Scotland’s relationship with Europe and the world to be examined

08.05.2019

Scotland’s relationship with the European Union and the rest of the world is to be the subject of a new parliamentary inquiry by the Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee.

MSPs want to understand in the context of Brexit how the Scottish Government’s external affairs policy should evolve, where resources should be allocated to meet strategic priorities and what lessons might be learnt from other countries.

The inquiry will look at the purpose and role of the Hub Offices which the Scottish Government has opened in Berlin, Brussels, Dublin, London and Paris.

Scotland’s engagement and influence with the rest of the world will also be another major theme of the inquiry. It will consider the Scottish Government’s current international engagement strategies and how appropriate they are. The inquiry will also question which countries Scotland should prioritise engagement with.  

Convener of the Committee, Joan McAlpine MSP said:

“Much of the public discourse is quite rightly focused around when and if the UK leaves the European Union given the current political situation in the UK, which makes a world post-Brexit hard to imagine.

“However, how Scotland engages with the European Union is probably one of the biggest issues affecting the country given the economic and political importance of the remaining

EU states. So this inquiry is about the role the Scottish Government needs to take in maintaining and enhancing Scotland’s influence with the EU and the rest of the world.”

Deputy Convener of the Committee, Claire Baker MSP said:

“Scotland’s relationship with Europe and the rest of the world is critical not just to our economy but to our wider society.  We need to consider what this changed relationship will look like in the current political climate and how Scotland’s interests can be best developed.

“A key consideration will also be our relationship with the rest of the world. The Scottish Government’s international strategies will be put under the spotlight to see if this is still the best option in a post Brexit landscape.”

 

The Committee has issued a call for evidence seeking responses to the following questions:

Engaging with the European Union
• What principles should inform the focus of the Scottish Government’s external affairs policy with regard to the European Union?
• Are there examples of best practice for ways in which nations / regions from non-EU Member States engage with and influence the EU?
• What should be the focus of the business plans for the Scottish Government Innovation and Investment Hub offices in Berlin, Brussels, Dublin, London and Paris be?
• How can the Scottish Government Innovation and Investment Hub offices best support the Scottish Government’s external affairs policy?
• How can the Scottish Government’s Innovation and Investment Hub offices be evaluated effectively?
• How should the Innovation and Investment Hub offices most effectively engage with other Scottish organisations such as Scottish Development International and Visit Scotland?

Engagement with the rest of the world
• What principles should inform the Scottish Government’s international engagement?  For example, should economic priorities be the key priority or cultural / ‘soft power’ priorities?
• How should the Scottish Government prioritise its international engagement – for example, should the locations prioritised be based on a geography or policy focus?
• What should be the key aims of the Scottish Government’s international offices in Beijing, Ottawa, Toronto and Washington DC?
• Currently, the Scottish Government has international engagement strategies with Canada, China, India, Pakistan and the USA.  Do these strategies and their geographic focus remain appropriate post-Brexit?
• How can the Scottish Government’s international engagement be evaluated effectively?
• How should the Scottish Government’s international offices most effectively engage with other Scottish organisations such as Scottish Development International and Visit Scotland?

Background

Find further details of how to submit evidence to the Committee’s inquiry.

 

 

 

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