18 February 2020

The EU Blueprint

Pathway for Scotland’s Accession to the European Union under Independence

© 2020 Anthony Salamone
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Contents

Executive Summary

Institutions of the State

The Blueprint is based on the potential scenario that after independence Scotland becomes a parliamentary republic with a written constitution. Scotland must consider EU membership a question of values, not just interests. As a European small state, joining the EU will serve Scotland’s economic, social and geostrategic interests, but it will also be a fundamental expression of the shared values between it and the other EU members. Scotland should define Principles for European Relations, and it must build a positive national story on Scotland’s place in the EU for public confidence on EU membership to be maintained.

Reflecting its values, the Government should create the Department of European and External Relations as its ministry of foreign affairs. The Scottish diplomatic corps should be the Scottish European and External Relations Service. It should also establish the European Relations Council, a regular ministerial forum on European affairs, and the Advisory Council on European Relations to gather expertise on European affairs. The international organisations which Scotland will join or with which it will have a close relationship will also have a bearing on EU accession and membership.

Following a referendum endorsing independence, the Scottish Government and UK Government should conclude a Scotland-UK Framework Agreement governing their relationship and endorsing the Scottish Government’s engagement with the EU to prepare for independence. A logical and necessary consequence of Scotland becoming independent is the internationalisation of the border between Scotland and England. Scotland’s borders will define the territory of the state, not constitute impassable barriers. On EU membership, Scotland must make decisions in its national interests. Just as Ireland did not leave the EU because the UK left it, so Scotland should not refrain from joining the EU because rUK is not a member. The Scottish state should be built with future EU membership in mind

Accession Parameters

Scotland must apply for EU membership in the normal way, despite its history. Each application for EU membership is progressed at its own pace and no queue exists. Scotland will only be able to apply for EU membership once it has become an independent state. Before making its application, Scotland should clearly define its Strategic Priorities for EU Accession. Its application should be based on a parliamentary vote, rather than a referendum. Scotland should not apply to join the European Free Trade Association as a temporary measure. Instead, the EU and Scotland should negotiate an Association Agreement.

Scotland is a European nation. It has an advanced democracy with a developed free-market economy, underpinned by respect for the rule of law and human rights. Scotland will be in an extremely strong position to satisfy the political and economic dimensions of the Copenhagen Criteria, and in a strong position to satisfy the institutional dimension. Scotland’s accession would not pose a challenge to the EU’s integration capacity. After it is granted candidate country status, Scotland will follow the procedure of accession devised by the EU. The length of the accession process is not predefined.

Accounting for its situation, Scotland will reasonably take 4 – 5 years to join the EU. The Government should adopt a Target to EU Accession of 4 years. These timescales are not a product of inherent difficulties, but the fact that EU accession results from procedures which must be followed. Enlargement is a salient matter in the EU, and preferences of the Member States on the conditions for further expansion differ. These arguments are not particularly new. The European Commission has recently proposed changes to the accession process. These proposals focus mainly on the negotiation structure and rule of law. They should have no significant implications for Scotland.

Pre-Accession Period

Scotland will have to negotiate its relationship with the EU covering the point of independence to the point of accession. Under the Framework Agreement, Scotland should be afforded international legal personality. The most optimal mechanism for EU-Scotland relations in the pre-accession period will be an Association Agreement. The objective will be to negotiate, approve and ratify the agreement during Scotland’s transition to independence, so that it can enter into force at the point of independence. The EU can conclude an association agreement with an entity which is not an independent state. The Association Agreement will be an EU-only agreement, concluded directly between the EU and Scotland.

The Government should establish Strategic Objectives for EU Association. With its strong political and economic institutions, robust governance, extensive existing compliance with the acquis and prior participation in the Union, Scotland is uniquely qualified for an ambitious association agreement. Scotland should seek a high degree of integration into the EU internal market, incorporating the four freedoms. It should pursue the degree of relationship with the EU customs union which is assessed to be in the best interests of Scotland and the Union at the time.

Accession is an interactive process, and Scotland’s approach will make an appreciable difference to its duration and outcome. Scotland should set the ambition of making itself a Member-State-in-waiting. The Government should establish the EU Integration Unit to serve as the central coordinating command for all internal government preparations for EU membership. Scotland’s diplomatic mission in Brussels will be crucial to its effective representation to the EU. Upon independence, it will be renamed the Mission of Scotland to the European Union and the Government will appoint an Ambassador of Scotland to the European Union. Throughout the pre-accession period, Scotland must develop its relations with the EU institutions and Member States.

Negotiation Mechanics

The basis for EU accession negotiations is the acquis communautaire, the body of EU rights and obligations, currently divided into 35 thematic chapters. To become an EU member, Scotland must demonstrate that its laws, policies and practice will be in accordance with the acquis at the point of accession. Scotland will be favourably placed to meet many aspects and may well be the most qualified country ever to apply for EU membership. As a new state, Scotland will however have to establish institutions to replace those formerly shared within the UK.

In advance of negotiations, the Government should establish Principles for EU Accession Negotiations. The negotiations will be designed to move Scotland into full compliance with the acquis and organise whatever transitions and special arrangements are mutually acceptable. They should operate as transparently as possible. In conducting the negotiations, the Government will need to take numerous important decisions. It should create the Cabinet Committee on European Union Accession as an integrated high-level decision-making apparatus. The Parliament should be substantially involved in internal decision-making. It should establish the Grand Committee on European Union Accession to scrutinise the various aspects of Scotland’s accession process.

For the EU, the General Affairs Council will take most decisions on Scotland’s accession process and the European Council will provide political guidance. The negotiations will take place in Accession Conferences, where chapters will be opened and closed and major decisions taken by senior negotiators. The Government will appoint a Chief Negotiator on European Union Accession to lead Scotland’s EU application. Frequent dialogue will take place between conferences. The negotiations will last as long or short as necessary until all chapters have been closed. The Government should aim for multiple chapters to be opened and closed at each Accession Conference, which would be necessary for a faster accession.

Negotiation Objectives

The Government will need to determine its primary objectives for the accession negotiations. The vast majority of matters will be non-contentious and undisputed. Nevertheless, each state has its particular circumstances. The Government must set negotiation objectives which are realistic, attuned to the EU’s political realities and compatible with successful membership. The Government must consider Scotland’s strategic national interests, and it should remember that an expeditious accession process and a wide-ranging Association Agreement would already constitute significant successes, beyond specific policy objectives.

The Government should establish Principal Objectives for EU Accession Negotiations. Under those objectives, it should argue for Scotland to be exempted from all transitional restrictions on the free movement of workers, which all existing Member States could otherwise impose on Scottish citizens for up 7 years. It should propose that Scotland be allocated 14 Members of the European Parliament, based the allocations to existing Member States with a comparable population size to Scotland, representing a 233% increase from the number it last had in the UK.

The Government should propose a model of partial participation in the Schengen acquis, under which Scotland would apply the acquis except for those aspects where its non-participation would be necessary to preserve the Common Travel Area. The Government should seek agreement on a Political Declaration on the Evolution on the Common Fisheries Policy, based on national priorities for reform determined in extensive consultation. The Government should seek transitional provisions on the monetary policy acquis, the extent of which will depend on whether it has continued unilateral adoption of the pound sterling or it has established its own national currency. The Government should seek transitional provisions on the economic policy acquis, including necessary elements of the Stability and Growth Pact, based on its prevailing fiscal circumstances owing to the establishment of the Scottish state.

Approvals and Ratification

Once the negotiations are complete, the Treaty of Accession will be drafted, translated, reviewed and approved. It will be signed by the Member States and Scotland at a ceremony in Brussels. Scotland will become an acceding country and it will be accorded active observer status in EU bodies, where it will be entitled to attend and speak, though not yet vote. The Government must take full advantage of these opportunities and prepare adequately. Scotland should make informed and constructive suggestions on EU policy-making before taking up its position as a voting member. Scotland’s relationship with the EU will continue to be based on the Association Agreement up to the point of accession.

Scotland should hold an EU accession referendum, so that the people have the chance to give their approval to EU membership. Provided that the people endorse the treaty and EU membership, Scotland will ratify the treaty. The existing EU Member States will ratify the treaty after Scotland has held its EU referendum. Each Member State will ratify the treaty in accordance with its practice, though they will all hold some form of parliamentary vote. Ratifications of a treaty by EU members is a lengthy process, as it must progress through their national systems.

The Member States will look to ensure that their ratifications are completed before the proposed date of accession. At the final stage of ratification, the Member States and Scotland will produce Instruments of Ratifications, normally a short document stating confirmation that the state has approved and ratified the relevant international agreement. The instruments will be deposited with Italy. Upon the deposit and notification by all EU members and Scotland, the process of ratification will be completed. Scotland will then become a Member State of the European Union on the date specified in the Treaty of Accession.

Membership Preparations

To be most successful within the EU, the Government should undertake a full programme of Europeanisation, through which ministers and civil servants will become fully acquainted with the politics and institutions of the EU and the other members. The accession Cabinet Committee should be converted into the Cabinet Committee on European Union Affairs. The European flag should become an integral part of the visual identity of the Government. The Parliament should adapt to the transfer of its legislative competence to the European level by intensifying its scrutiny of the Government. The accession Grand Committee should be converted into the Grand Committee on European Union Affairs.

Public confidence in Scotland’s EU membership must be constantly renewed. The Government should produce a National Public Participation Strategy on the EU and open the Citizens’ Forum on Europe, a standing assembly for civic dialogue on European affairs. The Parliament should provide funding to establish new degrees and courses on EU affairs and related subjects in the universities of Scotland. It should also create the Scotland in Europe Celebration Grant for further teaching in schools of a wide range of European languages. Scotland should start a national Future of Europe programme for young people to share their perspectives and aspirations for the EU.

Scotland should prepare a European Celebration Programme around EU Membership Day and the Parliament should designate Europe Day as a national public holiday. Given the EU’s evolving nature, future reforms will inevitably take place in the years ahead, including EU treaty change. Scotland should define how it will approach future EU reform and treaty change, and how it will secure relevant public approval, establishing a National Protocol on EU Constitutional Decisions. Predictable democratic mechanisms for EU reform will enhance public support for European integration, leading to more positive and sustainable EU membership.

Final Accession Measures

In final preparations for EU membership, Scotland will make its inaugural EU appointments, including its first European Commissioner. It must develop general selection criteria for EU appointments, including knowledge of the EU and Member States, language skills and international experience. Major appointments should be subject to confirmation by the Parliament. Scotland will hold a special European Parliament election. Participation should be especially encouraged, as a high voter turnout will set a positive precedent for future European elections in Scotland. The EU will recruit Scottish citizens for the EU civil service through open competitions. The Government must actively promote these opportunities.

Upon EU accession, Scotland’s diplomatic mission in Brussels will become the Permanent Representation of Scotland to the European Union. The PermRep will be the Government’s interface into EU decision-making, and arguably its most important mission. The Government will appoint a Permanent Representative to the European Union, a Depute Permanent Representative to the European Union and a Representative to the Political and Security Committee. PermRep staff will attend COREPER and more than 150 other Council preparatory bodies.

The European Commission and European Parliament will establish representations in Scotland. On behalf of the people of Scotland, the Government should gift them premises in Edinburgh to create Scotland’s House of Europe. The Parliament should accord MEPs and EU personnel equivalent access as its own members and staff. The EU will prepare to update its international agreements to incorporate Scotland. Before accession, the Government should launch a public awareness campaign to inform people, businesses and civil society of the changes and opportunities which will come into effect. On the date of accession, Scottish citizens will become EU citizens, the Saltire will be added to EU institutions, Scotland’s MEPs will enter into office and Scotland will officially become a Member State of the European Union.

Post-Accession Membership

Long-term sustainability of productive EU membership will be determined by the role of the EU in Scotland’s national political life. A strong consensus in favour of the EU will enable Scotland to achieve the full benefits of membership. National politics must reflect the choices, challenges and opportunities which come with the EU. European affairs must become part of everyday political discourse. Political leaders must be honest about the European and global challenges which will require difficult choices. European leaders should be seen as part of the wider shared political system and invited to Scotland on a regular basis.

The Government should produce an Annual Report on Scotland’s EU Membership, outlining the benefits which Scotland has accrued in that year from its participation in the EU and the contributions which it has made to the EU’s progress. The Parliament must decide its role in EU membership. The Grand Committee should scrutinise the Government’s EU positions and decisions taken in the EU Council. It could have the power to mandate certain Government positions or votes in the Council. Ministers should regularly appear at the Grand Committee, and it should extend invitations to wider European figures.

As an EU Member State, the Government will hold frequent meetings with the European Commission to understand its policy priorities and contribute to them. Ministers will attend meetings of the Council on a regular basis and officials will participate in COREPER and Council preparatory bodies. The Prime Minister will attend the European Council and jointly set the EU’s political direction and engage with other leaders. Scotland’s MEPs will represent their constituents and work in their political groups. The Government will formulate its positions on the questions of the day facing the EU. Scotland will hold its first Presidency of the EU Council within 5-15 years of accession.

Strategy and Influence

Becoming an influential EU member requires clear priorities, clever strategy and attuned diplomacy. Scotland must recognise the balances of power in the EU. The Government should develop a Post-Accession EU Strategy, a fast-track plan to deliver a rapid trajectory towards EU influence. More broadly, the Government should structure its EU policy around a Multiannual European Union Strategy of priorities and Annual European Union Action Plans of specific objectives. Its strategy must combine vision, interests, priorities, policy focuses and Scotland’s contributions to the future of Europe. It should take the long-term perspective on Scotland’s place in the EU as it evolves.

Scotland must build extensive relationships with the EU institutions. It should engage with them to shape policies at their earliest stages, actively making contributions across the various policy domains. Scotland’s bilateral relations with other EU members must also be sustained. The Government must build effective bilateral triangulation on EU affairs between Brussels, Edinburgh and other EU capitals. Scotland should open an embassy in every EU Member State. Bilateral relations should also include individuals, business and civil society.

The political dynamics in the EU Council and European Council can lead to alliances and coalitions between different Member States, often reflecting shared attributes between the Member States involved. Scotland will inherit attributes, such as being a Northern and Western European, relatively small, relatively wealthy, non-euro state. While Scotland can benefit from forming partnerships with similar Member States in its categories, it will be most successful where it breaks limiting moulds, and forms wider partnerships on the basis of shared interests and priorities. Potential alliances for Scotland include an Ireland-Scotland Celtic Alliance and Nordic-Baltic-Scotland partnerships. Where it integrates its EU strategy, relations with the EU institutions, bilateral relations and its alliances, Scotland will have every chance of punching above its weight in the EU.

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Introduction

  1. Europe is at the heart of Scotland’s independence debate. And so it should be. Our relationship with the European Union is crucial to our future in so many respects. Whatever Scotland’s constitutional choices, the EU will shape our continent.
  1. Scotland has most regrettably been outside of the EU for several weeks now. Brexit is a course which Scotland never set. These are challenging times, and an uncertain future awaits in the undefined EU-UK relationship.
  1. This Blueprint presents a pathway for Scotland to become an EU Member State in the event of independence. It is not a report on whether Scotland should become independent, but instead a thorough, detailed analysis of what EU accession and membership would involve, if the people of Scotland choose independence.
  1. The report is clear in its view that under independence it would be in Scotland’s strategic national interests to join the European Union. Yet Scotland must consider EU membership as a question of values, not just interests. The EU is a political, economic and social union. Membership would be a fundamental expression of the shared values between Scotland and the other members of the Union.
  1. Through its chapters, the report covers the evolution of an independent Scotland’s pathway towards EU membership. It begins with the institutions of the state and principles which Scotland should establish, followed by the parameters of the EU accession process and the shape of Scotland’s pre-accession EU relationship.
  1. It continues with the mechanics of the accession negotiations and the priorities which Scotland could bring to them, before setting out the stages of approving the eventual treaty of accession.
  1. The report then turns to the measures which Scotland should implement to become a successful member, followed by the final preparations for EU membership day. It concludes with an overview of EU membership in practice after Scotland joins and the steps which Scotland should take to become an influential EU Member State.
  1. This Blueprint draws on years of thinking and discussions in Edinburgh, Brussels, EU capitals and beyond. It is full of recommendations – the kind of innovative analysis and bold ideas which European Merchants was founded to create.
  1. At this crossroads moment for Scotland, and with the prospect of an independence referendum on the horizon, now is the time to advance Scotland’s Europe debate to the next level – to consider the choices, challenges and opportunities ahead.
  1. It is my hope that this Blueprint contributes to that informed debate.

Anthony Salamone
18 February 2020

1. Institutions and Principles

  1. For an EU Member State, the European Union forms an integral part of its system of governance. Given the interdependent relationships between the Union and the institutions of the state, the process of EU accession cannot be adequately considered in isolation. A degree of conceptualisation of the structures, principles and wider international relations of Scotland, as an independent state, and its government is therefore required.
  1. This Chapter considers the Institutions of the State for Scotland, its Principles for European Relations, its MFA Government Department, European Relations in Practice, related International Organisations and its Transition to Independence.

1A. Institutions of the State

  1. The Blueprint is structured on the basis of a potential scenario of the governance of Scotland. The scenario represents a reasonable imagination of the core institutions of the prospective Scottish state.
  1. In practice, the form of governance of the state will be the subject of substantial debate and reflection. These matters will ultimately be decided by the people through elections and referendums, and by their elected representatives through legislative and executive process.
  1. The Blueprint does not assess the financial costs of measures which are outlined. Analysis of Scotland’s constitution, finances and wider foreign policy should be undertaken separately.
  1. For the purposes of membership of the European Union, the Blueprint presumes that the governance of Scotland is organised as follows.
  1. Upon independence, Scotland becomes a parliamentary republic.
  1. The formal name of the state is the Republic of Scotland (Poblachd na h-Alba). The short name of the state is Scotland (Alba).
  1. The powers and functions of the state, and the rights of individuals, are set out in the Constitution of the Republic. Its contents and future amendments are approved by the people.
  1. Legislative authority is placed in the Parliament of Scotland. The current Scottish Parliament is renamed the Parliament of Scotland (Pàrlamaid na h-Alba).
  1. Executive authority is placed in the Government of Scotland. The current Scottish Government is renamed the Government of Scotland (Riaghaltas na h-Alba).
  1. The Head of State is the President of Scotland (or President of the Republic). The President is directly elected by the people.
  1. The Head of Government is the Prime Minister of Scotland. The Prime Minister and the Government derive their mandate from the Parliament.
  1. The leader of the Parliament is the Convener of the Parliament of Scotland.
  1. The division of the Government supporting the Prime Minister in exercising their functions is the Department of the Prime Minister.
  1. Scotland’s aspiration is to be a democratic, progressive and European republic.

1B. Principles for European Relations

  1. Scotland has not been an independent state for over 312 years. Independence provides a once-in-a-century opportunity to establish Scotland’s distinctive role in the world and to define its European and international relations.
  1. The Republic’s engagement in the rest of Europe and the wider world should be founded on its values. Action outwith the state should be a reflection of beliefs and practice at home.
  1. Scotland will be a European small state. It will not be a major power in the world. Alone, it will rarely have a decisive role in global affairs. The state must face this reality and respond creatively.
  1. Multilateralism and the rules-based international system are of paramount importance to Scotland. These global institutions guarantee its sovereignty and enable it to secure more favourable outcomes than in their absence.
  1. The European Union is a major global power. Inside the EU, Scotland will substantially increase its influence in the world. Through contributing to common European positions, its voice will be amplified.
  1. Scotland must determine the kind of world it wants to see and what steps it will take to bring its vision closer to being. An essential means of manifesting Scotland’s aspirations for itself, Europe and the globe is membership of the EU.
  1. The European Union is a political, economic and social union of states and peoples. The Union is founded on shared values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law. Through European friendship and partnership, it aims to achieve greater peace, prosperity and freedom in Europe and beyond.
  1. The Member States of the Union cooperate at the deepest level. Through creating a more united Europe, the EU enables it members to face common challenges together. In today’s unpredictable world, this European integration is vital.
  1. The EU has never been solely an economic endeavour. Membership is not merely about trade, access to markets or funding. Economic integration has always been a functional means to political objectives of peace, prosperity and unity.
  1. The European Union is different from any other international organisation which Scotland might join. Becoming an EU Member State makes the Union part of the national constitutional order. The European level of governance is incorporated into the framework of the state. Through progressive European integration, sovereignty is shared to pursue and realise common European aspirations.
  1. EU membership encompasses most areas of internal and external affairs. To a degree, it will shape Scotland’s wider foreign policy and its relationships with third countries. European integration creates a common bond which is not replicable. Scotland’s relations with France and Ireland will always be at an entirely different depth than those with Canada and Ghana.
  1. Consequently, the constitutional quality of EU membership must be appreciated. To be a successful EU Member State and to realise the full opportunities and benefits of membership, the EU must become fully integrated into national life. Government, business and civil society all have roles in building and sustaining Scotland’s place in the EU.
  1. Scotland must consider the European Union and EU membership as a question of values, not just interests. While it would manifestly serve Scotland’s economic, social and geostrategic interests to become an EU Member State, membership would equally be a fundamental expression of the shared values between Scotland and the other members of the Union.
  1. The Republic should define its relationship with the European Union and its other Member States on the basis of core principles. These principles will embody Scotland’s shared values on European integration and guide the Government of Scotland in undertaking EU accession and membership.
  1. Scotland’s Principles for European Relations could be set as follows.
Republic of Scotland
Principles for European Relations
  1. Scotland believes in the shared values of our Union and the European ideal of building a more peaceful, prosperous and free Europe
  1. Membership of our Union is in Scotland’s strategic national interests and the means of achieving a better Scotland in a united Europe
  1. European affairs are not foreign policy. The EU is part of the government of Scotland, shared with our fellow Member States
  1. Scotland will be a positive Member State which participates in all our common institutions and contributes actively to the future of Europe
  1. Scotland will work constructively in European partnership to address the internal and external challenges facing our Union
  1. Scotland will promote democracy in our Union and the progressive involvement of citizens in decision-making at all levels
  1. Scotland will seek ever closer relations with our fellow Member States, through the institutions of our Union and in direct cooperation
  1. Scotland believes that our Union is a force for good in the world and that our collective global voice should become progressively united
  1. These Principles are powerful statements of intent that unequivocally demonstrate Scotland’s European vocation. They will underpin the Republic’s European and international engagement during the EU accession process and after it becomes an EU Member State.
  1. Scotland must build a positive national story on EU membership. This national story will explain the role of the European Union in advancing Scotland’s interests and furthering Scotland’s values. Sustainable membership and public confidence will be predicated upon relating to both values and interests.
  1. Like these Principles, the national story must adopt the language, mentality and ethos of European integration. The Principles speak of our European Union, reflecting the true character of Scotland’s relationship with the Union once a Member State.
  1. These Principles should form the basis of action for the Government of Scotland as it pursues EU accession and constructs the Republic’s relationships with the rest of Europe. It should also undertake a process of progressive Europeanisation.
  1. In the absence of such principles for European relations or effective incorporation of values into Scotland’s European conversation, EU accession and membership would inevitably become more challenging and less advantageous. With no anchor, public support for the EU could diminish and Scotland would not acquire as much influence in the Union’s decision-making.
  1. Scotland has a mainstream Europeanism – yet its pro-European sentiment is often latent. To become a successful EU Member State, that sentiment will need to be channelled into representation and action.
  1. The Republic should endeavour to become fully connected to all of the EU’s major discussions. It should have the ambition to make Scotland a beacon for thought and debate on the great questions facing Europe and proposals on how they might be addressed. Combined with these Principles and a cogent national story, Scotland would be strongly placed to shape itself into a positive EU Member State.
  1. In building Scotland’s European and international relations, the Government will also have to consider the role of Scottish soft power and the Scottish diaspora.

1C. Government Department

  1. As part of Scotland’s transition to becoming a state, the Government of Scotland will require a Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA). The MFA will have primary responsibility for implementing the Government’s European and international policies, conducting diplomacy and international relations, and operating Scotland’s network of diplomatic representations around the world.
  1. The Government of Scotland will have a rare opportunity to build a modern and vibrant MFA from the beginning which reflects the values of the Republic and its ambitions for Europe and the world. The Government should not consider itself bound by tradition or convention.
  1. Instead of creating a Ministry of Foreign Affairs or a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Government should instead give its department a name which signifies its orientation and priorities.
  1. Accordingly, the Government of Scotland should establish the Department of European and External Relations.
  1. This department name has three primary features which embody the values of the Republic, the focus of the Government and the Principles for European Relations.
  1. First, it places European relations in the initial position, representing Scotland’s steadfast commitment to the European Union and the spirit of European integration.
  1. Second, it distinguishes between European relations and external relations, making clear that European affairs are not external matters but an intrinsic part of the governance of Scotland.
  1. Third, it defines Scotland’s international affairs as external relations, moving away from the outmoded concept of the foreign and instead symbolising Scotland’s outward-looking approach to the world.
  1. The Department of European and External Relations (DEER) will be styled in English and French, as Department of European and External Relations | Ministère des relations européennes et extérieures.
  1. The prototype wordmark of the Department is as follows.

Department of European and External Relations Wordmark

  1. While it is envisaged that English and Gaelic will feature in the naming of most departments of the Government, DEER should exceptionally make use of English and French. Where possible, English, Gaelic and French could be utilised.
  1. The choice of French reflects the commitment of the Government to common understanding and linguistic diversity within the European Union. It also represents the Department’s global orientation through usage of two widely-spoken official languages of the United Nations.
  1. Based on the Principles for European Relations, the statement of purpose for the Department could be: Working for a better Scotland in a united Europe.
  1. In parallel to the Department, the Scottish diplomatic service will require to be created. This service will staff much of DEER and the diplomatic network.
  1. Inspired by the same values and priorities, the Government of Scotland should establish the Scottish European and External Relations Service (SEERS).
  1. The Department will be led by Government ministers and senior civil servants. The Government should appoint a Secretary-General of the Department as its principal civil servant.
  1. The ministerial team of the Department could consist of three ministers. The Cabinet Secretary for European and External Relations will have responsibility for the Department. The Cabinet Secretary will be assisted by two junior ministers – the Minister for European Affairs and the Minister for International Cooperation.
  1. The DEER ministerial team is summarised as follows.
Ministerial Team
Department of European and External Relations
Cabinet Secretary for European and External Relations
Minister for European Affairs
Minister for International Cooperation
  1. This size of MFA ministerial team – one senior minister and two junior ministers – is comparable to those of other European small states. In some countries, the equivalent of the Minister for European Affairs is situated in the equivalent of the Department of the Prime Minister.
  1. The Cabinet Secretary (CS) will lead the Government’s European relations and external relations. Once Scotland is qualified, the CS will normally attend the Foreign Affairs Council configuration of the Council of the European Union.
  1. The Minister for European Affairs (MEA) will support the Cabinet Secretary in managing the Government’s EU relations and non-EU European relations. Once Scotland is qualified, the Minister will normally attend the General Affairs Council.
  1. The Minister for International Cooperation will not normally have any direct European responsibilities, focused instead on the rest of the world.
  1. Further conceptualisation and analysis of DEER, including the structure of the Department and the allocation of other portfolio elements, such as international development, relations with the diaspora and soft power, should be undertaken separately.

1D. European Relations in Practice

  1. The conduct of the Government’s European and external relations should be supported by institutions designed to provide advice and guidance.
  1. The establishment of DEER and SEERS will be substantial endeavours. Timescales could be short, given the pressures of having structures in place for independence or as part of EU accession. Costs will equally be an important consideration. A successful Department and diplomatic service will be essential to the Republic’s effective representation in the world.
  1. In view of these major tasks and responsibilities, a Special Scrutiny Committee (SSC) should be formed, whether by the Parliament of Scotland or by the Government of Scotland directly.
  1. The SSC will review the principal foundational and operational decisions made by DEER and SEERS. Its oversight will include the setup of departmental subdivisions, senior personnel appointments, capital expenditure, procurement and the creation of the diplomatic estate of properties for diplomatic missions.
  1. The form and powers of the SSC will be determined by the Parliament or an independent authority. Its activities will complement the scrutiny of the Parliament. The SSC should run for the first 10 years of operation of DEER and SEERS.
  1. While the Prime Minister and DEER ministerial team will drive the Government’s European relations, the entire Government should be fully engaged on European matters, given their prevalence and importance in most policy domains.
  1. The Government should establish the European Relations Council (EURELCO), a regular forum bringing together ministers from all Government departments to discuss topical European affairs.
  1. Similarly, the Government should establish a separate External Relations Council (RELEXCO) to consider relevant international affairs.
  1. Convened by the Prime Minister or the Cabinet Secretary for European and External Relations, EURELCO and RELEXCO should meet on a monthly basis. The President of the Republic might also be involved, in which case the President would convene the Councils.
  1. In pursuing Scotland’s European and external relations, the Government and DEER should seek to benefit from expert analysis and advice.
  1. Accordingly, the Government should establish the Advisory Council on European Relations (ACER) to channel relevant expertise on European affairs.
  1. Similarly, the Government should establish the Advisory Council on International Affairs (ACIA) for international relations.
  1. The Advisory Councils will be comprised of experts, practitioners and academics across a range of pertinent backgrounds, from Scotland and beyond.
  1. ACER and ACIA should meet regularly and include attendance from Government ministers and senior Government officials. The Government should consider carefully their analysis and advice.
  1. The Government should conduct an Annual Review of Scotland’s European Relations, throughout the pre-accession period and after EU accession, to assess the progress of the state’s engagement in the European Union.
  1. The practice of DEER and the wider Government on European relations should evolve as expertise is acquired, relationships develop and influence is accrued.
  1. Further specialised bodies, such as a Scottish Global Cultural Institute (similar to Alliance française or Goethe-Institut) or a Soft Power Council, should be created where they support objectives, facilitate innovation or improve practice.

