Think tank event report: “Scotland, the EU, the Referendum and Reform”

Constitutional issues and developments affecting statehood are at the heart of our collection as the Council library. “Scotland, the EU, the Referendum and Reform”, was such a thought-provoking title that we had to attend this event organised by the Brussels think tank European Policy Center. Hence lots of tweeting activity from us as our followers may have noticed. Here are a few quotes from the speaker, complemented with our notes and links to background material from the Central Library or available online.

After a brief introduction by EPC moderator Fabian Zuleeg, Ms Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs in the Scottish government, delivered a speech in which she retraced the Scottish Referendum and its implications. Then she explained how forthcoming proposals from the UK government for further devolution will be assessed; she reiterated Scotland engagement at EU level when talking about the Scottish Reform Agenda.

Scotland wants to have a direct say in the EU decision making process.

Ms Hyslop commented on the high interest generated by the Referendum process itself, a proof that it had connected people with politics and power when it is more important than ever; this political engagement should be maintained, she argued.

Connecting people with politics and power is more important than ever.

EPC audienceWith Scotland considered more pro-European than the rest of the UK, Ms Hyslop was asked about the perspective of a future UK in/out referendum. In her view, everything depended on the results of the elections as it was a promise from the Conservative party. However, she saw this as a serious constitutional issue.

Ms Hyslop considers the freedom of movement an essential pillar of EU as it represents a strength for young people. She warned about the danger for Europe to become an old continent with an aging population. In her view, a strong immigration system is required and that should be discussed at EU level.

We like to close with a quote from the Cabinet Secretary

Promote Europe otherwise who else will promote it?

referring readers to our TTR Special Issue Scottish Referendum for further reading.

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