Podcast: moving closer to EU membership

Scotland should consider applying for observer status at the Nordic Council en route to possible full membership as an independent EU member state in due course, a former Danish minister tells Kirsty Hughes in our latest European Conversations podcast.

Lykke Friis, head of the think tank Europa and ex-minister for energy, climate and equal rights, suggested being associated with the Nordic Council would give Scotland legitimacy as a Northern European country and bring closer links to, say, the Baltic countries. Sir bGraham Watson, former leaderm of Liberal MEPs, has also suggested the council as a stepping stone en route to EU membership.

Though she called Scottish EU membership “science fiction” for the moment, Friis said it would have the backing of Danish public opinion (if not of the government in Copenhagen for the moment for fear of encouraging ‘queue-jumping’ over the Western Balkans). She urged the Scottish Government to keep public opinion on its side on the issue (unlike Denmark in the past) and strengthen its alliances with EU member states.

Friis also looked forward to the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow later this year but insisted itn would have to be part of a dual-track agenda for addressing the post-pandemic world: promoting green growth and tackling inequalities/poverty both with low-income countries and within nation states.

You can listen to the podcast, which is co-sponsored by the Scottish Centre on European Relations of which Hughes is the founding director, here.