AN international petition has been launched aiming to secure Scotland's European future.

The new project is calling for Scotland to be part of the conversation around EU enlargement ahead of the European elections next May.

While Scotland no longer has a voice in EU institutions following Brexit, campaign group Europe for Scotland has said it believes the country should still be at the forefront of politicians’ minds in debates about expanding the bloc.

The petition - entitled Would You Like Scotland To Be Part Of The Conversation On EU Enlargement? - asks European citizens and MEPs in the next Parliament to “remember us, consider our clear desire to rejoin the EU as an independent country and to keep Scotland part of the conversation on a democratic, open and fair EU enlargement”.

No country has joined the EU since Croatia in 2013 but the likes of Ukraine, Moldova and Bosnia and Herzegovina are looking to join. European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen has said enlargement is a “common interest” earlier this month as she told the EU Parliament “there’s a sense of urgency to unite our European family”.

Andrea Pisauro, one of two co-directors at Europe for Scotland, has said there is an urgent need to “make noise” about Scotland’s desire to rejoin the EU after being dragged out against its will, particularly given Brexit is no longer a common conversation topic among MEPs.

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He told The National: “The UK Government keeps denying the right of Scotland to have a referendum and the EU does not know what to do in this context. It’s moving on from Brexit.

“There is a conversation now about reform and enlargement, but it’s not talking about Scotland or Brexit and we as a campaign simply cannot wait for a referendum or for the EU to act in a referendum context. We want to do something now.

“Next year there is going to be the parliamentary election for a renewed European parliament and we are trying to understand how we can make Scotland part of the conversation when people discuss enlargement. How can we make sure they don’t forget Scottish people?

“We thought we need to refresh European minds, we need some good news coming from Scotland.

The National: Andrea Pisauro (middle) led a conversation about whether the EU is complete without Scotland at the Break Up of Britain conference Andrea Pisauro (middle) led a conversation about whether the EU is complete without Scotland at the Break Up of Britain conference (Image: NQ)

“This petition is made for Scots to raise their voice and ask Europeans to not forget Scotland and say while you [the EU] are having this election we are not allowed to take part in, because Brexit has deprived us of our vote, you can still consider us.”

Europe for Scotland is made up of Europeans who wish to express solidarity with Scotland and see it return to the EU as an independent nation. 

The European election next year will be the first Scotland will not have a say in, which has fuelled the desire among Europe for Scotland activists to see the country remain a part of conversations in Brussels.

Pisauro - who is originally from Italy and lived in Glasgow for three years - said he hopes the petition can “break the news cycle” and spark conversations about Scotland returning to Europe as an independent country.

He is hoping people throwing their weight behind the campaign will lead to MEPs keeping Scotland on the agenda in Brussels.  

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“Sometimes it’s about breaking the news cycle and allowing journalists to ask questions about enlargement and Scotland rejoining,” he said.

“It’s about having articles in Europe and sparking conversation with policymakers. Until Scotland is an independent country, it cannot be in the accession pipeline, but can be in the conversation and in the minds of politicians and in the hearts of citizens.

“We have activists across Europe that could organise events that could talk about the petition and invite MEPs so that it’s on the agenda.

“This is a petition for Europeans not just politicians. For us, it’s a tool to create a bond between citizens in Scotland and Europe.

“While formally Scotland cannot be part of the plan [for enlargement], there is going to be debates and motions in the European Parliament and we would like Scotland to be a part of those.”

As well as launching the petition, Europe for Scotland will host an online discussion on Thursday evening at 6pm where Pisauro will be joined by journalist Lesley Riddoch, Morag Williamson of Yes For EU and other activists to talk about how we can push for Scotland to be part of enlargement conversations.

The Scottish Government recently launched a white paper looking at an independent Scotland in the EU, highlighting the benefits for both parties and the possible route for joining.

Pisauro believes the EU is not complete without Scotland and the country joining the bloc could help balance out the enlargement process. 

“Scotland is a very open and democratic system,” he added.

“It has a very solid rule of law, very progressive environmental policies. From many standpoints, it would set an example other European countries can follow.

“It can also balance out the enlargement process because it’s very much going towards the east.

“It’s also about history – Scotland is the most ancient European nation. We don’t think Europe is complete without Scotland.

“While this limbo that Scotland is in continues post-Brexit, we want to make noise [about Scotland being part of the enlargement conversation].”

The petition can be signed here.

The Europe for Scotland online event will be streamed live on the IndependenceLive YouTube channel from 6pm. You can click here to view it.