Luxembourg Ambassador to address MSPs on European Presidency

17.09.2015

The refugee crisis and the EU referendum will be amongst subjects discussed as the European and External Relations Committee of the Scottish Parliament hears from the Luxembourg Ambassador on his country’s priorities for its Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

The Ambassador, His Excellency Patrick Engelberg, will address the Committee at its meeting tomorrow (Thursday 17 September).  

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Committee Convener Christina McKelvie MSP explained: 

“In holding the Presidency of the Council of the EU, Luxembourg has the opportunity to provide leadership and direction in efforts to resolve the refugee crisis. The Committee has agreed to urgently examine the provision of support for refugees arriving in Scotland and we will take this opportunity to examine what measures the Luxembourg presidency intends to take to find a common solution across the EU to this crisis.” 

Luxembourg took over the six monthly Presidency of the Council of the European Union on 1 July 2015, from Latvia.  

Ahead of the Ambassador’s evidence, the Committee will hear from the Scottish Government’s Minister for Europe, Humza Yousaf MSP on the Scottish Government’s European priorities and the work of the refugee taskforce, recently established and chaired by the Minister. 

Ms McKelvie, continued: 

“The Committee will examine what Scotland is, can and should be doing to provide much needed support to the thousands of men, women and children seeking refuge from war, famine and poverty on European shores. I look forward to hearing the Minister’s update when he comes before the Committee.”

The presidency of the Council of the European Union rotates every six months. The Luxembourg Presidency focuses on seven overarching priorities:

  • stimulating investment to boost growth and employment;
  • deepening the EU's social dimension;
  • managing migration, including freedom, justice and security;
  • revitalising the single market with a focus on its digital dimension;
  • placing EU competitiveness in a global and transparent framework;
  • promoting sustainable development, and;
  • strengthening the EU's presence on the global stage 

The Committee is expected to consider further work on the refugee crisis following Thursday's meeting. 

Background 

The European and External Relations Committee Meeting, Thursday 17 September 2015, The Robert Burns Room, Committee Room 1 begins at 9:15 am with evidence from Humza Yousaf MSP, Minister for Europe and International Development. The Ambassador’s evidence is expected to commence from 10:15 am. 

The Committee meeting will be webcast or tickets can be booked via email sp.bookings@scottish.parliament.uk / 0131 348 5200 or freephone 0800 092 7600 (Textphone users: 0800 092 7100).

Photographs of the event will be available free of charge. Please contact andrew.cowan@scottish.parliament.uk to obtain. 

Committee twitter feed: @SP­_European

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