Smaller EU states more adaptable says expert


  By a Newsnet reporter
Smaller states are able to adapt to changing situations and are more flexible than larger neighbours, an academic has told a committee of MSPs.
The SNP has today welcomed written evidence submitted to the Energy, Economy and Tourism Committee from Professor Michael Keating highlighting the advantages and adaptability of smaller EU member states.

The Professor of Politics at Aberdeen University’s submission points out that smaller states are more ‘adaptable’ and also adds that, “Small states, however, be better able to adapt than larger states because –

•They have shorter lines of communication;

•There is a sense of common purpose;

•Their policy systems are more flexible;

•Their administrations are smaller and more integrated.

The evidence from the academic follow comments he made on the BBC’s Sunday Politics programme, where he highlighted the “realistic” timeframe for negotiations on EU membership set out by the Scottish Government –

Professor Keating also confirmed that Scotland meets the criteria for membership, meaning that the European Commission “would be obliged to recommend to the European Council that Scotland be admitted” to the EU.

Commenting, SNP MSP Marco Biagi, who sits on the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee said:

“These comments are very welcome comments from Professor Michael Keating. He states that an independent Scotland will be more adaptable and flexible than the UK.

“Scotland has been part of the EU for 40 years and as the First Minister said in Bruges last week, our vast natural resources and human talent make us a lynchpin of the European Union.

“A Yes vote will allow Scotland to play a constructive role at the heart of Europe, speaking with its own voice at the EU top table – in stark contrast to an increasingly Eurosceptic Westminster system which risks ripping Scotland out of the EU with an in/out referendum.”

Professor Keating’s submission comes a day after it emerged UK Chancellor George Osborne is set to become embroiled in another row with members of the European Union.

Mr Osborne has said he will challenge in court the legitimacy of a financial-transaction tax proposed by 11 European Union countries.  The tax is set to be introduced in order to curb so-called casino banking and other high risk financial practices.

Speaking in February, EU Tax Commissioner Algirdas Semeta said the new tax levy would raise up to €35bn of revenue and force banks to “engage in more responsible activities.”

Commenting, George Osborne said: “Our view has been that the financial transaction tax that people have talked about is not a tax on bankers, as people present it as, it’s a tax on jobs, it’s a tax on investment, it’s a tax on people’s pensions and on pensioners.  And that’s why the United Kingdom does not want to be part of it.”