European Friends of Scotland

Overview

The ‘European Friends of Scotland’ friendship group serves as an informal network of MEPs representing different political groups of the European Parliament with the objective of helping to facilitate dialogue on specific areas of mutual interest, and to ensure as close a relationship as possible between Scotland and the EU now that the UK has left the European Union.

The UK’s departure from the EU means that Scotland is no longer represented in the European Parliament. Scotland remains committed to maintaining and developing a positive relationship with our European friends and partners. Given the European and global challenges we all face, close links between the European Parliament and Scotland are important as we work together to tackle crises such as the climate emergency.

This group is neutral in regard to Scotland’s constitutional status within the UK and the UK’s future relationship with the EU.

The aims of the group are:

  • promoting stronger economic, social and cultural relations between the EU and Scotland
  • encouraging cooperation and understanding in key areas that relate to both the EU and Scotland such as climate change, the green deal, wellbeing economy, international development/SDGs, the Arctic, etc. and the future EU-UK relationship
  • helping to maintain links between elected Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) and MEPs
  • facilitating links between the EU and Scottish Civil Society

This will remain an open forum where MEPs, representatives of other European institutions, NGOs, and third sector organisations, in Brussels can meet with MSPs, NGOs, third sector organisations from Scotland and Scottish Ministers where appropriate.

Resourcing and structure

The Scottish Government’s Brussels Office based in Scotland House will provide a secretariat function to support the running of the group.

Meetings and events will be organised as members of the group desire and when appropriate, with an expectation of perhaps 3 or 4 sessions per year. These can be on any topic related to Scotland and Europe based on suggestions from members or with the consent of members or based on suggestions from the Secretariat. Activities will seek to facilitate and highlight the ongoing links between Scotland and the EU.

An important role of the group will be to facilitate contacts with MSPs from all political parties after the UK has left the EU. The Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Relations Committee of the Scottish Parliament will be the primary contact for MEPs wishing to reach out to MSPs if they are to visit the Scottish Parliament. The group will also help where possible when MSPs visit the European Parliament.

Members

  • Andris Ameriks, Latvia
  • Rasmus Andresen, Denmark
  • Erik Bergkvist, Sweden
  • Vlad-Marius Botoş, Romania
  • Udo Bullmann, Germany
  • Asger Christensen, Denmark
  • Toni Comín, Spain
  • Corina Cretu, Romania
  • Frances Fitzgerald, Ireland
  • Gianna Gancia, Italy
  • Christophe Grudler, France
  • Hannes Heide, Austria
  • Danuta Hübner, Poland
  • Sophia In’ t Veld, Netherlands
  • Marina Kaljurand, Estonia
  • Pierre Karleskind, France
  • Łukasz Kohut, Poland
  • Petros Kokkalis, Greece
  • Manolis Kefalogiannis, Greece
  • David McAllister, Germany
  • Tilly Metz, Luxembourg
  • Jan-Christoph Oetjen, Germany
  • Kati Piri, Netherlands
  • Carles Puigdemont, Spain
  • Terry  Reintke, Germany
  • Diana Riba i Giner, Spain
  • Nacho Sánchez Amor, Spain
  • Jordi  Solé, Spain
  • Marc Tarabella, Belgium
  • István Ujhelyi, Hungary
  • Kathleen Van Brempt, Belgium
  • Loránt Vincze, Romania
  • Sarah Wiener, Austria
  • Željana Zovko, Croatia
  • Manuela Ripa, Germany

Membership is open to all MEPs and former UK MEPs with an interest in Scotland.

Read the latest Friends of Scotland newsletter.