1E. International Organisations

  1. In its external relations, Scotland will become a member of various international organisations. These organisations have different aims, geographical remit, depth of commitment and importance. Together they largely constitute multilateralism.
  1. As a European small state, such organisations can prove significant in advancing Scotland’s international priorities. They offer structured forums for dialogue, opportunities for influence and degrees of equalisation with more powerful states.
  1. The United Nations, along with its many agencies, is undisputedly the most important international organisation for states. Membership of the UN is the gold standard of interstate recognition of independence and sovereignty.
  1. Some of the organisations which Scotland will join, or with which it will have a close relationship, will have a bearing on EU accession and membership. Scotland will complete most of its initial accessions before attaining EU membership.
  1. Scotland’s relationships with these related international organisations may impact its obligations of EU membership, bilateral relations with EU Member States or its prospects for influence within the Union.
  1. The Republic must ensure that such relationships are conducive to EU membership.
  1. The international organisations most relevant to Scotland’s European relations, and the potential impact on EU accession and membership, are as follows.

Council of Europe

  1. The Council of Europe (CoE) is a pillar for human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Europe. It is one the principal unifying organisations of Europe.
  1. Every country in what is considered the continent of Europe, with the exception of Belarus, is a member of the CoE. Accordingly, every EU Member State is a member.1
  1. While the Council fosters European cooperation through many avenues, its most notable contribution to democracy is the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), upheld by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).
  1. Becoming a member of the Council of Europe is considered a precondition for EU accession. Universal Council membership within the EU reflects our shared values.
  1. In addition to CoE membership, the Republic must become a signatory to the ECHR, ratify the Convention, incorporate it into national law where relevant and ensure that ECtHR judgements are implemented.
  1. The Treaty of Lisbon (2009) requires the EU to accede to the ECHR in its own right. Following the negative opinion of the EU Court of Justice in 2014 on the proposed draft agreement on the EU joining the ECHR, accession has not yet taken place.2
  1. The Republic of Scotland should join the Council of Europe as a matter of priority following independence, given its importance to the fabric of Europe.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation

  1. The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), the transatlantic political and military alliance, has featured prominently in the independence debate.
  1. The Republic will be responsible for ensuring the security and integrity of the state, for which it will have to determine its security and defence requirements.
  1. While the Republic must consider its own security as its primary objective, it should also have regard to the security interests of fellow EU Member States and its international allies.
  1. The significant majority of current EU Member States – 21 of 27 (78%) – are members of the Alliance. In recent years, the EU and NATO have deepened their cooperation, which the aim of ensuring that their efforts are complementary.3
  1. Scotland occupies an important territorial space, given its position in the North Atlantic and its vantage towards the Arctic. This geography would be valuable to the Alliance.
  1. Most EU and NATO Member States have the expectation that the Republic would join the Alliance without significant debate. A partnership would be agreed for NATO-Scotland cooperation for the period between formal independence and its eventual accession.
  1. Surprise and disappointment would follow if the Republic were not to join the Alliance, or indeed if it only did so after a protracted internal debate. Given that Scotland is within NATO as part of the UK, a decision not to become a member would effectively amount to a permanent withdrawal and create a hole in the Alliance’s geographical footprint.
  1. In that scenario, EU and NATO members such as Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland would be particularly concerned. They would have cause to question the Republic’s security and defence priorities and its commitment to European security.
  1. Bilateral relations between Scotland and those EU Member States would be negatively impacted in that eventuality. Consequently, the Republic’s capacity for relationship-building and influence in the EU would be reduced.
  1. In determining its ultimate perspective on NATO, the Republic must consider not only its own internal and external security, but its wider strategic interests. It will be in the Republic’s strategic interests to support European security and to forge positive relationships with fellow EU Member States that are mutually supportive and based on common values.

Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe

  1. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is an important intercontinental regional security body. It supports democracy, peace and stability.
  1. Its membership spans North America, Europe and Asia, and includes every EU Member State.4
  1. Through its work on democratic institutions, election monitoring, media freedoms, peacebuilding and conflict prevention, the OSCE sustains East-West engagement.
  1. The Republic should seek to join the OSCE expeditiously. Its accession would reaffirm its commitment to democracy-building and cooperation through dialogue.
  1. Membership would underline the Republic’s support for the EU’s foreign policy objectives, including a more peaceful and secure European neighbourhood.
  1. Scotland’s participation in the OSCE would afford it opportunities to offer its expertise on democratic institutions and governance to other participating States.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

  1. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is an international organisation focused on policy coordination and improvement.
  1. Currently 22 EU Member States are members of the OECD. Several others are in the process of applying for membership.5
  1. The OECD is perhaps best known for research and recommendations on policies and practice in its members, including areas like economic growth and education.
  1. Membership of the OECD is oriented towards high-income countries. Scotland would undoubtedly qualify, and it should apply after independence.
  1. Independent assessment and benchmarking of policies and performance are influential components of global policy-making debates. This soft policy space is also important within the European Union.
  1. Much of EU policy is technical and specialised. Research and analysis can have a significant impact. In practice, many EU decisions are formed or taken by experts and officials instead of politicians. Being well connected to the European and global policy analysis ecosystem, including through the OECD, is essential to becoming a successful EU Member State.

British-Irish Council

  1. The British-Irish Council (BIC) is an intergovernmental organisation, developed around the Good Friday Agreement, focused on broad cooperation and dialogue between its members.
  1. Its membership currently consists of Ireland and the UK as states, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as part of the UK, and the UK Crown dependencies.6
  1. The Republic of Scotland may seek to join the BIC to continue structured cooperation with Ireland and rUK. In that case, the organisation would presumably be renamed, given its existing name would not represent its full membership.
  1. Ireland and rUK are Scotland’s closest neighbours. Trilateral cooperation across a range of areas should be mutually beneficial to all three states. A dedicated international forum could suit Scotland’s interests.
  1. The Common Travel Area (CTA) provides for borderless travel between the members of the BIC, although it is not officially connected to the Council. The CTA also confers residency and other rights for its own nationals. The Republic of Scotland will seek some form of relationship with the CTA.
  1. Scotland must ensure this relationship is consistent with EU membership and its priorities. It should seek advice from the European Commission where necessary.

Nordic Council

  1. The Nordic Council is the organisation gathering together the states and territories of the Nordic region. Formally, it consists of the parliamentary Nordic Council and the ministerial Nordic Council of Ministers.7
  1. The Nordic region is important to Scotland, given its proximity and the depth of economic, social and cultural links. Just as the Republic will engage with the individual Nordic states, it should seek a close relationship with the Nordic Council.
  1. It would be unusual to consider Scotland a candidate for membership of the Nordic Council, as the existing members share much deeper political, policy and linguistic connections with each other than they do with Scotland.
  1. The Republic should instead call for a Nordic-Scotland Strategic Partnership with the Nordic Council and its members, aiming for close engagement and cooperation. Should both sides later consider it appropriate for Scotland to become a member of the Council, membership can follow from the roots of the Strategic Partnership.
  1. Scotland’s relations with the Nordic Council and the Nordic area are pertinent to its EU membership, since Denmark, Sweden and Finland are all EU members. While the Nordic agenda is often distinct, its institutions provide opportunities for dialogue and cooperation on wider EU affairs.
  1. The Nordic EU states work closely together within the European Union. Scotland should look to form wide-ranging relationships with these states on the basis of common perspectives. They may prove some of Scotland’s closest EU partners.

1F. Transition to Independence

  1. Scotland’s transition to independence will be a transformative process. Founding the Scottish state will present a rare opportunity to shape society for better.
  1. While significant further analysis should be undertaken, this transition from a referendum to the point of independence could reasonably take 2-3 years.
  1. In the immediate aftermath of a referendum endorsing independence, the Scottish Government and the UK Government should expeditiously conclude a Scotland-UK Framework Agreement, governing the terms of the separation negotiations and the relationships between Scotland and rUK during this transitional period.
  1. This Framework Agreement should include the UK Government’s endorsement of the Scottish Government’s substantive engagement with the European Union, states and international organisations in preparation of independence.
  1. In its absence, Scotland should nevertheless pursue the greatest possible degree of European and international engagement.
  1. Early contact with the EU institutions and EU Member States will be important for positioning Scotland as a candidate for membership and eventual member. Following the referendum, the Scottish Government should engage proactively with the Member States, the European Commission and the European Parliament.
  1. Entities such as the Friends of Scotland group in the European Parliament will be valuable points of reference.
  1. This contact should concentrate on establishing relationships, explaining priorities and laying the groundwork for the accession process, rather than attempting to pursue accession negotiations directly.
  1. Scotland will not have the requisite standing to apply to join the European Union or international organisations until it becomes formally independent.
  1. Since the United Kingdom has withdrawn from the European Union, rUK will have no role in Scotland’s EU accession. It will however have input in deciding Scotland’s applications to international organisations where rUK remains a member.
  1. The EU-UK partnership – in trade and in all other areas – will have strong relevance for Scotland, not least as its relationship with the EU will continue to be defined by this partnership during the transition to independence.
  1. The EU and Scotland could negotiate a new EU-Scotland agreement to replace the EU-UK partnership. This agreement could take effect on formal independence.
  1. rUK will remain an important neighbour and partner for Scotland. The triangulation between Scotland’s relationship with the EU, its relationship with rUK and rUK’s relationship with the EU will produce ramifications for Scotland-rUK relations.
  1. A logical and necessary consequence of Scotland becoming independent is the internationalisation of the border between Scotland and England. Scotland’s borders will define the territory of the state, not constitute impassable barriers.
  1. With independence, Scotland must make decisions in its national interests. While the bilateral relationship with rUK will be important, it cannot be determinative in Scotland’s own strategic choices.
  1. As a European small state, it is overwhelmingly in Scotland’s political, economic and geostrategic interests to be part of the European Union. While it is regrettable that rUK will be outside the EU, that development cannot govern Scotland’s future.
  1. Just as Ireland did not leave the European Union because the UK left it, so Scotland should not refrain from joining the EU because rUK is not a member.
  1. Depending on the shape of the EU-UK partnership, the contrast between Scotland inside the EU and rUK outside the EU will probably require border infrastructure and checks to preserve the integrity of the EU internal market and customs union.
  1. Although such eventuality will be unfortunate, it will also be entirely manageable. Across the world, many neighbouring states with close economic relations operate secure and efficient borders. Moreover, it will be a product of the UK’s regressive decision to isolate itself from the rest of Europe, not Scotland’s choice to be part of our common European future in the EU.
  1. The construction of the Scottish state should be undertaken with EU accession and membership foremost in mind. New institutions, laws and policies should be fully in accord with the EU acquis communautaire (the acquis).
  1. Post-independence transitional measures agreed between Scotland and rUK must be compatible with EU membership, not least in view of rUK being a third country.
  1. During the transition to independence, Scotland should prepare the reversion of all legislation and policies altered by Brexit and rUK’s approach to the EU back to compliance with the acquis, effective from the date of independence.
  1. In the interim, Scotland should endeavour to maintain the alignment of Scots law with the acquis to the fullest extent possible.
  1. Scotland should continue to participate actively in the EU’s major debates, contribute proactively to European priorities and work collaboratively in meeting common European challenges.
  1. The Scottish Government’s recent publication, The European Union’s Strategic Agenda 2020-2024: Scotland’s Perspective, represents an excellent statement of intent in this direction.8
  1. The Government should consider the recommendations outlined in the launch report of European Merchants by Anthony Salamone, Scotland and the Spirit of Europe: Protecting Scotland’s European Relations in the Face of Brexit, as follows.9
Scotland and the Spirit of Europe
Ten Priority Actions for Scotland’s European Relations
  1. Create a European Citizens’ Charter, founded on commitments, values, rights and connections, for European nationals in Scotland
  1. Establish a National Conversation on Europe to promote public debate in Scotland on the major challenges facing Europe
  1. Make Europe Day (9 May) a public holiday in Scotland to celebrate European unity and shared European values
  1. Display the European flag alongside the Saltire at government buildings and in its activities, incorporating it into its visual identity
  1. Build stronger relationships with the Scottish diaspora in Europe, including the educational diaspora of prominent graduates
  1. Develop targeted engagement plans for EU Council presidencies to connect Scotland’s priorities to the EU agenda
  1. Begin a European Friendship Year initiative promoting Scotland’s links with a different European country or region annually
  1. Underwrite a new major annual European policy conference in Scotland to establish a signature event in the European calendar
  1. Rename the Innovation and Investment Hubs in European states as Scottish Government Representations, and in Brussels as the Scottish Government Delegation to the European Union
  1. Designate a mission statement of Scotland: European Nation to build a European dimension into the government’s ethos
  1. Scotland should sustain close relations with the EU Member States and the EU institutions on the basis of shared values and common priorities.
  1. The Scottish Parliament should increase its interparliamentary dialogue with the European Parliament and the parliaments of Europe.
  1. The Scottish Government should promote increased connectivity at all levels in Scotland with the EU Member States, further encourage the study of European languages in Scotland and expand its network of representative offices in Europe.

2. Accession Parameters

  1. Accession to the European Union results from a sequential process of integration. By this process, a prospective member transitions from applicant country to candidate country, acceding country and ultimately Member State. Negotiations between the Member States of the Union and the candidate result in a Treaty of Accession to incorporate the latter as a new member. Preparations are undertaken both to ready the candidate for membership and to adapt the Union accordingly.
  1. This Chapter analyses Scotland’s Path to Accession, Preparation of Application for membership, the Accession Criteria, Accession Process, Accession Timeline and EU Political Considerations on accession.

2A. Scotland’s Path to Accession

  1. Scotland is a European nation. It has an advanced democracy with a developed free-market economy, underpinned by respect for the rule of law and human rights.
  1. Scotland was previously part of the European Union for 47 years, 1 month (1 January 1973 – 31 January 2020). It was withdrawn from the Union by the United Kingdom without its democratic consent.
  1. Its prior participation in the Union was derived from the United Kingdom’s membership. In that regard, Scotland was during that period neither a state nor a Member State in its own right.
  1. The Republic’s situation is therefore unprecedented. Its new position within the Union will be of a completely different order than its former one.
  1. The European Union is founded on treaties. Its principal accords are the Treaty on European Union (TEU) and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), as amended. The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (CFR) has equal standing to the treaties.10
  1. The Treaty on European Union defines the procedure for a European state to accede to the Union in its Article 49, as follows.
Treaty on European Union
Article 49

Any European State which respects the values referred to in Article 2 and is committed to promoting them may apply to become a member of the Union. The European Parliament and national Parliaments shall be notified of this application. The applicant State shall address its application to the Council, which shall act unanimously after consulting the Commission and after receiving the consent of the European Parliament, which shall act by a majority of its component members. The conditions of eligibility agreed upon by the European Council shall be taken into account.

The conditions of admission and the adjustments to the Treaties on which the Union is founded, which such admission entails, shall be the subject of an agreement between the Member States and the applicant State. This agreement shall be submitted for ratification by all the contracting States in accordance with their respective constitutional requirements.
  1. The modalities of accession provided by Article 49 TEU are supplemented by the accession criteria set by the European Council and the accession procedures developed by the EU Council and the European Commission.
  1. Article 49 makes clear that an applicant for membership must be a European state.
  1. Scotland will not become a state until the date of formal independence.
  1. Scotland will only be in a position to apply for membership of the European Union once it has become independent and the Republic has been established.
  1. Although Scotland is an ancient country, the Republic of Scotland will be a new state. Regardless of whether Scotland considers itself a new state or a continuing state, the EU Member States, the European Union and the international community will consider the Republic as a new state.
  1. Scotland has no automatic entitlement to EU membership. Despite its unique history with the Union, it must apply in the normal way. It must follow the procedures set out by the Union, meet its requirements and secure the approval of the Union and its Member States.
  1. Each application for Union membership is assessed on its own merits and each candidacy progressed at its own pace. No queue or system of prioritisation exists.
  1. Previous discussion of Scotland potentially joining the Union through the treaty amendment procedure in Article 48 TEU – so-called internal enlargement – is not applicable, given that Scotland has regrettably been withdrawn from the Union.
  1. To become an EU Member State, Scotland must apply to join the European Union.
  1. It should not apply to join the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and the European Economic Area (EEA) as some supposed temporary measure to provide an EU-Scotland relationship in the period before EU accession. EFTA and EEA accessions are a time-consuming process which would create burdens for the EU and EFTA states. Moreover, it would suggest a lack of commitment to the Union.
  1. Instead, the Union and the Republic will negotiate an agreement providing for their pre-accession relationship, as part of the Republic’s membership perspective.
  1. The Government of Scotland should not expend its political capital on advocating a special EU accession procedure for the Republic. It should avoid argument with the EU about its own rules, as such circumstances would have a negative impact on its future membership.
  1. The Government should instead ensure that the Republic is best positioned to complete the normal accession procedure in an expeditious fashion through its own internal preparations. In the transition to independence and the formative stages of independence, it should make provision that the institutions and laws of the state are compatible with the EU acquis.
  1. In its formulation of the Republic’s application for membership of the Union, the Government should draw inspiration from the Principles for European Relations.

2B. Preparation of Application

  1. Before making an application to the European Union, the Republic of Scotland must formally resolve its intention to seek accession to the Union.
  1. The Republic should make this resolution in accordance with its requirements, including those provided in the Constitution of the Republic.
  1. It is envisaged that the Republic’s formal intention to apply for EU membership will be expressed through a resolution or legislation passed by the Parliament of Scotland, on a proposal from the Government of Scotland.
  1. This method is consistent with the prior practice of states which have applied for accession to the Union.
  1. Alternatively, it is possible that this intention could be based in a referendum held on whether the Republic should apply for membership of the Union.
  1. While consulting the people on major constitutional change is of high importance, the Republic should reflect carefully on whether the pre-application phase is the most appropriate point for a referendum.
  1. A state seeking EU accession will normally hold a referendum once the terms of accession have been negotiated and finalised. It would be highly unusual to hold a referendum to decide whether to even apply for membership.
  1. Such a referendum would suggest to the Union that Scotland was uncertain about its commitment to the values and ideals of European integration. While the Union would unquestionably respect a plebiscite and its outcome, this scenario would not foster the best possible relationship between the Union and the Republic.
  1. Moreover, if the Republic were to hold an EU application referendum, it would still nevertheless in all likelihood hold a further referendum on the outcome of the negotiations and the resultant Treaty of Accession. The Republic could hardly ratify its accession without specific popular approval of the exact terms of accession.
  1. In consequence, the most productive course would be for the Republic’s application for EU membership to be based on a parliamentary vote, and its approval of the final terms of membership to be based on a referendum.
  1. The process of accession to the Union is not confined to fulfilling legal requirements and ultimately joining the Union institutions. Through its approach, the applicant demonstrates the kind of Member State it will become.
  1. This process will provide the Republic with the opportunity to showcase itself as a positive, constructive, studious and reliable partner. By doing so, it will be well placed to become a successful Member State.
  1. Before making its application to join the Union, the Republic should clearly define its strategic priorities for EU accession.
  1. These priorities will set the Republic’s orientation on accession. They will serve as a continual point of reference for the Government and its negotiators throughout the accession process.
  1. Scotland’s Strategic Priorities for EU Accession could be set as follows.
Republic of Scotland
Strategic Priorities for EU Accession
  1. To satisfy the requirements for accession set by the Union as fully and rapidly as possible, with regard to good governance and sustainability
  1. To ensure beneficial accession terms for Scotland through constructive negotiation with the Union, with regard to the purpose of the Union
  1. To build confidence with the Union institutions and the Member States in Scotland as a future member through its approach to accession
  1. An application for EU membership takes the form of a letter from the Head of State or Head of Government outlining the desire of the state to seek accession.
  1. This letter is addressed to the Member State holding the Presidency of the Council of the European Union at the time.
  1. The application letter of the Republic of Scotland should be signed and sent by the President of the Republic.
  1. Equal copies of the letter should be provided in English and the official language(s) of the Presidency, in honour of the Member State holding the Presidency and in demonstration of Scotland’s commitment to multilingualism in the Union.
  1. The Republic’s application should set out the reasons for its intention to become an EU Member State. It should affirm Scotland’s steadfast commitment to the shared values of the Union and the ideals of European integration.
  1. The application should note Scotland’s situation as an advanced democracy with a developed free-market economy, and its traditions of respect for democracy, human rights and the rule of law. It should also make reference to Scotland’s previous position inside the Union.
  1. It should commit the Republic to fulfilling all the criteria for accession. It will equally have to explain decisively to the Union why Scotland should proceed on the path to EU membership so soon after becoming a state.
  1. It is at the Republic’s discretion to decide when to submit its application. In setting its date of application, the Republic should balance its desire to proceed towards membership expeditiously, the progress of construction of the Scottish state and the Government’s readiness to undertake the accession process.
  1. The Republic of Scotland should in addition seek accession to the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom).

2C. Accession Criteria

  1. Accession to the Union is predicated upon the fulfilment of the specified criteria.
  1. The Union and its Member States alone will determine whether the Republic has met the conditions to become a Member State.
  1. Article 49 TEU provides that a European state may apply for membership where it respects and commits to promoting the values set out in Article 2 TEU, as follows.
Treaty on European Union
Article 2
The Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities. These values are common to the Member States in a society in which pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality between women and men prevail.
  1. Scotland holds these values. Scottish society is founded in democracy, human rights and the rule of law. The Republic of Scotland will surely enshrine these values in the Constitution of the Republic. It will accede to the Council of Europe and the European Convention on Human Rights, in further evidence of its beliefs.
  1. Further to Article 49, the European Council has set general conditions which must be satisfied for a European state to join the Union.
  1. These conditions were determined at the Copenhagen European Council Summit on 21-22 June 1993 and provided in the Conclusions of the Presidency. They have therefore become known as the Copenhagen Criteria.11
  1. The Copenhagen Criteria are as follows.
European Council
Copenhagen Criteria
  1. Political: Stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for and protection of minorities
  1. Economic: Functioning market economy as well as the capacity to cope with competitive pressure and market forces within the Union
  1. Institutional: Ability to take on the obligations of membership including adherence to the aims of political, economic and monetary union
  1. The European Council has set a further condition. It must be determined that the Union has the capacity to accommodate a new member, while still functioning well and developing as envisaged. This ability is referenced as integration capacity, having previously been called absorption capacity.12
  1. The defining test running throughout all the criteria for membership is the state of the candidate’s relationship with the acquis communautaire – the body of rights and obligations derived from the treaties of the Union, its legislation, the case law of the EU Court of Justice, the Union’s international agreements, rules and policies. To become a Member State, the candidate must fully integrate the acquis into its institutions, laws and policies, ensuring that they are compliant with it.
  1. The Copenhagen Criteria and other conditions are the standards which must be met for membership. In that regard, they do not all have to be met in order to apply for membership, to become a candidate or for accession negotiations to be opened.
  1. It is generally sufficient for a European state to have met the political criteria of the Copenhagen Criteria to apply for membership and advance to the initial stages of the accession process.
  1. The Republic of Scotland will be strongly placed with respect to the Copenhagen Criteria and the question of integration capacity.
  1. Scottish democracy has developed over centuries.
  1. Scotland has been an integral participant in the UK’s democratic institutions throughout their evolution – most notably the House of Commons.
  1. Having been reconvened two decades ago, the Scottish Parliament is a vibrant, mature and representative democratic assembly, the product of free and fair elections and a multifaceted party system.
  1. The Scottish Government is a competent and responsible executive, accountable to the Parliament and deriving its mandate from it.
  1. The acquis communautaire and the European Convention on Human Rights are built into Scotland’s existing constitutional settlement.
  1. The Scottish legal profession is well known for its high standards of impartiality and integrity in upholding the law. The Scottish media is free and independent.
  1. Scotland has independent public institutions to safeguard the rights of individuals, including the Scottish Human Rights Commission, Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People, and the Scottish Information Commissioner.
  1. The Republic will therefore be in an extremely strong position to satisfy the political criteria of the Copenhagen Criteria.
  1. Provided that the European Union were to agree, on that basis the Republic would be qualified to apply for accession to the Union.
  1. Scotland benefits from a small open economy.
  1. Having evolved throughout the centuries, the Scottish economy was a centrepiece of the industrial revolution. Scotland produced some of the leading economists and thinkers who defined a number of the concepts of the market economy.
  1. The Scottish economy is developed, industrialised and diversified. It is a productive market economy defined by robust competition.
  1. Scotland was previously part of the European Union for nearly five decades. On that basis alone, the Scottish economy is manifestly capable of forming part of the Union economy and responding sufficiently to its associated demands and forces.
  1. The Republic will therefore be in an extremely strong position to satisfy the economic criteria of the Copenhagen Criteria.
  1. Scotland has strong political institutions in the current Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government. It has always maintained its own independent legal system.
  1. Scottish governance is resilient. It has effective legislative capacity to make, implement and revise law. Public policy is informed by evidence, consultation and practice. Specialised agencies and public bodies support policy and its creation.
  1. Scottish institutions have a proven prior track-record of implementing the acquis to a high standard over the past 20 years as a component part of the Union.
  1. The establishment of the Scottish state will involve the creation of institutions, laws, policies and systems to replace those previously shared in the UK. Such measures will take time and may not all be fully operative at the time of application.
  1. The Republic will therefore be in a strong position to satisfy the institutional criteria of the Copenhagen Criteria, enhanced further after the construction of the state.
  1. With regard to the integration capacity of the Union, Scotland is a modestly-sized country of 5.4 million people. It is well accustomed to life inside the Union, and its membership would not be a question of integration, but reintegration. Scotland’s accession would not pose a challenge to the Union’s functioning or development.13

