Events . . .

Throughout the year we hold various events, some of them in conjunction with other organisations, especially student groups. The events often take the form of panel discussions with noted politicians, academics, business leaders and journalists. Our members and the general public are invited to most of our events.

Most events will take place in either Edinburgh or Glasgow, although we do make an effort to hold events outside these areas when possible.

We also hold some social events, such as the annual Dinner and the annual Pub Quiz.

European Movement Day of Action

Saturday 5 August

We'll be street campaigning in central Edinburgh during the day. European Movement branches across England will also be campaigning that day, so we hope to create a critical mass.

It's good fun and you get to chat to lots of people about why it makes sense for Scotland and the UK to stay in the EU. We've got some great new EMiS leaflets and car bumper stickers to hand out.

Please volunteer to campaign with us in Edinburgh or in your own locality - contact us for more information.

Previous events this year

The 24th International Conference of Europeanists

July 12 - 14

Glasgow University

Treasurer Bill Rogers and Chair Vanessa Glynn on the EMiS stall

The Big EU Passport

EMiS had a stand at this major event, making the case for Scotland’s EU future to an international and local audience. We signed up dozens of new subscribers, had loads of conversations with international influencers and we engaged some Glasgow-based activists who will work with us.

We were also delighted to promote Jenny Wilson’s Big EU Passport. The passport is a great way of demonstrating that we do not want to give up our EU citizenship.

General Election Debate: Europe

Monday 5 June 2017, 18:00 – 19:30, Doors open at 5.30pm

Royal Over-Seas League, 100A Princes Street, Edinburgh

With the 2017 UK General Election approaching, this Europe-themed election debate focused on parties' and candidates' positions on Brexit and Europe. All parties with representation in the Scottish Parliament were invited to take part.

Organised in conjunction with the Young European Movement Edinburgh.


  • Joanna Cherry QC, SNP Candidate for Edinburgh South West
  • Iain McGill, Scottish Conservative Candidate for Edinburgh North and Leith
  • Callum McNally, Scottish Labour Candidate for East Dunbartonshire
  • Lorna Slater, Scottish Green Candidate for Edinburgh North and Leith
  • Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP, Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP for Edinburgh Western

Moderator: Anthony Salamone, Scottish Centre on European Relations

European Pub Quiz

Participants at the quiz

Thursday 11 May 2017

Yet again, our annual quiz was a great success, eliciting lots of fun and discussion.

This year there was a decisive win for the curiously named "Don't hassle the van Hof".

Europe Day 2017 Edinburgh

Castle Street, Edinburgh

9th May 11.00 – 15.00

This year's Europe Day was certainly the best ever. The sun was shining, the television and newspapers were there, possibly for the first time ever, and crowds of people came to visit us to learn more about what Brexit means for Scotland and to sign up for our newsletters.

Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, will opened the celebration which was followed by entertainment from (amongst others):

  • Big Noise Children's Orchestra from Govan
  • Romanian Traditional Folk Group "Busuiocul"
  • Polish Traditional Folk Group "Gosciniec"
  • Irish Dance Group "Siamsoir"
  • Stockbridge Primary School Choir

Chair Vanessa Glynn with
VP Mike Russell MSP

Chair Vanessa Glynn with Fiona Hyslop MSP

Chair Vanessa Glynn with Fiona Hyslop MSP

Perspectives on the EU in Scotland, the UK & Finland

4th May

Our Chair, Vanessa Glynn spoke at a discussion organised by the Centre for Scottish Public Policy and the Young European Movement Edinburgh. The event was to explore perspectives on policy and politics in Scotland, the UK and Finland.

The event was opened by CSPP Co-Chair, Professor Richard Kerley who commented that it is oft remarked that there is a desire in Scotland for Scandinavian-style public services while paying U.S.-levels of taxation.

Our Chair was the first to speak. Amongst other things she stated, "Brexit is a right-wing coup by an oligarchy and the populist media - Daily Mail, Daily Express - who support and control them. They do not like any constraint on their vision of a low-tax, small-state Britain. They have close affinity to American ideologues, such as Paul Ryan, who have influence on Trump. They regard the EU as a socialist cabal holding back full-throttle free marketeering. This is the thinking that is forcing the UK into a hard Brexit and out of the Single Market, with its consensus approach to rule-making, and out of the jurisdiction of the ECJ, which stops business doing what it likes to make more profit."

