European Delegation To Visit Scotland

09 March 2005
"This is an opportunity that Scotland can't afford to miss"

A delegation of MEPs is to visit Scotland next week. The delegation from the Regional Committee of the European Parliament will visit Scotland between Tuesday 15th and Friday 18th March looking at projects funded by the European Union.

Scottish MEP Alyn Smith invited the delegation of MEPs from across Europe with the backing of other Scots on the European Parliament's Regional Committee, European Funding partnerships and local authorities. He hopes to show MEPs from other countries how well the funds have been used in Scotland and the positive benefits they have brought to the area.

"There are numerous projects across Scotland that would not have happened without European funding and that have made a significant contribution to improving the lives of local people and to improving local economies.

"I'm looking forward to visiting projects across Scotland and to meeting the people who both run the projects and who have benefitted for example from educational centres of entrepreneurial developments set up with European money. The range of places we will be visiting is huge, from the Bio-medical centre at Roslin, to Clydebank regeneration projects, Barony College in Dumfries, and a sports centre on Harris. We will also be meeting the people responsible for looking after European money across Scotland so they can share their expertise. Many of the new European countries are keen to learn from Scotland's experience of European funding and the benefits it can bring.

"I also want to take this opportunity to highlight the value of European funds in Scotland. The future of EU funding is currently up for negotiation. The current position of the UK government could mean an end to Scotland's European funds and I am doing everything I can to stop that happening. By inviting the Regional Committee to Scotland I hope they will see not just how important European funding has been for Scotland but the potential for many more benefits in the future."