SCOTLAND will be the only part of the UK where ministers will celebrate the European Union’s 60th birthday this weekend.

While the calendar of official engagements is still being finalised, it has been confirmed Mike Russell and Fiona Hyslop will speak at a series of receptions and lectures to mark the anniversary this Saturday of the signing of Treaty of Rome.

To mark the event Russell, the Scottish Brexit Minister, is sponsoring a gathering at Holyrood tomorrow night, expected to be attended by around 100 EU supporters.

And next Wednesday, Hyslop will give a public lecture on Scotland’s Place in Europe at Edinburgh University’s Europa Institute, as the Prime Minister formally triggers divorce talks in her Article 50 letter to European Council President Donald Tusk.

Tomorrow’s event at Holyrood is being organised by the European Movement in Scotland which has asked Professor Craig Parsons, head of political science at the University of Oregon, to give a lecture on why the European single market is super-ior to the American trade model.

Vanessa Glynn, chairwoman of the European Movement in Scotland, told The National she was delighted Russell was sponsoring the event. “The European Movement in Scotland has been around for a long time. Our objective is to ensure a European future for Scotland, and the whole of the UK,” she said.

“Now is a particularly critical time for anyone who is concerned about the disastrous Brexit being imposed upon us by the Government in London.”

Glynn added: “As well as it only being a few days before Article 50 is triggered, this weekend will be the 60th anniversary of the European Union, a union that has given us peace, prosperity and democracy for 60 years and we think that is worth celebrating.”

The Treaty of Rome, which came into force on January 1, 1958, is one of the EU’s most significant signed treaties and credited with playing a pivotal role in the continent’s longest period of peace, freedom, stability and prosperity.

In a Westminster Hall debate in the Commons yesterday, the SNP’s Europe spokesman Stephen Gethins welcomed the treaty’s achievements and the benefits that the EU has brought to member states.

Gethins said in his own constit- uency of North East Fife, the University of St Andrews receives a quarter of its funding from the European Union and is able to attract talent from across the bloc.

EU leaders are due to gather in Rome on Saturday to celebrate the signing of the Treaty on its 60th anniversary but Theresa May has opted to stay away from the event.

Gethins said: “The Treaty of Rome is a remarkable achievement that we mustn’t lose sight of. For more than 60 years, European nations have worked together to create our continent’s longest ever period of peace, freedom, stability and prosperity.

“Undoubtedly the UK’s future relationship with the EU will be the elephant in the room. Nonetheless that should not preclude us from reflecting on the EU’s extraordinary successes and the many benefits it has brought us.”

He added: “We voted to remain in the EU because it makes our country safer, it makes our country wealthier through access to the EU single market of more than 500 million people, and it makes our country fairer with EU directives that have provided us with the fundamental right not to be discriminated against, as well as the right to paid holidays, parental leave and other benefits.

“As the UK undertakes the momentous bureaucratic task of trying to leave the EU, it is worth reflecting, just for a moment, on the unprecedented success 60 years on from the signing of a treaty that has touched and benefited us all.”

Meanwhile, across European cities on Saturday, people will take to the streets to show their solidarity with the EU. Marches are being organised in Edinburgh as well as other capitals including London, Berlin, Bucharest and Rome.

The Edinburgh march, is being organised by the Young European Movement, with support from the European Movement in Scotland.

Glynn said: “This march aims to show that Scotland is a European nation, that we oppose Brexit. It is vital that we actively defend what has been achieved through our membership of the European Union. I would urge all those who share our vision to come along.

“As the Westminster Government is driving us off a Brexit cliff, we will say it loud and clear: ‘Not in our name!’.”

She added: “On Sunday, March 26, the clocks go forward an hour, then they go back 60 years with the triggering of Article 50 on Wednesday the 29th.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “The Minister for UK Nego- tiations on Scotland’s Place in Europe, Michael Russell will host an event at the Scottish Parliament on March 23 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome. Additional events are being considered.”

A spokeswoman for the UK Department for Exiting the European Union said there was no “ministerial activity” to mark the anniversary but the Prime Minister had sent her wishes to EU leaders.