Events from 2014

AGM and panel discussion, Nov 2014

Thank you to all those members who came to the AGM on 11th November and to the following discussion evening.

Attendees raised important questions and made constructive comments on how we might best proceed over the coming months.

In particular two points seem uppermost, firstly, how can the members give feedback on their views of Movement policy and proposed events and secondly, given that a renegotiation seems to be on the cards, what do members feel are the issues which should be considered in those renegotiations.

There seemed to be agreement that a discussion evening for members and the Executive Committee would be a useful forum to explore and record views and we will make arrangements to hold such an event as early as possible in the New Year. Clearly the question of suitable renegotiation points can be aired at this meeting.

The nominees for positions on the Executive Committee were returned unopposed and we look forward to working with our new members from Glasgow. See the about us page for more information about the current committee.

The discussion was a great success and wide-ranging with a notable and well informed panel.

Our thanks go to the members of the panel:

  • Peter Wilding, Director, British Influence, London,
  • Iain Macwhirter, political commentator for the Herald and the Sunday Herald,
  • Daniel Kenealy, from the University of Edinburgh,
  • John Purvis, from our executive committee,
  • John Edwards, former Head of the UK office of the European Parliament in Edinburgh.

It was nice to get away from the usual debates about immigrants and money. We don't talk enough about the positive changes that have taken place in the EU over the last 70 years and how the EU, along with Nato and initially the US, has influenced that and brought countries and people closer together enabling them to live in peace, mutual respect and understanding. John Purvis, born in 1938, reminded us of some of the remarkable changes we've seen in Europe which we now take for granted. And many of the changes are down to the EU. Great meeting with the students of Edinburgh University European Union Society and thanks for their help in organising this. Looking forward to more joint events.

Europe Day in George Square

May 9th 2014

Volunteers manning the stall in George Square

9th May is the anniversary of the 'Schuman declaration'. Speaking in Paris in 1950, Robert Schuman (the French foreign minister) proposed a new form of political cooperation for Europe, which would make war between Europe’s nations unthinkable. His vision was the creation of a supranational European institution that would manage pooled coal and steel production. A treaty creating such an entity was signed just under a year later and came into force in July 1952.

Schuman’s proposal is considered to be the beginning of what is now the European Union and at an EU summit in Milan in 1985, it was decided that 9 May would be celebrated as 'Europe Day'.

Edinburgh University European Society

The Fair was officially opened by the Lord Provost, Councillor Sadie Docherty with supporting speeches from Scottish Culture Secretary, Fiona Hyslop MSP, Lord Wallace of Tankerness and other dignitaries who also visited the stalls during the day.

The event attracted large crowds including several squads of Primary school-children doing European projects. Our stall team was kept busy and dispensed literature, sweeties and balloons to all and sundry - even the occasional gusts of wind were harnessed to disseminate EMiS leaflets across the square!

Many thanks to all our volunteers who did a tremendous job and were kept very busy. We were also delighted that the European Union Society of Edinburgh University also came along to help out.  There was an excellent programme of entertainment which included several European dance troupes, singers from Ireland Romania, Bulgaria and Scottish Opera and a Jazz Trio from Denmark which provided a musical backdrop for visitors to the many country stands, mostly provided by the Edinburgh Consular Corps, and those of the other European organisations. Altogether a most successful and enjoyable day was had by all - demonstrating the true European values of harmony and co-operation.

Europe Day Pub Quiz

The Europe Day pub quiz had become an annual event. In the evening some of us went along to our now annual Pub Quiz. There were more teams than ever and it was quite a tight squeeze. Many thanks to the European Parliament who did a great job of organising it and provided a free buffet. Some tricky questions, with the Parliament actually getting the answer wrong to one of them! The currency of Latvia is not the Lat but the euro! But a good time was had by all.

"Scotland and the EU - why should we care?"

The Question Time series, started in November 2013, continued throughout 2014, keeping us all very busy.

Edinburgh Question Time

March 20th

The final debate in this series was held in conjunction with the University's European Union Society.

The panel members included:

  • Catriona Munro: Partner in the Edinburgh law firm of Maclay Murray & Spens LLP
  • Prof. Michael Keating: Professor of Scottish Politics, University of Aberdeen
  • David Torrance: Writer, broadcaster and journalist
  • Stephen Gethins: Special Adviser to the First Minister on EU and international affairs, energy, climate change and rural affairs
  • Elizabeth Magnes, the incoming chair of Edinburgh University European Society.

It was a very successful evening with the panel and audience staying on for a long time to discuss Europe and the discussion.

The Edinburgh Panel with John Curtice and the EMis Chairman, Derek Hammersley

Dundee Question Time

March 12th

The debate i was held in conjunction with the University Diplomats Society.

There was a fantastic turn-out of over 200 people, at least three-quarters of whom were from the general public. This was largely thanks to the organisation of Five Million Questions, a series of events around the Scottish Independence Referendum. They did a magnificent job of promoting the event amongst their followers.

