Aberdeenshire is a rural and fisheries area located in the North East of Scotland that counts more than 250,000 inhabitants, which represents 4.8% of Scotland’s population. It is one of the largest area in Scotland, covering a surface of superior to 6300 square km, making up 8.5% of Scotland’s total territory. Aberdeenshire Council, in its position of Managing Authority, is in charge of delivering services and supporting economic development for the entire area composed of 6 districts (Banff and Buchan; Buchan; Formartine; Garioch; Marr; Kincardine and Mearns). Aberdeenshire is focusing predominantly on the primary sector (agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry and their related processing industries) but is also an important hub for the food & drink, tourism, Oil and gas (Peterhead is an important centre) and renewable energy (Energetica initiative) industries.

Aberdeenshire in Europe
Aberdeenshire Council is actively involved in European affairs ensuring the interests of Aberdeenshire are protected and promoted. The Economic Development European Unit endeavours to take advantage of the opportunities available from the EU for the development of the area and to further promote the regions profile in Europe. The European Unit is primarily involved in securing European funding, and in monitoring and responding to developments in the EU that may impact on the Council. Our European engagement approach sets out our plan to ensure that the benefits of EU membership can be fully exploited and benefit Aberdeenshire.

European funding plays a vital role in the development of Aberdeenshire and brings about numerous opportunities in the region. The area is eligible to the LEADER (Scottish Rural Development Programme) and Fisheries (European Maritime and Fisheries Fund) programmes, Structural Funds (European Social Fund + European Regional Development Fund) and have received funding from transnational programmes (Interreg IVB North Sea Programme). The funds have supported infrastructure, benefiting local people and the local economy, and have also had a direct impact on the lives of hundreds of disadvantaged local people, supporting them into sustainable employment. The European unit is a dedicated point of contact for eligible European funding in Aberdeenshire, and provides support to all Council Structural Funds projects.

Policy and External Groups
The policies of the European Union play a vital role in the operation of Aberdeenshire Council. A substantial part of the legislative framework governing the Council is developed at a European level so it is important that the Council is aware of and involved in this process. The European Unit participates in a number of European groups to keep track of developments in Europe to ensure the best outcome for the area. The key groups are the East of Scotland European Consortium (ESEC), Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR), and the North Sea Commission (NSC).

To find out more about Aberdeenshire Council involvement in these groups please see:

European Union membership also offers a range of opportunities for Aberdeenshire businesses. For further details, please see:

Europe and Business