Scotland and the EU: Eleventh hour thoughts on a contested subject

von Sionaidh Douglas Scott

Is the ‘spectre of disintegration’ haunting Europe? Joseph Weiler fears that it is, and that, were an independent Scotland to be admitted as an EU state, this would lead to a domino effect whereby others would demand independence within the EU – testimony of an atavistic, retrogressive mentality, and adverse to the EU’s raison d’etre. This is a strongly put view, and not all will agree with it. Nonetheless, most of the papers in this highly stimulating symposium address, albeit in very different ways, the concern that lies at the base of Weiler’s argument – namely, the character of the EU, the nature of its values, its very reason for being. They also address the more workaday, but nonetheless critical, legal and practical issues that an independent Scotland’s membership pose.

The EU and its values

Indeed, this debate has prompted some necessary, timely and diverse reflections on the nature of the EU, and what it stands for. The treaty of Lisbon inserted a statement of values into EU law for the first time, but if this is to be anything other than a mere puff, then it should provide guidance for the EU in its actions, and also an indication of what the EU is about. It ought to have some practical resonance, but it must also be meaningful – to use a well-worn phrase, it should capture hearts and minds. But hearts and minds appear to be captured in different ways. Weiler argues that, ‘In seeking separation Scotland would be betraying the very ideals of solidarity and human integration for which Europe stands’, suggesting that it is this very demand for independence that should disqualify Scotland from the EU ...

Zum vollständigen Artikel

Cookies helfen bei der Bereitstellung unserer Dienste. Durch die Nutzung erklären Sie sich mit der Cookie-Setzung einverstanden. Mehr OK