Jenny Gilruth MSP, new Scottish Government Minister for Europe and International Development, re-affirms the Government’s commitment to establishing a new first-of-its-kind ministerial working group on policy coherence for sustainable development (PCSD) after months of relative quiet since her predecessor announced the intention to form the group last September at the Alliance Annual Conference 2019.
The first meeting of the PCSD working group is scheduled for May 2020. The new Minister for Europe and International Development will be leading the group. Responding to a question in the chamber by Labour MSP Claudia Beamish on 18 March, the Minister said:
“Since the announcement of the establishment of the ministerial working group on policy coherence for sustainable development, key pieces of work have been taken forward by the Scottish Government. Just last week, with the Cabinet Secretary for the Constitution, Europe and External Affairs, I met James Mackie from the European Centre for Development Policy Management in Maastricht, which is a leading European think tank with experience of working with other European countries on implementing PCSD. Following that, a cross-section of Scottish Government policy officials undertook a workshop that was delivered by ECDPM experts.
She went on to say:
“Policy coherence cuts across all portfolio areas (…). Back in 2016, we published our beyond aid agenda, in which we committed to ensuring that different Scottish Government policies work together so that our development policy works in synergy, as it were; eliminating policy incoherence; and identifying other Scottish Government policies that can contribute positively to development outcomes.”
The Alliance and many of its members have worked extensively on Policy Coherence for Sustainable Development (see this page for links to our work) in Scotland so this announcement was warmly welcomed. However, the specifics of what this group aims to achieve are still unclear, and for it to be successful it will have to engage stakeholders across different sectors. The Alliance looks forward to enaging with this work as much as it can.