Lessons from an independence trailblazer
Twenty years ago, on 1 January, 1993, Slovakia became an independent country. Slovakia’s Deputy Prime Minister, Miroslav Lajcak, has spoken to BBC Scotland about the journey Slovakia has taken since that momentous day.
"When my country was born, many people were sceptical about the chances for us to exist, let alone prosper. Right now, everybody understands and acknowledges that we have been a success story. So the general feeling is that there was a scepticism at the beginning. People were not convinced that the split of Czechoslovakia was the best idea but right now, we are doing very well, the Czech Republic is doing well and our friendship is better than ever."
Asked if Slovaks had any regrets given the specific challenges they faced in the early days as a post-Eastern bloc State and newly independent country, Mr Lajcak said: "Sure. It wasn't easy and that was one of the reasons why Czechoslovakia split, because of the structure of the economy in the Czech Republic and Slovakia was different." But he added: "Right now, Slovakia is doing really well."
by Angus Millar
In a series of interviews published today, senior politicians and academics from Denmark have said that the country would ‘welcome’ an independent Scotland into the European Union, and that the transition process to independent membership of the EU would be a ‘mere formality’ which could ‘happen overnight’.
by Toni Giugliano
Last night Croatia became the 28th Member of the European Union. Thousands celebrated the country’s accession through the streets of Zagreb as the country became the second ex-Yugoslav state to join the EU. On the same day, Lithuania took over the EU Presidency, from Ireland, for the first time since joining in 2004.
Yes Scotland today welcomed comments by an adviser to the German government that Scotland would remain part of the European Union after independence.
The Sunday Herald reports that economics professor Roland Vaubel said the idea that an independent Scotland would not be a EU member had "no basis" in European treaties.
People from a range of EU countries and now living in Scotland came together today to voice support for a Yes vote in next year's independence referendum.
Citizens from countries such as Poland, Italy, France and England gathered in Edinburgh to say why they want Scotland to stay in the EU - and why independence is the best way to guarantee it.