SNP MEP Congratulates New European Commission on Likely Vote

17 November 2004
"No doubt European Parliament will approve appointments"

Speaking in advance of tomorrow's European Parliament vote on the European Commission, Scottish National Party MEP Mr Alyn Smith has today (Wednesday) congratulated in advance the President Designate of the European Commission on the almost certain approval the Commission will receive from the legislature. The SNP MEP was reacting to the statements of the political groups in the Parliament on tomorrow's vote, which make clear that it is almost certain the Commission will be approved, after the withdrawal of two Commissioner candidates and a minor reshuffle.

The SNP MEP said from Strasbourg:

"I have thought that since the previous rejection of the Commission by the Parliament, MEPs would find a way to justify voting in favour this time round. The Parliament has made a point in this constitutional battle of wits, though we need to get on with business.

"For my part, my objection to the whole process still stands. You do not interview 25 different people for 25 different jobs then make one decision to take them all or leave them all. It was the nonsense of that 'nuclear or nothing' procedure which forced the stand off in the first place and remains every bit as flawed now as it was then.

"However, it is pretty clear that I am in the minority on this one, and my fellow MEPs are clearly going to vote in favour of the Commission or abstain. I will accept that majority view, and work with the Commission to get the best deal for Scotland. I'm personally very happy that the Polish nominee Danuta Huebner will be confirmed as Regional Development Commissioner, as she was clearly a very able candidate and I look forward to working with her. I will get a letter in to her tomorrow after the vote asking for a meeting to press Scotland's cause. I'm aware MSPs in the Scottish Parliament will be inviting the new Commissioners to Scotland to come over and see the country for themselves, and look forward to seeing as many Commissioners as possible coming to Scotland in the near future."