There was an interesting and very lively debate. Visit the Five Million Questions twitter feed at for almost blow by blow account. Great job by the student typing away all through the debate.

You can also listen to an interview with Lesley Riddoch where she discusses the questions and answers. Interesting listening.

The Dundee Panel with John Curtice and the EMiS chair, Derek Hammersley

The panel members include:

  • Professor Christian Kaunert, Professor of International Politics and Learning, University of Dundee
  • Lesley Riddoch, Radio Broadcaster
  • John Edward: Director of the Scottish Council of Independent Schools and former Head of the European Parliament Scottish Office.
  • Dominick Younger, President of the Dundee Diplomats society.
  • John Purvis, CBE, former conservative MEP.

Aberdeen Question Time

February 24th

This was a most successful Question Time with well over 90 students in the audience and at least 30 other interested people from the area. It was an extremely lively and, on occasion fiery debate with lots of questions.

We received tremendous support from the Aberdeen Politics and International Relations Society whose members were busy tweeting the questions and answers throughout the debate. After the event they wrote an extensive blog about it on their website.

You can see our photos on our Facebook page. We feel we have established good contacts with the students, the University and existing EMiS members which we will hopefully build on to run further events in the future.

The Aberdeen Panel

The panel members included:

  • Prof. Michael Smith: Professor of International Relations, University of Aberdeen
  • Linda Stewart: Director of European Development, University of the Highlands and Islands
  • Lewis Macdonald MSP: Chief Whip, Scottish Labour Party
  • John Edward: Director of the Scottish Council of Independent Schools and former Head of the European Parliament Scottish Office.
  • Jenny Wilson: Member of the Politics & International Relations Society at the University of Aberdeen.

University of St Andrews Question Time

February 10th

After the highly successful "Question Time" at The University of St Andrews Foreign Affairs Society, members of the audience were asked why they care about the EU. Their answers were written on boards.

It had been a stimulating evening with panellists Iain Macwhirter the highly respected journalist, Willie Rennie, leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats and spokesperson for economy, business and infrastructure, Maggie Chapman, co-leader of the Scottish Green Party, Dr Constantia Anastasiadou from Napier University, Radim Dragomaca from the University of St Andrews and Tilburg.

The panel at St Andrew's University

There are several photos on our Facebook page. (You do not need to have a Facebook account to see them. Neither do you need to log in.)

Christmas Dinner

Jubilo Choir at the 2013 Xmas lunch

Our guest speaker was Hugh Andrew, Managing Director of Birlinn Ltd., Scotland’s largest independent publisher. The evening will began with pre-dinner drinks followed by a short concert of European carols sung by Jubilo choir.


August 23rd 2013

As part of the Fringe Festival we worked together with "Just Festival" in this afternoon event. Committee member, Iain Mitchell QC spoke alongside Perry Walker of the New Economics Foundation on the topic of Scotland’s Identity and Citizenship. The discussions were wide-ranging, covering such issues as:

  • How Scotland’s identity will be defined after centuries of Union and immigration.
  • How this will affect the voting.
  • What should be taken into account while revisiting legal aspects of granting citizenship.
  • How the Referendum will shape intra-British and European relations.

Europe Day

May 9th 2013 - St Andrews Square Edinburgh

Here in Edinburgh volunteers from The European Movement in Scotland manned a stand in St. Andrew's square where we handed out leaflets and chatted to the public about Europe. The European Parliament Office, the European Commission, the Edinburgh Consular Corps, Scottish Government, Scotland Europa and others will also had stands in the square, highlighting their work in Scotland.

Committee members manning the stall in Edinburgh's St Andrew's Square

Conference on ‘Europe and the Arab World’

27 November 2012, The Royal Society, George St, Edinburgh

Royal Society Edinburgh in association with the European Movement in Scotland.

The conference was very well received by both speakers and delegates. A wide-ranging programme included talks by HRH Prince Hassan bin Talal of Jordan and Christian Berger, the regional director in the European External Action Service.

2012 MacCormick European Lecture

26 November 2012, The Royal Society, George St, Edinburgh

Royal Society Edinburgh in association with the European Movement in Scotland

A recording of Allan Little’s captivating reflections on Europe is available on the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s website. This MacCormick Lecture was a moving and perceptive talks. Highly recommended. If you start listening to it, you will be there till the end!

Reporting Europe - Dinner with Thomas Kielinger OBE

Royal Over-Seas League, Princes Street, Edinburgh, 16 November 2010

Sponsored by the German Consulate General in Scotland and in association with the RSA Media and Creative Industries Group.

We were very fortunate to have enticed Thomas Kielinger OBE, long-standing London Correspondent of Die Welt newspaper and a highly respected commentator on Europe and Anglo-German relations, to speak to us at a dinner. It was an opportunity to enjoy excellent food and a very distinguished speaker in the splendid surroundings of the Royal Over-Seas League's members' dining room overlooking Edinburgh Castle.