Date lodged: 22 December 2016
To ask the Scottish Government how it is supporting its commitment to protect Scotland's relationship with Europe, and what the impact on this will be of the reported 45.3% reduction in the European Strategy Fund.
Answered by: Fiona Hyslop 19 January 2017
All answers to written Parliamentary Questions are available on the Parliament's website, the search facility for which can be found at:http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/28877.aspx
This work is currently resourced by the Culture, Tourism and External Affairs portfolio and the new combined total of the European Strategy line and the Brussels Office line is 2.049 million. I refer the member to the answer to question S5W-05925 on 19 January 2016 for further budget explanation and to the official report of the EEAC Committee of 22 December 2016.
The Scottish Government is fully committed to protecting Scotland’s relationship with Europe and we are exploring all options available to achieve this. Last month we published a detailed set of proposals in “Scotland’s Place in Europe”. We have been engaging consistently, and in good faith, with the UK Government through the new JMC(EN) forum - the next meeting of which will be this Thursday [19th January] where we will discuss the proposals in ‘Scotland’s Place in Europe’. Scottish Government Ministers have furthermore been working closely with Ministers in Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as meeting with heads of administration from Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man. There has also been a programme of engagement with other EU member states and institutional partners to raise awareness of the way Scotland voted and our determination to retain our relationship with Europe. Ministers have also undertaken a number of community engagements to meet with other EU nationals, hear their concerns and (as far as possible) offer reassurance and Official-level engagements continue.