Leaders of the European Committee of the Regions visited Scotland on 22 June, holding meetings in Edinburgh with members of the Scottish government and parliament as well as with COSLA, the association for local governments in Scotland.
The purpose of the visit was to discuss the implications for Scotland of the United Kingdom's planned departure from the European Union and the possible relationship between the UK's devolved administrations and local government and the CoR after Brexit.
President Markku Markkula 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."
In addition to President Markkula (FI/EPP), the delegation from the European Committee of the Regions included First Vice-President Karl-Heinz Lambertz (BE/PES), leaders of three political groups in the assembly, and representatives of the two other political groups. The group leaders who attended were: Catiuscia Marini (IT/PES), President of the Umbria Region; Stanisław Szwabski (PL/European Alliance), Member of Gdynia City Council; and Rob Jonkman (NL/ECR), Member of the Executive Council of Opsterland. The EPP was represented by Olgierd Geblewicz, President of the West Pomerania Region in Poland, while Ulrika Landergren Carlefall, Member of Kungsbacka Municipal Council in Sweden, spoke the ALDE group.
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