Euro News Monthly May 2011
I heard a rumour this month that news print ink companies had to import yellow ink from the continent after our landslide election victory!! When the SNP win, Scotland not just wins and feels good about itself but remembers that we can be better.
Last week I represented Scotland and the EU at the 3rd EU-West Nordic Council summit meeting in Nuuk, Greenland (pictured above). I spoke about seal and whale hunting and the EU Common Fisheries Policy as well as Energy and Mineral rights and Climate Change. The Nordic Council and the West Nordic Council have huge potential for Scotland. I'm keen to see us work with them on real projects, energy and fisheries in particular given our common agenda and real links with a number of our oil companies already active in Greenland. These talks, and representing Scotland internationally, are not just about being nice, they are the best way to bring home ideas and build links to the betterment of our country. I would like to pass on my congratulations to John Ross on his appointment as Chairman of 'Care Farming Scotland'. This is good news - John brings a real commitment and experience to an already great organisation, and I look forward to 'Care Farming Scotland' going from strength to strength.
To keep updated with all my news visit my website: http://www.alynsmith.eu or follow me on:
Smith Hails Disabled Golf Tournament
Alyn hailed a tournament for disabled golfers taking place in Scotland this summer. The Scottish Championship and World Ryder Cup for disabled golfers, from Monday 11 to Monday 18 July at the Dullatur and Westerwood Golf Courses, will see over 50 disabled golfers from around the world compete.
In addition to Scots, participants will be from countries including Germany, Canada, Australia and South Africa. These two back-to-back events, consisting of seven rounds of competition golf is the biggest golf event ever arranged for disabled people. The four teams will be Scotland, England, Celtic Nations and a World Squad.
"It's well known that Scotland is the home of golf, but this tournament will be unique in providing disabled golfers an opportunity to compete on a global stage. The Scottish Disability Golf Partnership has been doing a great job of making sure Scotland's sport is inclusive for all.
"This event looks set to be great and it's a wonderful opportunity for those involved."
Smith Calls For Sanctions On Uganda
Alyn backed international calls for pressure to be raised on Ugandan legislators as they come to consider introducing the death penalty for homosexuality in the country. Smith has written to EU International Relations Chief Catherine Ashton urging her to suspend all aid payments should the legislation be approved, and lent his support to the "All Out" petition calling upon the Ugandan President to veto the law.
The private member's bill was initially submitted by MP David Bahiti to the Ugandan Parliament on 14 October 2009. It proposes to introduce the death penalty for people who have "previous convictions" of homosexuality, are HIV positive, or engage in same sex acts. The law also includes provisions for Ugandans who engage in same-sex acts outside Uganda, asserting that they may be extradited for punishment back to Uganda. The bill also includes penalties for individuals, companies, media organisations and non-governmental organisations which support LGBT rights. Intense international reaction to the bill caused President Yoweri Museveni to form a commission to investigate its potential implications. In May 2010, the committee recommended withdrawing it, however it has remained under discussion in Parliament and passed through a committee hearing last Friday. The current Ugandan Parliamentary term officially ends on 18 May and there are increasing concerns the bill was deliberately postponed to be rushed through at the last minute.
"This is an odious piece of legislation, and if enacted would be a stain on the face of Uganda. There is hateful legislation in too many countries across the world and I abhor them all, but we may be able to stop this one at least making it to the Statute book and there will be one fewer to worry about. The President has acted against this once before, he must be encouraged to do so again.
"The EU sets great store by our promotion of human rights and equality, and collectively as Uganda's biggest aid and trade partner we have a position of real influence from which to urge the Ugandan legislators to see reason. We must do more to put pressure upon the Ugandan Parliament and prevent them from voting in favour of this bill. Baroness Ashton must act quickly to express the EU's disgust at this proposed legislation, and be willing to back up that disgust with action."
Full Support For Scotland's EU Renewables Bid
Alyn has welcomed the news that the Pentland Orkney Wave Energy Resource (POWER) Ltd has been selected by the UK government to apply for European funding through the EU's New Entrant Reserve (NER300) scheme â a fund worth around EUR4.5 billion to support carbon capture and storage (CCS) and innovative renewable projects across the European Union.
The Scottish-based POWER project aims to deliver the world's first large-scale grid-connected demonstration of a wave energy farm with a total generation capacity of 28 MW. Data and learning captured during the development and operation of the project will be used directly to accelerate the commercialisation of wave energy technology and the development of the industry in Europe. Smith was formerly a member of the European Parliament's Industry, Energy and Research Committee.
Smith said: "While this is still early stages of the process, it is good to see that we are moving in the right direction. My congratulations to the team involved to have come this far already, and my best wishes for the next stages."
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13 July 2012
- Welcome Vote On Energy Efficiency
12 July 2012
- "Clarity & Sense" Needed On EU Offshore Oil & Gas Safety Regulation
11 July 2012
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10 July 2012
- Alyn Hails Euro Parliament Support For LGBTI Rights In Africa
06 July 2012
- Vion Closure - "Clear Need For Government Intervention"
05 July 2012