THE SNP's youth wing is set to hold a major international event to discuss Scotland’s path to independence and a way back to EU membership.

Youth leaders from Young Scots for Independence (YSI) are set to host 25 international delegates from several European political parties at the event in Stirling next month.

Delegates are set to come from Germany, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, Poland, Northern Ireland, Catalonia and Wales to take part in panel discussions, workshops and networking sessions at Hotel Colessio between May 17-18.

Organisers hope the event will build international support for Scotland’s right to choose independence and a network of “ambassadors” for Scotland across Europe.

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Ellie Koepplinger, YSI Glasgow women’s officer, said: “Scotland’s future in Europe is wholly dependent on the relationships we build with tomorrow’s progressive politicians.

“That’s why welcoming Europe’s future leaders is the best way to safeguard Scotland’s path back into the EU, and back into the economic safety our country deserves.”

First Minister Humza Yousaf is due to speak at the event alongside many other politicians, candidates and campaigners, with themes stretching from the impact of Brexit to the cost of living crisis, climate change and democracy.

It also comes in the month of the 25th anniversary of the Scottish Parliament, and just weeks before the European Parliament elections – the first in which Scotland and the UK are not taking part in, due to Brexit.

The event, called "Our European Future", is being organised in partnership with Europe for Scotland, which brings together a network of Europeans supporting Scottish independence, and is currently running a campaign urging European Parliament election candidates to back Scotland’s democratic rights.

The National will be publishing a special-edition supplement to mark the meeting.

The National: Alyn Smith

Alyn Smith (above), SNP MP for Stirling and Europe/EU Accession spokesperson for the SNP Westminster group, said: “One of the real tragedies of Brexit has been the blow it struck to our social and political bonds with our fellow Europeans.

“Co-operation on the big issues of our time – climate change, artificial intelligence, future pandemics, global security – has been stymied.

“That is why it is so important for Scotland to invest in those relationships, to show we’re a willing and active participant in tackling the challenges of today and tomorrow.

“Stirling is proudly internationalist, and I’m glad to see the YSI and the SNP hosting the international conference right at the heart of our historic city.

"It’s only by living and acting on our values – of co-operation, democracy, human rights and self-determination – that Scotland can properly contribute to a fairer and more just set of affairs, both at home and abroad.

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“My thanks go out to the organisers – and here’s to a great conference!”

Sadie Matthews, YSI national women’s officer, added: “It has been infuriating to watch Westminster strip away the rights of various vulnerable communities that were previously protected by the EU, such as the undermining of the Human Rights Act.

“It’s vital to build up our relationships with EU political parties and their youth wings, so that once Scotland gains its independence, we’re able to regain the protection of these vital conventions and expand upon them.”

Andrea Pisauro, co-chair of Europe for Scotland, said: “We are very excited to be a part of this timely conference. We feel that Brexit robbed many people of their rights, but none more so than the younger generations, which is why we are proud to support YSI in advocating self-determination for the people of Scotland.

“We want the injustice of Brexit to be redressed. That is why, for these European elections, the first where Scots won’t be able to vote despite their clear democratic will, we will be campaigning across Europe for Scotland’s right to reclaim its place in the European family of nations.”