2D. Accession Procedure

  1. Accession results from a formal, sequential procedure devised by the Union.
  1. This Procedure of Accession is based upon the provisions of Article 49 TEU and the practice developed by the Union. In its present form, it can be considered in 15 major steps, as follows.14
Accession to the European Union
Procedure of Accession
1Republic of Scotland
Application to the Council of the European Union
2European Commission
Opinion (Avis) on the Application
3Council of the European Union
Decision on Opening of Accession Negotiations
4European Commission
Negotiating Framework
5Council of the European Union
Decision on Negotiating Framework
6European Commission
Screening Process
7European Union and Republic of Scotland
Accession Negotiations
8European Commission
Recommendation on Closing Negotiations
9Council of the European Union
Decision on Closing of Accession Negotiations
10European Commission
Opinion on Accession
11European Parliament
Consent on Accession
12Council of the European Union
Decision on Accession
13EU Member States and Republic of Scotland
Signature of the Treaty of Accession
14EU Member States and Republic of Scotland
Ratification of the Treaty of Accession
15European Union and Republic of Scotland
Accession to the European Union
  1. The Republic’s pathway to accession to the Union would proceed as follows.
  1. The President of the Republic will send a letter of application on behalf of the Republic, addressed to the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. This letter will set out the Republic’s request to join the Union, its commitment to the foundational values of the Union and its undertaking to fulfil all the criteria set for joining and then to take up the rights and responsibilities of membership upon accession. [Step 1]
  1. The Council of the European Union will acknowledge to the Republic receipt of its application for membership.
  1. At its discretion, but normally shortly after receiving the application, the Council will invite the European Commission to prepare an opinion (avis) on the Republic’s application, the extent to which the Republic meets the Copenhagen Criteria at the point of application and the impact of its application with respect to the integration capacity of the Union.
  1. Most decisions on the Republic’s accession process will be normally taken by the Council while sitting in its General Affairs Council (GAC) configuration.
  1. The European Parliament and the state-level parliaments of the Member States will be officially notified of the Republic’s application at this stage.
  1. In preparation of its opinion, the European Commission will undertake a thorough programme of review and analysis.
  1. The central component informing its assessment is a questionnaire which it will send to the Government, consisting of an extensive series of questions of general and specific focus on the Republic’s institutions, laws, policies and practice. The questions will cover the current state of affairs and future evolution.
  1. The questionnaire will normally have on the order of 2000 to 5000 questions.
  1. The Commission will also conduct expert visits to Scotland and engage experts of the Member States to perform peer reviews. It will order independent reports, consult with Scottish civil society and run an open consultation process for stakeholders and any interested parties or individuals to submit information.
  1. Once it has completed its analysis, the Commission will present its opinion on the Republic’s application to the Council. [Step 2]
  1. The opinion will normally be on the order of 10-15 pages. It will be accompanied by a detailed analytical report normally on the order of 100-150 pages.
  1. It will feature the Commission’s assessment of the Republic’s degree of fulfilment of the Copenhagen Criteria at that stage. It will also include the Commission’s view on the integration capacity of the Union.
  1. This assessment will be based on the current situation and medium-term prospects (normally between the next 3-5 years).
  1. The opinion will make a recommendation to the Council on whether it should open accession negotiations with the Republic. Were it not in a position to recommend the opening of negotiations, the Commission would set out the key priorities which it believes must be addressed to enable such opening.
  1. Having received the Commission’s opinion, the Council will decide whether to formally open accession negotiations with the Republic and to designate it a candidate country. [Step 3]
  1. The Council is under no obligation to follow the Commission’s recommendations. Historically, it has however followed most recommendations.
  1. Were the Council to deem it necessary, the Council could set further conditions that would require to be met before the opening of negotiations.
  1. Provided that the Council agrees to open accession negotiations, it will invite the Commission to prepare the Union’s Negotiating Framework. This framework will provide the general structure for the negotiations.
  1. The Commission will prepare this framework and present it to the Council. [Step 4]
  1. Having received the Commission’s proposal, the Council will decide whether to adopt the Negotiating Framework. [Step 5]
  1. Provided that the Council adopts the Negotiating Framework, it will invite the Commission to commence the Screening Process. [Step 6]
  1. In this process, the Commission will determine the Republic’s existing degree of compliance with the chapters of the acquis. It will work with the Government in gathering the relevant information and performing the assessment. The European External Action Service will screen foreign, security and defence policy.
  1. The Commission will produce a screening report for each chapter of the acquis. These reports will normally be on the order of 10-20 pages.
  1. The screening reports will identify areas which will require improvement to align with the acquis. Each report will include the Commission’s recommendation on whether to open that chapter of the acquis for negotiation, or to set opening benchmarks which must first be met.
  1. The Commission will then conclude the Screening Process and present its screening reports to the Council.
  1. Having received the Commission’s reports, the Council will normally call for formal negotiations to begin. [Step 7]
  1. Accession negotiations technically take place between the Member States and the candidate country (instead of the Union and the candidate). The Member States are represented by the President of the Council.
  1. Negotiations are in Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) or Accession Conference.
  1. Each chapter of the acquis must be individually opened in order for negotiations on that area to take place.
  1. Taking into account the Commission’s screening report, the Council will set any opening benchmarks which the Republic must meet for a chapter to be opened, and the closing benchmarks it must meet for the chapter to be closed.
  1. The Council will decide when to open and close chapters.
  1. For each chapter, the Government will submit its negotiation position to the Union. Taking into account the Commission’s screening report and subsequent analysis, the Council will adopt its own negotiation position.
  1. Throughout the negotiation process, Accession Conferences will take place at regular intervals, with senior figures participating.
  1. Negotiators and officials from the Council, the Government and the Commission will meet and communicate on a much more frequent basis.
  1. When the Commission assesses and the Council agrees that, for a chapter, negotiations have been successful and the Republic is sufficiently compliant with the acquis, the Council will decide to provisionally close that chapter.
  1. Chapters are formally opened and provisionally closed at Accession Conferences.
  1. Were the Council to deem it necessary, a closed chapter could be reopened. The negotiations will not be final under the entire process is concluded.
  1. Decisions in the Council on the Republic’s accession process will require unanimity.
  1. The Council and the Commission will remain in dialogue, and the Commission will keep the European Parliament informed, throughout the negotiations.
  1. The Commission will produce an annual Progress Report each autumn on the state of the Republic’s progression towards accession.
  1. At the point where the Commission determines that all the accession negotiations have been satisfactorily completed, the necessary national reforms have been undertaken and the Republic is compliant with the acquis, save for any agreed transitional provisions or derogations, the Commission will recommend to the Council that it close the accession negotiations with the Republic. [Step 8]
  1. Having received the Commission’s recommendation, the Council will decide whether to formally close accession negotiations with the Republic. [Step 9]
  1. Provided that the Council agrees to close the accession negotiations, the texts, rights and obligations resulting from the negotiations will be made final.
  1. The negotiated texts will then be formulated into a Treaty of Accession.
  1. The Commission will issue an opinion to the Council on whether it believes that the Republic is ready for accession. [Step 10]
  1. Provided that the Commission’s opinion is favourable, the European Parliament will be invited to consent to the Republic’s accession to the Union. [Step 11]
  1. Provided that the Parliament consents to accession, the Council will make a final decision on approval of the Republic’s accession to the Union. [Step 12]
  1. The Member States and the Republic will sign the Treaty of Accession. [Step 13]
  1. At this point, the Republic will become an acceding country, with active observer status in many Union bodies.
  1. The Member States and the Republic will ratify the Treaty of Accession in accordance with their constitutional requirements. [Step 14]
  1. Provided that all parties ratify the treaty and deposit their instruments of ratification, the Republic will accede to the Union and become a Member State on the date specified in the Treaty of Accession. [Step 15]
  1. As the Republic progresses through the accession process, its relationship with the Union will evolve in stages. These stages will promote the Republic’s convergence with and integration into the Union, and are as follows.15
Accession to the European Union
Stages of Accession
STEPSSTATUS
1–3Applicant Country
4–13Candidate Country
14Acceding Country
15Member State
  1. The procedure of accession is subject to change, in accordance with Article 49 and at the Union’s discretion. Indeed, it has become more rigorous and codified over the successive rounds of enlargement.
  1. While the accession process is highly structured, its course depends significantly on the applying state and its own depth and speed of convergence with the Union.

2E. Accession Timeline

  1. The length of the accession process is not predefined. It varies depending upon the Union, the applying state and the development of its membership perspective.
  1. Based upon previous accessions, and taking into account Scotland’s political, economic and institutional situation, it is possible to estimate with a reasonable degree of confidence the time frame for the Republic’s accession to the Union.
  1. Such estimates result from the sum of the envisaged durations of each step in the procedure of accession.
  1. The following estimates of the length of Republic’s accession process provide two scenarios – a Shorter Time Frame and a Longer Time Frame.
  1. Under the Shorter Time Frame, all the steps of the procedure of accession conclude more favourably and proceed at a faster pace, while still in a reasonable scenario.
  1. Under the Longer Time Frame, all the steps of the procedure of accession conclude less favourably and proceed at a slower pace, while still in a reasonable scenario.
  1. These estimates are based upon the following conditions:
  • The Union’s accession process does not change significantly from its current structure at the time at which the Republic applies for membership
  • The Republic conducts a high degree of internal preparation for membership prior to initiating its application
  • The European Council looks favourably throughout the accession process on the Republic’s timely accession to the Union
  • The Member States agree unanimously at every stage and in the first instance to advance the Republic’s application when the Council takes such decisions
  • The Commission’s initial opinion assesses that the Republic is strongly placed to fulfil Copenhagen Criteria already at that point
  • The Council agrees to open accession negotiations with Republic with no key priorities or other conditions that would have to first be satisfied
  • In its screening process, the Commission concludes that the Republic is compliant with the acquis to a substantial extent across most chapters
  • Formal negotiations proceed in an expedient fashion, based on the Republic having reasonable negotiation positions and the Union’s continued interest
  • The Republic satisfies completely and expeditiously whatever benchmarks are set by the Union to provisionally close the chapters of the acquis
  • The Council agrees to conclude the negotiations swiftly following their completion and the Commission’s positive recommendation
  • The Commission produces a favourable opinion in the first instance on the Republic’s accession to the Union
  • The European Parliament consents in the first instance to the Treaty of Accession
  • Upon completion of procedures, the Member States and the Republic sign the Treaty of Accession without delay
  • The Member States and the Republic ratify the treaty and deposit their instruments of ratification at a normal pace, without any internal political or procedural difficulty
  1. Scotland’s Prospective Times Frames for EU Accession are as follows:
Scotland’s Accession to the European Union
Prospective Time Frames
SHORTER TIME FRAMEACCESSION STEPLONGER TIME FRAME
––1Scotland Application to the EU Council––
6 months2European Commission Opinion on Application12 months
1 month3EU Council Opening of Accession Negotiations3 months
1 month4European Commission Negotiating Framework3 months
5EU Council Decision on Negotiating Framework
6 months6European Commission Screening Process9 months
12 months7EU-Scotland Accession Negotiations18 months
1 month8European Commission on Closing Negotiations3 months
9EU Council Closing of Accession Negotiations
3 months10European Commission Opinion on Accession6 months
1 month11European Parliament Consent on Accession3 months
12EU Council Decision on Accession
13Signature of the Treaty of Accession
1 month14aScotland Referendum on Accession3 months
12 months14bRatification of the Treaty of Accession18 months
––15Accession to the European Union––
TOTALFORECAST
48 months – 60 months
TOTAL
44 months78 months
  1. These prospective time frames begin at the point of the Republic’s application and end at the point of its accession.
  1. They do not include discussion with the Union prior to application or negotiations and conclusion of the Republic’s pre-accession relationship with the Union.
  1. For the purposes of calculating their duration, certain steps in the procedure of accession can be taken together. Steps 4 and 5, and separately Steps 11, 12 and 13, normally take place closely to each other.
  1. Conversely, Step 14 should be considered in two components for determining duration. The Republic’s referendum on EU accession (14a) will take place first, then followed by the process of ratification of the Treaty of Accession (14b) in the Republic and the Member States.
  1. Under the prospective Shorter Time Frame, the Republic of Scotland’s accession to the European Union would take 44 months (3 years, 8 months – or 3.67 years).
  1. Under the prospective Longer Time Frame, the Republic of Scotland’s accession to the European Union would take 78 months (6 years, 6 months – or 6.5 years).
  1. Within those time frames, the probable forecasted time range for the Republic’s accession to the Union is between 48 months (4 years) and 60 months (5 years).
  1. The Government of Scotland should adopt a Target to EU Accession of 4 years.
  1. This Target to Accession will represent the Government’s strategic ambition for Scotland’s pathway to EU membership and focus its efforts and determination.
  1. The prospective time frames are derived from Scotland’s favourable position in satisfying the Copenhagen Criteria and its previous relationship with the acquis.
  1. They also take into account the accession processes of recent candidates for EU membership, providing cases for comparison.
  1. In this regard, the most pertinent states are Croatia and Iceland. Croatia is the most recent state to join the European Union. Iceland is the most recent state to seek to join (having later decided to suspend its request) which is most comparable to Scotland in terms of political, economic and institutional development.16
  1. The four most time-intensive steps in the accession process serve as the most instructive points of reference.
  1. The opinion of the European Commission (Step 2), from the point of invitation by the Council to the point of delivery to the Council took about 12 months for Croatia and 7 months for Iceland.17
  1. The Screening Process by the Commission (Step 6), from its start to its conclusion, took about 12 months for Croatia and 7 months for Iceland.18
  1. Formal Negotiations (Step 7), from the first Accession Conference to the last Accession Conference (for Croatia, the final conference; for Iceland, the last conference held) took about 60 months for Croatia and 18 months for Iceland.19
  1. Ratification of the Treaty of Accession, from the first notification to the last notification by the parties, took about 15 months for Croatia. Iceland never completed accession negotiations.20
  1. Finland is another case for comparison. Finland and Scotland have similarly-sized populations and comparable political, economic and institutional development.
  1. Finland’s accession to the European Union took about 33 months (2 years, 9 months – or 2.75 years), of which negotiations took about 14 months.21
  1. Finland was already a fully established independent state and it was a founding participant in the European Economic Area. The Union (formally the European Communities at that time) consisted then of 12 Member States, compared with 27 today. It also had fewer competences and the acquis was smaller.
  1. Accordingly, comparisons of more recent accession processes, which are indicative of the Union’s current procedure of accession, are more relevant for the Republic.
  1. The Republic must also note that, despite its participation in the EEA, high degree of compliance with the acquis and strong position to satisfy the Copenhagen Criteria, Iceland was not offered a special accession procedure and instead applied and progressed in the normal way.
  1. The prospective time frames for Scotland’s accession to the Union are therefore fair estimates. Indeed, the Shorter Time Frame assumes a faster pace than that at which Iceland advanced.
  1. The Union and the Republic will conclude an agreement, most likely an Association Agreement (AA), to provide for their mutual relationship during the Republic’s pre-accession period.
  1. The AA will be intended to endure for as long as is necessary for the Republic to complete accession. The length of the accession process will pose no risk to its continued effect and no ‘cliff edge’ will materialise.
  1. Scotland’s Prospective Time Frames for EU Accession of potentially 44-78 months, probably 48-60 months, are reasonable.
  1. These timescales are not a consequence of inherent difficulties which the Republic might face. They reflect instead the fact that EU accession results from procedures which must be undertaken to fullness.
  1. Indeed, even with an abundance of will, the Union would hardly be able to proceed substantially faster than the Shorter Time Frame.
  1. In formulating its approach to EU accession, the Government must take full account of the probable time scales involved and build its strategy accordingly.

2F. EU Political Considerations

  1. Accession to the Union rests to a significant degree with the Member States.
  1. Through the Council presidency, they are direct participants in the negotiations, contrasted with most circumstances, in which the Commission acts as negotiator.
  1. Council decisions require unanimity to progress. The disposition of one or several Member States can stall a country’s path to accession.
  1. In some respects, these dynamics more resemble traditional international relations.
  1. Nevertheless, the European Commission also has a powerful position throughout the process of accession.
  1. It conducts the major assessments on the institutions, laws and policies of the applying state. It produces the screening reports, proposes chapter benchmarks and monitors progress.
  1. Based on this work, the Commission advises the Council on conditions, pace and outcomes of the negotiations.
  1. The European Parliament has a much more limited role. Accession remains an area where the Parliament is not co-legislator with the Council.
  1. The consent procedure, in which the Parliament formally has only a final vote on approval near the end of the process, is utilised instead of the ordinary legislative procedure (previously called co-decision).
  1. However, the Parliament conditions its final approval on its views being taken into account throughout the accession process.
  1. The wider dynamics of the Union will also have a bearing on the Republic’s path to EU membership.
  1. Each Council presidency has its own priorities, and the emphasis on enlargement can vary. Moreover, the EU agenda is perpetually replete with many major issues. The Republic must encourage the Member States to maintain the momentum.
  1. The European Commission will also have its workload to manage, not least as it is already conducting enlargement relations with a number of other countries.
  1. In order for Scotland to become a candidate for EU membership, the Council must decide favourably by unanimity.
  1. Technically, a Member State could abstain and a vote would still pass, but that eventuality would be largely unprecedented for a such a consequential matter.
  1. Every Member State must also have recognised Scotland as an independent state.
  1. Provided that Scotland’s separation from rUK is agreed with the UK Government, and that rUK recognises Scotland as a state at the point of independence, state recognition by all EU Member States should be readily forthcoming.
  1. Much European goodwill has been expressed on the prospect of Scotland joining the EU in the event of independence.
  1. Nevertheless, the EU is founded on treaties and rules. Political flexibility is possible in some circumstances, but it must accord with the EU’s collective interests.
  1. For instance, a special accession procedure for a state such as Scotland would not align with either the EU’s rules or its collective interests.
  1. Such a scenario would depart from the practice developed by the Union and create animosity in all the other candidate countries and potential candidate countries.
  1. Despite its substantial qualifications for membership, Iceland was still offered the normal accession procedure. Given its status, the process moved at a faster pace.
  1. Moreover, such a scenario would not be conducive to cohesion, one of the principal aims of the European Union.
  1. Scotland will therefore follow the normal accession procedure. However, its path to accession will be easier and faster than nearly any other candidate in the history of enlargement. The Shorter Time Frame set out earlier in the Blueprint presumes that Scotland will progress even faster than Iceland (up to its cancellation).
  1. Enlargement changes the character of the Union. More members make the Council larger, Commissioner portfolios smaller, European Parliament allocations smaller, generally speaking.
  1. Integrity capacity is largely a political determination made by the Member States.
  1. Scotland is a relatively small country, with a high degree of readiness for becoming an EU Member State and a history of prior participation in the Union. In that regard, its candidacy should not pose a political or institutional challenge to integration.
  1. Enlargement is a salient matter in the Union. The preferences of the Member States on the conditions for further expansion of the Union differ. Some would like to see reform of the EU and its institutions before bringing in new members. Others would like to continue advancing candidacies of states, where they are ready, and treat institutional reform as a distinct issue. These arguments are not particularly new.
  1. Enlargement is focused on Western Balkans candidates and future candidates at the current time. Some Member States wish reform of the accession process as well, to establish greater confidence in the candidates’ preparations for accession. Once a state joins the Union, the ability to influence its choices is much reduced.
  1. Following developments in the Council and the European Council, the European Commission has recently proposed changes to the accession process.22
  1. These proposals are focused mainly on the structure of the negotiations (Step 7 in the procedure earlier in the Blueprint). The principles of accession are unaffected.
  1. The Commission has suggested that chapters of the acquis be grouped in clusters, the process of reopening chapters be made easier, Member State experts have a role in the monitoring normally done by the Commission and a greater emphasis be put on the rule of law throughout the negotiations.
  1. These proposed reforms should have no significant implications for Scotland.
  1. Scotland is founded on the respect for the rule of law and has all of the institutions necessary to ensure it. It will be well prepared for accession and it will honour all the commitments it makes during the accession negotiations. It should welcome the opportunity to engage with experts from the Member States.
  1. The Government should continue to follow the Union’s debates closely and assess the implications of their evolution for Scotland’s eventual membership application.
  1. It should engage with the European Commission to understand better the situation.

3. Pre-Accession Period

  1. The pre-accession period between Scotland’s formal independence and eventual accession to the European Union will be a time of transition. The Republic will progressively orient itself towards membership of the Union and assuming the associated rights and responsibilities. During this period, the relationship between Scotland and the EU will be based upon a negotiated agreement. The Republic will equally develop its relations with the Union institutions and the Member States.
  1. This Chapter explores Independence and Pre-Accession, Scotland’s Association Negotiations, its Association Objectives, Scotland’s EU Convergence in this period, its Representation in Brussels and EU Institution and Bilateral Relations.

3A. Independence and Pre-Accession

  1. During the transition to independence and up to the point of formal independence, it is envisaged that Scotland’s relationship with the European Union will continue to be based upon the EU-UK partnership, since Scotland will still be within the UK.
  1. Scotland’s relationship with the Union from the point of independence to the point of accession, including throughout the accession process, must be negotiated.
  1. It will be of paramount importance to Scotland to have that post-independence, pre-accession relationship ready to become operational on the day of formal independence. In the absence of such an agreement, the new Republic would have no predefined partnership for close relations with the Union.
  1. In that regard, Scotland’s position will be unique for a potential candidate country. It will not start with a distant relationship with the Union, be accustomed to that distance, and be seeking to gradually build convergence with the Union. Instead, Scotland will up to formal independence have a close relationship with the Union, insofar as the EU-UK partnership allows, combined with its previous participation within the Union as part of a Member State.
  1. The primary objective is therefore to preserve, from the moment of independence, the close relationship between Scotland and the EU, which would conceivably be automatically lost in absence of prior arrangements.
  1. Scotland will not be a state during the transition to independence. Within the UK’s present constitution, Scotland also does not have international legal personality.
  1. The UK Government’s approach to Scotland’s transition to independence and its standing for European and international action will therefore prove important.
  1. The Scotland-UK Framework Agreement, negotiated in the aftermath of the referendum endorsing independence, should formalise Scotland’s European and international engagement for the purposes of preparing a well-functioning state.
  1. The Framework Agreement should include the UK Government’s endorsement of the Scottish Government’s interaction with the European Union to establish a stable relationship with the Union from the point of independence.
  1. It should also confirm the UK Government’s commitment to take whatever steps are necessary to facilitate such effective interaction. It would be reasonable for Scotland to be afforded international legal personality.
  1. In these respects, rUK should facilitate a constructive process to independence which enables Scotland to ensure its best interests, rather than simply a procedural separation which would not account for Scotland’s security and prosperity.
  1. The shape and degree of the UK Government’s direct involvement in Scotland’s pre-independence engagement with the European Union should be regulated by the Framework Agreement. These matters concern Scotland and rUK only, and the Scottish Government should seek to avoid implicating the EU in such discussions.
  1. Should it happen, however unlikely, that UK Government did not work in a positive spirit with the Scottish Government to enable coordination with the EU and deliver Scotland’s aspirations of continuity and prospective EU membership, the Scottish Government must regrettably appeal to the Union to work directly to assist it in securing those objectives, regardless of the position of the UK Government.
  1. On the basis of the Scotland-UK Framework Agreement, the Scottish Government should seek early discussions with the European Union to prepare Scotland’s post-independence, pre-accession relationship with the Union during the transition to independence.
  1. The most preferable means of securing that relationship will be for the Union and Scotland directly to negotiate an Association Agreement (AA) and to have that agreement approved and ready to enter into force at the moment of independence.
  1. Were this option not to prove possible, the Union could alternatively extend the applicability of the EU-UK partnership to Scotland beyond its formal independence, on a temporary basis and so as to provide continuity.
  1. That outcome would be achieved through whatever means the Union considered appropriate. It might take the form of establishing a relationship mirroring the EU-UK partnership but legally distinct from it, with political representation for Scotland. It might instead take the form of amending the EU-UK partnership, such as by way of a protocol, to extend it to Scotland for a period (in effect creating an EU-UK-Scotland partnership), potentially without political representation for Scotland. The latter option would require a high degree of endorsement from rUK.
  1. Such measures would continue until an Association Agreement could be concluded between the European Union and the Republic of Scotland.
  1. Securing the most positive outcome will require early and frequent discussion with the Union to find the way forward. The Scottish Government should make clear to the Union that it seeks a solution which ensures stability for Scotland and its future integration into the Union.
  1. The Government should underline that it aspires to a pre-accession relationship which furthers Scotland’s membership perspective and its convergence with the Union. It should call upon where necessary the spirit of European solidarity, which Scotland will of course intend to return as opportunities arise.
  1. While ingenuity may well be required to create Scotland’s post-independence, pre-accession relationship with the Union, where Scotland presents its case as above the Union will surely respond positively.

3B. Association Negotiations

  1. The most optimal mechanism for providing EU-Scotland relations during the pre-accession period is an Association Agreement (AA).23
  1. Such agreements are flexible in their approach and content. It is developed practice for the Union to conclude an AA with a country seeking to become a member.
  1. Following a referendum endorsing independence, the conclusion of the Scotland-UK Framework Agreement and a mandate provided by the Scottish Parliament, the Scottish Government and the European Union should negotiate an AA.
  1. The objective will be to negotiate, approve and ratify the agreement during Scotland’s transition to independence, so that it can enter into operation at the point of independence.
  1. While Scotland will not be a state during the transition to independence, its status will not be an inherent barrier to negotiating and concluding an AA.
  1. The European Commission reaffirmed its position in its feasibility study for a Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with Kosovo that the Union can conclude an association agreement with entities which are not independent states, provided that they have the institutions and capacity to undertake and implement such an agreement.24
  1. Scotland would clearly have the requisite institutions and capacity to undertake and implement an association agreement.
  1. The Union solidified this precedent by concluding the SAA with Kosovo, which was signed in October 2015 and entered into force in April 2016.25
  1. Association agreements are normally made by the Union and the Member States together. They include matters which are under EU competence and those which remain national competence. They are therefore called ‘mixed agreements’.26
  1. By contrast, the SAA with Kosovo only includes matters under EU competence. It is therefore an ‘EU-only agreement’.27
  1. In view of Scotland’s situation following a referendum endorsing independence, the Union and Scotland should proceed with an EU-only association agreement.
  1. This agreement will be concluded directly between the Union and Scotland. The Member States will not be direct parties to the agreement.
  1. This approach will obviate any possible concerns which might arise of the Member States concluding an agreement with a country transitioning to independence.
  1. It will also be a faster process, particularly since the Union will ratify the agreement itself and national ratifications by all of the Member States will not be necessary.
  1. Given the imperative of having an agreement in place at the point of independence, saving such time will be important.
  1. In order to negotiate an agreement, the Union requires a legal base.
  1. The primary legal base for its Association Agreement with Scotland will be Article 217 TFEU, as follows.
Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union
Article 217
The Union may conclude with one or more third countries or international organisations agreements establishing an association involving reciprocal rights and obligations, common action and special procedure.
  1. Secondary legal bases for the agreement may also apply.
  1. The procedure for concluding the AA will differ from the procedure of accession. It will be based upon that used for international agreements (including trade).28
  1. The European Commission will act as negotiator instead of the Member States. While not as directly engaged in the negotiations, the Member States will remain involved throughout the process in the EU Council.
  1. The process will begin when the Commission presents its recommendation to the Council on opening negotiations with Scotland on an association agreement.
  1. The Commission may undertake a feasibility study on pursuing such an agreement with Scotland before presenting its recommendation. It would normally conduct such a study for a pre-accession association agreement.
  1. Should the Commission make a favourable recommendation on negotiations, it will also present its proposed negotiating directives to the Council.
  1. The Council will decide whether to authorise the Commission to open negotiations on an association agreement with Scotland. It will give its view on the proposed negotiating directives.
  1. Provided the Council agrees to authorise negotiations, the European Commission will open the negotiations and act as the Union negotiator.
  1. The European Commission and Scottish Government will proceed to conduct the negotiations on the association agreement.
  1. Once the negotiations are complete, the agreement will be initialled.
  1. After finalisation of the text, the Commission will present its recommendation to the Council on signing and concluding the agreement.
  1. Provided the Council agrees to sign and conclude the agreement, the Union and Scotland will sign the association agreement.
  1. The European Parliament will then be invited to consent to the agreement.
  1. Provided that the Parliament consents to the agreement, the Council will review it for final approval.
  1. Scotland will ratify the agreement under the terms of the Scotland-UK Framework Agreement. It is envisaged that the agreement will be approved on the basis of a vote in the Scottish Parliament. The Scottish Government will then produce an instrument of ratification.
  1. The Union and Scotland will make deposits and notifications as required.
  1. The Council will take a final decision on approval of the agreement.
  1. The Association Agreement will enter into force as specified.
  1. Decisions in the Council on the association agreement will require unanimity.
  1. The association agreement will include association with the European Atomic Energy Community.
  1. The agreement will be styled as follows:
Scotland
EU Association Agreement
Association Agreement between the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community, of the one part, and Scotland, of the other part
  1. The agreement will specifically reference ‘Scotland’ and not ‘Republic of Scotland’, since the Republic will not legally exist until formal independence and the AA will have been concluded while Scotland was not a state.
  1. The Union and Scotland will have to make necessary arrangements to ensure that the agreement enters into force on the date of independence.
  1. In setting the date of formal independence, Scotland should have regard to the progress and duration of the process for concluding the association agreement.
  1. Given the question of time, the Scottish Government should undertake consultation and assessment in preparation for the negotiations in an expeditious fashion.
  1. The Scottish Parliament should be kept informed of the negotiations throughout the process and provide its opinion where necessary.
  1. Since the AA will be an EU-only agreement, its ambit will not be as extensive as a mixed-agreement AA. However, an EU-only AA is reasonably likely to provide a closer relationship to the Union than the EU-UK partnership, give the track-record and direction of travel of the UK Government.
  1. In due course, following the establishment of the Republic of Scotland, the Union and the Republic may decide to deepen further their cooperation. Relatedly, the Union might adopt a pre-accession strategy for Scotland.
  1. The original AA could be amended or it could be replaced with a mixed-agreement AA. Such a new AA would be substantially based on the old AA, and simply make additions and updates as required.
  1. The old AA would remain in force as it was concluded until it was updated or superseded by a new AA.
  1. While Scotland’s association agreement will serve as an integral dimension to its membership perspective, its negotiation and conclusion will remain distinct from the Republic’s application for accession to the Union.

