Statement from ESEC chair on EU referendum result

On 23 June 2016, the UK voted to leave the EU in a significant and unexpected referendum result. ESEC was strongly in favour of remaining  a member of the EU and so this was a disappointing outcome. Our region and local authorities have benefited greatly from EU membership, and our communities have received hundreds of millions in EU funding over the years.

At the time of going to press it is too early to say what the implications might be, and our Policy Board will soon meet to discuss how this will affect local government. Our councillors and local authority officers have developed and nurtured close professional relationships with their European counterparts, working relationships which have been built up over years if not decades. We hope that this will continue in some form, as we have learned as much from our EU colleagues as they have from us and we will strongly feel the impact if we lose access to these supportive networks.

In the meantime we will continue to engage in EU policy and programmes in order to serve the best interests of our local authorities and communities.

Councillor Mairi Evans, Chair of ESEC

Scottish Government lays out positive case for EU membership

The Scottish Government today (24 May 2016) published its case for the benefits of EU membership, ahead of the EU referendum on 23 June.

The report points out that Scottish beneficiaries receive significant amounts of EU funding to develop projects in the fields of research, education, health and regional development. For the period of 2014-20, Scotland will receive € €941 million in European Structural and Investment Funds for projects aims at reducing poverty and social exclusion, boosting educational attainment and skills development, and supporting projects with a positive impact on climate change and renewable energy.

In addition, Scotland will receive €4.6 billion to implement the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) until 2020, which includes €3.7 billion is in direct payments to farmers, and just over €840 million for the Scotland Rural Development Programme (SRDP).  The SRDP, which includes LEADER,  funds a wide variety of projects to help create vibrant rural communities, develop food, drink and wider rural businesses, and support the forestry and farming sectors.

Regarding the economy, it estimates that over 300,000 Scottish jobs are directly and indirectly associated with exports to the EU in 2011. Moreover, the EU is the top destination for Scottish exports, receiving 42% of Scotland’s international exports in 2014, worth more than £11 billion.

For more information, please see:



INTERREG North Sea Region programme: facts and figures

The second call for Interreg North Sea Region (NSR) applications closed on 14 March, and a total of 71 applications were submitted.

The programme received 46 Expressions of Interest (EOI) and 25 full applications. The majority of EOI were submitted under Priority 1, Thinking Growth. For full applications, Priority 3, Sustainable North Sea Region received the most applications (9 out of 25).

ESEC members are fully engaged with the programme and a number of them submitted either EOI and full applications.

The results of the call will be announced in September 2016. In the meantime, the ESEC secretariat will attend the annual NSR Conference, 15-16 June 2016 in Denmark, to further develop our network with potential European partners and to get to know the very many interesting projects in development.

For more information, please see here.