gave a powerful talk on sense of belonging and the wellbeing economy. Europe Minister Gray gave the opening remarks, speaking about European cooperation and friendship, at this annual Scotland Europa event. 

St Andrew’s Day Concert with Europe Minister Neil Gray and artists from Live Music Now: 30 November 2022

The Scottish Government EU Office celebrated St Andrew’s Day with a Concert with artists Megan MacDonald, Calum McIlroy and Ciar Milne from Live Music Now. Europe Minister Neil Gray MSP hosted the evening and welcomed a wide range of guests from across the Brussels community, including: Flemish Minister-President Jan Jambon, New Zealand bilateral Ambassador Diana Reaich and the Canadian Ambassador to the EU Ailish Campbell.

Panel Discussion on Ukraine with the Scottish Council on Global Affairs and the European Policy Centre: 7 December 2022

Scotland House Brussels hosted a panel discussion with the Scottish Council on Global Affairs and the European Policy Centre on the international response to the conflict in Ukraine. EU Director Martin Johnson welcomed guests and the panel included Iryna Yefremova, Deputy Ambassador of Ukraine to the EU; Professor Juliet Karbo from Edinburgh University; Estonian Permanent Representative to the EU Aivo Orav; and the US Deputy Ambassador to NATO, Rick Holtzapple.  They emphasised the importance of continued EU, member state, third country and wider international support for Ukraine and the many forms this takes, including financial and practical assistance for the country's reconstruction. MEP David McAllister, chair of the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs, delivered the closing remarks, where he spoke of the courage of the Ukrainian people, his own experience of visiting the country and the importance of defending European values.

Scotland House Brussels Ceilidh on Schuman Roundabout: 8 December 2022

As part of the Schuman Lights Up Festival organised by the Brussels Capital Region, we hosted visitors from the European quarter with our traditional ceilidh event on the Schuman roundabout. This included music from the Scottish ceilidh band the Hoggies.

Hydrogen exhibition at the Schuman Lights Up Festival: 8 December 2022

Together with our colleagues from the Welsh Government office, we presented at a special EU hydrogen exhibition to showcase Scotland’s plan to and green hydrogen potential.



Tourism and COVID-19 Recovery: 19 January 2021

Scotland House Brussels launched its 2021 events calendar with a webinar on the role of data and innovation in the responsible recovery of the European tourism sector. The event was moderated by Cristina Nuñez, Director of NECSTouR (Network of European Regions for Sustainable and Competitive Tourism) and brought together European tourism stakeholders to showcase three excellent examples of how they are using data and innovation to drive a sustainable recovery.

Scotland’s Winter Festivals - Burns Night: 25 January 2020 to 29 January 2021

Scotland House Brussels hosted its annual celebrations in honour of Scotland's national poet, Robert Burns, this year in a virtual celebration of poetry and song and a virtual toast on social media on the theme of a #BurnsNightIn. On Monday, 25 January, in a series of virtual concerts, Postcards from Scotland, showcased some of Scotland’s best-known traditional music bands, including Breabach, Elephant Sessions, Niteworks, Skerryvore and many more. On Friday, 29 January, Scottish Poetry Library prepared a pass-the-mic session between Scottish and Irish poets and musicians, drawing on the spirit of Burns for a fresh mix of spoken word and verse. The event was hosted by Vic Galloway with Victoria McNulty, Kevin Gilday, Courtney Stoddart, Kapil Seshasayee and more.

Scottish universities addressing global challenges: 5 February 2021

This conversation focused on how the world-leading research undertaken by Scottish universities remains important and relevant to Europe. The event brought together Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli and Professor Peter Mathieson, Principal and Vice-Chancellors of the University of Glasgow and the University of Edinburgh respectively, with Professor Kurt Deketelaere, Secretary-General of the League of European Research Universities (LERU) and Professor Jan Palmowski, Secretary-General of The Guild. They discussed through Horizon Europe, Scotland's researchers will continue to work with partners across Europe to address our shared global challenges and the crucial role networks will play in keeping UK universities engaged in European research discourse and collaboration.