3C. Association Objectives

  1. The purpose of pre-accession association with the European Union is to promote integration and convergence with the EU in preparation of eventual membership.
  1. In approaching relations with the EU before membership, Scotland should seek to progressively develop its capacity, relationships and profile.
  1. The envisaged association agreement will provide for EU-Scotland relations during the pre-accession period. It will facilitate flows of people, goods, services, capital, data and ideas between Scotland and the Union in both directions.
  1. While it might be amended or superseded at some point after Scotland’s formal independence, the association agreement will continue throughout the accession process, whatever the length of that process.
  1. Scotland must therefore give full consideration to its objectives and aspirations for the association agreement and how it will foster Scotland’s place in the Union.
  1. In that regard, Scotland should formulate its strategic objectives for EU association, particularly through the association agreement.
  1. These objectives should be informed by the Principles for European Relations and the Strategic Priorities for EU Accession.
  1. Scotland’s Strategic Objectives for EU Association could be set as follows.
Scotland
Strategic Objectives for EU Association
  1. To facilitate a high degree of integration with the Union reflective of Scotland’s strong preparedness and prior participation in the Union
  1. To promote Scotland’s progressive convergence with the Union in parallel with the evolution of the Scottish state
  1. To provide durable foundations and legal certainty throughout the stages of Scotland’s accession to the Union
  1. Scotland must remain oriented throughout the pre-accession period towards integration with the Union and preparation for membership.
  1. With its strong political and economic institutions, robust governance, extensive existing compliance with the acquis and prior participation in the Union, Scotland is well placed for EU accession.
  1. Scotland is therefore uniquely qualified for an ambitious association agreement.
  1. In pursuing EU association, Scotland should seek a high degree of closeness with the Union, in both scope and depth, which reflects those qualifications while also taking into account the likely bounds of an EU-only agreement.
  1. Accordingly, Scotland should propose to the Union that the association agreement should provide as much cooperation with the Union as the AA will allow and the Union judges to be reasonable.
  1. Scotland should seek a high degree of integration into the EU internal market, incorporating the four freedoms. It should see an EU Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) without free movement of workers as insufficiently ambitious.
  1. It should pursue the degree of relationship with the EU customs union which is assessed to be in the best interests of Scotland and the Union at the time.
  1. Scotland should take steps to demonstrate to the Union its commitment to its membership perspective and the future of the Union.
  1. It should establish the equivalent of the free movement of people within Scotland for EU, EEA and Swiss citizens as soon as Scottish institutions have the ability to do so, including under provisions of the Scotland-UK Framework Agreement.
  1. Scotland should undertake this measure regardless of the Union’s evolution on its migration relationship with Scotland.
  1. The Scottish Government might consider requesting that the AA provide a degree of consular assistance in emergency circumstances for future Scottish citizens, similar to the mutual consular assistance provisions between EU Member States. Given that the Scottish diplomatic network will be nascent in the formative period of the state, such assistance could prove valuable.
  1. The Republic of Scotland will be in a position to pursue even closer cooperation with the Union upon its formal establishment and independence.
  1. The European Union provides support funding to candidate countries and potential candidates countries through the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA).29
  1. It would have to be determined to what extent Scotland would qualify for such assistance, considering its position and that the process of establishing the state will be a major transition. Were it to qualify, Scotland should develop principles to ensure best value and results.
  1. The association agreement would inherently replace Scotland’s involvement in the EU-UK partnership, in the context of future EU membership.
  1. Given that the AA is envisaged to enter into force at the point of independence, its shape and scope could have implications for the Scotland-rUK border from that point as well.
  1. However, since Scotland’s purpose would be to join the EU, reorientation towards the Union, its legislation and policies would be logical and inevitable.
  1. At formal independence, this process will begin with the association agreement and culminate in accession to the Union.
  1. Moreover, it cannot be guaranteed to a sufficient level of certainty that rUK will not in future withdraw from or otherwise seek to alter the EU-UK partnership, or that part or all of the partnership could be suspended through rUK’s failure to uphold its responsibilities, in light of its recent track-record on relations with the EU.
  1. Scotland must act in its own interests in following its path to EU membership.

3D. Scotland’s EU Convergence

  1. Accession to the Union changes the nature of the state, integrating the European level into its institutions and governance. For Scotland, this integration will take place simultaneously with the development of the Scottish state.
  1. The process of accession is intended to prepare the candidate and the Union for its membership. While it is based on procedures, each accession is unique.
  1. Moreover, accession is intended to be a positive and beneficial process. The aim of the Union, and the work of the European Commission, is to assist the candidate in fulfilling the criteria and moving to a position of being ready to take on the rights and responsibilities of membership.
  1. It is therefore fundamentally an interactive process of negotiation, dialogue and exchange. Evidence, research and assessment are also important components.
  1. The Republic’s approach to the entirety of the accession process will therefore make an appreciable difference to its operation, duration and outcomes.
  1. It must formulate an approach which is proactive, constructive and well-prepared, drawing inspiration from the Principles for European Relations, the Strategic Priorities for EU Accession and the Strategic Objectives for EU Association.
  1. From the beginning of the accession process, the Republic of Scotland should set the ambition of making itself a Member-State-in-waiting.
  1. The Government of Scotland’s main interlocutor throughout accession on a daily and weekly basis will be the European Commission – in particular, the Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR).30
  1. The Government should pursue early and frequent engagement with DG NEAR principally, and other Commission actors as relevant. It does need to wait for its application for accession to be submitted, or for the Commission to start its work on its initial opinion, or for the Commission to commence the screening process.
  1. In that regard, the Government should be proactive in articulating its membership preparations, integration efforts and areas of improvement, instead of being simply reactive to the requests and requirements of DG NEAR.
  1. It should regularly provide, on its own initiative, reports, evidence, analysis and other documents related to its membership perspective to DG NEAR where they are useful and informative.
  1. The Government should also seek advice from Member States where appropriate, including their officials, experts and agencies, on methods of undertaking suitable preparations for membership.
  1. The primary objective for Scotland’s accession process will be to demonstrate that Scotland, as a state, is compliant with the acquis and has the necessary institutions and capacity to fulfil the functions of EU membership.
  1. In that regard, a distinction may exist between what is functionally necessary to operate as an independent state and what the Union requires for membership.
  1. In as much as possible and from the earliest stage, the Scottish state should be constructed with future EU membership in mind.
  1. While constitutional and legal frameworks certainly hold importance, a major focus of the Commission will equally be on the degree of effective implementation.
  1. Scotland must be the one to provide the continued drive and commitment. Where the Government adopts a rigorous approach, it will be best placed to ensure both a beneficial accession and a more rapid accession process.
  1. The four most time-intensive steps in the procedure of accession are the initial opinion of the Commission (moreover, its preparation), the screening process done by the Commission, the formal negotiations and the eventual ratification of the Treaty of Accession.
  1. While the Member State ratifications of the treaty do not involve the Republic, the Government is an integral part of the remaining three steps.
  1. Beyond providing the Council with the essential recommendation on whether to open accession negotiations, the Commission’s initial opinion to a large extent sets the tone for the accession process.
  1. It will be important for the Republic to make its best possible contributions to the analysis and assessment which the Commission will undertake for the opinion.
  1. The most notable component of the Commission’s assessment, with respect to the Government’s input and the entire assessment generally, is the questionnaire.
  1. The Government should studiously prepare thoughtful and detailed answers to all of the questions outlined in the questionnaire. High-quality responses will ensure that the Commission has the greatest amount of information possible, in respect of the Government.
  1. Moreover, given Scotland’s favourable position with respect to the Copenhagen Criteria and the acquis, the questionnaire will be a valuable opportunity to present persuasively how Scotland is already extremely well prepared for accession.
  1. This upfront dedication by the Government could ultimately result in faster and less demanding negotiations later, due to the Republic’s clear demonstration of its existing compliance with the acquis.
  1. The Government should also assist the Commission in gathering the information which it requires beyond the questionnaire, where it is appropriate to do so.
  1. The screening process will be a collaborative effort between the Commission and the Government. While the Commission is expert in the detail of the acquis, naturally the Government of Scotland is most knowledgeable about Scotland’s institutions, laws and policies.
  1. Scotland will be strongly placed and well prepared on many of the requirements of membership. The Government must be clear in explaining and providing evidence to show the ways in which Scotland is qualified.
  1. The Government cannot assume that Commission officials know anything about Scotland at the start of the process. While in practice they are likely to have varying degrees of initial knowledge, it will be prudent to fully explain Scotland’s context.
  1. The Republic’s objective for the screening process should be for the Commission to determine that the Republic is compliant with the acquis to a substantial extent across most chapters.
  1. On the basis of the Commission’s more favourable opinion and positively-assessed screening process, the formal accession negotiations will have shorter duration.
  1. The Government will be able to further minimise the length of the negotiations by satisfying any benchmarks or requirements which are set by the Union in a timely and complete manner.
  1. While political dynamics within the Union can have an impact on the pace of the accession process, the much more determinative component will be the extent to which Scotland sets and maintains a productive momentum.
  1. Securing EU accession will require an all-of-government effort. While major roles will be played by the principals and negotiators, and more broadly the Department of European and External Relations, every Government department will have its own important contributions to make.
  1. At the same, given the totality of the operation, effective central coordination will be required to ensure a coherent, logical and successful approach to accession.
  1. The Government of Scotland should establish the EU Integration Unit (EIU).
  1. The EIU will be jointly operated by the Department of the Prime Minister and the Department of European and External Relations.
  1. The Unit will serve as the central coordinating command for all internal government preparations for EU membership and participation in the EU accession process.
  1. The Government should avoid a proliferation of administrative structures with respect to undertaking EU accession and membership.
  1. In addition to ensuring compliance with the acquis, the Government should more broadly progressively align its policies and practices with those of the Union.
  1. It should do so in parallel with the construction of the Scottish state and where the Republic is in a position to do so adequately and sustainably. The Government must avoid rapid alignment without sufficient purpose or durability.
  1. For instance, in the field of foreign policy, the Republic will move into alignment with the Union as part of eventual membership. Yet it also represents opportunities for Scotland and the Union to work collaboratively together on particular areas of focus or expertise for Scotland, already during the pre-accession period.

3E. Representation in Brussels

  1. The Republic will require diplomatic representation to the European Union.
  1. Its mission in Brussels will be crucial to Scotland’s effective representation to the full range of institutions and actors involved in the functioning of the Union.
  1. It will formally represent Scotland before the EU institutions and Member States, engage with the EU’s decision-making system, advocate Scotland’s interests and promote Scotland within the wider Brussels community.
  1. The representation will build relationships in Brussels with the EU institutions, Member States, third countries, international organisations, business, media, civil society and the policy community.
  1. It will have a significant role in preparing Scotland for EU membership throughout the accession process.
  1. This mission will serve as a symbol of Scotland in Europe. Its presentation, profile and engagement must reflect Scotland’s seriousness towards membership of the Union, as it will be on this basis that many Brussels actors will assess Scotland.
  1. This representation must therefore be considered a priority in building Scotland’s diplomatic footprint around the world.
  1. It must be afforded the requisite resources and political investment.
  1. The shape of Scotland’s representation in Brussels will evolve with the transition to independence and the establishment of the Republic, and Scotland’s path to EU accession and membership.
  1. The mission will progressively acquire responsibilities, and it will need at the same time to carry out its current functions while preparing for its future roles.
  1. The evolution of Scotland’s diplomatic mission to the Union will proceed as follows.
Republic of Scotland
Representation to the European Union
Currently
Scotland House Brussels
Transition to Independence
Delegation of Scotland to the European Union
On Independence
Mission of Scotland to the European Union
On Accession to the Union
Permanent Representation of Scotland to the European Union
  1. Scotland has been directly represented in Brussels since October 1999, with the founding of Scotland House.31
  1. Having recently been expanded, Scotland House remains the Scottish Government EU base. It has developed a successful profile in Brussels.
  1. Scotland House’s acquired institutional expertise and reputation must be retained and incorporated into the successor diplomatic mission to follow.
  1. Following a referendum endorsing independence, the Scottish Government should formally rename Scotland House as the Delegation of Scotland to the European Union. Its informal name should continue.
  1. The Scotland-UK Framework Agreement should provide whether the Delegation will remain under the UK ‘diplomatic umbrella’ in the transition to independence.
  1. While Scotland will not at that stage yet have the diplomatic standing of a state, its representation to the EU should be updated to reflect its progression towards independence and in anticipation of its future path to EU accession.
  1. The title also reflects that the mission represents Scotland in all respects, not just the Scottish Government or existing devolved competence.
  1. The Scottish Government should appoint a Delegate of Scotland to the European Union as the head of the Delegation and its chief representative in Brussels.
  1. At this time, preparations will be made to establish the Department of European and External Relations and the Scottish European and External Relations Service.
  1. Throughout the transition to independence, the Delegation should be progressively upgraded with a view to its future purpose – the permanent diplomatic mission in Brussels of an EU Member State.
  1. Early consideration and planning of the personnel size and space requirements over the evolution from Scotland House to Permanent Representation should save time and costs by working towards a single eventuality.
  1. At the point of independence, Scotland will become a state and the Delegation will acquire resultant diplomatic standing.
  1. The Government of Scotland will then rename the Delegation as the Mission of Scotland to the European Union.
  1. This format is the normal style used for diplomatic representation of third countries to the European Union in Brussels.
  1. The Government will appoint an Ambassador of Scotland to the European Union, in line with the procedures established by the Republic.
  1. The President of the Republic will accredit the ambassador as the Ambassador and Head of Mission of the Republic of Scotland to the European Union.
  1. The ambassador will in due course present a letter of credentials to the President of the European Council.
  1. The Republic should have regard to the size and composition of other relevant missions to the EU for purposes of comparison. The Mission of Norway to the EU might be a particular point of reference. However, Scotland’s mission will equally evolve further after EU accession.
  1. The Mission of Scotland to the European Union will be styled in English, French and Dutch, as Mission of Scotland to the European Union | Mission de l’Écosse auprès de l’Union européenne | Missie van Scotland bij de Europese Unie.
  1. The prototype wordmark of the Mission is as follows.

Mission of Scotland to the European Union Wordmark

  1. French and Dutch will feature, given that they are the joint official languages of the Brussels-Capital Region, where the Mission will be located.
  1. Continuing and developing the work of its predecessors, the Mission will build relationships and contacts with the full range of actors present in Brussels. It will establish itself as Scotland’s permanent presence in Brussels.
  1. The Mission will be the Government’s primary interface into EU policy-making and decision-making, notably important in the pre-accession period where Scotland will not be part of the Union.
  1. The vital work of policy tracking, engagement with actors, information gathering, analysis and communication with Edinburgh must be progressively undertaken from the Mission’s first day of operation. It cannot wait until Scotland becomes a Member State.
  1. The Mission should have the ambition to develop further as a premier venue for various policy and cultural events, including on current debates within Brussels. Such convening power will establish the Mission, and by extension the Republic, as a thought leader on the future of Europe.
  1. It will also serve as the Government’s base of operation for the accession negotiations, hosting ministers and principals, senior officials, negotiators and other civil servants.
  1. All aspects of the Mission, including its location, premises, size and security, must be equipped for its full range of different yet interlinked responsibilities.
  1. Given the length of the accession process, the Mission will be in operation in that form for several years. It should be considered a permanent diplomatic mission, not a temporary representation.
  1. The Parliament of Scotland should also consider what representation it wishes to have to the European Union. It is common for a state-level parliament to have one official representing it in Brussels. This official could be based in the Mission.
  1. Upon EU accession, the Mission will become the Permanent Representation of Scotland to the European Union.
  1. The structure of the Permanent Representation is considered later in the Blueprint.

3F. EU Institution and Bilateral Relations

  1. The Republic’s EU institutional relations and EU bilateral relations will be crucial in defining its future role and influence as a Member State.
  1. Throughout the pre-accession period, the Republic must develop its relations with the EU institutions, the Member States and wider organisations and actors.
  1. Becoming a successful EU member is not simply a matter of joining the structures of the Union. It requires networks, alliances and partnerships sustained on mutually-beneficial relationships.
  1. Work in this direction must begin at the earliest stage. It must be subject of significant investment and attention from all levels of government.
  1. The Government should have regard to the Principal Conclusions set in the report, commissioned for the Scottish Parliament’s Cultural, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee, by Anthony Salamone, Scotland’s Engagement in the European Union: Insights from Third Countries and Regions.32
  1. The Mission of Scotland to the EU will be a vital outpost for the Government and Scotland’s gateway to the EU in Brussels.
  1. The Republic must forge strong and diverse relationships with the Union’s principal supranational institutions.
  1. The European Commission, European Parliament and European External Action Service among others must be organisations of focus for Scotland.
  1. For the EU Council, the Union’s most intergovernmental institution alongside the European Council, the Republic can build relationships with the Council secretariat. It will predominantly however engage directly with the Member States.
  1. The Republic should also have regard to other Union institutions, including the European Economic and Social Committee and Committee of the Regions.
  1. Many relationships and connections will have been established during Scotland’s prior participation in the Union. These should be sustained, and then developed, as much as possible.
  1. The European External Action Service will likely, at some point in the EU accession process, open a Delegation of the European Union to Scotland, headed by an Ambassador of the European Union to the Republic of Scotland.
  1. The Republic must equally build its relations with all of the 27 EU Member States.
  1. It should engage with the Member States in Brussels, through their Permanent Representations – and in the national capitals, mainly through their Chancelleries (Departments of the Prime Minister) and Ministries of Foreign Affairs.
  1. The Republic should cultivate long-term relationships based upon the shared values of the Union and cooperation on areas of joint interest.
  1. The Government must ensure that accession negotiations are confined to the specified channels and keep the focus of its bilateral relations on relevant matters.
  1. Its general EU bilateral engagement in the pre-accession period can nevertheless indirectly support accession, by serving to maintain the Union’s political impetus.

4. Negotiation Mechanics

  1. Once the Republic of Scotland advances through the initial stages of the procedure of accession, it will reach the point of the formal accession negotiations. This stage is the core of the entire process and normally the longest component. As Scotland continues to prepare for membership, both sides will work through the various chapters of the acquis, agreeing any transitional provisions or special measures. Scotland and the Union will each have its own internal decisions to take as well.
  1. This Chapter presents Scotland’s Negotiation Principles, the Negotiation Basis, Negotiation Actors, Negotiation Structure, Scotland’s Internal Decision-Marking and EU Decision-Making.

4A. Negotiation Principles

  1. The primary purposes of the accession negotiations will be to move Scotland into a position of full compliance with the EU acquis, organise whatever transitions and special arrangements that are mutually acceptable, and prepare Scotland for the full rights and responsibilities of membership.
  1. Many of these aspects will be connected to the establishment and development of the Scottish state. While Scotland previously participated in the Union, it has never before been a Member State.
  1. Accession negotiations are largely dependent upon the candidate country. In that regard, the Republic’s orientation on accession is essential. The quality and amount of information which the Government provides on Scotland’s institutions, laws and policies; the Republic’s prior internal preparations for membership; and the pace and fullness with which it undertakes any necessary reforms will to a large degree determine the duration and outcomes of the negotiations.
  1. Consistent focus and commitment on the negotiations and the Republic’s pathway to EU membership should be maintained at the highest levels of the Government.
  1. The Republic must take it upon itself to keep the momentum of the negotiations and to take all reasonable steps to encourage the Union to keep similar focus.
  1. It will be important to the Republic to complete the negotiations as expeditiously as possible, in order to continue its progression towards accession to the Union.
  1. In the interim, the Association Agreement between the Union and the Republic will ensure their close relationship. This agreement will endure throughout the process.
  1. Successful conclusion of the negotiations will bring the Republic closer to becoming a Member State, at which point it will take up its political representation within the Union and exercise its role in the EU’s decision-making and policy-making.
  1. The Government of Scotland, through its principals and appointed negotiators, will conduct the accession negotiations on behalf of the Republic.
  1. The Parliament of Scotland should be substantially involved in the Republic’s internal preparations and decision-making with respect to the negotiations.
  1. In advance of the negotiation phase, the Republic should establish its principles for the EU accession negotiations.
  1. These principles will set the Government’s approach to the negotiations, ensuring that it reflects the Republic’s wider priorities for European relations.
  1. Scotland’s Principles for EU Accession Negotiations could be set as follows.
Republic of Scotland
Principles for EU Accession Negotiations
  1. To approach the negotiations, and the requirements for accession placed upon Scotland, in a constructive spirit conducive to progress
  1. To represent Scotland’s interests effectively, including through explaining and evidencing its particular circumstances and context
  1. To foster transparency in the negotiation process to the extent possible, with regard to the Union’s Negotiating Framework and its approach
  1. Negotiations are intrinsically based on cooperation between the parties. The Union and the Republic will each have their priorities and positions. Progress can only be made when both sides reach agreement.
  1. At the same time, the accession process will necessarily be of greater importance to the Republic, as it will be seeking to rejoin the shared European community after having been withdrawn from it in the period prior to independence.
  1. The process of accession is a matter of facilitating Scotland’s convergence with the Union and ensuring that it is prepared for membership. While the Union will in consequence adapt to the addition of a new Member State, the significant weight of change from accession will rest with the Republic.
  1. For all of these reasons, the Government must devote its full attention and make every effort to secure a constructive, beneficial and timeous accession to the Union.
  1. In formulating its negotiation positions, the Government must have regard to the purpose of the Union and the principles upon which it is founded.
  1. Membership entails a balance of rights and responsibilities. Sovereignty is shared to pursue common European objectives for mutual benefit. Progress is based upon compromise – between the Member States, and between the Union’s institutions. Every Member State cannot always secure its first preferred outcome.
  1. The EU acquis is therefore the product of decades of compromises. In the process of becoming a new EU member, Scotland must take up the acquis on that basis. Once a Member State, the Republic will then make its full contribution to shaping the acquis based on its perspectives and aspirations for the Union.
  1. While the accession negotiations will concentrate predominantly on meeting the acquis, room for manoeuvre nevertheless exists for shaping the final pathway to accession. The Government must be prepared and focused in this regard.
  1. The areas in which the Republic will likely seek transitions or special measures will result from its functional needs, not a desire to secure a bespoke membership.
  1. Scotland’s unique requirements will primarily derive from its status as a new state in the formative years of independence and its geographically peripheral position with respect to the majority of the Union.
  1. The Government must therefore act adroitly in its presentation and explanation of Scotland’s particular circumstances and context. It must show why Scotland needs a specific arrangement, not just what it needs.
  1. It must adequately convey the reasons and evidence for its specific requests, while always situating its positions in the broader frame of its commitment to European integration and its intention of becoming a fully participating Member State.
  1. Given the constitutional importance of future EU membership for the Republic, the Government should ensure from its part that the accession negotiations proceed in as transparent a manner as possible.
  1. The Union will openly publish much of its documentation on the Republic’s process to accession, including the Commission’s initial opinion, its screening reports and its annual progress reports. The Republic should consider a similar approach.
  1. The Government should reflect on the means by which it will facilitate and utilise citizen and stakeholder contributions on Scotland’s pathway to EU membership.
  1. Where the Government approaches the accession negotiations in the spirit of the Principles for European Relations, Strategic Priorities for EU Accession and the Principles for EU Accession Negotiations, it will be well placed to build positive and productive negotiations with the Union.

4B. Negotiation Basis

  1. The basis for the accession negotiations is the Union’s acquis communautaire.33
  1. For the purposes of accession to the Union, the acquis is divided into thematic chapters. Each chapter includes all the relevant principles, legislation and policies for that domain, regardless of the particular source.
  1. The current prospective Chapters of the Acquis are as follows.34
Acquis communautaire
Chapters of the Acquis
1Free Movement of Goods
2Freedom of Movement for Workers
3Right of Establishment and Freedom to Provide Services
4Free Movement of Capital
5Public Procurement
6Company Law
7Intellectual Property Law
8Competition Policy
9Financial Services
10Information Society and Media
11Agriculture and Rural Development
12Food Safety, Veterinary and Phytosanitary Policy
13Fisheries
14Transport Policy
15Energy
16Taxation
17Economic and Monetary Policy
18Statistics
19Social Policy and Employment
20Enterprise and Industrial Policy
21Trans-European Networks
22Regional Policy and Coordination of Structural Instruments
23Judiciary and Fundamental Rights
24Justice, Freedom and Security
25Science and Research
26Education and Culture
27Environment
28Consumer and Health Protection
29Customs Union
30External Relations
31Foreign, Security and Defence Policy
32Financial Control
33Financial and Budgetary Provisions
34Institutions
35Other Issues
  1. The acquis is presently considered in 35 chapters, as above. The number, themes and shape of the chapters are subject to change at the Union’s discretion.
  1. Indeed, the structuring of the acquis has been adapted with the development of the Union, successive rounds of enlargement and changes of practice.
  1. The acquis is the accumulated body of EU law, policy and practice in a wide sense, incorporating the EU treaties (as amended), EU laws, the case law of the EU Court of Justice, international agreements concluded by the EU and other sources.
  1. In that regard, the acquis is not fixed, but evolving. Moreover, it will continue to evolve throughout the process of the Republic’s accession to the Union.
  1. While estimates vary, the current length of the acquis, in terms of what is still today operational, is probably on the order of 150,000 pages. Its length is increasing.35
  1. The objective of the accession process will be to ensure the Republic’s alignment and compliance with the acquis. It will emphatically not require the transposition of every page of the acquis into Scots law.
  1. Instead, the Republic must demonstrate that its laws, policies and practice are or will be in accordance with the acquis as they all exist at the point of accession.
  1. The requirements of different components of the acquis will vary. In some aspects, the Republic must meet minimum standards. In other aspects, it must not manifestly contradict the policies and purposes of the Union.
  1. The Union’s initial assessment of Scotland’s existing compliance with the acquis will derive from the Commission’s opinion on application and subsequently its screening reports of each chapter of the acquis.
  1. With its analyses in mind, the Commission might recommend to the Council opening benchmarks which must be met to begin negotiations on a chapter. It will normally recommend closing benchmarks to provisionally end negotiations on that chapter. The Council will ultimately decide which benchmarks to set.
  1. The Government of Scotland should, from an early stage, actively undertake its own assessment of the Republic’s compliance with the acquis and potential fields for improvement. It does not need to wait for the EU’s pre-accession assessment.
  1. It should proactively take measures to prepare Scotland for future membership throughout the transition to independence. It should ensure that any Scotland-UK transitional provisions are compatible with its EU membership perspective.
  1. During this period, the Government should consult with the European Commission where appropriate to understand better the potential priorities and focuses of its future accession procedure. Such investment even before the point of application for membership will very likely result in a more productive accession process.
  1. Compliance with the acquis consists of three broad categories: institutions (such as a central bank or competition authority), legislation (such as intellectual property or financial services law) and policies (such as agriculture and fisheries practice).
  1. Scotland will be favourably placed to meet many aspects of the acquis at the point of its application. Given its prior participation in the Union, Scotland may well be, in some respects, the most qualified country ever to apply for EU membership.
  1. However, Scotland was not a Member State or a state. In its previous period of participation, it was not responsible for satisfying all those aspects of the acquis which were undertaken by the UK Government and UK level.
  1. Now, on its path to join the Union as an independent state, Scotland will need to satisfy all the dimensions of the acquis in its own right.
  1. In the transition to becoming a state, Scotland will require to establish its own institutions to replace those previously shared within the UK. While it would be subject to the outcome of future Scotland-rUK negotiations, it is not envisaged that the Republic of Scotland will share any significant state institutions with rUK.
  1. Were it to share such institutions, Scotland would not have full operational control of them and they would be shared with a state which is a third country to the EU. The Republic would not be able to guarantee to a sufficient degree of certainty the current or future compliance of these institutions with the acquis. This issue makes clear the importance of ensuring that Scotland’s transition to independence is in accordance with its envisaged future obligations of EU membership.
  1. Scotland will therefore need the various institutions of the state to be established and made operational. In some cases, pre-independence Scottish institutions can be upgraded. In other cases, principally for those shared in the UK, new institutions will be created.
  1. These new Scottish institutions must not only reach the standard required for the effective functioning of a sovereign state, but also accord with any obligations arising from the acquis.
  1. While many of these Scottish state institutions will be formed during the transition to independence, their capacities and compliance with the acquis may not be fully complete at the point of application for EU membership.
  1. Scotland has always maintained its own legal system throughout its participation in the UK. A legislative corpus has also been developed by the reconvened Scottish Parliament over the past two decades. These factors will be favourable in building a state and meeting the requirements of the acquis.
  1. Although it will have to be determined as part of the transition to independence, it is probable that legislative measures will be taken to preserve and ensure a stable basis for UK Parliament legislation remaining in Scots law after independence.
  1. However, a significant import of UK-level law may be not necessarily be sufficient for the purposes of accession to the Union.
  1. The Union could well seek substantial assurances from the Republic that it will have full control over its own legislation and be able to amend and update it. Links, however tangential, to the legal system of a third country to the Union may not be fully suitable in the long term for an EU Member State.
  1. The Republic must also ensure that its policies and practice align with the acquis. In areas where Scottish institutions have limited or no official competence under the existing constitutional settlement, the Republic can build these policies from the beginning with the EU acquis in mind.
  1. The Government’s EU Integration Unit should have a central role in ensuring current and future acquis compliance; coordinating the work of Government departments; collating research, evidence and information; and synthesising these efforts in support of the Government’s negotiators.
  1. The accession negotiations will also include discussion of financial arrangements, transitional arrangements and safeguard clauses.

