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Hello and welcome to the second edition in 2015 of your newsletter from the European Parliament Information Office here in Edinburgh. It's been a busy few months! Read on to see some recent highlights and information on future events.
 
RECENT EVENTS IN SCOTLAND
 
Scottish Parliament Petitions Committee visit the European Parliament 
1 December 2014, Brussels

The Public Petitions Committee of the Scottish Parliament visited the European Parliament in December and met the EP Petitions Committee (PETI). The aim of this meeting was to share experience and best practice between the two committees. The visit also provided an opportunity to learn more about EU regulations, how the EU institutions work and how citizens can affect policy at EU level.

You can watch footage of the Public Petitions Committee addressing PETI here.
Meet your MEP - David Martin  
6 February 2015, Edinburgh
Our office was packed out when David Martin MEP (Labour) came to speak
about his work at the European Parliament and the on-going TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) negotiations between the EU and the US.

He discussed what TTIP means for Europe and what impact the EU-US trade deal will have for Scotland and its citizens. After his presentation, he participated in a Q&A session.
David Martin MEP speaking to citizens at our Meet your MEP event
 
Common Weal event: The Workings of the European Parliament
6 February 2015, Edinburgh

Head of Office Per Johansson gave a presentation on the European Parliament in an event organised by the Common Weal think tank in Edinburgh. He briefed attendees on how the EP works in relation to other European Institutions as well as Member States, whilst covering some of the challenges and opportunities facing the Parliament today.

The event was livestreamed, and is available in full here.
Hansard Society TTIP Summit
19 February 2015, Edinburgh
With the support of the UK Office of the European Parliament, the Hansard Society organised a TTIP Summit at the Scottish Parliament, to discuss the EU-US trade
deal and its implications for Scotland’s future.
 
Speakers included: Colin Brown (Deputy Head of the Dispute Mechanism and Legal Aspects of Trade, European Commission); David Martin MEP (Spokesperson for the Socialist and Democrat Group on international trade); Christina McKelvie MSP (Convener of the European & External Relations Committee); Ruth Fox (Hansard Society).
Audience gathered to hear speakers at the TTIP Summit in the Scottish Parliament

Scottish Government EP Engagement Session
2 March 2015, Glasgow
 The Scottish Government organised an EP Engagement Session in Glasgow with MEPs Ian Duncan (Conservative) and David Martin (Labour) as speakers. The event was organised in order to inform Scottish Government officials about the work of the Scottish MEPs in the European Parliament and how officials can interact with MEPs and the European Parliament as an institution. During the session, Per Johansson from EPIO Edinburgh introduced the tasks and responsibilities of the EPIO.
Scottish journalism students visit Brussels
2-4 March 2015, Glasgow
A group of journalism students from Glasgow Clyde College visited the European Institutions in Brussels to gain some valuable first-hand experience of the activities of the Parliament. They had the opportunity to meet with Alyn Smith MEP and Ian Duncan MEP, as well as attending a Press Briefing and meeting some of the Parliament's Press Staff.       
ScotMUN Opening Ceremony
6 March 2015
, Edinburgh
Head of Office Per Johansson addressed over 350 participants as keynote speaker at the opening ceremony of the University of Edinburgh Model United Nations Society's ScotMUN conference.

The event was held in the Assembly Rooms on George Street. Encouraging participants to 'Make Compromise- Not War', Mr. Johansson highlighted the inherent similarities between the European Union and the United Nations, and how far the EU had come since the post-WWII era, with its success in preventing war through diplomacy and economic integration.
International Women's Day
8 March 2015, Aberdeen
To celebrate International Women's Day and together with Europe Direct Aberdeen, a panel of guest speakers held a discussion on gender equality and human rights. These topics are at the heart of the European Union's principles. The discussion covered a wide range of issues, including: education; shared parental leave; gender stereotypes; female genital mutilation (FGM); pay gap; and the EU's role in gender identity.

More information on what the EU is doing to support women's rights and promote gender equality is available here.
The panel discussing gender equality at an International Women's Day event in Aberdeen
 
EU careers events at Strathclyde and Edinburgh Universities
10 & 11 March, Glasgow and Edinburgh respectively
The European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) and Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) held collaborative events to highlight the opportunities available for graduates and young professionals to work for the Institutions of the European Union. First-hand accounts from current young professionals complemented the presentations. EPIO Edinburgh staff provided additional information on career paths including working as a parliamentary assistant of a Member or working for political groups of the EP. Traineeship opportunities were also emphasised.

Applications are now open for the competition EPSO/AD/301/15 for Administrators: generalists. The deadline to apply is 21 April 2015, 12.00 midday (Brussels time).

Full details here.
Meet your MEP - Alyn Smith
Friday 13 March 2015, Edinburgh
Alyn Smith MEP (SNP) visited our office to meet with citizens for a presentation of his work as an MEP and the issues he is working on at the moment, such as TTIP, human rights and the European Neighbourhood Policy.

The event was streamed online, with over 200 views and lively discussion on twitter. You can access footage of the event in full here.
Alyn Smith MEP discussing his work at our Meet your MEP event
East of Scotland European Consortium briefing
Friday 20 March 2015, Dundee
Head of Office Per Johansson met with the East of Scotland European Consortium, an organisation focused on a shared
EU agenda as it affects and supports economic development in the area.

Mr. Johansson briefed the Consortium on recent activities in the European Parliament from a Scottish perspective before answering wide-ranging questions on EP policy.
TTIP Summit, Aberdeen
Friday 20 March 2015, Aberdeen
Ian Duncan MEP (Conservative) spoke at a discussion organised by the Hansard Society entitled "Aberdeen’s future: Jobs, services and the Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP)".

The event explored what citizens think about TTIP through new research into public attitudes to the principles underpinning the negotiations and considering future democratic engagement - including the timetable for the next stage negotiations, how business and civil society can make their voice heard, and what role our Parliaments play in the process.
Ian Duncan MEP (r) on a panel to discuss TTIP and Aberdeen's future
UPCOMING EVENTS IN SCOTLAND
Euroquiz Final  
11 May 2015, Edinburgh
After having attended the West Dunbartonshire Euroquiz heat at Dumbarton Academy we are really looking forward to meet the finalists at the Scottish Parliament in May. The Euroquiz is a competition run each year by the Scottish European Educational Trust (SEET) and it tests P6 pupils' knowledge of the EU.
Europe Day 
8 May 2015, Edinburgh

Join us on Castle Street on 8 May from 11.30 - 15.30 as we celebrate Europe Day. There will be an opportunity to find out about the work we are doing in Edinburgh, see some presentations and take part in various activities on the day.
Energy Union event at Aberdeen University
15 May 2015, Aberdeen
Ian Duncan MEP will join an expert panel to discuss the benefits to Scotland and Europe of Energy Union. Topics discussed will include renewable energy, sustainable development and energy security. There will be an opportunity to pose questions to the panel following presentations.
European Pub Quiz
29 May 2015, Edinburgh
Do you know your Schulz from your Schuman? Our annual Pub Quiz event will be held at Canon's Gait on the Royal Mile. Can anyone take One Directive's crown?
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