EU Industry Week event: 22 February 2021

As part of the European Commission’s EU Industry Week, Scotland House Brussels hosted a discussion alongside the Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc (MSIP), and ID4CAR, focussed on innovation models developed by both MSIP and ID4CAR in order to support the transition of the sector to zero emission mobility and explore how these models could be replicated elsewhere.

EU Industry Week event: 25 February 2021

As part of the European Commission’s EU Industry Week, Scotland House Brussels supported an interactive event co-hosted by CivTech Scotland, GovTech Lithuania and Accelerate Estonia, which focussed on digital innovation in GovTech and the key role that the public sector plays in supporting SMEs to develop innovative and exportable technologies. The session explored proven methods of digital innovation, including through GovTech programmes, and showed how these solutions are delivering better outcomes for citizens using digital technologies in their day to day lives and shaping their interaction with government and society.

Photonics and Quantum Online Event: 19 May 2021

Scotland House Brussels organised an online panel discussion on photonics and quantum. Chaired by EU Director, Martin Johnson, the debate highlighted the areas of expertise in Scotland as well as the strong partnerships between Scotland and Europe in this field. Panelists included speakers from Physics Scotland, Technology Scotland, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft (German Research Organisation), Heriot-Watt University, University of Strathclyde, and the European Commission.

Wellbeing Economy Specialist Roundtable: 13 September 2021

The Scottish Government held a closed roundtable looking at case studies of examples of the Wellbeing Economy and ‘Beyond Gross Domestic Product (GDP)’. The event was moderated by Martine Durand, who is an independent international expert and former Chief Statistician of OECD. The main speakers were Dr Päivi Mattila-Wiro: Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Social Affairs & Health, Finland, Dr Gary Gillespie, Chief Economist, Scottish Government and Barbara Bacigalupi: Economist, statistician, DG Environment, European Commission. There was then a discussion which members of the roundtable were invited to join. There were 22 participants from Scottish Government, European Commission and EU Agencies, and the European Council.

TRANSPOESIE 2021: 30 September 2021

The TRANSPOSIE poetry festival 2021, titled ‘Action or Inaction – The New Generation’, focused on the new generation, with readings from young poets all across Europe and discussion on engaging poetry and how it can impact society. The Scottish Government invited Scottish poet, Len Pennie, who writes predominantly in the Scots language, to participate online. She is passionate about the promotion of minority languages and the destigmatisation of mental illness.

Series of COP26-related events hosted at Scotland House Brussels: September to October 2021

On 25 October, Scotland Europa invited Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Land Reform and Islands, Mairi Gougeon to host an online event as part of EU Sustainable Energy Week. The discussion involved the innovative work being done by islands and rural areas when it comes to the net zero transition. Ms. Gougeon stressed that for COP26 to be successful, action needs to be taken rather than remaining in rhetorical discussion. She also highlighted how remote Scottish Islands have developed ambitious net zero energy plans as a result of this work with the European Commission.

On 21 September, speakers made up an online panel for a Scotland House Brussels event on peatland restoration. Discussion involved how a nature-based ‘super solution’ can be achieved. More specifically, safeguarding a huge carbon store, protecting unique biodiversity, improving water quality, and creating green jobs were prominent throughout the debate.

Wellbeing Economy Webinar: 5 October 2021

Scottish Government hosted a Webinar entitled “Greener, Fairer, More Prosperous: A Wellbeing Economy Approach to an Inclusive and Sustainable Post-Pandemic Recovery.” The main speakers were Gary Gillespie, Chief Economist, Scottish Government, Dr Päivi Mattila-Wiro: Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Social Affairs & Health, Finland, and Carl Reach, Ambassador of New Zealand to the EU and NATO.

St Andrew’s Day Lecture 2021: 1 December 2021         

For Scotland House Brussels’ annual St Andrew’s Day lecture, CEO of Scottish Enterprise, Adrian Gillespie, was invited to speak on the subject, “A Fairer, Greener Planet – Driving Innovation in Scotland to Build a Planet Fit for Future Generations”. Following the end of COP26 in Glasgow, this lecture was a timely opportunity to reflect on the outcomes of the conference, for both Scotland and the wider world. It also provided the opportunity to discuss the next steps that are required to deliver climate ambitions and ensure COP26 has a positive legacy.


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