4C. Negotiation Actors

  1. The accession negotiations will engage different representatives at various stages from the Union and the Republic. Collectively, the process will involve a significant amount of work and dedication.
  1. Three main classes of actors will have a role in some form in the negotiations.
  1. Principals are those who will take executive decisions at the highest level. They will not be directly involved in the negotiations, but will assess progress at regular intervals and issue political guidance to the negotiators.
  1. For the Union, these principals will be the Heads of State and Government of the Member States. They will normally take such decisions while meeting in the European Council. The President of the European Commission will be consulted. For the Republic, these principals will likely be the Prime Minister and the President.
  1. Senior negotiators are those who will formally conduct the negotiations. They will meet in Accession Conferences to open and close chapters of the acquis and to consider other significant matters related to the negotiations.
  1. These senior negotiators will be considered in two groups: ministerial level and deputy level. The ministerial level will normally involve cabinet-level political leaders. The deputy level will normally involve senior civil servants.
  1. For the Union, its ministerial level senior negotiators will be the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Member State holding the Presidency of the Council of the European Union and the European Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations. Its deputy level senior negotiator will normally be the Permanent Representative to the European Union of the Member State holding the Presidency.
  1. For the Republic, its ministerial level senior negotiator will be the Cabinet Secretary for European and External Relations. Its deputy level senior negotiator will be a Chief Negotiator on European Union Accession.
  1. The senior negotiators for the Union and the Republic will be as follows.
Accession to the European Union
Senior Negotiators
EUROPEAN UNIONREPUBLIC OF SCOTLAND
Ministerial Level
Minister for Foreign Affairs
EU Presidency Member State
Cabinet Secretary for European and External Relations
European Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement
Deputy Level
Permanent Representative to the European Union
EU Presidency Member State
Chief Negotiator on European Union Accession
  1. Other negotiation actors are those will support the negotiations. They will assist the senior negotiators in performing their roles and carry forward much of the substance and technical detail of the negotiations.
  1. For the Union, these negotiation actors will primarily work in the European Commission, in particular the Directorate-General for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations. The General Secretariat of the Council of the EU will also have important roles, given the intergovernmental nature of the negotiations.
  1. For the Republic, these negotiations actors will primarily work in the Government’s Department of European and External Relations. The Department of the Prime Minister will equally be involved, given the large and significant nature of the task. The EU Integration Unit, hosted by both departments, will be centrally placed.
  1. Senior civil servants leading this work will include, for the Union, the Director-General of DG NEAR in the European Commission and the Secretary-General of the General Secretariat of the Council. For the Republic, they will include the Secretary-General of DEER and the Director of the EU Integration Unit.
  1. The Union senior negotiators from the Member States – the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Permanent Representative – will change every six months with the rotation of the Presidency of the Council. The Commissioner will continue to participate in the negotiations unless a new College of Commissioners takes office, the Commissioner changes portfolio or is otherwise no longer involved. The Republic’s senior negotiators will continue to participate in the negotiations unless they are replaced by a current or new government or otherwise no longer involved.
  1. In preparation of its application for EU membership, the Government of Scotland will appoint a Chief Negotiator on European Union Accession.
  1. The Chief Negotiator will lead the Government’s work on the Republic’s application and negotiations for EU accession on a day-to-day basis. This individual might concurrently occupy a related role in the Government.
  1. The Chief Negotiator could be a political leader or senior civil servant, normally holding at least the rank of ambassador.

4D. Negotiation Structure

  1. The principal forum for accession negotiations between the Member States and the Republic will be the Accession Conference.36
  1. This Intergovernmental Conference will operate at three levels: ministerial level, deputy level and working party.
  1. The ministerial level format of the IGC, involving senior political negotiators, will be styled the Accession Conference with Scotland at Ministerial Level.
  1. The deputy level format of the IGC, involving senior negotiators, will be styled the Accession Conference with Scotland at Deputy Level.
  1. Working parties will involve various officials. They will normally be established for specific purposes with clearly-defined mandates.
  1. All meetings will normally take place in Brussels or Luxembourg.
  1. A joint secretariat will be formed by the General Secretariat of the Council and the Government of Scotland, principally through its Mission to the EU.
  1. Under normal circumstances, the two levels of the Accession Conference would each meet at least once every six months. The frequency of negotiations would ultimately be determined by agreement of both sides.
  1. Given that the Presidency of the Council lasts for six months, the Republic should note that at this pace its negotiation interlocutors could potentially change at every meeting of the Conference.
  1. The negotiators will open and provisionally close chapters of the acquis at the Accession Conference. The closing of chapters will mark a cumulative progression towards the conclusion of the negotiations and advancing to the next stage.
  1. Frequent dialogue will take place between Accession Conferences, in particular between the European Commission and the Government.
  1. The accession negotiations will last as long or short as necessary until all chapters have been closed and the Commission recommends to the Council that the process of formal negotiations be officially closed, and the Council agrees.
  1. The Republic will naturally desire an expeditious accession process. In that regard, formal Accession Conferences at six-month intervals might not suit its objectives. It should in those circumstances explain its position and reasoning to the Union.
  1. Moreover, the outcomes of each Conference will be based upon the amount of progress made by the Republic since the last Conference. While more frequent meetings might be suitable, sustained and substantial work by the Republic towards full alignment with the acquis will result in more productive Conferences.
  1. The Government should aim for multiple chapters to be opened and closed at each Accession Conference.
  1. In order to meet the Shorter Time Frame of 44 months to accession earlier in the Blueprint, a high number of chapters would need to be closed at each Conference.
  1. Complementary to the negotiations, the Union and the Republic will likely establish a political dialogue. The EU-Scotland Political Dialogue will bring together actors to build a spirit of further cooperation and foster the Republic’s integration into the Union. Other pre-accession partnership initiatives may also be undertaken.

4E. Internal Decision-Making

  1. Negotiations to join the European Union involve an extraordinary amount of detail, evidence and information. They span the range of the acquis and of policy-making.
  1. Throughout the process, the Government will need to take important decisions, on its negotiation positions, potential transitional arrangements, shape of internal reforms, policy adaptations, compromise offers and more. They will be numerous.
  1. These various decisions should be rooted in the Republic’s European Frameworks: its Principles for European Relations, Strategic Priorities for EU Accession, Strategic Objectives for EU Association and Principles for EU Accession Negotiations.
  1. The European Frameworks are points of reference on values, principles and goals. They will facilitate better decision-making by anchoring frequent, often fast-paced decisions in Scotland’s strategic national interests.
  1. The Government will require an integrated high-level decision-making apparatus capable of making the relevant major choices for the Republic throughout the EU accession process.
  1. The Government should therefore establish the Cabinet Committee on European Union Accession (CCEUA).
  1. The CCEUA should meet on a weekly basis generally, and more frequently where required. It should be able to take place in Brussels as well as in Edinburgh.
  1. The Cabinet Committee should comprise the Prime Minister, Cabinet Secretary on European and External Relations, Minister for European Affairs, Chief Negotiator on European Union Accession, Secretary-General of the Department of European and External Relations, Director of the EU Integration Unit and other individuals who will be relevant to its work.
  1. The President of the Republic might participate at landmark accession moments.
  1. The Parliament must also have a significant role in the Republic’s EU accession process. It should form an integral part of internal decision-making.
  1. Major accession issues should be subject to parliamentary approval.
  1. For the purposes of this engagement, the Parliament should establish the Grand Committee on European Union Accession (GCEUA).
  1. The Grand Committee should be structured as a large committee, with sufficient representation from all of the political parties in the Parliament.
  1. It should scrutinise and analyse in detail all of the various aspects of Scotland’s accession process, contributing to the formulation of parliamentary positions on major points of decision.
  1. The Government should brief the Grand Committee on the state of affairs before and after Accession Conferences.
  1. The Chief Negotiator in particular should form a close relationship with the Grand Committee from the start of the accession process.
  1. It is envisaged that the Parliament will establish a European and External Relations Committee, with respect to the functions of the Department of European and External Relations and the Government’s related policies. This Committee would focus its attention on European and international affairs besides EU accession.
  1. Better outcomes for Scotland’s pathway to EU membership will arise where the Government and Parliament are able to work closely together.
  1. They should establish the Joint Committee on European Union Accession.
  1. The Joint Committee will comprise members of the Cabinet Committee and Grand Committee. It should meet regularly to take a collective strategic perspective on the Republic’s EU accession process.

4F. EU Decision-Making

  1. The European Union operates highly-developed mechanisms for taking decisions in the accession process. These are based on its treaties, the normal practice of its institutions and the experience of successive rounds of enlargement.
  1. Most principal EU decision points are structured by particular procedures. Different EU institutions exercise their specific roles.
  1. The intergovernmental nature of accession negotiations means that the Member States have even more direct influence than for normal international agreements, where the Commission has a much greater degree of agency.
  1. The Council, the Commission and the Parliament remain in constant dialogue with each other throughout the procedure of accession.
  1. The European Council will take high-level significant decisions on the Republic’s accession process. In its conclusions, it will provide political direction to the Council and the Commission on Scotland’s progression towards accession.
  1. The Council, sitting mainly as the General Affairs Council, will have responsibility for taking decisions on negotiations, chapters and benchmarks. The GAC normally meets once a month. The Presidency plays a central role in managing negotiations.
  1. The Commission will exercise decisive influence in the negotiations. Despite not being a formal negotiator, it will monitor the Republic’s work in converging with the Union and provide extensive advice to the Council on the status of the chapters of the acquis. While the Council takes decisions, the Commission often in practice defines standards.
  1. The Parliament will expect regular engagement from the Council and Commission, despite its lack of role until the end of the accession progress. It may also create a Delegation for Relations with Scotland, through which it will cultivate direct links with the Parliament and Government of Scotland and other Scottish actors.
  1. Since unanimity is required for all Council decisions relating to accession, any issue which arises between a Member State and the Republic can have a negative effect on its accession path. However, depending upon the motivation, if a single Member State hinders progress on Scotland’s application, the other Member States will often look unfavourably on such a development and encourage it to accept the overall consensus.
  1. It will therefore remain essential for the Republic to build and sustain positive and high-quality bilateral relations with all of the Member States.

5. Negotiation Priorities

  1. While the principal purpose of the accession negotiations is to bring the candidate country into full compliance with the Copenhagen Criteria and the acquis, evidently every candidate also has its own negotiation priorities. Even a small state can have its particular circumstances accommodated by the Union, where the state operates on a selective, pragmatic and strategic basis. The Republic can prove successful in securing its negotiation objectives, when grounded in the EU’s political realities.
  1. This Chapter sets out Scotland’s Negotiation Context, areas of focus with respect to Institutional Matters, Major Policy Matters, Special Considerations, Transitional Measures and Scotland’s Negotiation Objectives.

5A. Scotland’s Negotiation Context

  1. In approaching the accession negotiations, the Government will need to determine in advance and then pursue its primary negotiation objectives.
  1. Given the Republic’s position as an advanced democracy with a developed free-market economy, and its prior participation in the Union, the vast majority of the matters in the negotiations will be non-contentious and undisputed.
  1. The Government will work to demonstrate Scotland’s high degree of compliance with the acquis, while making rapid progress in those areas which require it.
  1. While the acquis is a baseline which every Member State accepts and implements, it is also the case that each state has its particular circumstances and context. Indeed, the motto of the European Union, United in diversity, recognises this dual nature of common European cooperation and different national contexts.
  1. The Republic must give thoughtful consideration to what it might seek through the negotiations that might differ in some measure from what the Union offers, in order to meet Scotland’s particular circumstances.
  1. Such goals must be targeted, compatible with membership and acceptable to the Union. The Republic should have regard to its European Frameworks, including the Principles for European Relations and Strategic Priorities for EU Accession.
  1. The Republic must have regard to the purpose of the Union. Membership involves the progressive integration of institutions, laws and policies to meet common concerns and produce mutual benefits. This is the nature of European integration.
  1. Membership of the Union involves therefore a balance of rights and responsibilities.
  1. The Republic’s route to successful membership will rest in its full participation, as much as possible, in Union policies as a proactive and constructive Member State.
  1. The Republic must be cognizant of its relative position regarding the Union. On the bases of population, economic size and geopolitical weight, the Republic will be modestly placed among the Union’s membership.
  1. Moreover, the Republic of Scotland will enter the European Union as a new Member State. It will not have a claim to the UK’s former special membership conditions.
  1. The UK’s various opt-outs and arrangements during its time as a Member State symbolised its difficult relationship with European integration.
  1. Following the UK’s regrettable withdrawal from the Union, the remaining Member States will focus on preserving their unity while advancing integration.
  1. In this context, it will surely now be the case that the era of new permanent, treaty-level opt-outs for individual Member States is over.
  1. Whatever the Union’s approach, the Republic must be clear in the implications and consequences of opt-outs or other forms of non-participation in the Union.
  1. Permanent opt-outs signify failures. They represent a disconnection between that state and the rest of the EU. They can create challenges and annoyances.
  1. Generally speaking, they mark conscious decisions by that Member State not to participate in certain EU policies, and in consequence to have less or no influence in those policy areas.
  1. For the Republic, both as a new state and new EU Member State, such an approach would not be compatible with successful EU membership.
  1. The Government must determine its negotiation objectives at the earliest stages of the accession process. It should produce and acquire relevant supporting evidence.
  1. It must have regard to Scotland’s strategic national interests, which will be served through becoming a productive and influential EU member for its size and position.
  1. It should consult extensively with the Parliament in preparing these objectives, principally through the Grand Committee.
  1. The Government must avoid the costly pitfalls associated with setting negotiation objectives which prove infeasible and undeliverable. Such a scenario could lead to public disaffection, more protracted accession negotiations and less favourable dynamics between the Republic and the Member States.
  1. Instead, the Government must set negotiation objectives which are achievable, aligned with the ethos of European integration and attuned to the political realities in Brussels and national capitals.
  1. The Government should take into account that successes in the accession process can equally hold great value, beyond specific policy objectives.
  1. An expeditious accession process, founded on a very high degree of acceptance of Scotland’s institutions, laws and policies as initially compliant with the acquis, and supported by sustained political will from the Member States to see Scotland join the Union, would be a significant achievement.
  1. A wide-ranging Association Agreement ensuring the Republic’s close relationship with the Union in the pre-accession period, based on flexibility shown by the Union and the Member States, would also constitute a major success.
  1. With a faster accession, Scotland would be in a position to more quickly take up the rights and responsibilities of membership and the political representation of a Member State. The Republic would be able to have a greater impact within the Union sooner and make its positive contributions to the future of the Union.
  1. The Government must deploy strategically whatever political capital it accrues to pursue negotiation objectives which are realistic, serve Scotland’s wider interests and enable it to develop into a successful Member State.
  1. The major matters most probable to have salience for the Republic in its accession negotiations, and which may form the basis of specific negotiation objectives, are considered as follows.

5B. Institutional Matters

  1. Institutional matters will concern those related to the functioning of the Union.

Name and Languages

  1. Scotland must inform the European Union how it wishes its name to be designated.
  1. It must also inform the Union the national language or languages which it wishes to become Official Languages of the European Union.
  1. These matters strongly relate to the foundational decisions which the Republic of Scotland will take upon its establishment.
  1. The Republic, through the people and their elected representatives, will determine the roles of English, Gaelic, Scots or any other languages in the official capacities of the state.
  1. The Constitution of the Republic may include such related provisions.
  1. Were it to be the case that English and Gaelic are official operating languages of the state institutions, then the Republic would presumably propose English and Gaelic as Official Languages of the Union.
  1. As an official language, all EU legislation and publications will be made available in that language. Previous legislation will be retrospectively translated. The Union institutions will make relevant provisions for translation and interpretation in their operations. They will also facilitate the interaction of citizens and entities with them in that language.
  1. In the case of Gaelic, the Union institutions would require to build sufficient administrative ability to undertake these functions. The Republic would have main responsibility for assisting the Union in securing the expertise necessary.
  1. Consequently, related administrative and financial costs would have to be borne. The Republic may decide to weigh such costs against the benefits of Gaelic as an official language.
  1. Alternatively, the Republic could propose that Gaelic be made a treaty language. This status was introduced for Irish at the time of Ireland’s accession to the Union. Irish was later made an official language, with successive transitional exemptions on it becoming a working language which are due to expire soon.37
  1. Were Gaelic to be made initially a treaty language, it could therefore later become an official language.
  1. In those circumstances, the Republic could notify its official name as Republic of Scotland, its short name as Scotland and its selection to use Scotland / Alba at relevant opportunities, such as at meetings of the European Council, Council of the European Union, Committee of Permanent Representatives and Council bodies.
  1. Scotland should seek advice from Ireland where relevant on its considerations and approach to languages and EU membership.

European Parliament Representation

  1. The accession negotiations will determine the number of Members of the European Parliament which are attributed to Scotland.
  1. The European Parliament consists of 705 members, including the President. The maximum provided under Article 14 TEU is 751 members, including the President.38
  1. Apportionment of the seats in the Parliament to the Member States is based upon the principle of degressive proportionality. The number of seats for each Member State should be relatively proportional to its population size, with a minimum of 6 MEPs regardless of how small and a maximum of 96 MEPs regardless of how large.
  1. While guided by this principle, allocations are determined by the Member States in the Council, or in case of accession between the Member States and the candidate country. Accordingly, the initial number of MEPs attributed to Scotland will not be automatically calculated, but negotiated.39
  1. The Parliament currently holds a reserve of 46 seats. These are available for future Member States, and potentially for transnational MEPs elected by voters in several Member States or the wider Union.40
  1. In evaluating the number of MEPs which should be apportioned to Scotland, the Government should have regard to those Member States which have a comparable population to Scotland and the number of seats attributed to them.
  1. The five Member States with populations closest to Scotland’s are as follows.41
European Parliament
Comparative Distribution of Seats
STATEPOPULATION (MIL)MEPs
Denmark5.8114
Finland5.5214
Slovakia5.4514
Scotland5.44[14]
Ireland4.9013
Croatia4.0812
  1. Taking these comparisons into account, Scotland should be accorded 14 MEPs at the point of accession.
  1. Given the current reserve, it will be possible to make this allocation without altering the number of MEPs accorded to the existing Member States. Future allocations will be subject to negotiations between the Member States, including the Republic.
  1. The number of 14 MEPs would constitute a 233% increase in the representation of Scotland in the Parliament from the 6 MEPs it was last attributed by the UK level during its prior participation in the Union.
  1. The Government should therefore set as a negotiation objective the apportionment of 14 Members of the European Parliament to Scotland.

5C. Major Policy Matters

  1. Major policy matters will concern those related to defining policies of the Union.

Economic and Monetary Union

  1. The Union has established that new members must in due time participate fully in its Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). This obligation incorporates the eventual adoption of the euro as the currency.42
  1. Following accession, but in the period before adopting the euro, a new Member State will participate in EMU with a derogation on the euro (as in Article 139 TFEU).
  1. The Republic of Scotland would therefore undertake, by the accession process, to fulfil the conditions for adopting the euro, including the Euro Convergence Criteria, and then to adopt the euro as its currency.
  1. EMU is an integral part of the Union as it is now, and as it will develop in future.
  1. The Government of Scotland should not seek a permanent opt-out from the euro for the Republic, as such a request would surely be unacceptable to the Union.
  1. It must be emphatically noted, however, that the Republic alone will determine when it will progress through the relevant stages of EMU and adopt the euro. It will set the pace of this process. The Union will not require Scotland to join the euro at a particular time.
  1. With respect to eventual participation in the euro, the Government must make detailed analysis of the pace of direction towards the single currency which will best serve the interests of the Republic, in all their dimensions.
  1. The Parliament of Scotland should have a role in determining the Republic’s future progression towards taking up the euro.
  1. The Republic should note the set process prescribed by the Union for adopting the euro. This process involves criteria which imply that the Republic will have and control its own national currency.
  1. In that regard, it will be an indirect requirement of membership of the Union for the Republic to eventually establish its own currency. It will later converge its currency with the euro area and adopt the euro.
  1. While giving due weight to economic and financial considerations, the Republic must also consider its participation in the eurozone as a matter of its wider national interests.
  1. The eurozone is a core aspect of the Union and the locus for most dimensions of future political integration. The longer the Republic were to remain outside of the euro, the less influence it will have in its operation and, by extension, the Union.

Schengen Area

  1. The Schengen Area makes manifest one of the fundamental aims of the Union and European integration – a more open Europe with few borders and barriers.
  1. Borderless travel within the area is one of the most visible signs of European unity.
  1. It is underpinned by the Schengen acquis, comprised of the Schengen Agreement, Schengen Convention (now incorporated into Union law), previous decisions, and laws and policies which have been produced by the EU since their incorporation.43
  1. Scotland is a geographically insular state. It has no land borders with any EU Member State. Were Scotland to participate in the Schengen Area, it would be most visible to citizens at air and sea crossings with the rest of the area.
  1. The Republic will also share the same island with rUK, the state from which it will have separated, and with which it will retain deep economic and social links.
  1. Scotland will therefore face conflicting objectives. It will wish to participate fully as a member of the Union, yet it will also want to maintain connectivity with rUK, which is a third country to the Union.
  1. The Republic will probably intend to participate in the Common Travel Area (CTA), the borderless travel zone between Ireland, the UK and UK Crown dependencies.44
  1. This participation would require to be negotiated with the parties to the CTA.
  1. The CTA relates to borders and the movement of people, and not good or services.
  1. As EU Member States, Ireland and Scotland will participate in the four freedoms of the EU internal market, regardless of the CTA.
  1. Irrespective of whether it is politically probable, it will remain legally possible for Ireland to end its opt-out and fully join the Schengen Area.
  1. The future EU-UK partnership is undefined at the present time. Depending on the UK’s approach going forward, the CTA as constituted may become less tenable.
  1. Scotland and Ireland could establish, on a temporary or permanent basis, their own travel area, which could be called the Ireland-Scotland Travel Area (ISTA).
  1. In these matters, the Republic must give full consideration to its potential options, balance of interests and future obligations of EU membership. It should engage with the European Commission at an early stage.
  1. Provided that the Republic of Scotland becomes a member of the Common Travel Area, it will require arrangements with the Union in respect of the Schengen acquis.
  1. The Republic should not, however, propose a complete opt-out from the Schengen acquis. Such a measure would forfeit valuable opportunities for cooperation on the non-border aspects of the acquis. It would also give an unfavourable impression of the Republic to the Union regarding its commitment to European integration.
  1. In such circumstances, the Republic should instead propose to the Union a model of Partial Participation in the Schengen Acquis.
  1. Under this model, the Republic would participate, from the point of accession, in the Schengen acquis, except for those aspects where its non-participation would be absolutely necessary to preserve the Common Travel Area.
  1. The Republic would accordingly participate in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice, and the Schengen Information System to the fullest extent that this model would enable.
  1. The Union and the Republic would have to agree the mechanisms of designating CTA-implicated Schengen acquis and how the Republic’s non-participation would be determined and arranged.
  1. The Republic must not definitively rule out full participation in the Schengen Area.
  1. It will remain possible that rUK may in due time seek a closer relationship with the EU, perhaps on the model of the EEA/EFTA countries. In those circumstances, rUK could even join the Schengen Area as a European third country.
  1. Future technological advances may also facilitate easier and faster border crossing experiences for people travelling.
  1. Should it become possible for Scotland to fully join the Schengen Area at a future point, it should take that opportunity to integrate further with the rest of the Union.
  1. Given the Republic’s peripheral geography and shared island with a third country, the Union will likely look favourably on such a proposal for partial participation in the Schengen acquis, with an option for future full participation.
  1. The Government should therefore set as a negotiation objective a model of partial participation in the Schengen acquis while preserving the Common Travel Area.

5D. Special Considerations

  1. Special considerations will concern those related to Scotland’s particular context.

Free Movement of Workers

  1. The free movement of people, including workers, is one of the foundational tenets of the Union and its internal market.
  1. The Union has established the practice that, when a new member joins, all existing Member States may impose transitional restrictions on the free movement of workers from that state into their own labour markets.45
  1. Such transitional arrangements can be applied for up to 7 years. They consist of three phases – 2 years, 3 years and 2 years (so-called 2+3+2). The first two phases are entirely at the imposing state’s discretion. The final phase requires serious disturbances in the labour market necessitating continued restrictions.46
  1. The existing Member States each decide whether to apply transitional restrictions.
  1. Where they do so, the new Member State may impose equivalent restrictions.
  1. Such transitional restrictions would have a negative impact on Scotland generally and on the mobility of Scottish citizens within the Union.
  1. While it is possible that no Member State would decide to apply worker restrictions on Scottish citizens, the Republic would benefit from the certainty of an exemption.
  1. The Republic will have strong attributes in favour of such an exemption.
  1. Scotland has a history of being integrated into the wider EU labour market, during its prior participation in the Union, including citizen flows in both directions.
  1. Its peripheral geographical position means that it will have very limited numbers of cross-border workers living in Scotland and working in another Member State. The impact of such workers on labour markets will therefore be minimal.
  1. Scotland has a modest population of 5.4 million people and, where supported by evidence, the Government should be in a position to confirm that potential flows of Scottish workers into other Member States should be relatively small and unlikely to have a disruptive impact on the labour market of any particular state.
  1. Were Scotland’s EU Association Agreement to provide for the free movement of people between the Union and the Republic, it would moreover hardly be sensible to then regress towards transitional restrictions.
  1. Whatever the eventual outcome on this point, the Government should make clear its intention that the Republic will not impose any equivalent restrictions on citizens from those Member States who might impose them on Scottish citizens, in view of the importance which the Republic attaches to the full free movement of people.
  1. The Government should therefore set as a negotiation objective the exemption of Scotland from all transitional restrictions on the free movement of workers.

Common Fisheries Policy

  1. The potential role of the European Union in Scottish fisheries is contentious.
  1. While opinions will differ across Scotland’s geography and sectors of the industry, it is evident that the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) is not universally favoured.
  1. Nevertheless, the CFP remains a component part of the acquis and the Republic will participate in the policy as part of EU membership.47
  1. Scotland will however be in a much stronger position to shape the CFP and fisheries decisions, compared to its previous participation while part of the UK.
  1. As a Member State, Scotland will advocate its own interests in the EU Council. The Member States will seek to find consensus as much as possible.
  1. Scotland will have more than double the number of MEPs it had before, providing greater opportunities for influencing and determining EU decisions.
  1. Nevertheless, the Republic should engage actively with the Union on this issue.
  1. The Government should initially undertake an extensive consultation on the CFP, focused on the fishing communities and fishing industries of Scotland.
  1. It should conduct this process before the point of application for EU membership, or in the early stages of the accession process.
  1. The consultation should intend to attract participation from the full range of actors, organisations, sectors and communities connected with the marine geography of Scotland. It should aim to determine views and priorities related to fisheries.
  1. Following detailed analysis, the Government should establish national priorities for the reform of EU fisheries policy once Scotland becomes an EU Member State.
  1. In the accession negotiations, the Government should propose to the Union that they agree a Political Declaration on the Evolution of the Common Fisheries Policy.
  1. This political declaration would engage the existing Member States and Scotland, at the highest political level, to adapt the CFP to address Scotland’s particular circumstances, including its extensive waters and remote communities.
  1. This constructive approach would result in better outcomes for both the Union and the Republic, and it would foster greater public support for the Union in Scotland.
  1. The Government should therefore set as a negotiation objective the agreement of a Political Declaration on the Evolution on the Common Fisheries Policy.

5E. Transitional Measures

  1. Transitional measures will concern those related to Scotland’s short-term situation.

Monetary Policy

  1. The Union requires that new members meet standards related to monetary policy.48
  1. The monetary situation of the Republic of Scotland at the point of its application for EU membership remains unclear.
  1. The Republic might have continued unilateral adoption of the pound sterling, or it might have established its own national currency.
  1. It is not unprecedented for a candidate country or potential candidate country for EU membership not to have its own currency.
  1. Montenegro (a candidate country) and Kosovo (a potential candidate country) have both unilaterally adopted the euro without a monetary agreement.49
  1. The EU regards this practice as unusual, but with an historical basis (as they previously used the Deutsche Mark). Its primary concern is to address joining EMU while using the euro, not that these countries do not have their own currencies.50
  1. Nevertheless, it would be very unusual for a state of Scotland’s economic size and development not to have a national currency when applying for EU membership.
  1. Depending on the Republic’s currency situation, it will have to request transitional provisions from the Union on the monetary policy dimensions of the acquis. Its situation may change during the accession process.
  1. The Government should engage with the European Commission on these issues at the earliest stage, including before the preparation of its initial opinion.
  1. Were Scotland not to have its own currency at the point of accession to the Union, it would resultantly not have a monetary policy.
  1. It would therefore require significant transitional provisions covering all aspects of the monetary policy acquis, and implicated aspects of the economic policy acquis.
  1. In such circumstances, the Union would likely require well-defined proposals from the Republic on its transition to a national currency, monetary policy and related institutions. It might reasonably expect this transition to take place in the medium terms, such as within 5 years of accession.
  1. The Union will also likely require information from the Republic on the anticipated consequences of this currency transition for Scotland’s economy and by extension the Union economy as well.
  1. Were Scotland instead to have established its own currency before the point of accession to the Union, it would have a monetary policy.
  1. It would therefore require substantially fewer transitional provisions with respect to the monetary policy acquis, relative to the development of its monetary policy.
  1. The Republic must note that it will have an obligation to make the exchange rate between its national currency and the euro a matter of common concern.
  1. While it would be novel for a country such as Scotland not to have its own currency, the matters arising from such an eventuality in context of accession to the Union are manageable. With political will from the Member States and support from the European Commission, the requisite transitional provisions should be found.
  1. The Government should therefore set as a negotiation objective the transitional provisions related to monetary policy, depending upon its situation at the time.

