SCOTLAND is to take part in a European Parliament committee hearing which is looking at “solutions” to the loss of the Erasmus scheme after Brexit, according to a top official.

Susanne Oberhauser, director of the European Parliament Liaison office in the UK, has revealed a meeting is to be held in Brussels to discuss the exchange scheme programme, involving the devolved administrations.

She said the European Parliament would view it as a "plus" if the UK wanted to rejoin Erasmus, or the UK Government agreed Scotland could participate in it again. 

Speaking on a podcast which will be published on the Europe and Scotland blog this weekend, Oberhauser said Scotland’s Constitution Secretary Angus Robertson would be participating in the hearing.

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It is being held by one of the European Parliament’s committees, which play a crucial role on policy-making in preparing Parliament’s positions.

It comes ahead a review of the key post-Brexit legislation – the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement – which is due to take place in 2025.

Podcast host and EU expert Dr Kirsty Hughes asked if it would be a “plus” from the European Parliament point of view if the UK wanted to rejoin Erasmus or the UK Government agreed with Scotland rejoining it.

The National:

Oberhauser responded: “Absolutely. The European Parliament has in its text when it reviewed the first two years of functioning of the trade and cooperation agreement explicitly stated its regrets that the UK is no longer in Erasmus.

“Our Committee on Culture and Education came to Scotland last year, focusing really on what can we do in order to mobilise youth exchanges and finding solutions – be that in a UK rejoining Erasmus, be that in other forms, but there is a great interest from our committee.

“They are just preparing as well now again a hearing where also the devolved administrations will take place.”

Oberhauser said the hearing would take place in Brussels at the European Parliament and confirmed Scotland would be represented.

She added: “I have to confirm the date, but I know that Angus Robertson is confirmed to participate in it.”

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Oberhauser also spoke of visiting Scotland at the end of last year, saying it was “obvious” that Scotland is a European nation.

She said: “What struck me most was the deep feeling of cultural connection that Scotland has with the Scandinavian countries, with the Netherlands, the common heritage and this feeling of being really an integral part of the cultural heritage of Europe.

"If anything was needed, it made it clear that obviously Scotland is a European nation.”

She added: “It’s not for me to speculate about independence, this is really something internally to the UK, for the Scottish people and also for the UK Government.

“This is nothing on which we would speculate but was Scotland in a position to apply for membership then I think it’s application would be treated as any other application from a European country.”