Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles are also targeting specific provision for them within any new European Union accession treaty.
The scale of the island councils' ambitions were unveiled yesterday at the start of a two-day conference in Kirkwall about their attempts to win greater powers.
Steven Heddle, Orkney's leader, identified enhancing the islands' relationship with Europe as a crucial policy area of their campaign to win more influence and access to EU funding.
He said this could be achieved through regional status and a seat, or seats, on the European Committee of the Regions.
But Mr Heddle said the islands councils could aim higher: "We could ask to be represented directly in Brussels as part of the national representation of our member state, be it the UK or Scotland, as is the case with other islands."
The idea is that the proposals would allow the islands to monitor European legislation, in the same way as Madeira, the Azores and the Baltic Aland Islands.
Mr Heddle added: "We should be bold and seize the opportunities that may arise, such as ensuring that we are written into any new EU accession treaty that proves necessary for an independent Scotland, to give our islands a legal guarantee of a better level of recognition by the EU."
Orkney, Shetland and Western Isles councils recently launched their "Our Islands, Our Future" campaign to win more powers regardless of what happens in next year's referendum.
Mr Heddle argued the current provision in Holyrood's standing orders that there should be an assessment of how any Bill would affect island communities was inadequate.
He said allowing the islands to be treated equally with other parts of Scotland would promote good relations between local and central government. The councils also want the Scottish Parliament to treat remoteness and insularity as issues of equality when legislating, and move towards passing an act securing the islands' authorities in the future.
Angus Campbell, leader of the Western Isles Council, said the islands had the power to "make things happen," but control of their resources was a major challenge.
He added: "We have come a long way from the private landlords owning the land and deciding what was best for the communities.
"In the region of 70% of the population of the Outer Hebrides now lives on community-owned land, and our communities are the better for it.
"But none of the seabed around our shores belongs to the community - or even generates any significant income for local communities. It belongs to the Crown Estate,who at best pay lip service to local communities, and certainly not pounds and pence."
Shetland councillor Gary Robinson questioned a misconception that Scotland or the UK had to subsidise their lives. He said that while key ferry services did receive subsidy, the islands provided rich seams of finance for the public purse.
Mr Robinson said: "I am sure it hasn't escaped our respective governments' attention that 80% of he UK's territorial waters surround our three island groups. These are the areas that have already given up billions in oil revenue to the UK Exchequer and hundreds of millions in fish catching, aquaculture and Crown Estates revenues."
He said it had been estimated that around 25% of the £300 billion-plus that the UK Treasury had derived from oil and gas in tax had been levied on throughput at the Sullom Voe oil terminal in Shetland.
Islay councillor Robin Currie pointed out that Argyll and Bute had 25 populated islands, more than anywhere else in Scotland, and faced the same scale of transport problems other island communities.