Scottish Executive (Representation)

Scotland written question – answered on 17th January 2002.

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Photo of Mr Peter Duncan Mr Peter Duncan Conservative, Galloway and Upper Nithsdale

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps she is taking to encourage greater participation by Ministers of the Scottish Executive in European Council of Ministers meetings on matters of policy which are devolved.

Photo of Mrs Helen Liddell Mrs Helen Liddell Secretary of State, Scottish Office, The Secretary of State for Scotland

Government policy on these matters is set out in the Memorandum of Understanding, and the concordats on International Relations and Co-ordination of European Policy Issues, agreed between the Government and the devolved Administrations.

In accordance with these agreements, the Scottish Executive are involved in formulating the UK policy position on issues which touch on matters within their responsibility. They may also form part of the UK delegation at Council of Ministers meetings where matters with a significant impact on their devolved responsibilities are to be discussed, and speak for the UK in appropriate cases, with the agreement of the lead UK Minister.

It is for the Scottish Executive to agree with the lead UK Minister on those occasions where they wish to attend. They have done so on a regular basis.

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