She went on to say, "We can look forward to deregulation. The rights and protections that we have as European citizens are likely to be under threat and certainly won’t be protected by any supranational court. Our environmental and product safety standards will decline, as UK chases trade deals with the US and China on any terms we can get. Our entitlements in terms of working conditions, so fiercely fought for by trade unions and socially-liberal governments, will be chipped away justified by the need to be globally competitive. That’s what Global Britain means."

She finished with, "It may not be Brexit per se that ushers in Independence but the social model which is the consequence of the UK Government’s choice of a hard Brexit."

The full text of her speech can be downloaded here.

After the speeches, audience members asked a range of questions, including on such topics as: the impact of the Brexit vote on the rest of the EU, the dynamics of cohesion and diversity among Nordic countries, the future role of the EMiS in campaigning for close European links, and perspectives on Scottish independence in Finland and the rest of Europe following Scotland’s vote to remain in the European Union.

The Finnish student delegation gave presents to the other panel members in thanks for organising the event.

A full report of the discussion can be seen on the CSPP website.

The Panel

The panel with Professor Kerley in the centre and Vanessa second from left.

Breakfast not Brexit

Professor Drake

Saturday 22 April

Professor Helen Drake, Chair of the UK's leading European Studies association and professor of French and Politics at Loughbrough University, expertly guided us through the process and players in the crucial French Presidential elections. A lively debate included discussion on the CAP, French constitutional arrangements for r eferenda and corruption as a factor in the election.

We also had a brief discussion on the snap UK General Election and likely outcomes for the UK and Scotland.

Somehow we managed to grab some breakfast too amidst all that talk!


Listening to Professor Drake

March for Europe

Crowds outside Scottish Parliament

In front of the Scottish Parliament

Saturday 25th March, 13:00

What do Edinburgh, London, Rome, Berlin and Aalborg have in common? All of them are European cities, and they showed their love for Europe on the same day.

March 25th marks the 60th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome. These are the landmark agreements which founded the European Union and paved the way towards the creation of a European single market, underpinned by democracy and the rule of law, and a continent-wide set of citizens' rights.

It's well worth celebrating an unprecedented 60 years of peace, prosperity and co-operation in Europe.

Sixty years after the Treaties were signed, the European project remains as relevant as ever. This voluntary union of independent countries allows us to trade free of any barrier with our neighbours, in the wealthiest and largest trading bloc in the world and with some 50 other countries. It means we can tackle global challenges like cyber-crime and climate change together - the only way such problems can be defeated. We enjoy rights and opportunities as EU citizens that simply cannot be replaced by Westminster, whether it is the right to study, work or retire across our continent or to take part in collaborative research projects, or to access EU funds for investment in Scotland.

To celebrate the anniversary, Europeans far and wide will gather to show their support for the European project.

In Edinburgh, the March For Europe was an occasion to speak up for Europe and out against Brexit. At the march organised by Young European Movement Edinburgh, with support from the European Movement in Scotland, we will stood up for Scotland's Voice in the process. Scotland did not vote to leave the EU and we do not want Theresa May's Brexit. It is important that they hear us. We do not have to accept hard Brexit. We can continue to make the case for a European future for Scotland and the people who call this home.

We want to show that Scotland too is a part of Europe. The message from Rome to Edinburgh is the same: “We are European”.

Our chairwoman's speech

The full text of the speech can be downloaded here as a pdf.

Leaving Waterloo Place

Lots of colour!

Approaching the parliament

The European Union's 60th Anniversary

The Members’ Room, Scottish Parliament Building.

Michael Russell MSP

Michael Russell

Professor Craig Parsons

Prof Craig Parsons

Thursday, 23 March 2017

We spent an excellent evening yesterday celebrating the European Union's 60th Anniversary with a lecture and reception, hosted by Michael Russell MSP, Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotland’s Place in Europe.

