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Scottish-Irish Science & Education Pact 2006-11-15

Posted by clype in Articles of Interest, Europe, Humanities, Scotland.

Scotland signed an historic pact with The Republic of Eire yesterday 2006-11-13, promising to work together on

  • Science;
  • Education; and
  • Culture.

The joint declaration, signed in Dublin by The Taoiseach Mr.Bertie Ahern and The First Minister Mr.Jack Mcconnell, for the first time sets out specific areas to work on together.

In a boost for the biosciences sector, the agreement aims to produce the best scientists in the world by encouraging more youngsters to take up the subject and developing links between higher education institutions.

The second area of interest is to tackle mutual problems, such as drug smuggling, and health issues, such as obesity, through renewed efforts by ‘The British-Irish Council‘.

An added incentive is 135 million GBP (200 million EUR) over seven years in new European funding specifically for projects in Scotland, Northern Ireland and The Republic of Eire that work across all the borders. The First Minister said:

‘It will be possible for the first time for joint projects between Scotland, Ireland and Northern Ireland. Such projects will help the peace process and regeneration in Northern Ireland, as well as recognising there is a close tie between us across the Irish Sea.’

He said that with a devolved government concentrating on health, education and all the other ‘issues faced by small countries’, Northern Ireland would be able to move on from the troubles. He said:

‘I believe there is a devolution dividend for Northern Ireland in the same way there has been for Scotland. There is no doubt Scotland has benefited with a stronger economy, less unemployment and education.’

The Taoiseach agreed that Northern Ireland will benefit by concentrating on ‘everyday issues’, and added:

[Picture of Taoiseach Bertie Ahern]
‘The more practical innovation we have — in health, research, innovation — this brings us away from conflict and into the area of more practical issues.’

During the first official visit to Eire of its kind, The First Minister was also greeted in the morning by The President Ms.Mary Mcaleese, at her official residence. In a less formal greeting, he was next welcomed by flag-waving schoolchildren on a tour of ‘St.Brigid’s Girls’ National School’.

Later, The First Minister toured science labs at ‘University College Dublin’.



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