Economic Policy

  1. The Union requires that new members meet standards related to economic policy.51
  1. In particular, the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) makes provision for coordination of national fiscal policies and public finances.52
  1. The SGP provides target standards for the national debt and budget deficit, along with a range of related programmes and policies, and monitoring by the European Commission and the EU Council.
  1. The Stability and Growth Pact forms part of the economic policy acquis.
  1. Scotland will experience a period of substantial transformation in the formative years of independence, with the establishment of the Scottish state.
  1. This transformation will require creation of institutions, expansion of government and other initiatives to build the state.
  1. These circumstances are likely to result in fiscal positions which do not align with the standards recommended by the SGP and other Union policies.
  1. In that event, Scotland would therefore require transitional provisions covering the relevant aspects of the economic policy acquis.
  1. The Government should engage with the European Commission on these issues at an early stage, including before the Commission’s preparation of its initial opinion.
  1. It should provide the Commission will all the evidence and information required to adequately set out Scotland’s current and projected future fiscal positions and the actions which the Government intends to take to address them where necessary.
  1. It should be noted that almost every existing EU Member State has not met the standards in the SGP in one or more fiscal years since its creation.53
  1. The Member States and the European Commission will undoubtedly be disposed to finding the solutions required regarding Scotland’s fiscal compliance.
  1. The Government should therefore set as a negotiation objective the transitional provisions related to economic policy, based on its prevailing fiscal circumstances.

5F. Negotiation Objectives

  1. Scotland’s Principal Objectives for EU Accession Negotiations could be as follows.
Republic of Scotland
Principal Objectives for EU Accession Negotiations
1No Transitional Restrictions on the Free Movement of Workers
2Allocation of Members of the European Parliament Set at 14
3Partial Participation in the Schengen Acquis While Preserving the Common Travel Area
4Political Declaration on the Evolution of the Common Fisheries Policy
5Transitional Provisions on Monetary Policy
6Transitional Provisions on Economic Policy
  1. These objectives are not ranked in an order of priority. They all have importance to Scotland in different respects.
  1. Such objectives are reasonable and realistic for Scotland’s accession negotiations. They reflect the requirements arising from the Republic’s particular circumstances and context, while also according with its commitment to European integration and its future obligations as an EU Member State.
  1. Further principal objectives may be formulated in the course of the negotiations.
  1. Financial arrangements, including the Union budget, may prove salient, especially in the context of whether Scotland becomes a net contributor or beneficiary.
  1. Further transitional provisions may well be required in other aspects of the acquis.
  1. Where its negotiation priorities evolve or circumstances change, the Government should make use of its developed negotiation structures, in particular the Cabinet Committee on European Union Accession.
  1. It should remain in dialogue with the Parliament, through their Joint Committee and directly with the Parliament’s Grand Committee.
  1. Throughout the negotiations, the Government should continue to have regard to its priorities for EU accession and membership, beyond its negotiation objectives.

6. Approvals and Ratification

  1. While momentous, the conclusion of the accession negotiations is not the end of the process. Once the Treaty of Accession has been produced, approved and signed, it will put out for national ratification. Indeed, ratification is normally one of the longest steps in the procedure of accession. The Republic of Scotland will become an acceding country, with enhanced rights in the Union’s institutions. In the post-negotiation period, the Republic will continue preparing for membership.
  1. This Chapter reviews the Conclusion of Negotiations, Approval Sequence for the treaty, Post-Signature Period, National Ratification, Member State Ratifications and the Conclusion of Ratification of the Treaty of Accession.

6A. Conclusion of Negotiations

  1. Where the European Commission determines that the accession negotiations are approaching completion, and that the requisite work has been undertaken by the Republic, it will recommend to the Council that the negotiations be formally closed.
  1. The European Commission will also take into account any relevant guidance from the European Council.
  1. Should the Council agree unanimously, it will then close the negotiations.
  1. At that point, all products of the negotiations, including institutional arrangements, transitional provisions, financial arrangements and reform commitments, will be made final and cannot be substantially changed.
  1. These products will then be formulated into a Treaty of Accession.
  1. The chapters of the acquis do not form the chapters of the treaty. From the point of accession, the acquis will apply in full to the Republic just as another Member State, except for whatever provisions were agreed in the negotiations. Instead, the treaty is based on the sum of the negotiations.
  1. Once the treaty has been formulated, it will proceed to finalisation.
  1. Its text will be reviewed and confirmed by legal experts and linguists.
  1. It will be translated into all the Official Languages of the European Union, and any other treaty languages which the Republic might have proposed and agreed with the Union. They will also be reviewed, and all translations will be equally valid.
  1. The full length of the Treaty of Accession and all accompanying texts for Croatia, the most recent state to join the European Union, is 124 pages.54
  1. The treaty should be styled as follows:
Republic of Scotland
Treaty of Accession to the European Union
Treaty between the Kingdom of Belgium, the Republic of Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, the Kingdom of Denmark, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Republic of Estonia, Ireland, the Hellenic Republic, the Kingdom of Spain, the French Republic, the Republic of Croatia, the Italian Republic, the Republic of Cyprus, the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Lithuania, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, Hungary, the Republic of Malta, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Republic of Austria, the Republic of Poland, the Portuguese Republic, Romania, the Republic of Slovenia, the Slovak Republic, the Republic of Finland and the Kingdom of Sweden (Member States of the European Union) and the Republic of Scotland concerning the accession of the Republic of Scotland to the European Union
  1. The treaty will include accession to the European Atomic Energy Community.
  1. Relevant protocols and a Final Act of declarations, letters and other arrangements will be attached to the treaty.

6B. Approval Sequence

  1. The sequence of approval for the Treaty of Accession will proceed as follows.
  1. The European Commission will produce a final opinion on whether the Republic is prepared for accession to the Union.
  1. The European Parliament will vote on whether to consent to the Republic’s accession to the Union.
  1. The Council will take its final decision on approval of the Republic’s application for membership of the Union and by extension signature of the Treaty of Accession.
  1. In this period, the Republic will undertake whatever approvals are required under the Constitution of the Republic and established conventions.
  1. It is envisaged that the Government of Scotland will first resolve its approval of accession to the Union and signature of the Treaty of Accession.
  1. The Government will then present the treaty to the Parliament of Scotland, and the Parliament will vote on whether the Republic should sign the Treaty of Accession.
  1. Provided that all approvals have been given, a signing ceremony will take place.
  1. This ceremony will normally be held in Brussels, on the margins of a meeting of the European Council – since all Heads of State/Government are gathered together.
  1. The Head of State/Government from each Member State will sign the treaty. It is possible that another plenipotentiary may sign, if necessary.
  1. For Scotland, the President of the Republic and Prime Minister will sign the treaty.
  1. The ceremony will involve speeches and other celebratory elements. The Republic should ensure some form of cultural representation and public participation.
  1. The Treaty of Accession will be placed for ratification by the Member States and the Republic.
  1. It is envisaged that the Republic will hold a referendum on accession to the Union.
  1. The Member States and the Republic will ratify the Treaty of Accession according to their own constitutional requirements, normally involving a parliamentary vote.
  1. The Member States and the Republic will produce Instruments of Ratification and deposit them and make notifications as specified in the Treaty of Accession.
  1. The Republic of Scotland will become a Member State of the European Union.

6C. Post-Signature Period

  1. At the point of signature of the Treaty of Accession, the Republic of Scotland will become an acceding country.55
  1. In this capacity, the Republic will gain transitional rights within the Union as part of its final stage before becoming a Member State.
  1. The Republic will be accorded Active Observer Status in EU bodies, including most Council working groups, Commission committees and EU agencies.56
  1. It will be entitled to attend, speak and contribute, though not yet vote, at meetings of these bodies in this period.
  1. An Interim Committee will be established, normally comprised of Member States’ Permanent Representatives to the EU and the Republic’s Ambassador to the EU.
  1. The Committee will serve as a mechanism for consultation between the Union and the Republic on EU policies, proposals and decisions.
  1. Further methods for the Republic to comment on draft EU proposals and legislation will be established in line with normal pre-accession, post-signature practice.
  1. These rights are intended to facilitate the Republic’s participation and integration in the Union, and provide it with opportunities for its views to be taken into account on EU policies and decisions during the post-signature period before accession.
  1. This status within the Union will provide time for the Government and its officials to experience the workings of the EU institutions from the position of the Member States and become accustomed to the roles which they will eventually perform.
  1. The Government of Scotland must take full advantage of all such post-signature opportunities for participation in the Union which are afforded to it.
  1. It must adequately prepare for active observer status well before it is granted, including through placement and training of relevant officials and ensuring that the Mission of Scotland to the EU has the necessary resources.
  1. These participation and consultation mechanisms represent valuable avenues for Scottish officials to form networks and relationships with Member State colleagues within the space of the institutions which they will soon share.
  1. They are also opportunities for the Government to make informed and constructive suggestions on EU policy-making before taking up its position as a voting member.
  1. Ministers and senior civil servants should participate at relevant opportunities.
  1. The Government should ensure that its post-signature participation in the Union showcases the kind of Member State which the Republic intends to be.
  1. During this period, the Republic will continue its preparations for EU membership, including implementing the commitments agreed in the accession negotiations to ensure compliance with the acquis at the point of accession, save any transitions.
  1. The Government will build the necessary systems to apply the acquis as agreed from the point of accession onward, including as it evolves in the future.
  1. Scotland’s relationship with the Union will be based on the Association Agreement and other pre-accession measures up to the point of accession.

6D. National Ratification

  1. Following its signing, the Republic of Scotland will proceed to approve and ratify the Treaty of Accession.
  1. The Republic will determine by what means it ratifies the Treaty of Accession. The Union will expect ratification to be in accordance with the Republic’s constitutional requirements. A referendum, parliamentary vote or both would be normal practice.
  1. Becoming a member of the European Union is major constitutional change. It is of high importance that the people of Scotland should have the opportunity to give their approval to the Republic’s accession to the Union.
  1. The ratification stage is the best moment for the people to express their view.
  1. The Treaty of Accession will provide the exact terms on which the Republic would join the European Union. In a referendum held after conclusion of the treaty, the people will therefore have full information on the rights and responsibilities which the Republic would undertake by becoming an EU member.
  1. It is envisaged that Scotland will hold an EU Accession Referendum.
  1. The sequence of ratification of the Treaty of Accession would proceed as follows.
  1. Following signature of the treaty, the Government will propose to the Parliament the necessary legislation for an EU accession referendum.
  1. The Parliament will decide that legislation and set the details for the referendum, in line with established conventions.
  1. The Electoral Commission of Scotland will oversee the conduct of the referendum.
  1. The question for Scotland’s Referendum on EU Accession could be set as follows.
Republic of Scotland
Referendum on EU Accession
Should the Republic of Scotland ratify the EU Treaty of Accession and become a member of the European Union?
  1. For certainty, the referendum question should specifically reference ratification of the Treaty of Accession and membership of the European Union.
  1. The Government would unreservedly recommend to the people that they approve ratifying the treaty and joining the European Union.
  1. Provided that the people endorse the treaty and EU membership, the Republic will proceed to ratify the treaty.
  1. The Republic will follow the treaty ratification procedures which are established. The Parliament may pass relevant legislation, such as an EU Accession Act.
  1. That legislation will be signed by the President of the Republic and enacted.
  1. The Republic will draw up an Instrument of Ratification, which will be signed by the President of the Republic.
  1. The instrument will be deposited and notified as required, upon which the Republic of Scotland’s ratification of the Treaty of Accession will be completed.
  1. The Republic will have to give consideration to whether and to what extent the Constitution of the Republic will be amended as a consequence of EU membership.
  1. That process of amendment should be completed before accession to the Union.

6E. Member State Ratifications

  1. The existing Member States of the Union will ratify the Treaty of Accession.
  1. Processes of ratification are entirely internal to the Member States. The Union and its institutions as such have no role.
  1. The Member States will not commence their ratifications until the Republic of Scotland has held its EU accession referendum, and the result endorses Scotland becoming an EU member.
  1. The date of the Republic’s EU accession referendum will therefore determine the starting point for Member State ratifications, and the amount of time between the treaty signature and the Republic’s referendum will contribute to the duration of the accession process.
  1. Each Member State will ratify in accordance with its constitutional requirements.
  1. Different procedures have developed within the Member States, flowing from their constitutions, state practice and the balance of power between the legislature and the executive.
  1. Nevertheless, every EU Member State will ratify the Treaty of Accession through some form of parliamentary vote, resolution or legislation.
  1. Some Member States have specific procedures relating to the accession of new EU members. Others follow general provisions for international agreements.
  1. Belgium’s ratification procedure for a new EU accession will require the approval of its state parliament and all its community and regional parliaments.57
  1. It is highly probable that the Republic of Scotland will be the only state to hold a referendum related to its accession to the Union.
  1. However, it remains possible that Member States could also hold referendums.
  1. France is required, under Article 88-5 of the Constitution, to hold a referendum to approve the accession of a new state to the European Union.58
  1. This requirement can be superseded where relevant legislation is passed by each parliamentary chamber with a 60% supermajority.
  1. Most recently, such legislation was passed with the requisite majorities for the accession of Croatia to the Union, and France did not hold a referendum.59
  1. The Government of Scotland should engage with the Government of the French Republic to understand the political context related to Scotland’s EU accession.
  1. The EU parliamentary chambers involved in treaty ratification are as follows.
Accession to the European Union
Parliamentary Chambers for Treaty Ratification
MEMBER STATEPARLIAMENTARY CHAMBERS
Kingdom of BelgiumChambre/KamerSénat/Senaat
Community and Regional Parliaments
Republic of BulgariaНародно събрание
Czech RepublicPoslanecká sněmovnaSenát
Kingdom of DenmarkFolketing
Federal Republic of GermanyBundestagBundesrat
Republic of EstoniaRiigikogu
IrelandDáil ÉireannSeanad Éireann
Hellenic RepublicΒουλή των Ελλήνων
Kingdom of SpainCongreso de los DiputadosSenado
French RepublicAssemblée nationaleSénat
Republic of CroatiaSabor
Italian RepublicCamera dei deputatiSenato
Republic of CyprusΒουλή των Αντιπροσώπων/Temsilciler Meclisi
Republic of LatviaSaeima
Republic of LithuaniaSeimas
Grand Duchy of LuxembourgD’Chamber/Chambre des Députés/Abgeordnetenkammer
HungaryOrszággyűlés
Republic of MaltaParlament ta’ Malta
Kingdom of the NetherlandsEerste KamerTweede Kamer
Republic of AustriaNationalratBundesrat
Republic of PolandSejmSenat
Portuguese RepublicAssembleia da República
RomaniaCamera DeputațilorSenat
Republic of SloveniaDržavni zbor
Slovak RepublicNárodná rada
Republic of FinlandEduskunta/Riksdag
Kingdom of SwedenRiksdag
  1. Ratifications of a treaty by the EU Member States is a lengthy process.
  1. The relevant measures must progress through the national political systems of the Member States. Parliamentary time and other government business are factors.
  1. Generally speaking, the Member States will not ratify a Treaty of Accession with a great sense of urgency. They will simply look to ensure that their ratifications are completed before the date of accession named in the treaty.
  1. While it will respect constitutional process of the Member States, the Government can appropriately include treaty ratification in its bilateral relations agenda.
  1. It might be the case that a particular Member State will aim to ratify the Treaty of Accession first, as a symbol of friendship with Scotland. The Republic should acknowledge this commitment accordingly.
  1. Many Member States have a tradition of passing parliamentary votes on accession of new EU members by unanimity or acclamation. The Republic may also be invited to attend these votes.
  1. The Republic should attend such national treaty ratification votes at the highest level. The President of the Republic should participate wherever possible.
  1. These important occasions will mark the progression of Scotland’s final path to becoming an EU member and serve as opportunities to enhance bilateral relations.

6F. Conclusion of Ratification

  1. At the final stage of ratification of the Treaty of Accession, the Member States and the Republic will produce related Instruments of Ratifications.
  1. The Instrument of Ratification is normally a short document stating confirmation that the state has approved and ratified the relevant international agreement.60
  1. Under terms of international law, an instrument of ratification must be signed by the Head of State, Head of Government, Minister for Foreign Affairs or a person who has been granted full powers by the state.
  1. The instruments of the Member States and the Republic will be transported to the depositary specified in the Treaty of Accession and deposited by a representative of the state or diplomatic courier.
  1. Treaties of accession to the European Union will designate the Government of the Italian Republic as depositary.
  1. Notifications of the deposit of instruments will be made to the other parties.
  1. Upon the depositing and notification of instruments by all Member States and the Republic, the process of ratification will be completed.
  1. The Republic of Scotland will then become a Member State of the European Union on the date specified in the Treaty of Accession.

7. Membership Preparations

  1. Becoming a successful EU member state involves much more than completing the formal accession process. Scottish politics and society must lay the foundations to ensure that EU membership is embedded into national life. The Government and Parliament must adapt to new divisions of responsibilities and ways of working. It will be of crucial importance to sustain public confidence in the EU through providing genuine opportunities to shape Scotland’s approach to European issues.
  1. This Chapter surveys Government and EU Accession, Parliament and EU Accession, Public Participation on Scotland in the EU, Education and Learning, a European Celebration Programme and Future EU Reform Provisions.

7A. Government and EU Accession

  1. Scotland’s accession to the European Union will materially change the functioning of the Government of Scotland.
  1. Competence and decision-making on a significant range of domains will transfer to the European level upon accession.
  1. The Government will then participate in the Union’s decision-making structures as a Member State, particularly in the Council and the European Council.
  1. In order to be most successful within the EU, the Government must fully internalise European integration and orient itself towards European policy-making.
  1. The Government should therefore undertake a full programme of Europeanisation. This work should begin during the transition to independence.
  1. In that regard, the Republic will have already formulated its core perspective on the European Union through its Principles for European Relations.
  1. Through Europeanisation, the Government will bring these principles into practice across all of its work and activities.
  1. Ministers, senior civil servants and civil servants, regardless of their areas of focus or responsibility, will become over time acquainted to a high degree to the politics, institutions and functioning of the EU and of the Member States.
  1. The institutions which the Government will have established will facilitate such socialisation and orientation.
  1. The Department of European and External Relations, and the Scottish European and External Relations Service, from their foundations and in their names, will have European perspectives. They can assist the rest of government in incorporating EU politics and policy into daily working life.
  1. Ministerial-level forums such as the European Relations Council (EURELCO) will bring a wide range of European affairs into regular discussion.
  1. The Advisory Council on European Relations (ACER) will be a valuable resource of expertise on European issues for ministers and senior civil servants.
  1. In the accession process, the Cabinet Committee on European Union Accession will have acquired a significant degree of knowledge on the functioning of the EU. This knowledge should be appropriately institutionalised within government.
  1. The Government should consider evolving the Cabinet Committee after accession into the Cabinet Committee on European Union Affairs.
  1. The EU Integration Unit will be extremely attuned to EU affairs. Its expertise should be utilised effectively after accession. Maintaining a permanent unit between the Department of the Prime Minister and the Department of European and External Relations could be a useful means of coordinating EU issues across government.
  1. The symbols of European integration should be fully incorporated into government. The European flag and Saltire together should become an integral part of the visual identity of the Government. They should feature at government buildings, offices, events and activities.
  1. Upon accession, all Scottish diplomatic missions should fly the European flag. The passport design will also be updated to account for EU membership.
  1. The Government should undertake all possible efforts to foster Scotland’s complete integration into the European Union.
  1. It should encourage the Scottish national broadcaster to maintain a substantial permanent bureau in Brussels.
  1. It should take measures to increase direct transport links between Scotland and Brussels, and between Scotland and elsewhere in the EU.
  1. The Government should have reference to the recommendations in the Scotland and the Spirit of Europe report set out earlier in the Blueprint.
  1. Europeanisation of the Government will result in a high degree of understanding and connection to the EU and the other Member States across all levels.
  1. Such efforts will ensure that the EU will be recognised for its true role as an intrinsic part of the governance of Scotland.
  1. The Government will then be best placed to maximise the opportunities, cultivate the synergies and deliver the outcomes made possible by European integration.

7B. Parliament and EU Accession

  1. Scotland’s accession to the EU will have an equally significant impact on the work of the Parliament of Scotland.
  1. However, its experience will be different from that of government. Many elements of its legislative competence will transfer to the European level on accession.
  1. Yet the Parliament will not directly participate in the EU’s decision-making like the Government. It must adapt its functioning to account for this shift of competence.
  1. Transferral of legislative powers does not mean that the Parliament should retreat from those policy domains. On the contrary, it should intensify its scrutiny of the work of the Government, especially that undertaken at European level.
  1. The EU Council is co-legislator of the Union, so the Government is in effect taking on legislative functions. The Parliament should exercise greater influence in setting the Republic’s European priorities and by extension the actions of the Government.
  1. The Parliament should also engage directly with the EU institutions. In particular, it should form relationships with the European Parliament and the parliaments in the Member States.
  1. The Convener of the Parliament should interact frequently with the speakers of EU parliaments and with the leadership of the European Parliament, visiting Brussels and Strasbourg on a regular basis.
  1. The Parliament’s Grand Committee on European Union Accession will in the course of the accession process have acquired substantial expertise on the EU.
  1. Upon accession, this Committee should be converted into the Grand Committee on European Union Affairs.
  1. This new Grand Committee will form the core of the Parliament’s engagement on EU matters and its scrutiny of the Government’s EU decisions.
  1. The other Committees of the Parliament should also contribute to scrutiny on EU affairs in a coordinated manner.
  1. The Parliament must determine the future role of EU citizens in Scottish elections.
  1. Most EU Member States do not permit EU citizens to stand or vote in elections to their national parliaments. Were Scotland to continue its tradition of extending these rights to EU citizens, it would foster greater community building.
  1. The Parliament should undertake its own programme of Europeanisation.
  1. The European flag and Saltire should be situated within the parliamentary chamber, behind the dais of the Convener of the Parliament.
  1. After accession, the Parliament should take the opportunity to appoint an official to represent it, based inside the European Parliament building in Brussels.
  1. As the heart of Scottish democracy, the Parliament will be essential to integrating EU membership into Scottish politics and public life.
  1. Developing the Parliament’s enhanced oversight of the Government on European affairs will increase the democratic dimension of Scotland’s EU membership.

7C. Public Participation

  1. Public confidence in the Republic’s EU membership must be constantly renewed.
  1. In the absence of continual efforts to retain such trust, it would always be possible that pro-European support could wane in the decades ahead.
  1. Such a scenario would weaken Scotland’s political position within the EU and could pose risks to its national interests.
  1. By contrast, Ireland’s consistently high public support for EU membership shows that it is possible to build a positive and lasting national consensus on the EU.61
  1. The best means of sustaining public confidence in the Republic’s EU membership rest in providing opportunities for public priorities, concerns and hopes to be shared and taken into account by the institutions of the state.
  1. It will equally be incumbent upon political leaders to speak honestly to the public about the challenges and choices faced at the European and international levels and how Scotland should best navigate them within the European Union.
  1. The Republic must establish avenues for genuine public participation in Scotland’s EU membership and direction on the EU.
  1. The Government should create a National Public Participation Strategy on the EU.
  1. This strategy should envisage a permanent role for the public in EU affairs.
  1. It should result in the creation of a Citizens’ Forum on Europe.
  1. The Forum would be a standing assembly for civic dialogue on European affairs. It would facilitate broad discussion and engagement by members of the public.
  1. Ministers should participate regularly in the Forum. Officials working on EU affairs, such as the Permanent Representative to the European Union, should take part as well. The product of these discussions should inform their decisions.
  1. The Government should demonstrate on a regular basis how it has incorporated the outputs of the Forum into its EU priorities and decisions.
  1. The composition and structure of the Forum should be determined by consultation and assessment. It should be established early in the accession process.
  1. The EU Public Participation Strategy should recognise the essential roles of civic and cultural organisations in sustaining EU membership.
  1. Organisations such as the future European Movement Scotland would likely be a focal point of engagement for the Government.
  1. While EU public participation will mainly focus on individuals, businesses and other organisations will equally have perspectives on EU membership in practice.
  1. Public participation on the EU will be beneficial to Scotland’s democracy. Sustained public support for EU membership will also provide the Government with a stronger political position in Brussels, by demonstrating a pro-EU national consensus.

7D. Education and Learning

  1. The Republic must be prepared to make the investments in education and learning to support people’s futures and to sustain Scotland’s EU membership.
  1. It should undertake initiatives at all levels, supplementary to existing education and skills policies, to promote learning, study and discussion of the EU.
  1. In higher education, the Parliament of Scotland should establish and provide the funding for the European Academy of Scotland.
  1. The Academy will be a European, international and diplomatic affairs institute.
  1. It will have the aspiration to become a beacon in Europe for advanced study and training in its areas of expertise.
  1. It should attract students, academics and practitioners across Europe and beyond.
  1. The Academy should provide relevant training to officials in the Scottish European and External Relations Service.
  1. The Parliament should provide funding, separate from and additional to the usual funding regimes, to establish new degrees and courses on European Union affairs and related subjects in the universities of Scotland.
  1. These investments will ensure that the Republic will have well-qualified candidates for the Scottish European and External Relations Service, the wider Republic of Scotland civil service and the European Union civil service.
  1. In primary and secondary education, the Parliament of Scotland should establish the Scotland in Europe Celebration Grant.
  1. The grant will provide funding, separate from and additional to the usual funding regimes, for further education in European languages.
  1. It should facilitate the learning of a wide range of European languages, beyond the usual subjects, including official and regional languages of the European Union.
  1. The Department of European and External Relations should establish a schools outreach programme called Ambassadors-at-Large.
  1. The programme will involve serving diplomats, during their time back in Scotland, visiting schools to share their experiences of representing Scotland in the EU and internationally, and the career opportunities which exist in SEERS.
  1. The Department should also underwrite an EU schools visit programme, providing funded opportunities for school groups to visit Brussels and learn about the EU and Scotland’s role within it, including Scotland’s Permanent Representation to the EU.
  1. The Republic should recognise and support civil society initiatives which promote learning about Europe and European cultures in Scotland. In particular, it should note the Euroquiz programme run by the Scottish European Educational Trust.62
  1. The Government should have regard to educational programmes in the other EU Member States. For instance, the Blue Star Programme in Ireland run by European Movement Ireland and supported by the Government of Ireland and EU institutions may prove a worthy model for Scotland.63
  1. The Republic should establish a national Future of Europe programme for young people to share their perspectives on and aspirations for the European Union. This programme should connect to the Government’s EU Public Participation Strategy.
  1. Such investments in the future of the Republic and its place in the European Union will be foundational to its success as an EU Member State.

7E. European Celebration Programme

  1. Joining the European Union should be cause for celebration for Scotland. The point of accession will mark its return to the EU, though in a completely different form.
  1. The Republic should prepare a European Celebration Programme in advance of its formal accession to the Union.
  1. The programme will mark this important national moment and the evolution of the Scottish state as it becomes an EU Member State. It will provide opportunities for people to share in the beginning of a new chapter in Scotland’s history.
  1. Organisations should plan a range of activities for EU Membership Day, such as daytime festivals and evening fireworks displays across Scotland.
  1. The Parliament should designate Europe Day as a national public holiday.
  1. A principal public square in Edinburgh, perhaps in the new diplomatic quarter that will eventually be established, should be named Europe Square to mark Scotland’s EU membership and its commitment to the values of the Union.
  1. The Government should consider what official gifts it will make to the institutions of the EU, in particular the European Parliament, the EU Council and the European Commission in Brussels and Strasbourg.
  1. These gifts will be placed within their buildings and viewed by visitors. They should reflect Scotland’s vibrant culture and history as a European nation.
  1. Such celebration activities will have a practical purpose. They will mark a major national moment, foster public participation in Scotland’s role in the EU and create foundations for a positive national story on Scotland’s EU membership.