A talk was given by Professor Craig Parsons, Head of Political Science at the University of Oregon on "Why the European Single Market surpasses the American model: the many ways in which the EU Single M arket rules are better than those which govern trade between the US states." and the event was introduced by Iain Macwhirter, journalist with the Sunday Herald.

Professor Craig, speaking to a packed audience, raised some interesting comparisons, which most of us had probably never considered. Examples of products, such as lifts, showed how the US single market is actually more fractured than that of the EU with many hindrances to the freedom of movement within the US. There were many stimulating questions at the end and we were able to discuss the issues raised over a drink, courtesy of University of Oregon Office of International Affairs.

Our thanks go to Michael Russell for allowing us to use the prestigious venue of the Members' Room in the Scottish Parliament and to Ian MacWhirter of the Sunday Herald for his introduction. Last but not least, our thanks to Professor Craig Parsons for his excellent talk and presentation which was very much enjoyed by all the audience.

Group photo

Left to right: Mike Russell MSP, Professor Craig Parsons,
Vanessa Glyn (Chair EMiS), Ian Macwhirter.

Scotland's Future in Europe

Thu 23 February, 18:30 – 20:00

Photo of Scottish Parliament

"The choice for all of us who are deeply uneasy about Brexit is between whimpering and whining, or fighting back. Yes, we could fight and lose. But if we don’t fight, we’ve lost already."

These stirring words from Sir George Reid, former Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament and now member of the First Minister’s Standing Council on the EU, set the tone for our sell-out event.

George has returned to front-line politics to stand up for the European Union and to work, across party divides, to deliver "this nation’s needs". He saw a key role for the European Movement in Scotland and other groups in Scottish business, third sector, academia and society, to galvanise the country to consider what sort of nation we want to be. "Post Brexit: Who are we and how do we carry ourselves in the world?"

We also heard a rallying cry from John Edward, Scotland Director, Open Britain, to take a more creative approach to how Britain operates internationally. He drew on the example of Flanders, which has greater autonomy in EU matters while still remaining part of the Belgian state.

Laura Cram, Professor of Politics and Neuropolitics at Edinburgh University, gave us fascinating insights into the importance of "voice" in people’s thinking about politics. It matters very much that people feel they are being listened to in policy making. This connected into a discussion about where Scotland’s voice, with a 62% majority for Remain, was in the UK Government’s headlong rush to hard Brexit.

Noelle O’Connell, European Movement Ireland, offered a stark overview of the damaging effect Brexit is already having on Ireland’s economy and the catastrophic potential impact on the peace process.

Discussion with the audience ranged over Scottish Labour’s proposals for a new Act of Union, detail of the process of Article 50 negotiations and what happens after, to how to find the leadership in the UK to fight Brexit.

We were pleased to have one of our Vice Presidents, Struan Stevenson, former MEP, in attendance.

Vanessa Glynn, Chair of the European Movement in Scotland chaired the event.

See also Sir George's comments on our media page.

Breakfast not Brexit

Saturday 28 January 2017

Photo of breakfast meeting

We enjoyed our Breakfast much more than we expect to enjoy Brexit!

Concerned members and friends shared views on where Scotland stands now in light of the Prime Minister's determination to press for hard Brexit and the Scottish Government's equal passion to keep Scotland in the Single Market.

We talked about some of the ways we as individuals can fight back against Brexit:

-email politicians to say why you do not consent to Brexit, not just your own MP but party leaders in UK and Scotland and MSPs. Email addresses easily found online.

- go to events about the EU, sign petitions, go on marches and rallies, speak to friends and family about why Brexit is bad for Scotland, organise a meeting in your house or local cafe (EMiS can advise), write to newspapers in UK and Scotland, be active in promoting Europe on social media.

Café EMiS

Thursday 12 January

the first cafe emis photo

Our first Cafe EMiS was a lively discussion with topics covered including the upcoming Supreme Court judgement on whether Parliament must legislate on Art.50 and whether that Article is reversible when the UK realises its mistake.

We also spoke about the importance of Freedom of Movement especially in Scotland and had a first look at whether Scotland could achieve a differential outcome from the Brexit negotiations. All agreed that the Remainers must continue making the case for why the EU is our best option.