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UK in Europe 40 Years: What has it meant for Scotland?


Looking back at the United Kingdom's 40 years in the European Union, the European Parliament Office in Edinburgh asked professionals in the field what this has meant for Scotland.

After a delicious buffet lunch and an introduction by Bjorn Kjellström, head of the European Parliament Information Office in London, the event moderated by Paola Buonadonna could get started. Around sixty people who were lucky enough to get hold of a reservation - due to the great success of the event, the event filled up weeks before - listened to Professor Jo Shaw, Dean of Research and Deputy Head of the College of Humanities and Social Science at the University of Edinburgh as she offered an overview of the Scottish experience of UK membership of the EU. Her paper produced for the European Parliament Office on this topic can be found below.

Prof. Shaw was then joined by Christina McKelvie MSP, Chair of the European and External Relations Committee at the Scottish Parliament and David Grant Lawrence, former Director-General at the European Commission for a panel debate on whether Scotland has made the most of the opportunities the EU has offered it. Before the coffee break, Ms McKelvie addressed the audience and elaborated on her work in the European and External Relations Committee and how it has turned into her passion.

The day would not have been complete without a political panel debate on EU membership. What are the opinions of Scots, and do they differ from other people in the UK? How have European affairs influenced political discourse in Scotland? And which party has the most compelling vision for the future of Scotland in Europe. Iain McGill, a Conservative MEP Candidate squared up against Toni Giugliano, MEP Candidate for the Scottish National Party, Christine Jardine, MEP Candidate for the Liberal Democrats and Derek Munn, Labour MEP candidate. The debate was very lively and members of the public not only greatly enjoyed it but were given plenty of room for input.