7F. Future EU Reform Provisions

  1. The European Union has always been in a state of evolution. Indeed, its name is a case in point – it has only been called the ‘European Union’ since 1993.64
  1. Given the nature of European integration, future reforms of the EU’s competences and functions will inevitably take place in the years ahead.
  1. Such reform will lead to the creation of major policies and innovations. It will result eventually in the need for EU treaty change.
  1. The Republic should define clearly how it will approach future EU reform and treaty change, and how it will secure relevant public approval.
  1. It should establish a national protocol well before its accession to the Union.
  1. This National Protocol on EU Constitutional Decisions will set out which types of EU reform will require specific public approval and by what means it will be sought.
  1. The Republic could hold referendums on EU constitutional reform. It could require enhanced majority support in the Parliament of Scotland.
  1. It should consult with the existing EU Member States on their traditions related to EU reform. Ireland in particular has experience in holding EU-related referendums.
  1. Predictable democratic mechanisms for EU reform will enhance public confidence in European integration, leading to more positive and sustainable EU membership.

8. Final Accession Measures

  1. In the post-signature period, the Republic of Scotland will make final preparations for its accession to the EU. It will make appointments to EU institutions and hold a special European Parliament election. Its diplomatic mission in Brussels will be readied to become a Permanent Representation. With such provisions in place and the ratification process complete, on the date of accession specified in the Treaty of Accession, Scotland will officially become an EU Member State.
  1. This Chapter lays out Scotland’s Inaugural EU Appointments, its pre-accession European Parliament Election, recruitment to the EU Civil Service, its Permanent Representation, the EU Institutions in Scotland and the Point of Accession.

8A. Inaugural EU Appointments

  1. As an EU Member State, Scotland will nominate and appoint individuals to particular positions in the EU institutions.
  1. In becoming an EU member, the Republic will make its inaugural nominations and appointments during the post-signature period.
  1. The relevant individuals will then be in a position to take up office at the point of Scotland’s accession to the Union or shortly afterwards.
  1. Some will hold office until the end of the current institutional term.
  1. Procedures for the nomination and appointment of different roles vary. Most major positions are officially appointed by common accord of the Member States.
  1. The principal positions for which the Republic will nominate include: a European Commissioner, a Judge to the EU Court of Justice, two Judges to the EU General Court, a Member of the European Court of Auditors, Members of the European Economic and Social Committee and Members of the Committee of the Regions.
  1. Beyond the advisory committees, the individuals taking up these positions in the EU institutions will not be representatives of Scotland. They will act in the European interest and in accordance with their associated responsibilities.
  1. The most high-profile appointment connected to Scotland’s EU accession will be the new European Commissioner.
  1. The first European Commissioner proposed by the Republic of Scotland will serve until the end of the current term of the Commission.
  1. The Government will propose names to the President of the European Commission, from which a candidate will be agreed and announced.
  1. The President will assign a portfolio to the Commissioner-designate. This portfolio of responsibilities will largely be comprised of transferrals from existing mandates.
  1. The European Parliament will hold a special confirmation hearing to assess the qualifications of the Commissioner-designate and later vote on the appointment.
  1. Provided that the European Parliament approves the nomination, the candidate will be appointed by the Member States to take office as a European Commissioner on the date of accession.
  1. Such appointments will be an important dimension of Scotland’s EU membership. While they will not be agents of the Government, these individuals will indirectly represent Scotland’s values and perspectives.
  1. The Republic must consider carefully all appointments to the EU institutions.
  1. It should develop general selection criteria. These criteria will guide nominations in advance of Scotland’s EU accession and afterwards in its EU membership.
  1. Particular posts will have further specific criteria. Judicial appointments will have judicial criteria which will take priority.
  1. Scotland’s General Selection Criteria for EU Appointments could be as follows.
Republic of Scotland
General Selection Criteria for EU Appointments
1Knowledge and Understanding of the Functioning of the European Union
2Experience and Understanding of the Societies of EU Member States
3Specialised Knowledge in any Particular Aspects of European Affairs
4Language Skills in EU Official Languages, Particularly Major Working Languages
5International and Diplomatic Experience, Including in International Organisations
  1. Appointments and nominations will be in accordance with the goals for diversity and representativeness which the Government and Parliament will set.
  1. The Republic should not limit its focus to appointing only Scottish citizens. It should fully consider potential candidacies from all EU citizens residing in Scotland.
  1. Such an approach will demonstrate Scotland’s clear commitment to the values of the European Union and the aspirations of the European ideal.
  1. The Government of Scotland will make EU nominations and appointments. The Parliament of Scotland must form part of the appointment process.
  1. The Government’s nominations and appointments to the EU institutions should be subject to confirmation by the Parliament. Judicial appointments might differ.
  1. The Parliament would hold a confirmation hearing with a proposed candidate, either in the Grand Committee on European Union Affairs or the European and External Relations Committee.
  1. The Committee(s) would make a recommendation on the proposed candidacy.
  1. The Parliament would then vote in plenary on whether to confirm the Government’s proposed nomination or appointment.
  1. Provided that the Parliament approved the candidacy, the Government would then make the nomination or appointment to the Member States or the Union.
  1. Parliamentary confirmation will provide increased legitimacy to the Republic’s EU institutional nominations.
  1. It is envisaged that similar parliamentary confirmation will be required for all major government appointments, including candidacies for positions in international organisations and the Scottish European and External Relations Service.
  1. The Government will also appoint numerous experts and officials to committees, working groups and other preparatory bodies of the EU institutions.
  1. Such appointments should be made with regard to the General Selection Criteria, but should not require parliamentary confirmation.

8B. European Parliament Election

  1. In preparation of accession, the Republic of Scotland will hold its inaugural election to the European Parliament as a state.
  1. This ad hoc election to the European Parliament will be referenced in the Treaty of Accession, along with the number of MEPs allocated to Scotland.
  1. Members elected at this contest will enter into office on the date of accession and serve until the end of the current parliamentary term.
  1. The election should take place around 2-3 months before the date of accession.
  1. The Electoral Commission of Scotland will oversee the conduct of the election.
  1. People in Scotland will be accustomed to European Parliament elections. However, as an EU member, Scotland will have more than double its prior representation.
  1. The Republic will have to decide whether Members of the European Parliament are elected with Scotland as a single national constituency or with Scotland divided into multiple regional constituencies.
  1. Most EU Member States operate a single national constituency for the European Parliament. Ireland is one EU member which uses electoral regions.65
  1. Every aspect of Scottish government and society should encourage participation in this first European election as a new Member State.
  1. A high voter turnout at the election will set a positive precedent for future European elections in Scotland. It will also demonstrate public interest in Scotland’s place in the EU to the rest of the Union.

8C. EU Civil Service

  1. The EU civil service is comprised of citizens from all of the EU Member States.
  1. Among other objectives, it has the aim to be representative of the populations and nationalities of the Member States.
  1. At the point of Scotland’s accession to the Union, very few Scottish citizens will be working in the EU civil service.
  1. The Union will undertake a programme of civil service recruitment specifically for Scottish citizens in the post-signature period.
  1. The European Personnel Selection Office will run open competitions for positions at all grades of the EU civil service. The number of positions available at each grade will reflect Scotland’s relative size and the requirements of the EU institutions.66
  1. While the European Commission in particular will promote this recruitment effort, including through the EU Delegation to Scotland, the Government of Scotland must take on a highly proactive role in encouraging Scottish citizens to participate.
  1. It will be in Scotland’s national interests to have its citizens contributing to the work of the EU institutions and building connections between Scotland and the Union.
  1. The Government should make contact where possible with Scottish citizens who previously worked in the EU civil service, before the UK’s withdrawal from the Union, to encourage them to return as relevant.
  1. Measures related to education and learning, including European languages, which the Republic will take from the beginning of the accession process outlined earlier in the Blueprint, will prove decisive in the number of qualified candidates which the Republic will produce for the Scottish accession recruitment to the EU civil service.
  1. The EU Careers ambassador programme, once active in Scotland, should resume.

8D. Permanent Representation

  1. Upon EU accession, the Republic’s diplomatic mission in Brussels will evolve from the Mission of Scotland to the European Union to the Permanent Representation of Scotland to the European Union.
  1. The Permanent Representation (PermRep) will be the Government’s interface into the decision-making and policy-making of the European Union.
  1. The PermRep will arguably be Scotland’s most important diplomatic mission in the world and likely its largest.
  1. After accession, it will continue most of the roles and responsibilities performed by the Mission of Scotland to the EU, as described earlier in the Blueprint.
  1. Most PermReps of the Member States are centrally located, all in proximity of each other in the European Quarter of Brussels. Scotland must secure a similar position.
  1. The Permanent Representation of Scotland to the EU will be styled in English, French and Dutch, as Permanent Representation of Scotland to the European Union | Représentation permanente de l’Écosse auprès de l’Union européenne | Permanente Vertegenwoordiging van Scotland bij de Europese Unie.
  1. The prototype wordmark of the Permanent Representation is as follows.

Permanent Representation of Scotland to the European Union Wordmark

  1. French and Dutch will feature, given that they are the joint official languages of the Brussels-Capital Region, where the Permanent Representation will be located.
  1. The Republic’s PermRep will be unusual compared to its other diplomatic missions, in that it will host three ambassadors.
  1. The Government will appoint a Permanent Representative to the European Union, a Depute Permanent Representative to the European Union and a Representative to the Political and Security Committee, in line with the procedures established by the Republic.
  1. The Permanent Representative will serve as Head of Mission and manage the work and functioning of the PermRep.
  1. The Permanent Representative and Depute Permanent Representative will attend different meetings of the Committee of the Permanent Representatives of the Governments of the Member States to the European Union (COREPER).67
  1. COREPER is highest level preparatory body of the Council of the European Union.
  1. It is divided into two groupings – COREPER II and COREPER I.
  1. The Permanent Representative will attend COREPER II, covering four EU Council configurations (Economic and Financial Affairs; General Affairs; Foreign Affairs; Justice and Home Affairs).68
  1. The Depute Permanent Representative will attend COREPER I, covering six EU Council configurations (Agriculture and Fisheries; Competitiveness; Education, Youth, Culture and Sport; Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs; Environment; Transport, Telecommunications and Energy).69
  1. The Representative to the Political and Security Committee (PSC) will attend the PSC, the Council body covering the Common Foreign and Security Policy.
  1. The PermRep leadership team is summarised as follows.
Leadership Team
Permanent Representation of Scotland to the European Union
Permanent Representative to the European Union (COREPER II)
Ambassador and Head of Mission
Depute Permanent Representative to the European Union (COREPER I)
Ambassador
Representative to the Political and Security Committee
Ambassador
  1. The Government will additionally appoint a Military Representative to the Military Committee of the European Union (EUMC).
  1. The PermRep will be responsible for representing the Government across all of the legislation, policies and initiatives of the European Union.
  1. Within the Union, the principal venue for the Member States is the EU Council. It is assisted by COREPER and more than 150 other Council preparatory bodies.70
  1. The Council takes most decisions on behalf of the Member States in the EU. It also prepares meetings of the European Council.
  1. The PermRep will have to develop methods of processing and prioritising the high volume of EU business and the often-short timescales involved.
  1. The structure of a Permanent Representation is often based on the configurations (meeting formats) of the EU Council, given that they are the mainstays of its work.
  1. Nevertheless, a PermRep can also be organised according to themes or priorities.
  1. The PermRep will incorporate divisions not directly related to the EU Council, such as Inter-Institutional Affairs and representatives of Government agencies.
  1. Scotland’s Permanent Representation to the EU could be structured as follows.
Republic of Scotland
Permanent Representation to the European Union
LEADERSHIP AND COORDINATION
COREPER IICOREPER IPSC
Permanent RepresentativeDepute Permanent RepresentativeRepresentative to the PSC
AnticiMertensNicolaidis
COUNCIL CONFIGURATIONSEUMC
Economic and Financial AffairsAgriculture and FisheriesMilitary Representative to the EUMC
General AffairsCompetitiveness
Foreign AffairsEducation, Youth, Culture and Sport
Justice and Home AffairsEmployment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs
Environment
Transport, Telecommunications and Energy
ADDITIONAL SECTIONS
Inter-Institutional AffairsMilitary StaffScottish Agencies Representatives
Media RelationsAdministrationParliament of Scotland
  1. The PermRep should be staffed by members of the Scottish European and External Relations Service, and policy experts from various Government departments.
  1. In determining the structure and size of the PermRep, the Government should have regard to those of other EU Member States. Croatia, Denmark, Finland, Ireland and Sweden might be particular points of reference.
  1. The Government should engage with other EU governments to understand better how they organise their PermReps in Brussels.
  1. The Republic of Scotland should appoint a separate diplomat as its Ambassador to Belgium, instead of affording this role to the Permanent Representative.
  1. Such a measure will support Scottish-Belgian bilateral relations. The Embassy may be co-located in the same building as the Permanent Representation.

8E. EU Institutions in Scotland

  1. The European Union will maintain its own representation in Scotland.
  1. In the pre-accession period, the European External Action Service will presumably establish a Delegation of the European Union to Scotland.
  1. The Delegation will be an EU diplomatic mission to a third country.
  1. Upon the Republic’s accession to the Union, this form of representation will change. The diplomatic aspect will cease to apply, since Scotland will a member of the EU.
  1. In place of the Delegation, EU institutions will establish individual offices.
  1. The European Commission will create the European Commission Representation in Scotland. The European Parliament will create the European Parliament Liaison Office in Scotland.
  1. These offices will provide vital direct links between the EU institutions and Scottish society. They will assist citizens and organisations in securing information on EU policies, programmes and opportunities. They will support civil society initiatives.
  1. Through their work, these offices will foster understanding of the European Union. They will build connections between Scotland and Brussels/Strasbourg.
  1. Such efforts will sustain further public confidence in Scotland’s EU membership
  1. Scotland has benefited immensely from the contributions of the EU offices created during its prior participation in the Union.
  1. In view of the Republic’s steadfast commitment to European integration, reflected in its Principles for European Relations, it should determine suitably prominent and large premises in Edinburgh, in consultation with the Commission and Parliament.
  1. The Republic should then gift these premises to the European Commission and the European Parliament for the establishment of Scotland’s House of Europe.
  1. The House of Europe will become the permanent joint base for the Commission and Parliament offices in Scotland.
  1. This gift from the people of Scotland will represent their support for the values and aspirations of the European Union.
  1. The Department of European and External Relations should ensure that the European Commission Representation and European Parliament Liaison Office are integrated into the diplomatic networks and activities which it will facilitate.
  1. The Parliament of Scotland should accord Members of the European Parliament and the personnel of the EU institutions equivalent access to the Parliament as its own members and staff.

8F. Point of Accession

  1. All the preparations undertaken by the Republic and the Union for Scotland to join the EU will build towards the point of accession.
  1. The Republic will continue to implement whatever commitments were agreed in the accession negotiations to ready it for EU membership.
  1. The Union will make preparations to secure the amendment of its international agreements to incorporate the Republic of Scotland after its accession.
  1. Some agreements will require only the addition of the Republic’s name or similar changes. Others will necessitate modification of quotas, schedules or designations.
  1. The European Economic Area Agreement will have to be amended to include the Republic of Scotland. This change will derive from an amending agreement, which will require ratification from the EU Member States and the EEA/EFTA states.
  1. Such an agreement will normally be provisionally applied following its signature.
  1. The date of accession will be specified in the Treaty of Accession.
  1. It will remain so, provided that the treaty has been fully ratified by the EU Member States and the Republic, as detailed earlier in the Blueprint, before that date.
  1. Treaties of accession to the European Union will normally designate a date which is the first day of a month.
  1. In the immediate period before accession, the Government should launch a public awareness campaign to inform people, businesses and civil society of the changes and opportunities which will come into effect at the point of accession.
  1. Scotland’s return to the European Union on the date of accession will be a moment of national and European celebration.
  1. It will also herald a constitutional transformation for the Republic of Scotland.
  1. On the date of accession, Scottish citizens will become EU citizens; the Saltire will be added to the relevant EU institutions; the official geography of the Union will be updated; Scotland’s MEPs and the new European Commissioner will enter into office; and the Permanent Representation of Scotland to the EU will be activated.
  1. Scotland will officially become a Member State of the European Union.

9. Post-Accession Membership

  1. After its accession to the Union, Scotland will become a Member State and take on all the rights and responsibilities of membership. The EU will be an internal part of Scottish politics, and the Government and Parliament will integrate themselves into the European level of governance. Scotland’s representatives will participate in the EU institutions and engage across an extensive range of policies and themes. In the longer term, Scotland will prepare for its first presidency of the EU Council.
  1. This Chapter assesses the role of Europe in National Politics, Government and EU Membership, Parliament and EU Membership, Scotland in the EU Institutions, European Policy Matters and Scotland’s future EU Council Presidency.

9A. Europe in National Politics

  1. The role of the European Union in Scotland’s national political life will determine to a large extent the long-term sustainability of productive EU membership.
  1. Where political leaders, civil society and individuals work to embed the Union into Scotland’s national fabric, continually rebuilding public confidence, Scotland will maintain a strong consensus in favour of its participation in the EU.
  1. Such a consensus will enable Scotland and its people to achieve the full benefits of cooperation, partnership and prosperity which being an EU member provide.
  1. To nurture Scotland’s mainstream Europeanism, national politics must reflect the choices, challenges and opportunities which come with the European Union.
  1. European affairs, in substantive and accurate detail, must become part of everyday political discourse. They should feature at Prime Minister’s Questions, elections, manifestos, campaigns and general political debate.
  1. Political institutions must come to represent the reality that the EU will have some impact on nearly aspect of Scottish governance – most often, for better.
  1. Political leaders must be consistently honest with the public about the European and global challenges which will require difficult choices. They must be frank that compromise is a necessary feature in EU decision-making.
  1. The EU must not become otherised as a distant ‘Brussels’, from which Scotland is somehow disconnected. That path would damage Scotland’s national interests.
  1. Instead, high-quality leadership can create a positive national story of Scotland’s place in the EU which resonates with its mainstream Europeanism and will foster its effective role in the world as a European small state.
  1. Scotland’s EU political representatives and officials should remain fully integrated into national politics and policy. Becoming a European Commissioner or MEP must not become a form of national political exile.
  1. European leaders, from the EU institutions and the other Members States, should be viewed as part of Scotland’s wider shared European political system.
  1. In particular, senior leaders from the Commission, Parliament, European Council and the EU Council presidency should be subject to full political scrutiny.
  1. European leaders should be invited to Scotland on a regular basis.
  1. The Presidents of the European Commission, European Council and European Parliament should be accorded the status of a visiting Head of State.
  1. The Republic must support and invest in public participation, education and debate on European affairs. It should implement the EU Public Participation Strategy and related measures set out earlier in the Blueprint.
  1. The Government should produce an Annual Report on Scotland’s EU Membership, outlining the benefits which Scotland has accrued in that year from its participation in the Union and the contributions which it has made to the progression of the European Union.
  1. Where public debate arrives at a point of equal consideration of what Scotland receives from the EU and what it contributes to the EU, that outcome will be valuable beyond measure.

9B. Government and EU Membership

  1. With EU membership, competences are transferred from the national level to the European level to achieve collective European outcomes.
  1. The EU Council, where the Government of Scotland will participate, has legislative authority. The European Parliament is co-legislator with the Council on most areas of EU policy-making.
  1. The Government will therefore formulate most of its everyday engagement as a Member State of the Union within and around the structures of the EU Council and the European Council.
  1. The full programme of Europeanisation outlined earlier in the Blueprint will enable the Government to engage most effectively in the Council.
  1. The Government must ensure a high degree of integration and coordination between Department of the Prime Minister and Department of European and External Relations on EU affairs.
  1. DEER must facilitate high connectivity between the Permanent Representation to the EU and the Embassies of Scotland in the other EU Member States.
  1. The Government should preserve and utilise the expertise and experience of EU affairs acquired through the EU accession process.
  1. It should be ensured that new ministers, and new governments, are provided with suitable orientation on the functioning of the EU and Scotland’s roles within it.
  1. The Government must create a culture which builds its participation in the EU into its wider business. Ministers will attend the Council on a regular basis, with many decisions taken at the Council and substantively at official level.
  1. It should consider means of progressively enhancing the capacity of the Scottish European and External Relations Service and fostering European cooperation. It should promote secondments and exchanges between SEERS and the diplomatic services of the other EU Member States.
  1. The continued recruitment of Scots into the EU institutions should remain a priority for the Government, and it should promote EU career opportunities.
  1. The Government should take note of The Green Book of advice for Irish trainees in the EU institutions produced by European Movement Ireland. Alongside Scottish civil society, it should consider whether a Purple Book could be made for Scotland.71
  1. Looking to the years ahead, the Government should give consideration to whether Scotland may in future wish to bid to host new EU agencies that may be created, and what measures it should take in that direction.

9C. Parliament and EU Membership

  1. While the Parliament of Scotland will not be directly involved in EU policy-making, it should nevertheless shape Scotland’s EU policies.
  1. The Parliament should resolve to create a participatory EU membership model, in which it has more decisive authority related to the Government’s action at EU level.
  1. It should examine the models of other Member States to determine its approach. Denmark, Finland and the Netherlands might be particular points of reference.
  1. Whatever model the Parliament adopts, it should prepare for a significant role in Scotland’s EU affairs.
  1. It is envisaged that two parliamentary committees will cover European relations.
  1. The Grand Committee on European Union Affairs will concentrate on Scotland’s EU membership, EU policies and EU decision-making.
  1. The European and External Relations Committee will concentrate on wider issues, including bilateral relations with the EU Member States, in addition to more general European and international affairs.
  1. The Committees should work closely together and coordinate as relevant.
  1. The Grand Committee will therefore scrutinise the Government’s EU engagement, including its positions on EU proposals, policies and initiatives, and the decisions it takes in the EU Council.
  1. Depending on the model adopted, the Grand Committee could have the power to mandate certain Government positions or votes in the Council.
  1. Ministers will appear at the Grand Committee before and after attending meetings of the Council, to apprise the Committee of the state of play of matters.
  1. Ministers will also give statements in the Parliament on EU Council meetings and European Council summits.
  1. The Parliament should develop further the system of EU rapporteurs within each committee of the Parliament.
  1. The Grand Committee will hold evidence sessions with all ministers exercising EU functions, not just the Cabinet Secretary for European and External Relations.
  1. The Permanent Representative to the EU should also regularly appear before the Committee to consider the state of EU policy developments.
  1. It should be arranged that the Prime Minister will attend the Grand Committee to discuss European Council summits.
  1. The Grand Committee should also extend regular invitations to wider EU figures, particularly members of the European Commission and ministers from the Member State holding the EU Council presidency. It should find that most will be pleased to participate in the work of a Member State parliament.
  1. The Grand Committee should make regular trips to Brussels and Strasbourg to engage with the EU institutions, and particularly the European Parliament.
  1. It should participate in the networks of EU affairs committees of the Member States which exist and it should undertake regular dialogue with its counterparts.
  1. The Committee should consider how best to engage with the representative of the Parliament based in Brussels.
  1. It should work collaboratively with other parliaments and chambers to promote subsidiarity through use of the orange and yellow card procedures where relevant. It should support the green card procedure of national EU legislative initiative.72

9D. Scotland in the EU Institutions

  1. The Republic of Scotland will contribute in different ways to the functioning of the EU. Its participation in the main EU decision-making institutions will be as follows.

European Commission

  1. The Government of Scotland should hold frequent meetings with the Commission to understand its legislative and policy priorities and to contribute to them.
  1. The Prime Minister should meet the President of the Commission from time to time.
  1. Ministers should meet European Commissioners on a regular basis.
  1. Scots in the Commission will serve the European interest, not Scotland directly. At the same time, it is perfectly reasonable for the Government to interact with them in the course of their regular duties to understand the views of the Commission.
  1. Representatives of the Government will participate in the many committees related to the work of the Commission, under the system of comitology.73

EU Council

  1. The EU Council is the primary EU institution of the Member States. The Government of Scotland will participate in every aspect of its work.
  1. Ministers will attend meetings of the Council in its thematic configurations.
  1. The Government’s Permanent Representative, Depute Permanent Representative and Representative to the Political and Security Committee will respectively attend COREPER and the PSC, the higher-level Council preparatory bodies.
  1. Government officials will participate in the many other Council preparatory bodies.
  1. The Council will take a large number of decisions. Any Council meeting can take a decision on a matter, regardless of the thematic configuration in which it is sitting.

European Council

  1. The European Council is the executive council of EU Heads of State/Government. The intention is for the European Council (EUCO) to meet twice every 6 months.
  1. The Prime Minister will attend the European Council. A Head of State/Government must attend and no substitutions are allowed.
  1. Should an urgent situation arise, the Prime Minister’s vote can be entrusted to another Leader. In theory, the President of the Republic could attend instead of the Prime Minister.
  1. The European Council sets the political direction of the Union. In its conclusions, it will issue broad guidelines to be taken forward by the Commission and the Council.
  1. Summits enable the Prime Minister to interact with other Leaders and the President of the European Council. Bilateral meetings often take place in the margins.

European Parliament

  1. The people of Scotland will be directly represented in the European Parliament by the members whom they elect.
  1. Scotland’s MEPs will sit in their European political groups, rather than as a national delegation. These political groups are comprised of families of political parties.
  1. MEPs will have different roles in the Parliament, depending on their political groups and positions within them. The Parliament has various leadership roles, including a number of Vice Presidencies and the Chairs of its Committees.
  1. Scotland will have more than double its previous number of MEPs. Their collective scope for influence will therefore be much greater, depending in particular on the political composition of the new cohort.
  1. During its prior participation in the Union, a number of its MEPs worked together on a cross-party basis to promote Scotland’s interests. That spirit should return with the Republic of Scotland’s new MEPs.

9E. European Policy Matters

  1. As an EU Member State, Scotland will be involved in deciding all of the questions facing the Union. The EU agenda is often full. While many aspects of EU decision-making are of a technical nature, the Union must also confront major challenges.
  1. The Government should formulate its positions on these issues with reference to the Principles for European Relations, its EU priorities and its programme. It should also consult with the Parliament.
  1. A selection of European policy matters currently the subject of debate is as follows.
  1. The EU’s place in the world, in the face of challenges to the multilateral system, is a frequent point of discussion. Calls have been made for the EU to be a geopolitical actor. Foreign policy decisions are not always expeditious. Bringing Qualified Majority Voting to the Common Foreign and Security Policy is often mentioned.74
  1. Climate change is the one of the pressing and salient challenges facing Europe and the world. Green parties have performed well in recent elections in a number of Member States. The European Commission has proposed a European Green Deal. Difficult decisions will surely have to be made, if global warming is to be curbed.75
  1. External migration into the Union via the Mediterranean, principally from North Africa, remains a major issue. Solidarity in assisting frontline states has not been as forthcoming as they would wish. The circumstances which have caused much of this migration remain largely unaddressed.
  1. Technology is a further matter. Artificial intelligence and other advances may bring new opportunities for working and living. They could also eliminate jobs through automation. Privacy in an era of big data is a related concern. As a regulatory giant, the EU has a major role in deciding the balance between rights and innovation.
  1. Societal change is another question. The populations of most EU Member States are ageing, bringing related challenges to public services. Employment levels have recovered somewhat since the crisis, but many are instead now self-employed or in part-time work. Wellbeing and work-life balance are now topics of discussion.
  1. Future EU reform, especially political integration, is a point of contention. The focus has largely been on the eurozone. Various proposals have been made, including a eurozone finance minister and a eurozone budget. A modest budgetary instrument was agreed, but the political divisions within the euro area are clear.
  1. Arguments over the budget are a perennial feature in EU politics. Agreement must be found each year for the annual EU budget and periodically for the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). The next MFF for 2021-2027 is approaching the final stages of negotiation. The MFF after that will cover 2028-2034.
  1. Democracy is another issue. Institutions and values in some parts of the Union have come into question. The EU’s democratic legitimacy is a recurring theme. The increase in voter turnout at the last European Parliament elections will have been welcome news. Proposals have been made to introduce transnational MEPs.

9F. EU Council Presidency

  1. Upon its accession to the Union, Scotland will be added to the rotation to hold the Presidency of the Council of the European Union.76
  1. While the Member States will collectively decide, Scotland is likely to have its first EU Council presidency within 5-10 years, or potentially 5-15 years, of accession.
  1. The presidency is responsible for setting the overall Council agenda, including priority themes for the EU. Since a presidency only lasts six months, the amount of time to achieve policy success is relatively short.
  1. Its representatives will chair all meetings under the EU Council, including ministerial meetings, COREPER and the other Council preparatory bodies.
  1. The presidency represents the Council and the Member States. It negotiates with the European Parliament on legislative proposals, signs EU legislation on behalf of the Council and conducts EU accession negotiations.
  1. Each three successive presidencies work together in presidency trios, providing greater continuity in the EU agenda over a combined period of 18 months.77
  1. The Inaugural Scottish Presidency of the Council of the European Union will be an important, and relatively infrequent, opportunity for Scotland to show its priorities for the EU and its abilities in steering the Council and completing legislative files.
  1. The Government should begin preparations for Scotland’s first presidency several years in advance. In addition to coordinating with its presidency trio counterparts, it should engage with other Member States to learn from their experiences.
  1. A successful presidency will enhance Scotland’s reputation in the EU policy sphere. The Government should take all the necessary steps to bring about that outcome.

