SNP MEP, Norway and Iceland to Agree on Maritime Policy

26 June 2007
"Scotland can be the friendly bridge to the EU"

SNP MEP Alyn Smith is to meet with Icelandic and Norwegian politicians tomorrow to establish a joint position on the future of maritime policy between the EU, Iceland and Norway.

The meeting, taking place as part of the European Economic Area's Joint Parliamentary Committee, will debate a report co-authored by Mr Smith with Norwegian MP Borge Brende on the future of the European Union's Maritime Policy.

The meeting will take place today and tomorrow in (ironically enough)Liechtenstein.

Speaking before the debate Mr Smith said:

"Working on this report with the Norwegians highlights the SNP'scommitment to work with our colleagues and neighbours on areas of joint interest and concern.

"Maritime policy is a key issue for Norway and Iceland as it is for Scotland and I thank my Norwegian colleagues for their work on this report.I am proud that as a neighbour to Norway and Iceland Scotland has been able to act as the bridge to the EU in this case and hope we will have many more opportunities to work together.

"The report is wide ranging and cover issues from carbon capture and research funding for energy sources to port security, tourism and maritime heritage. I believe it has a lot of good points which will serve Scotland, the EU and our Nordic neighbours well.

"The report should result in a resolution of the Committee, which will become the official view of the Committee on the EU's Maritime policy and our contribution to the discussion on the future of the policy.

"While Norway and Iceland remain out with the EU I want them to be in no doubt that Scotland will continue to work closely with them as neighbours and friends."