SNP MEPs to Vote Against New European Commission

26 October 2004
Scottish National Party Euro-MPs have confirmed that they intend to vote against the proposed new European Commission in tomorrow's cliff-hanger vote in the European Parliament.

They have been unimpressed with the performance of several nominee Commissioners in pre-vote hearings. They also have concerns about the undemocratic nature of a vote which allows only acceptance or rejection of the whole Commission rather than individuals.

Speaking from Strasbourg, SNP European Leader Ian Hudghton MEP said:

"We're firmly of the view that several of the proposed new Commissioners are simply not up to the job. What's regrettable is that the system doesn't allow us to veto individuals - we either have to approve or reject the Commission as a whole. That's an absolute nonsense, thoroughly undemocratic and as bad for Scotland as it is for Europe.

We need root and branch reform of the way European Commissioners are selected and put forward. A rejection of the whole team could provide the necessary impetus for this to happen."

Alyn Smith MEP added:

"I'm sorry to have to vote against the whole team because there have been individual Commissioners who have really impressed me. But it's a case of take it or leave it with the whole team. Faced with this choice - and knowing that there are some candidates being put forward who just aren't up to the job - we will be voting to reject the new European Commission.

This is an opportunity for the democratically elected European Parliament to flex its muscles and stand up to the bullying tactics of some governments, Blair's included. The Liberals who've certainly talked a good game now seem to be wavering - as consistently inconsistent as ever."