New Year Highlights Scotland’s Potential In New Europe

01 January 2008
SNP MEP Alyn Smith has today welcomed changes in the European Union which see Slovenia become the first of the new member states to hold the Presidency of the European Union and Malta and Cyprus join the Eurozone.

Mr Smith said:

"Today's events across Europe highlight how different things could be if Scotland was an Independent member of the EU.

"Slovenia with less than half the population of Scotland has been a member of the European Union for only 3 years and is already taking the helm after joining the Euro last year.

"With issues of massive importance to Scotland on the agenda like energy policy, the reform of the EU's agriculture regime and EU funding the contrast could not be starker.

"As Slovenia, Malta and Cyprus move forward with their own European future Scotland is still looking on from the sidelines. It is time we were joining these countries and others at the forefront of Europe making Scotland's case in Scotland's interests.

"To all those who have said Scotland would lose in Europe by leaving the UK the evidence from Slovenia is exactly the opposite.

"For the next six months Slovenia will be one of the most powerful countries in Europe and we will see a real shift from the influence of old member states with outdated views of EU politics to the importance of the new member states, of smaller countries and of working together as nations.

"I will be sending my best wishes to Slovenia and I look forward to the day when Scotland will join Slovenia at the heart of Europe.