Aims and Outcomes of
Scotland in Europe


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Origins and 30 Years of History

Scotland in Europe, not to be confused with the Scottish Government's new European initiative of the same name, has just turned 30 years old.

The organisation was originally set up in 1991 in Paris after workers from Shelter and Age concern Scotland went to Paris to do some research on how to set up a Voluntary Organisation in another Country.

These workers were heavily involved in a festival for Older People that was part of Glasgow's European City of Culture.

The workers had been in communication with workers from Lyon and asked them if they would be interested in coming to Glasgow to help with working on a banner to celebrate the year of Culture they agreed and brought 10 residents from Lyon to work on the banner. The following conversation led to the above.

The Research started in the library of the Pompidou Centre, what they found was although Scots and the French had a strong alliance from the past, Scotland was not generally known by people from the French working-class community other than we were famous for whisky, football, and tartan.

Indeed, when they looked up an encyclopaedia Scotland was listed as a region of Britain. The outcome of this discovery was asking known Scottish people living in Paris to help set up a not-for-profit organisation. called (Association sans but Lucratif)

The researchers returned to Scotland and set up the Scottish version known as Scotland In Europe (celebrating certain events) in 1992.

The first thing that had to be established was the Vision of why the organisation was set up, and what would be the mission statement.

The Vision was to develop the arts and cultural life of communities through exposure to music, dance, writing, and photography, that would allow them to be involved in participating in identifying the issues that affected their lives. By involving them in developing projects that reflected the yearly issues promoted by the European Parliament.

That vision would also Involve forging links with similar groups in Europe that would allow them to see Scotland in a contemporary and modern way.

The outcomes were:

  • Bringing together 13 organisations that became The Arts and Regeneration for the Greater Govan Area. (See app 1)
  • Set up 15 individual projects that went on to be independently run by the community (see app 2)
  • Organised volunteers from Europe with Xchange Scotland who went on to work in locally based community organisations.
  • Forged productive partnerships with Paris, Dublin, Berlin, and Barcelona
  • Initiated 30 community festivals.
  • Saved a valued community facility from closure, that facility is now owned and run by the local community.

Community engagement with our sister organisation STAGE (Scottish talent Across Generation Events) in the following projects

  • Paisley Road West Fest
  • Online Workshops on Comedy, Drama, and Climate change Poetry
  • Homage to Billy Connolly and Gerry Rafferty Event
  • Recorded Seniors Stories from Linthouse and Cardonald that went on to be Published.
  • Kinning Park Festival
  • Writers Group

European Projects with Stage and Fablevision
Memory of Water; a two-year project that involved six cities from Europe who had post-industrial river histories. Our contribution was a short 10 min film called Awakening the River that can be seen here.

Woven Networks/Womens Stories; documenting the experiences of women from the (Ukraine, Poland, Sweden, Iceland, Norway, Finland.) and what has been the highs and lows of surviving the Coronaviruses pandemic through the Arts agenda.

As can be seen from above Scotland in Europe has to the best of their abilities adhered to their vision statement by using the Arts in Particular Music, Drama, Writing, and Photography to engage people both from Local Communities Glasgow and Scotland but also from a Six European Countries and Cities.

The difficulty now is where do we go from here now that Brexit has happened the questions are:

  • Can we continue our work in Europe, If so how?
  • Will we be able to invite people to Scotland to work and meet the Scottish people we had planned for them to work with.?
  • Do we have to change our Vision?
  • Can we set up Scotland in Europe in another Country?
  • Will we still be able to apply for European monies for our projects.

I 2022, in order to re-establish cutlural links that were begining to be lost, Scotland in Europe along with STAGE developed a new project that would involve three major European Cities where Scotland in Europe already had links Dublin in the Republic of Ireland, Paris in France and Berlin in Germany.
At this point we have already visited
Dublin and Paris with writers, poets, singers and musicians. We delivered the message that Europe is the natural home of Scots and that it was inportant that Scotland remained a part of the European family of nations. The message was well received and the feedback in return was extremely positive.




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