10. Strategy and Influence

  1. Success as an EU Member State requires a combination of strategy and influence. The Republic of Scotland will be both a new member and a relatively new state. It will have to adapt to the EU’s various political dynamics and networks. It will aim to secure a rapid trajectory towards becoming influential for its size. By interacting adroitly with the EU institutions and other Member States, Scotland will be best placed to align its interests with those of others and achieve its objectives.
  1. This Chapter proposes Parameters for Influence, Scotland’s Post-Accession Strategy, its Government Strategy, Relationships with EU Institutions, EU Bilateral Relations and Alliances and Partnerships.

10A. Parameters for Influence

  1. The European Union operates on a combination of values, interests and power.
  1. Becoming an EU member does not automatically equate with becoming influential in the EU. It is perfectly possible to be a passive member with modest influence.
  1. Influence require clear priorities, clever strategy and attuned diplomacy.
  1. Scotland will be a European small state. It will not have the agenda-setting power of France or Germany. In order to be successful, Scotland will have to be adroit.
  1. Parameters which will determine Scotland’s influence in the EU will include: its interests and the extent to which they align with others; its networks with the EU institutions and the other Member States; its contributions to EU policy and their level of innovation; its economic performance and political stability; and its ability to integrate interests and policy with the values and purpose of the Union.
  1. The Government must take account of the political dynamics within the EU. The Franco-German motor of European integration – the relationship between France and Germany – is one of the defining elements of the state of EU politics. Its status will determine to a significant extent the prospects for new major policy decisions.78
  1. At the same time, the EU’s membership is now larger than previously, extending to Central and Eastern Europe. More voices now seek to shape the EU’s course.
  1. Scotland must understand and respond to these balances of power within the EU.
  1. Every Member State has its own European story. While the Republic should look to and draw inspiration from the strategies and histories of other Member States, it must equally set the course which best suits its own circumstances.
  1. While remaining cognizant of the realities of EU politics, Scotland should also be ambitious in its goals for influence and success as an EU Member State. Where it combines its interests, priorities, strategy and diplomacy in the right proportions, Scotland has every chance of punching above its weight in the EU.

10B. Post-Accession Strategy

  1. Scotland will be in a unique position within the EU.
  1. Although a new member, its prior participation in the Union will give it a developed understanding of the functioning of the EU.
  1. Nevertheless, it will not have the experience of being an EU Member State or the associated political relationships and networks for influence.
  1. The Republic will have to build those relationships and networks.
  1. It should develop a fast-track plan to match Scotland’s previous experience in the EU with its newfound position as a Member State.
  1. The Government should create a Post-Accession EU Strategy.
  1. This strategy will provide an ambitious, yet realistic timetable for building Scottish influence within the European Union.
  1. Its headline target should be to make Scotland as influential a Member State in the EU within 5 years of accession as if it has had been a member for the past 50 years.
  1. This aspiration will require focus, determination and investment to be achieved.
  1. Where attained, the strategy will deliver a rapid trajectory towards EU influence.
  1. In formulating this post-accession strategy, the Government should consult with the Parliament’s Grand Committee on European Union Affairs.
  1. The Government should make full use of the EU policy support structures which it will have developed, including the Advisory Council on European Relations.

10C. Government Strategy

  1. As a European small state, Scotland will benefit significantly from clear strategy on how it will structure its participation within the European Union.
  1. The volume of EU business is high and, for smaller states in particular, it is not always feasible to study every issue in detail. Strong prioritisation is required, and government strategy can provide the necessary focus.
  1. The Government’s EU policy should be founded on a dual approach.
  1. It should create a Multiannual European Union Strategy, setting out principles and priorities over the medium term, which could be the duration of an EU institutional cycle or a term of the Parliament of Scotland.
  1. It should produce an Annual European Union Action Plan, laying out more specific objectives to be pursued over the coming year.
  1. The Parliament of Scotland should have a significant role in setting EU strategy. The Government should engage with the Grand Committee and wider Parliament.
  1. Scotland’s EU strategy should be rooted in cross-party support. Such endorsement will provide continuity to the Republic’s approach to EU affairs, should a change of government take place during the lifetime of an EU strategy or action plan.
  1. The Republic’s strategic approach to EU relations must take account of its wider national interests. It should recognise the high importance to Scotland of successful EU membership and commit the investments needed to build that success.
  1. Government strategy, particularly the Multiannual EU Strategy, must distil interests and aspirations into vision and principles for action. The Government should have continual regard to the Principles for European Relations.
  1. It must define Scotland’s core priorities and what will be required to achieve them. Scotland must ensure that its EU approach remains proactive, not responsive.
  1. Strategy should consider policy and thematic focuses and Scotland’s contributions to the future of Europe. Whether advancing the Digital Single Market or developing renewable energy technologies, Scotland will have its goals for the EU.
  1. This strategy must incorporate priorities for relationships with the EU institutions and the other Member States.
  1. While it is valuable to build bilateral relations with every Member State, Scotland will nevertheless focus some of its efforts on particular countries.
  1. The larger members are often points of reference – Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Poland. Certainly, Ireland will be a significant partner for Scotland.
  1. The Nordic EU and Baltic states may also be countries with which Scotland aims to build close links on EU affairs.
  1. Scotland’s EU strategy must also take into account the priorities and plans of the EU institutions and other Member States, and how Scotland relates to them.
  1. It should position Scotland’s outlook on the future of European integration, and in particular on further political integration.
  1. To be most influential, Scotland should aim to be part of the core of the EU.
  1. Its strategy must recognise the implications of remaining outside the eurozone, and that Scotland cannot have much influence where it does not participate.79
  1. It should consider the roles of wider Scottish foreign policy, Scottish soft power and the Scottish diaspora in Scotland’s EU membership.80
  1. Government strategy should take the long-term perspective on Scotland’s place in the EU. It should consider how Scotland will position itself in the EU, particularly with further enlargement of the Union that may bring it close to 35 Member States.

10D. EU Institutional Relations

  1. Scotland must build extensive relationships with the EU institutions. As a Member State, Scotland will be in effect a shareholder of the European Union.
  1. The principal institutions in EU decision-making beyond the Council, the European Commission and the European Parliament, should be the focus of attention.
  1. Other institutions, such as the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, should form part of wider engagement.
  1. The European Central Bank exercises crucial roles in the EU, though Scotland will be more distant from it by not being in the eurozone.
  1. The Union’s supranational institutions, especially the Commission and Parliament, have important powers and functions.
  1. Scotland should seek to engage with them to shape policies at their earliest stages. Such interaction can often provide greater influence than simply working with the other Member States in the Council.
  1. The Government should be active in making proposals and contributions across the various policy domains to the EU institutions.
  1. It should engage regularly with them on the major debates on the future of Europe.

10E. EU Bilateral Relations

  1. Scotland’s bilateral relations with other EU Member States will be important to its position in the EU. The Government should interact with counterparts at all levels.
  1. European integration brings the Member States together frequently, and contacts often become focused around shared EU structures.
  1. Nevertheless, wider bilateral relations must also be sustained to be influential.
  1. The Government must build effective bilateral triangulation on EU affairs between Brussels, Edinburgh and other EU capitals.
  1. Scotland’s network of diplomatic missions in Europe will therefore be crucial. The Government must make the necessary investments to maximise their potential.
  1. The Republic should open an Embassy of Scotland in every EU Member State.
  1. Where relevant, the Government should encourage EU Member States to open embassies in Edinburgh, instead of accrediting London-based diplomats.
  1. The Government’s EU bilateral relations agendas should incorporate programmes to develop relationships, contacts and partnerships.
  1. Counterparts from the Government of Scotland and other EU governments should engage regularly – between Chancelleries, Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Ministries of Finance and all other government departments.
  1. Bilateral relations must also move beyond government and include individuals, business and civil society.
  1. The Government should also work with other EU Member States to pursue joint EU policies and initiatives based on common interests and priorities.
  1. Scotland should develop various trilateral, quatrilateral and other formats with different Member States on shared themes.
  1. The Government should endeavour to ensure that, wherever possible, its bilateral relations produce results, whether on policies, connections or influence.

10F. Alliances and Partnerships

  1. The political dynamics in the EU Council and European Council can lead to alliances and coalitions between different Member States.
  1. Some coalitions are temporary and formed issue by issue where interests align for particular Member States.
  1. Other alliances are more structured, often reflecting shared attributes between the Member States involved.
  1. Characteristics such as a state’s geography, size, relative wealth, euro or non-euro status and the European political group of its current government can be factors.
  1. Scotland will inherit such categories upon becoming a member. It will be a Northern and Western European, relatively small, relatively wealthy, non-euro state.
  1. While Scotland can benefit from forming partnerships with Member States in its categories, it must resolve not to be defined by them.
  1. Scotland will be most successful as an EU Member State where it breaks limiting moulds, and forms wider partnerships based on shared interests and priorities.
  1. The Republic will participate in numerous alliances within the EU. Potential options of some alliances for Scotland are as follows.
  1. Ireland and Scotland are close neighbours, partners and friends. They will share many interests as EU Member States. The two states may form a Celtic Alliance in the EU, a partnership on a range of shared interests.
  1. While commonalities between them will be frequent, Scotland must appreciate that Ireland will be in a different position to it. Ireland’s participation in the eurozone will be a major contrast. Nevertheless, scope for EU cooperation will be substantial.
  1. Scotland also benefits from deep links with the Nordic countries. The three Nordic EU Member States – Denmark, Sweden and Finland – work closely together in the Union. These states and Scotland should also share many EU interests.
  1. The Nordic trio meet together, though they also have connections with the Baltic EU Member States. Nordic-Baltic cooperation in the EU and international fora is long-standing. Scotland and these countries would have to devise the best means of bringing Scotland into these groups.
  1. Such alliances can contribute to shaping the EU agenda, rather than being shaped by it. They can be vehicles for driving forward change in the EU.
  1. As an EU Member State, Scotland will begin to accrue political capital. It must be strategic in the deployment of that capital.
  1. Where it integrates its EU strategy, relations with the EU institutions, bilateral relations with the other Member States and its alliances, Scotland will be well on course to becoming an influential and successful EU Member State.

Recommendations

  1. The Blueprint makes the following recommendations on Scotland’s EU pathway.
Institutions of the State
  • The Republic of Scotland should define Principles for European Relations.
  • The Government of Scotland should create the Department of European and External Relations and the Scottish European and External Relations Service.
  • The Government of Scotland should establish the European Relations Council and the Advisory Council on European Relations.
  • Following a referendum endorsing independence, the Scottish Government and UK Government should conclude a Scotland-UK Framework Agreement.
Accession Parameters
  • The Republic of Scotland should define Strategic Priorities for EU Accession.
  • The Government of Scotland should adopt a Target to EU Accession of 4 years.
Pre-Accession Period
  • The Government of Scotland should establish Strategic Objectives for EU Association.
  • The Government of Scotland and the European Union should negotiate an EU-only Association Agreement.
  • The Republic of Scotland should set the ambition of making itself a Member-State-in-waiting.
  • The Government of Scotland should establish the EU Integration Unit.
Negotiation Mechanics
  • The Government of Scotland should establish Principles for EU Accession Negotiations.
  • The Government of Scotland should establish the Cabinet Committee on European Union Accession.
  • The Parliament of Scotland should establish the Grand Committee on European Union Accession.
  • The Government of Scotland should appoint a Chief Negotiator on European Union Accession.
Negotiation Objectives
  • The Government of Scotland should propose that Scotland be exempted from all transitional restrictions on the free movement of workers.
  • The Government of Scotland should propose that Scotland be allocated 14 Members of the European Parliament.
  • The Government of Scotland should propose a model of partial participation in the Schengen acquis, while preserving the Common Travel Area.
  • The Government of Scotland should propose a Political Declaration on the Evolution on the Common Fisheries Policy.
  • The Government of Scotland should propose transitional provisions on the monetary policy acquis.
  • The Government of Scotland should propose transitional provisions on the economic policy acquis.
Approvals and Ratification
  • The Republic of Scotland should hold an EU Accession Referendum.
Membership Preparations
  • The Government of Scotland and the Parliament of Scotland should undertake a full programme of Europeanisation.
  • The Government of Scotland should establish the Cabinet Committee on European Union Affairs.
  • The Parliament of Scotland should establish the Grand Committee on European Union Affairs.
  • The Government of Scotland should develop a National Public Participation Strategy on the EU and establish the Citizens’ Forum on Europe.
  • The Parliament of Scotland should designate Europe Day as a national public holiday.
  • The Republic of Scotland should create a National Protocol on EU Constitutional Decisions.
Final Accession Measures
  • The Republic of Scotland should develop General Selection Criteria for EU Appointments.
  • The Government of Scotland should gift Scotland’s House of Europe as a base of operations to the EU institutions in Scotland.
  • The Parliament of Scotland should accord MEPs and EU personnel equivalent access as its own members and staff.
Post-Accession Membership
  • The Government of Scotland should produce an Annual Report on Scotland’s EU Membership.
Strategy and Influence
  • The Government of Scotland should develop a Post-Accession EU Strategy.
  • The Government of Scotland should develop a Multiannual European Union Strategy and Annual European Union Action Plans.
  • The Republic of Scotland should open an Embassy of Scotland in every EU Member State.
  • The Government of Scotland should form strategic alliances with Member States in the EU Council.

: | : | : | : | :

  1. Where it implements these recommendations, Scotland will have strong potential to become a successful EU Member State.

Scotland’s European Frameworks

Republic of Scotland
Principles for European Relations
  1. Scotland believes in the shared values of our Union and the European ideal of building a more peaceful, prosperous and free Europe
  1. Membership of our Union is in Scotland’s strategic national interests and the means of achieving a better Scotland in a united Europe
  1. European affairs are not foreign policy. The EU is part of the government of Scotland, shared with our fellow Member States
  1. Scotland will be a positive Member State which participates in all our common institutions and contributes actively to the future of Europe
  1. Scotland will work constructively in European partnership to address the internal and external challenges facing our Union
  1. Scotland will promote democracy in our Union and the progressive involvement of citizens in decision-making at all levels
  1. Scotland will seek ever closer relations with our fellow Member States, through the institutions of our Union and in direct cooperation
  1. Scotland believes that our Union is a force for good in the world and that our collective global voice should become progressively united
Republic of Scotland
Strategic Priorities for EU Accession
  1. To satisfy the requirements for accession set by the Union as fully and rapidly as possible, with regard to good governance and sustainability
  1. To ensure beneficial accession terms for Scotland through constructive negotiation with the Union, with regard to the purpose of the Union
  1. To build confidence with the Union institutions and the Member States in Scotland as a future member through its approach to accession
Scotland
Strategic Objectives for EU Association
  1. To facilitate a high degree of integration with the Union reflective of Scotland’s strong preparedness and prior participation in the Union
  1. To promote Scotland’s progressive convergence with the Union in parallel with the evolution of the Scottish state
  1. To provide durable foundations and legal certainty throughout the stages of Scotland’s accession to the Union
Republic of Scotland
Principles for EU Accession Negotiations
  1. To approach the negotiations, and the requirements for accession placed upon Scotland, in a constructive spirit conducive to progress
  1. To represent Scotland’s interests effectively, including through explaining and evidencing its particular circumstances and context
  1. To foster transparency in the negotiation process to the extent possible, with regard to the Union’s Negotiating Framework and its approach

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(2) EUR-Lex (2014) Opinion of the Court (Full Court) of 18 December 2014, Opinion pursuant to Article 218(11) TFEU, ECLI:EU:C:2014:2454, Document 62013CV0002, 18 Dec 2014, https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A62013CV0002

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(9) Salamone, A (2019) Scotland and the Spirit of Europe: Protecting Scotland’s European Relations in the Face of Brexit, European Merchants, 30 Nov 2019, https://www.merchants.scot/insight/scotland-spirit-of-europe

(10) EUR-Lex (2020) Treaties Currently in Force, https://eur-lex.europa.eu/collection/eu-law/treaties/treaties-force.html

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(14) European Commission (2016) Steps towards Joining, European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, 6 Dec 2016, https://ec.europa.eu/neighbourhood-enlargement/policy/steps-towards-joining_en

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(16) European Commission (2017) Croatia, European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, 22 Nov 2017, https://ec.europa.eu/neighbourhood-enlargement/countries/detailed-country-information/croatia_en and European Commission (2017) Iceland, European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, 22 Nov 2017, https://ec.europa.eu/neighbourhood-enlargement/countries/detailed-country-information/iceland_en

(17) Croatia Opinion – 14 April 2003 to 20 April 2004, European Commission (2014) Communication from the Commission, Opinion on Croatia’s Application for Membership of the European Union, COM(2004) 257 final, 20 Apr 2004, https://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=COM:2004:0257:FIN:EN:PDF and Iceland Opinion – 27 July 2009 to 24 February 2010, European Commission (2010) Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council, Commission Opinion on Iceland’s application for membership of the European Union, COM(2010) 62 final, 24 Feb 2010, https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:52010DC0062&qid=1582247517061&from=EN

(18) Croatia Screening – 20 October 2005 to 18 October 2006, European Commission (2017) Croatia, European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, 22 Nov 2017, https://ec.europa.eu/neighbourhood-enlargement/countries/detailed-country-information/croatia_en and Iceland Screening – 15 November 2010 to 20 June 2011, European Commission (2017) Iceland, European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, 22 Nov 2017, https://ec.europa.eu/neighbourhood-enlargement/countries/detailed-country-information/iceland_en

(19) Croatia Formal Negotiations – 12 June 2006 to 30 June 2011, European Commission (2017) Croatia, European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, 22 Nov 2017, https://ec.europa.eu/neighbourhood-enlargement/countries/detailed-country-information/croatia_en and Iceland Formal Negotiations – 27 June 2011 to 18 December 2012, European Commission (2017) Iceland, European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, 22 Nov 2017, https://ec.europa.eu/neighbourhood-enlargement/countries/detailed-country-information/iceland_e

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(21) Finland Accession Process – 18 March 1992 to 1 January 1995, European Commission (1992) The Challenge of Enlargement – Commission Opinion on Finland’s Application for Membership, SEC(92) 2048 final, 4 Nov 1992 and EUR-Lex (1994) Treaty concerning the Accession of the Kingdom of Norway, the Republic of Austria, the Republic of Finland and the Kingdom of Sweden to the European Union, 29 Aug 1994, https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:11994N/TXT

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(26) EUR-Lex (2018) International Agreements and the EU’s External Competences, Summaries of EU Legislation, 23 May 2018, https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=LEGISSUM%3Aai0034

(27) European Parliament (2016) A guide to EU procedures for the conclusion of international trade agreements, Laura Puccio, PE 593.489, European Parliamentary Research Service, http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/BRIE/2016/593489/EPRS_BRI(2016)593489_EN.pdf

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(29) European Commission (2020) Overview – Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance, European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, 15 Jan 2020, https://ec.europa.eu/neighbourhood-enlargement/instruments/overview_en

(30) European Commission (2019) The Directorate-General, European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, 28 Nov 2019, https://ec.europa.eu/neighbourhood-enlargement/about/directorate-general_en

(31) Scotland House Brussels (2019) 20th Anniversary of Scotland House Brussels, 11 Oct 2019, https://twitter.com/ScotlandHouseEU/status/1182639520866603009

(32) Salamone, A (2019) Scotland’s Engagement in the European Union: Insights from Third Countries and Regions, Report Commissioned by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre for the Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee, Scottish Parliament, 14 Oct 2019, https://www.parliament.scot/S5_European/Reports/CTEEA2019_SCERReportEUengagementFINAL.pdf

(33) EUR-Lex (2020) Acquis, Glossary of Summaries, https://eur-lex.europa.eu/summary/glossary/acquis.html

(34) European Commission (2019) Chapters of the Acquis, European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, 17 Apr 2019, https://ec.europa.eu/neighbourhood-enlargement/policy/conditions-membership/chapters-of-the-acquis_en

(35) See for instance, European Parliament (2016) Renegotiation by the United Kingdom of its constitutional relationship with the European Union – Issues related to Competitiveness and Better Law-Making, Policy Department C: Citizens Rights and Constitutional Affairs, Directorate-General for Internal Policies, PE 556.939, http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2016/556939/IPOL_STU(2016)556939_EN.pdf

(36) See for instance, EU Council (2018) Twelfth Meeting of the Accession Conference with Montenegro at Ministerial Level, Brussels, 10 Dec 2018, https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2018/12/10/twelfth-meeting-of-the-accession-conference-with-montenegro-at-ministerial-level-brussels-10-december-2018

(37) European Union (2019) Irish, 7.2.4. Rules governing the languages of the institutions, Interinstitutional Style Guide, 29 Aug 2019, http://publications.europa.eu/code/en/en-370204.htm

(38) European Parliament (2020) How many MEPs?, News, https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/faq/12/how-many-meps

(39) EUR-Lex (2018) The European Parliament, Summaries of EU Legislation, 20 Feb 2018, https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=LEGISSUM%3Aai0010

(40) European Parliament (2018) Number of MEPs to be reduced after EU elections in 2019, News, 13 Jun 2018, https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/press-room/20180607IPR05241/number-of-meps-to-be-reduced-after-eu-elections-in-2019

(41) European Union (2020) Population by Country (as of 1 January 2019), EU in Figures, https://europa.eu/european-union/about-eu/figures/living_en

(42) European Commission (2020) Who Can Join and When?, Euro Area, https://ec.europa.eu/info/business-economy-euro/euro-area/enlargement-euro-area/who-can-join-and-when_en

(43) EUR-Lex (2018) The Schengen Area and Cooperation, Summaries of EU Legislation, 3 Aug 2009, https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=LEGISSUM%3Al33020

(44) Government of Ireland (2020) The Common Travel Area, Getting Ireland Brexit Ready, https://www.dfa.ie/brexit/getting-ireland-brexit-ready/brexit-and-you/common-travel-area

(45) European Commission (2020) Enlargement – Transitional Provisions, Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion, https://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=466&langId=en

(46) See for instance, European Commission (2020) Croatia, Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion, https://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=1067&langId=en

(47) European Commission (2019) Chapter 13 – Fisheries, European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, 17 Apr 2019, https://ec.europa.eu/neighbourhood-enlargement/policy/conditions-membership/chapters-of-the-acquis_en

(48) European Commission (2019) Chapter 17 – Economic and Monetary Policy, European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, 17 Apr 2019, https://ec.europa.eu/neighbourhood-enlargement/policy/conditions-membership/chapters-of-the-acquis_en

(49) European Central Bank (2020) The euro outside Europe, Explainers, https://www.ecb.europa.eu/explainers/show-me/html/euro_outside_europe.en.html

(50) European Commission (2014) Screening Report Montenegro: Chapter 17 – Economic and Monetary Policy, 7 Mar 2014, https://ec.europa.eu/neighbourhood-enlargement/sites/near/files/pdf/montenegro/screening_reports/screening_report_montenegro_ch17.pdf and European Commission (2019) Montenegro 2019 Report, Commission Staff Working Document, SWD(2019) 217 final, 29 May 2019, https://ec.europa.eu/neighbourhood-enlargement/sites/near/files/20190529-montenegro-report.pdf

(51) European Commission (2019) Chapter 17 – Economic and Monetary Policy, European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, 17 Apr 2019, https://ec.europa.eu/neighbourhood-enlargement/policy/conditions-membership/chapters-of-the-acquis_en

(52) European Commission (2020) Stability and Growth Pact, Economic and Fiscal Policy Coordination, https://ec.europa.eu/info/business-economy-euro/economic-and-fiscal-policy-coordination/eu-economic-governance-monitoring-prevention-correction/stability-and-growth-pact_en

(53) European Commission (2020) The Corrective Arm/Excessive Deficit Procedure, Economic and Fiscal Policy Coordination, https://ec.europa.eu/info/business-economy-euro/economic-and-fiscal-policy-coordination/eu-economic-governance-monitoring-prevention-correction/stability-and-growth-pact/corrective-arm-excessive-deficit-procedure_en

(54) EUR-Lex (2012) Treaty Concerning the Accession of the Republic of Croatia to the European Union, 24 Apr 2012, https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A12012J%2FTXT

(55) European Commission (2016) Acceding Countries – Glossary, European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, 6 Dec 2016, https://ec.europa.eu/neighbourhood-enlargement/policy/glossary/terms/acceding-countries_en

(56) European Commission (2011) Signature of the Accession Treaty of the European Union (EU) with Croatia: Background Note, MEMO/11/883, 9 Dec 2011, https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/MEMO_11_883

(57) Kingdom of Belgium (2020) Conclusion of Treaties, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, https://diplomatie.belgium.be/en/treaties/conclusion_of_treaties

(58) Conseil Constitutionnel (2020) Texte intégral de la Constitution du 4 octobre 1958 en vigueur (Texte intégral en vigueur à jour de la révision constitutionnelle du 23 juillet 2008), https://www.conseil-constitutionnel.fr/le-bloc-de-constitutionnalite/texte-integral-de-la-constitution-du-4-octobre-1958-en-vigueur

(59) Legifrance (2013) LOI n° 2013-99 du 28 janvier 2013 autorisant la ratification du traité relatif à l’adhésion de la République de Croatie à l’Union européenne, JORF n°0024 du 29 janvier 2013 page 1721, texte No 2, 29 Jan 2013, https://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/eli/loi/2013/1/28/MAEJ1234106L/jo/texte

(60) United Nations Treaty Collection (2020) Glossary of Terms Relating to Treaty Actions, https://treaties.un.org/pages/Overview.aspx?path=overview/glossary/page1_en.xml

(61) See European Movement Ireland (2019) Ireland and the EU Poll 2019, Mar 2019, https://www.europeanmovement.ie/programmes/ireland-and-the-eu-poll

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(63) Blue Star Programme (2020) About, https://www.bluestarprogramme.ie/about

(64) EUR-Lex (1992) Treaty on European Union, 29 Jul 1992, https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:11992M/TXT

(65) Houses of the Oireachtas (2020) The European Parliament, Voting in Ireland, https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/visit-and-learn/how-parliament-works/voting-in-ireland

(66) See for instance, EUR-Lex (2012) Notice of open competition – EPSO/AD/244/12 – Administrators (AD 5) of Croat citizenship, Document C2012/276A/02, 13 Sept 2012, https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv:OJ.CA.2012.276.01.0005.01.ENG

(67) EUR-Lex (2020) COREPER, Glossary of Summaries, https://eur-lex.europa.eu/summary/glossary/coreper.html

(68) EU Council (2020) COREPER II, https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/council-eu/preparatory-bodies/coreper-ii

(69) EU Council (2020) COREPER I, https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/council-eu/preparatory-bodies/coreper-i

(70) EU Council (2020) Council Preparatory Bodies, https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/council-eu/preparatory-bodies

(71) European Movement Ireland (2020) The Green Book, Grad Jobs in Europe, https://www.europeanmovement.ie/programmes/grad-jobs-in-europe

(72) European Commission (2020) Relations with National Parliaments: Subsidiarity Control Mechanism, https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/law-making-process/adopting-eu-law/relations-national-parliaments/subsidiarity-control-mechanism_en

(73) European Commission (2020) Comitology, https://ec.europa.eu/info/implementing-and-delegated-acts/comitology_en

(74) Elysée (2017) Initiative pour l’Europe – Discours d’Emmanuel Macron pour une Europe souveraine, unie, démocratique, 26 Sept 2017, https://www.elysee.fr/emmanuel-macron/2017/09/26/initiative-pour-l-europe-discours-d-emmanuel-macron-pour-une-europe-souveraine-unie-democratique

(75) European Commission (2020) A European Green Deal, Priorities/Strategies, https://ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024/european-green-deal_en

(76) EU Council (2016) Council Rotating Presidencies: Decision on Revised Order, 26 Jul 2016, https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2016/07/26/council-rotating-presidencies-revised-order

(77) EU Council (2020) The Presidency of the Council of the EU, https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/council-eu/presidency-council-eu

(78) Dempsey, J (2019) ‘What Franco-German Engine?’, Judy Dempsey’s Strategic Europe, Carnegie Europe, 22 Jan 2019, https://carnegieeurope.eu/strategiceurope/78177

(79) Salamone, A (2020) ‘Anthony Salamone: Scotland must embrace the euro’, The National, 23 Jan 2020, https://www.thenational.scot/news/18179700.scotland-will-vital-part-play-heart-eu-must-embrace-euro

(80) Salamone, A (2020) Scottish Foreign Policy in the Brexit Era, E-International Relations, 15 Jan 2020, https://www.e-ir.info/2020/01/15/opinion-scottish-foreign-policy-in-the-brexit-era

Anthony Salamone

Anthony Salamone is Managing Director of European Merchants