Members of the European Committee of the Regions are visiting Holyrood today to hold discussions with the Scottish Parliament’s European Committee.
The Committee of the Regions Conference of Presidents is made up of the President and 1st Vice President of the Committee of the Regions (CoR), as well as the chairs of the five political groups in the Assembly. It is led by CoR President, Markku Markkula.
The delegation aims to listen to Scottish concerns in relation to the Brexit negotiations and to explore possible areas of future cooperation between Scotland and the CoR after Brexit.
Joan McAlpine MSP, Convener of the Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Relations Committee, said:
“The Brexit process got underway earlier this week with the start of the Article 50 negotiations. There’s still no indication of what, if any, involvement Scotland will have in that process. This is therefore a really important opportunity for us to pass on the concerns raised with our Committee from sectors right across Scotland.”
Speaking ahead of his visit to the Scottish Parliament, Markku Markkula, President of the Committee of the Regions, said:
“Brexit will have consequences for citizens on both sides of the North Sea; in Scotland, the UK and in the regions and cities of the other 27 EU countries.
“We will use Brexit to renew the EU, to improve our structures and processes so it better delivers for our communities by working bottom-up.
“As the EU's political assembly of local and regional governments we stand ready to give the UK's regions, cities and towns a platform to share their views on the Brexit process in Brussels. Together with our British friends, we need to find ways to build on the decades of partnership well into the future.”
Lewis Macdonald MSP, Deputy Convener of the Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Relations Committee, said:
“I welcome the Committee of the Regions coming here to engage directly with the Scottish Parliament, and to explore how we might work together in future.”
The President and members of the Conference of Presidents of the Committee of the Regions will give evidence to the European Committee, at 10.00am on Thursday 22 June. The agenda is available here.
A live webcast of the meeting will be available here.
The European Committee of the Regions represents the interests of regions and cities in the European Union. It was established in 1994 and consists of 350 members from the EU’s 28 Member States.