Initiatives that will help secure Wales’ future relations with European regions, nations and networks beyond Brexit will receive £320,000, the Welsh Government’s International Relations Minister, Eluned Morgan has announced today.
The funding, which comes from the Welsh Government’s EU Transition Fund, will go towards a number of projects that will help secure existing relations within the fields of health, education, culture and science.
One of the largest investments is being made in a pilot outward mobility for young people between the ages of 16–25 in further education to study or work in Brittany. This will allow young vocational learners and apprentices from Wales, along with accompanying staff, to work and study in Brittany.
Announcing the funding, Minister for International Relations, Eluned Morgan said:
“Given the UK government’s failure to reach a sensible deal on our withdrawal, and the real risk of a catastrophic no-deal Brexit, the investment made by the Welsh Government and by Welsh organisations in developing relationships with European partners over several decades is at serious risk of being damaged.
“The significant benefits we’ve gained as a result of these links could be undermined in a significant way unless we redouble efforts to maintain and strengthen relations with partners abroad. In our view, it’s absolutely vital that we maintain and strengthen links between the Welsh Government and European national and regional governments, and between Welsh organisations and their counterparts abroad.
“The funding I’m announcing today will assist Welsh organisations to maintain and strengthen those absolutely vital links with key strategic partners in Europe in a post-Brexit world. It will fund a range of activities aimed at mitigating the risks Brexit poses for Wales’ relationships with key strategic partners in Europe.”
Other projects include:
- Developing Wales’ international health profile: this will involve reinforcing links with other sub-national governments in this area, notably Flanders and the Basque Country.
- Cultural connections: Supporting Wales Arts International (WAI) to establish the ‘Infopoint’ pilot scheme, which will provide information on legal and other practical issues relating to artist mobility to cultural organisations from Wales and those travelling to Wales.
- Scientific collaboration: A project to support Welsh universities to be part of four European Technology Platforms which facilitate cross-European links.
- Connecting our clusters: This will involve visits by Welsh clusters to targeted EU regions to develop collaboration and partnership.
Funding will also go to an international showcase event to highlight the Welsh Government’s work in the area of sustainability, decarbonisation, and the Well-being of Future Generations. A seminar will also be held in Brussels on the Welsh Government’s ‘fair work’ agenda to showcase how Wales is leading the way on this issue.