A LEADING German journalist in Europe has lavished praise on 20 years of the Scottish Parliament’s work, saying it has changed the Scottish identity and Scotland’s standing in Europe and the world.

Udo Seiwert-Fauti, a senior special correspondent on Brexit, Europe and Scotland affairs in Strasbourg and Edinburgh, said he was allowed to vote three times in Holyrood elections, which had given him an “unexpected feeling” of inclusion.

And, writing in The National, he said it was something that Scots found normal: “As long as you are involved in our community, they frankly told me, you can and should vote for this Scottish Parliament.”

READ MORE: How the Scottish Parliament has changed the nation's identity

Seiwert-Fauti has worked at the heart of Europe for decades in broadcast and in print, including regular appearances on BBC Scotland. He said he admired the fact that the Scottish Parliament was grounded on the European Convention on Human Rights, and added: “With that parliament, Scotland has [acted] very differently to any other UK nation, showing that human rights and the Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg are accepted and wanted. It has sent a very clear sign to the rest of world where Scotland is standing and what the Scottish ego and thinking is.”

He said some of his colleagues saw Holyrood simply as a smaller version of the UK Parliament, but the proportional voting system ruled this out. “It has raised attention for Scotland and Scottish views, has brought together the country ‘north of the Border’, created a very different Scottish feeling of parliamentary discussions (compare a Holyrood session to the shouting in the green leather room in London) and encouraged Scottish parliamentarians and ministers to stand up and bring in the Scottish voice on an EU and European level.

He added: “Could Scotland join the EU ? Do not even discuss it, the answer is very clear: YES!”