SCOTLAND’S historical ties to Europe are to be celebrated tonight at an event that will hear from European citizens on why there’s still a place for Scotland in the EU.

Coinciding with the sixth anniversary of the Brexit vote, Europe for Scotland will host The light is still on: Why Scotland Matters to Europeans, at 8pm.

IndependenceLive will be live-streaming the event on YouTube, which can also be watched on The National’s Facebook page.

It will be presented by National columnist Lesley Riddoch and will hear from people across Europe on their affection for Scotland.

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Viewers will also hear about the campaign group’s plans for the future, including a 2023 report to be sent to Brussels on Scotland’s place in the European Union.

Europe for Scotland’s joint European co-ordinator’s Andrea Pisauro and Nina Jetter told The National the event is a place to celebrate Scotland’s ties with Europe.

Pisauro, a researcher from Rome who spent three years living in Glasgow, said he got involved in the grassroots organisation after feeling that Scotland was “treated unfairly” after Brexit.

He said: “We thought it was important to make a statement and support Scotland if it wants to re-join the EU.

“So we recruited the people across Europe, intellectuals and citizens, that wanted to support our call.

“We have been trying to build a pan-European campaign that defends Scotland’s right to choose its own future.”

Jetter, a translator from Germany who currently stays in Oxford, said Brexit had affected the pair emotionally, with both still living in the UK, adding that they felt compelled to act after the 2016 vote.

She said Scotland wants “to move in the right direction and wants to create a better future” which brought her hope.

Europe for Scotland will lobby the EU and urge politicians in Brussels to be more assertive in their support for the country re-joining the bloc.

Pisauro explained: “We want [EU politicians] to say what we think a lot of European citizens have been thinking - that Scotland should be welcomed in the EU.

“We would like them to be expressing this in an explicit manner, even ahead of the referendum. If they think that Scotland would make a good member of the European Union, they should say so.

“We are getting in touch with parliamentarians in Brussels to explain to them that Scotland re-joining the EU would not just be good for Scotland it would be good for the EU itself.

“We think that Scotland will be an active member in terms of respecting democracy and rule of law. Scotland would add to the energy transition would help with its excellent immigration system.

“So it would be profoundly transformative if Scotland would re-join the EU. And on another level, we would like to promote a sense of solidarity and express the desire to see Scotland re-joining, and talk about Scottish culture, which has been so important in European history.”

Pissauro said Europe for Scotland plans to send a report to the EU in 2023, written by citizens across Europe, to express its view that Scotland would be “beneficial to the European project”.

There is widespread support for Scotland re-joining the EU, even if they don’t always say it out loud, according to the researcher.

“We believe there is a lot of silent support,“ he said. “In Brussels, there are a lot of people that will tell you off the record that of course Scotland would be welcome. But they wouldn’t dare say it explicitly.”

Jetter agreed, saying there is “enormous affection for Scotland” across Europe.

Jetter encourages viewers to watch live at 8pm on Thursday, saying people can ask speakers questions if they do so. The event will also be available to watch at a later date on independence Live’s YouTube channel.

Pisauro said while Thursday is a “sad day” because it is the sixth anniversary of the Brexit referendum, he wants it to be a “celebration of Scotland’s ties with Europe”.

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A Europe for Scotland spokesperson said: “We are having this event on the anniversary of the Brexit referendum which is to us the anniversary of the injustice of Scotland being dragged out of the EU against its democratic will. 

“We want to turn the anniversary of a sad day into a celebration of Scotland’s ties with Europe. During the event voices of Europeans from different countries will express why Scotland matters to them at a personal level and why they feel strongly about Scotland’s right to choose its own future post Brexit.

“We will also present our campaign plans in preparation to indyref2 and we will show a clip from our latest video by Billy Kay about Scottish culture influence in Europe over centuries.”

The light is still on: why Scotland matters to Europeans will be live-streamed on The National’s Facebook page and on the IndependenceLive YouTube channel.