Scottish Voice on Europe needs to be heard

03 June 2005
"It might seem like a radical idea, but I want to find out what people think, not politicians"

Following the rejection of the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe by the French and the Dutch Scottish National Party MEP Alyn Smith has called for the people of Scotland to be given the opportunity to talk about the kind of EU they want to see.

Mr Smith is to use his website to offer Scots the chance to express their views on the Constitution, what happens next, and how Europe should develop. He also hopes to hold a series of public discussions over the summer.

Speaking today Mr Smith said

"Europe is about people, not processes or institutions. If there is nothing to vote on then there won't be a referendum but that doesn't mean people across Europe, especially in Scotland should be denied their say. The debate on the Constitution across Europe has highlighted the great void that lies between what European people want and what European leaders have planned. This gap must be bridged for Europe to have any real meaning.

To my mind the Constitution wasn't good for Scotland or for Europe, but I take no pleasure in its defeat, Europe needs reform and we now have to look at how that reform is taken forward. I would start by improving the status of the Scottish Parliament and others like it, so that Scotland can fulfil its European potential. Scotland implements EU legislation but is given very little say, and has no voice at Europe's top tables.

As an MEP I represent the whole of Scotland, I'd like to hear from the whole of Scotland and I hope leaders across the EU will take my advice and ask the people what sort of Europe THEY really want to see."