The First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, issued an open letter to EU citizens living in Scotland on 5 April 2019. Following up from her original open letter in 2016, the message of welcome remains, stating:
‘Scotland is your home, you are welcome here, and you are valued. You play a crucial role in Scotland’s economy and public services. You are a vital part of Scotland not just for the skills and talent you bring to our country but also the diversity and richness you bring to our culture and communities.’
As part of the Scottish Government’s Stay in Scotland campaign, the mygov.scot website has been updated with new material to support EU citizens living and working in Scotland, with links to the open letter and support materials below.
Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland (TRACS) fully supports the campaign, which reflects Scotland’s long history of welcoming people of all nationalities, as Chief Executive Donald Smith states:
‘TRACS is delighted to be a Europewide employer, with staff currently from Germany, Italy and Ireland, with plenty of further connections across Europe through our memberships and networks of Traditional Dance, Music and Storytelling.
‘This is because our work in traditional arts and community heritage connects Scotland with every part of Europe and beyond. We were among the first to sign up to express an interest in a new European Folk Network and as citizens of Scotland, we look back to a proud European heritage and forward to ever deeper friendship with all parts of this special community of nations.’
Since 2017, the steering group for the European Folk Network – TRACS, Traditional Music Forum (TMF), English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) and trac Wales, along with Flemish colleagues, Poppunt – have been sorting the registration and plan for the organisation, with TRACS Director David Francis recently returned from a trip to Brussels organising a conference and launch of the EFN, planned for November 2019.