Annual Meeting of Scottish European Resources Network (SERN)
On 25th November, staff from the European Parliament Office in Edinburgh attended the 16th Annual meeting of Scottish European Resources (SERN). Against the backdrop of the changed Scottish political landscape, the participants discussed the implications of the new majority government for Scotland's future relations with the UK and the European Union. Elspeth Macdonald, Head of Constitution and Europe Division, provided a Scottish Government perspective on the issue and addressed issues arising with the Scotland Bill, the Joint Ministerial Committee and the negotiations leading up to the EU's Multi-Annual Financial Framework. Considering Scotland's position in Europe from an academic point of view, Andrew Scott, Professor of European Union Studies at the University of Edinburgh, argued that the constitutional position of the devolved Parliament and Government needed to be addressed in ongoing debates about independence and UK/EU membership. The third speaker, Ian Duncan, European Advisor to the Scottish Parliament, added an insight into the Scottish Parliament's relations with the EU and pointed to the necessity of building a capacity in Scotland to be able to deal with the EU. All speakers engaged in a lively discussion on these issues with the other SERN members present at the meeting.