In spite of its failure in the short term, the Scottish campaign exposed elite dread of decentralization while establishing a precedent that regions can decide for themselves to secede even without a nation-wide vote. The campaign also illustrates anew ongoing trends in the decline of the nation-state.
Alex Salmond has announced he will step down as Scotland’s first minister and resign as the leader of the Scottish National Party, after voters rejected independence from the UK.
Scotland voted “No” to independence by about 55% to 45% in a poll yesterday (18 September) that attracted a British record 84.59% turnout and is set to spur major constitutional change.
“For me as leader my time is nearly over but for Scotland the campaign continues and the dream shall never die," Salmond told reporters in Edinburgh, within ten hours of conceding defeat this morning.
European Union and NATO officials expressed undisguised relief on Friday (19 September) at Scotland's clear vote against independence from Britain, but some fretted that the genie of separatism may be out of the bottle in Europe.
EU partners had mostly kept quiet in the run-up to Thursday's referendum, lest their fears of a break-up of the United Kingdom leading to contagion elsewhere in Europe be seized upon as interference.
European Central Bank (ECB) plans to bolster lending to business were dealt another setback on Friday after banks decided to repay billions of euros of cheap ECB credit, sapping money available to lend to business.
The news came a day after the central bank's fresh offer of up to €400 billion of low-cost loans fell flat, casting doubt on its plans to shore up the eurozone's faltering economy.
Poland’s cabinet reshuffle after Donald Tusk’s resignation to become European Council president reflects a shift away from his political line, despite the fact only five ministers have changed.
Ewa Kopacz, expected to be the new prime minister, has announced the line-up of her cabinet. While most ministers kept their portfolios, some essential changes will take place.
The high profile foreign minister is leaving the cabinet and will take over as Speaker of the Sejm (lower chamber of the Polish parliament), constitutionally the second most important position in Poland.
The Scottish referendum has had the benefit to set the stage for a broader discussion on the way governance functions in the UK and the EU at large, writes David Kitching.
David Kitching, is Policy Advisor for the Foundation of European Progressive Studies (FEPS), the political think tank linked to the Party of European Socialists (PES).
The investment to cut energy waste in the building stock is not a cost, but a long-term investment which can redress Europe's economy and not only, writes Oliver Rapf.
Oliver Rapf is the Executive Director of the Buildings Performance Institute Europe, a Brussels based non-profit think tank focusing on energy in the built environment.